Previewing the Big Ten night games

September, 15, 2012
9/15/12
6:50
PM ET
Let's take a quick look at the three-pack of Big Ten games kicking off under the lights tonight:

No. 20 Notre Dame (2-0) at No. 10 Michigan State (2-0): The Spartans search for another signature home win and their third consecutive home victory against rival Notre Dame. The game features two first-year starting quarterbacks in Michigan State's Andrew Maxwell, who rebounded nicely last week after a three-interception performance in the opener, and Everett Golson, a dynamic redshirt freshman who was relieved by Tommy Rees in last week's win against Purdue. Notre Dame has lost nine consecutive games to teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 10, by an average of more than 15 points a game.

Ball State (1-1) at Indiana (2-0): Junior college transfer Cameron Coffman makes his first career start at quarterback for Indiana, which lost top signal caller Tre Roberson to a season-ending broken leg last week. Coffman takes aim at a Ball State defense that has struggled against the pass early this season (102nd nationally in efficiency). Ball State has won its past two meetings with Indiana, including last year when it spoiled Kevin Wilson's Hoosiers coaching debut. Indiana comes off of its first 600-yard offensive performance since 2001, as it racked up 606 yards in last week's romp against UMass.

Utah State (2-0) at Wisconsin (1-1): This game is a lot more intriguing than it looked eight days ago. Utah State heads to Madison following a milestone overtime win against rival Utah last Friday. Wisconsin, meanwhile, tries to re-establish its identity after a woeful performance last Saturday at Oregon State, in which it finished with 35 net rush yards and went more than 58 minutes without scoring. Head coach Bret Bielema dumped offensive line coach Mike Markuson following the debacle and elevated Bart Miller, a 27-year-old offensive quality control assistant. All eyes will be on the offensive line, Miller and Bielema as Wisconsin tries to get on track two weeks before beginning its Big Ten title defense.

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