Sep 11, 2013

Big Ten Week Three Preview

No. 15 Nebraska (2-0) plays host to No. 17 UCLA (1-0) in one of the weekend’s two matchups of top-25 teams. The Huskers played better defense in week two, holding Southern Miss to under 300 total yards. CB Ciante Evans leads the nation with three interceptions.

Illinois (2-0) and No. 23 Washington (1-0) face off on Saturday night in Chicago at Soldier Field. The Illini are coming off an impressive 45-17 win over Cincinnati and QB Nate Scheelhaase leads the Big Ten with 728 passing yards. The Huskies have not played since opening the season with a 38-6 victory over then No. 19 Boise State.

No. 3 Ohio State (2-0) makes its first road trip of the season to take on California (1-1). The Buckeyes sprinted by San Diego State behind backup QB Kenny Guiton, who passed for 152 yards and rushed for 83. Ohio State defeated Cal last season in Columbus, and travels to the west coast for the first time since a 35-3 loss at USC in 2008.  

No. 21 Notre Dame (1-1) travels to Purdue (1-1) for its second-straight road game against a Big Ten opponent. The Boilermakers defeated Indiana State at home this past weekend for their first win of the season, while Notre Dame lost its first regular season game since 2011. Notre Dame has won the past five meetings in the in-state rivalry.

No. 18 Wisconsin (2-0) visits Arizona State (1-0) for an early-season, non-conference road test. The Badgers have run over their previous two opponents, accumulating 602 yards per game. The Badgers and Sun Devils have met once before with Wisconsin claiming a 20-19 home win in 2010.

Iowa (1-1) and Iowa State (0-1) meet for the 37th-consecutive season as the Hawkeyes travel to take on the Cyclones. Iowa RB Mark Weisman has registered back-to-back 100-yard games, putting him in second place in the Big Ten. With a Cyclones win, Iowa State would claim its third-straight win over their in-state rivals.

Penn State (2-0) hosts UCF (2-0) in a battle of unbeaten teams. Nittany Lions’ WR Allen Robinson has caught seven passes for over 120 yards and a TD in each of the first two games. Penn State averages 34.0 points per game, while UCF has surrendered only one touchdown this year.

After wins against the Pac-12 and ACC to start the season, No. 16 Northwestern (2-0) hosts a MAC opponent in Western Michigan (0-2) under the lights at Ryan Field. The Wildcats stormed out to a 20-0 lead en route to a 48-27 win over Syracuse in week two. On defense, the ‘Cats seven interceptions through two games tie them with Tennessee for tops in the nation.

Bowling Green (2-0, 1-0 MAC) travels to Indiana (1-1) to take on a Hoosiers team coming off a home loss to Navy. Indiana’s offense ranks seventh nationally in points per game (54.0), but its defense ranks 109th (38.0). The Hoosiers are 22-6 all-time against MAC opponents, but they have lost to a MAC team each of the past two seasons.

No. 12 Michigan (2-0) plays host to its second MAC team of the season as Akron (1-1) visits Ann Arbor. Wolverines WR Jeremy Gallon had a career-day against in the win against Notre Dame on Saturday, catching eight passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Michigan and Akron are meeting for the first time.

Two Big Ten teams host FCS competition in week three as Western Illinois (2-0) travels to Minnesota (2-0), and Michigan State (2-0) hosts Youngstown State (2-0).

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