Friday, September 16, 2011
Week 3 college football previews
By Scott Powers
No. 22 Arizona State (2-0) at Illinois (2-0) When, where: Sat. at 6 p.m., Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WIND-560 AM
What you need to know: Illinois has looked impressive the first two weeks, but that’s also partly because the Illini scheduled Arkansas State and South Dakota State to start the season. Now comes the real test as No. 22 Arizona State, fresh off its overtime win over Missouri, arrives into town. Illinois could have its hand full with Arizona State's 6-8 quarterback Brock Osweiler. He has thrown for 615 yards, five touchdowns and one interception this season. Illinois sophomore Nathan Scheelhaase has been good himself. He’s thrown just one interception in his last nine games. The Illini offense should be able to score on Arizona State, which allowed 501 yards last week, so it will come down to whether their defense can contain the Sun Devils.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Arizona State 38, Illinois 35
Northwestern (2-0) at Army (0-2) When, where: Sat. at 2:30 p.m., Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: ESPN 1000 AM
What you need to know: With Northwestern senior quarterback Dan Persa likely out again, sophomore Kain Colter will start his third consecutive game for the Wildcats. Colter’s confidence has to be at an all-time high after back-to-back wins, which included three rushing touchdowns last week. Northwestern shouldn’t have any trouble putting up points on Saturday as Army has allowed 72 points in its first two games. Northwestern’s concern has to be stopping Army’s triple-option offense. Unless the Wildcats’ defense stays disciplined, Army does have the ability to match Northwestern’s offense. Army’s problem has been turnovers. It has committed six turnovers, including five fumbles, this season.
Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 48, Army 24
No. 7 Wisconsin (2-0) vs. Northern Illinois (1-1) When, where: Sat. at 2:30 p.m., Soldier Field in Chicago
Radio: WSCR-670 AM
Web: ESPN3.com What you need to know: In his third game as a head coach, Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren faces his former team Wisconsin. Doeren was the Badgers' defensive coordinator before joining Northern Illinois after last season. Doeren’s knowledge of Wisconsin should benefit Northern Illinois, but the Badgers are still very good at what they do. Wisconsin out-scored UNLV and Oregon 86-17 in its first two games. Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish and his offense should be able to score on the Badgers. It will be up to the defense if the Huskies have any shot of an upset. Northern Illinois gave up 45 points in last week’s loss to Kansas.
Powers’ prediction: Wisconsin 41, Northern Illinois 31
Illinois State (1-1) at Youngstown State (1-1) When, where: Sat. at 3 p.m., Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio
What you need to know: Illinois State bounced back from its season-opening loss to Eastern Illinois with a 52-21 win over Morehead State last week. Quarterback Matt Brown threw five touchdowns in the win, and defensive tackle Eric Brunner had 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Youngstown State lost to Michigan State in Week 1 and defeated Valparaiso 77-13 last week. Running back Jamaine Cook leads Youngstown State’s offense. Illinois State pulled off a 41-39 come-from-behind win over Youngstown State last season.
Powers’ prediction: Morehead State 31, Illinois State 28
Western Illinois (1-1) at Missouri (1-1) When, where: Sat. at 6 p.m., Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo.
What you need to know: Coming off its first win of the season, Western Illinois now has to travel to face a tough Missouri team. Missouri is coming off an overtime loss to Arizona State and would like to get that taste out of its mouth. Missouri sophomore quarterback James Franklin has thrown for three touchdowns and rushed for two this season. He’ll be difficult for the Leathernecks to contain. Western Illinois quarterback Josh Hudson made his first start last week and was 14-of-20 passing for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Jacksonville. He currently leads the FCS in passing efficiency. Western Illinois wide receiver Terriun Crump made seven catches for 143 yards last week.
Powers’ prediction: Missouri 52, Western Illinois 17
Tennessee Tech (1-1) at Eastern Illinois (1-1): When, where: Sat. at 6:30 p.m., O’Brien Field in Charleston, Ill.
What you need to know: Eastern Illinois is coming off a respectable 42-21 loss to Northwestern as it opens Ohio Valley Conference play. Panthers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be looking to get back on track after a rocky game against Northwestern. Eastern Illinois’ offense does have big-play capability, but its defense will have to step up against Tennessee Tech. Golden Eagles running back Dontey Gay has had back-to-back 100-yard games, including one against Iowa. Tennessee Tech won last year’s meeting 38-28 at home.
Powers’ prediction: Eastern Illinois 41, Tennessee Tech 31