Week 2 college football preview
September, 7, 2012
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
Vanderbilt (0-1) at Northwestern (1-0)
When, where: 7 p.m. Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.> TV:Big Ten Network
Radio: ESPN-1000 AM
What you need to know: Northwestern and Vanderbilt were on different sides of fourth-quarter comebacks last week. Northwestern rallied in the final minute to defeat Syracuse, and Vanderbilt’s upset bid of South Carolina fell short when the Gamecocks scored the fourth quarter’s lone touchdown and won 17-13. Expect Vanderbilt senior quarterback Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodger, to test the Wildcats’ secondary. Northwestern allowed 470 passing yards last week. Northwestern junior running back/kick returning Venric Mark did a bit of everything in last week’s win, and he could make the difference again this week.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 38, Vanderbilt 31
Illinois (1-0) at Arizona State (1-0)
When, where: 9:36 p.m. Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Radio: WIND-560 AM
What you need to know: Illinois’ fate likely depends on whether quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase plays. He suffered an ankle injury in last week’s win over Western Michigan and is questionable for Saturday. If he doesn’t play, sophomore Reilly O’Toole likely will start. O’Toole has some playing experience under his belt, but he has yet to prove he can lead the Illini. Look for Illinois to focus more on its running game after struggling in that area last week. Arizona State and sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly cruised past Northern Arizona last week, but this will be a true test for the Sun Devils. Illinois pulled out a narrow win over Arizona State in Champaign last season.
Powers’ prediction: Arizona State 27, Illinois 21
Tennessee-Martin (1-0) at Northern Illinois (0-1)
When, where: 6 p.m. Saturday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WYLL-1160 AM
What you need to know: Northern Illinois should have a much easier time this week against FCS opponent Tennessee-Martin. Northern Illinois nearly pulled off an upset over Iowa at Soldier Field last week. Huskies junior Jordan Lynch had a respectable debut at quarterback, but will look to get the passing game going after completing 6 of 16 passes for 54 yards last week. He also ran for 119 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown. Northern Illinois leads the country in sacks after recording six last week. The Huskies have won 15 consecutive home games dating back to 2009.
Powers’ prediction: Northern Illinois 41, Tennessee-Martin 7