Monday, September 12, 2011
Big Ten Week 3 preview
By Brian Bennett
Week 2 contained a few bumps in the road for the Big Ten. What does Week 3 hold? Glad you asked (all times ET):
No. 17 Ohio State (2-0) at Miami (0-1), 7 p.m., ESPN: The Ineligi-Bowl. A Florida (Wins) Vacation. Yes, the two teams' NCAA troubles will dominate the pregame storylines, but this is also a big test for a Buckeyes squad that struggled to get past Toledo at home Saturday.
No. 22 Arizona State (2-0) at Illinois (2-0) 7 p.m., Big Ten Network: After two blowout wins over lesser competition, the Illini try to prove they're for real. The Sun Devils slipped past Illinois rival Missouri in overtime last Friday.
Washington (2-0) at No. 10 Nebraska (2-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC: Rubber match? Nebraska blew out the Huskies early in the regular season last year and then got beat by Washington in the Holiday Bowl for a startling reversal of fortune. The Cornhuskers' defense will hope for a stronger performance than in Saturday's 42-29 win over Fresno State.
No. 15 Michigan State (2-0) at Notre Dame (0-2), 3:30 p.m., NBC: The Irish are staring down the barrel of an 0-3 start and figure to approach this game with heavy desperation. The Spartans get their first road challenge in a season full of them.
Penn State (1-1) at Temple (2-0), Noon, ESPN: The Nittany Lions look to bounce back from the Alabama loss by playing a team they have beaten 36 times in 40 meetings (with one tie in there). Temple outscored its first two opponents 83-10.
No. 7 Wisconsin (2-0) at Northern Illinois (1-1) 3:30 p.m., ESPN3.com: Jump Around at Soldier Field. Northern Illinois is technically the home team and is smarting after a last-second, 45-42 loss at Kansas on Saturday. NIU is coached by Dave Doeren, who was the Badgers' defensive coordinator last season.
Pittsburgh (2-0) at Iowa (1-1), Noon, ESPN2: Pitt is 2-0 under first-year coach Todd Graham but had to hold off Maine last week. Still, Iowa would sure like to be 2-0 right now.
Northwestern (2-0) at Army (0-2) 3:30 p.m., CBS Sports: Week 3 of the Dan Persa watch is in effect. Northwestern hasn't needed him yet and might not again this week.
Eastern Michigan (2-0) at Michigan (2-0) Noon, BTN: Eastern Michigan is 2-0 for the first time since 1989. Of course, those two wins came over a pair of FCS schools in Howard and Alabama State, the latter by just one touchdown. At least the Eagles don't have to travel far for this one.
Miami of Ohio (0-1) at Minnesota (0-2), 3:30 p.m., BTN: We still don't know who will coach Minnesota this week. The RedHawks are also winless so far under new head coach and former Michigan State assistant Don Treadwell.
Southeast Missouri State (0-1) at Purdue (1-1), Noon, BTN: If this game comes down to a blocked kick at the end, we'll know something really weird is going on with Purdue's season.
South Carolina State (1-1) at Indiana (0-2), 3:30 p.m., BTN: After two tough losses to start the Kevin Wilson era, the Hoosiers should finally put one in the victory column this week.