Previewing the Big Ten night games

September, 22, 2012
9/22/12
6:00
PM ET
The three best Big Ten games of the day, on paper at least, could be under the lights. Here's what the night holds for the league:

No. 18 Michigan (2-1) at No. 11 Notre Dame (3-0), 7:30 p.m.: The day's marquee game involving a Big Ten team, as the Wolverines renew their rivalry with the Irish in a night game at Notre Dame Stadium. No secret to what the key to this game is: Can Denard Robinson terrorize Notre Dame's defense again? The Irish look far more equipped to contain Shoelace this year, but he does magical things in this series. The Michigan defense needs to play its best game of the season, and Robinson will need help from Fitzgerald Toussaint and others.

Syracuse (1-2) at Minnesota (3-0), 8 p.m.: The Gophers look to go to 4-0 but will play the best team on their schedule so far. MarQueis Gray is not expected to play with a sprained ankle, so sophomore Max Shortell gets the start at quarterback for Minnesota. Syracuse has a high-powered passing attack led by Ryan Nassib, so Troy Stoudermire, Derrick Wells and an improved Gophers secondary must be up to the challenge.

Louisiana Tech (2-0) at Illinois (2-1), 8 p.m.: Nathan Scheelhaase is expected to return at quarterback for the Illini, who should also get running back Josh Ferguson back from a head injury. They will likely need all the offense they can muster against a Louisiana Tech team averaging 56 points per game. The Illinois defense didn't play well against the last hurry-up, spread team it faced -- at Arizona State -- but will look for redemption tonight.

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