Around the BigTen: Week 3

Story posted September 16, 2011 in CommRadio, Sports by Justin Rocke

Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan
Saturday, 12:00 PM ET

Michigan has all the momentum coming into this game at Michigan Stadium. With two seconds left, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson found wide receiver Roy Roundtree in the end zone to cap a furious comeback against Notre Dame. Eastern Michigan may not be the same quality of opponent as Notre Dame, but Michigan’s defense will need to play much better after surrendering 513 yards to the Irish. This is the first meeting between the two Michigan schools since 2009 when Michigan defeated Eastern Michigan, 45-17.

Iowa vs. Pittsburgh
Saturday, 12:00 PM ET

Iowa will be looking to rebound after a disappointing 44-41 loss in triple overtime last week in Ames to their in-state rivals from Iowa State. Pittsburgh will rely heavily on running back Ray Graham who has rushed for 322 yards, which leads the nation, and six touchdowns. The Hawkeye defense will need to perform better after allowing 473 yards and 13 third-down conversions to the Cyclones last week. This is the first meeting between the two programs since 2008, when Pittsburgh defeated Iowa, 21-20, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Purdue vs. Southeastern Missouri State   
Saturday, 12:00 PM ET

Purdue enters this game on Saturday after two straight games decided on blocked field goals as time expires. Unfortunately for the Boilermarkers, last week ended in a disappointing loss on the road against Rice. The Boilermakers are going to rely heavily on their running game against the Redhawks, as they enter this week ranked 34th in the country in that category. Saturday’s matchup is the first meeting between the two schools.

Indiana vs. South Carolina State
Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Indiana’s new head coach Kevin Wilson is still looking for his first win after a 34-31 loss last week at home to Virginia. Fortunately for him, the Hoosiers look poised to pick up their first win of the 2011 campaign this weekend against FCS opponent South Carolina State. Indiana will rely on wide receiver Demarlo Belcher, who is on the Biletnikoff Award watch list, for a big game. Belcher enters the game with eight catches for 154 yards and a touchdown this season. Saturday’s matchup is the first meeting between the two schools.

No. 15 Michigan State at Notre Dame
Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Notre Dame as they enter this weekend’s matchup against Michigan State in South Bend. Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell will lead the Spartans impressive ground attack, which is averaging over 170 yards per game so far this season. The Fighting Irish will be looking for revenge after last year’s heartbreaking loss in overtime, as the Spartans scored the game-winning touchdown on a fake field goal to win 34-31 in East Lansing.

Minnesota vs. Miami (Ohio)
Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

A disappointing loss last week for Minnesota at home against New Mexico State was far from the headlines this week in Minneapolis. The focus was on first-year head coach Jerry Kill, who suffered a seizure on the sidelines in the final seconds of last week’s game. Kill was back at practice on Wednesday and is expected to be on the sidelines this week. The Golden Gophers will look to move past their rough 0-2 start with the help of wide receiver Da’Jon McKnight, who had nine catches for 146 yards and a touchdown in last week’s loss. This is the first meeting between the two schools since 2007, when Minnesota defeated Miami (Ohio), 41-35, in triple overtime.

No. 11 Nebraska vs. Washington
Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Despite not overly impressive performances to start the season, the Nebraska offense is looking mighty impressive statistically. The Cornhuskers enter this week’s matchup averaging 41 points per game and 224 yards per game rushing, as well as the nation’s number three leading rusher, quarterback Taylor Martinez. This is the third meeting in two seasons for these two programs. Nebraska beat up on Washington, 56-21, in their September matchup in Seattle, but the Huskies had the last laugh, beating the Cornhuskers, 19-7, at the Holiday Bowl in December.

Northwestern at Army
Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

It is still to be determined, but it looks unlikely that Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa will be in action this weekend against the Black Knights of Army. That would leave the starting job to sophomore Kain Colter who has been more than an adequate replacement. In the first two games of the season, Colter has competed 73 percent of his passes and is the teams leading rusher with 180 yards and four touchdowns. This is the first meeting between the two schools since 1988, when Army defeated Northwestern, 23-7.

No. 7 Wisconsin vs. Northern Illinois
Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

The Russell Wilson show marches into Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend for this neutral site matchup. Wilson continues to impress the Wisconsin faithful after going 17-for-21 for 189 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s victory against Oregon State. However, Northern Illinois is no slouch, they are led by quarterback Chandler Harnish, who went 27-for-33 for 315 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s loss at Kansas. Wisconsin is 11-1 lifetime against Northern Illinois; they won their last matchup, 28-20, in 2009.

Illinois vs. No. 22 Arizona State
Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

It will be air vs. ground this week at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. Illinois enters this weekend’s battle at number eight in the country for rushing yards per game with 283. On the other side, Arizona State enters this game 14th in the nation for passing yards per game with 344. The Sun Devils will look to build on last week’s emotional 37-30 overtime victory over then 21st ranked Missouri. This is the first matchup between these two schools since an Arizona State, 21-16, victory over Illinois in 1988.

No. 17 Ohio State at Miami (FL)
Saturday, 7:30 PM ET

This game is a far cry from the Fiesta Bowl that decided the national championship in 2003 as both schools are currently being investigated by the NCAA for possible rule violations. Miami will have senior quarterback Jacory Harris back in action after being suspended for the season opener against Maryland for receiving illegal benefits from a booster. Look for Ohio State senior quarterback Joe Bauserman to attack a Miami secondary that gave up almost 350 yards through the air in their week one loss at Maryland. Ohio State won last year’s matchup against the Hurricanes, 36-24, at Ohio Stadium.

Justin Rocke is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email