Saturday, September 7, 2013
Big Ten Week 2 primer
By Brian Bennett
Our second Saturday of Big Ten action has arrived, and we're here to get you ready for today's full slate of 12 games, all but one of which will be played on league campuses (all times ET):
Eastern Michigan at Penn State (Big Ten Network): Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg makes his home debut after throwing for 278 yards in a win over Syracuse last week. EMU safety Donald Coleman was ejected for targeting in the second half of last week's win over Howard and must sit out the first half of today's game.
Indiana State at Purdue (BTN): Coming off a 42-7 debacle at Cincinnati, the Boilermakers look for something to build on over the FCS Sycamores. Rival Indiana fans will be doing some scoreboard comparisons, as the Hoosiers pounded ISU 73-35 last week.
Missouri State at Iowa (BTN): The Hawkeyes should snap their seven-game losing streak today. Missouri State is 1-28 all time against FBS competition, with the lone win coming against UNLV in 1990.
Tennessee Tech at No. 21 Wisconsin (BTN): Can the Badgers pitch a second straight shutout? Tennessee Tech is 0-17 all time versus FBS foes.
Cincinnati at Illinois (ESPN2): The Illini showed some life, at least offensively, in their season debut against Southern Illinois, but the competition level goes up big time this week. Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas held the same job at Cincinnati and hired Brian Kelly as head coach there. Illini defensive coordinator Tim Banks held the same role with the Bearcats in 2010 and 2011.
South Florida at Michigan State (ESPNU): Quarterback is once again the story for the Spartans, as Mark Dantonio declined to name a starter for this week. At least two and possibly three players should see time under center today against USF, which suffered a humiliating loss to McNeese State in its opener.
San Diego State at No. 3 Ohio State (ABC/ESPN2): Cornerback Bradley Roby and running back Rod Smith return from one-game suspensions as the Buckeyes look for a more complete effort than the one they turned in versus Buffalo in the opener. Aztecs star running back Adam Muema is expected to play after missing most of last week's loss to Eastern Illinois with an injured ankle.
Syracuse at No. 19 Northwestern (BTN): Quarterback Kain Colter (concussion) and running back Venric Mark (undisclosed) are officially listed as questionable for this game. The Wildcats managed to win mostly without either star last week at Cal and might need to do the same today. Syracuse shut down Penn State's running game last week but struggled to find offensive consistency.
Southern Miss at No. 22 Nebraska (BTN): The Huskers' defense has surrendered 1,831 over its last three games dating back to last year. They'll look to patch things together against a Southern Miss team that has lost 13 straight games and turned the ball over six times last week against Texas State.
Navy at Indiana (BTN): This is a key game for the Hoosiers in their quest to get bowl eligible. It's a clash in styles, as Indiana loves to throw the ball and score as fast as possible, while Navy fields a more deliberate option attack. This is the season opener for the Midshipmen, who beat IU 31-30 last year at home.
Minnesota at New Mexico State (BTN2Go.com): Playing on the road in Las Cruces with no live TV? That is some seriously bad scheduling for the Gophers. Still, they're heavily favored over an Aggies squad that has lost 14 of its past 15 outings. But New Mexico State did win in Minneapolis two years ago.
No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan (ESPN): Perhaps you've heard a little bit about this game. The Big House at night. "College GameDay." The last Irish trip to Ann Arbor for the foreseeable future. Yeah, it's large.
Now, let's check the weather for each of those game sites:
- Ann Arbor, Mich.: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. Light wind. Chance of precipitation: 40 percent.
- Bloomington, Ind.: Sunny, with a high near 87. Light wind.
- Champaign, Ill.: Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Light wind.
- Columbus, Ohio: Sunny, with a high near 84. Light wind.
- East Lansing, Mich: Partly sunny, with a high near 83. A 30 percent chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2 p.m.
- Evanston, Ill.: Partly sunny, with a high near 85. Wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation: 30 percent.
- Iowa City, Iowa: Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Wind 5 to 15 mph.
- Las Cruces, N.M.: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Wind 7 to 10 mph.
- Lincoln, Neb.: Mostly sunny, with a high near 96. Light wind.
- Madison, Wis.: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86.
- State College, Pa: Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Light wind.
- West Lafayette, Ind.: Sunny, with a high near 85. Light wind.
And finally, check back on some of our top posts from earlier in the week: