Week 3 Big Ten Preview

Week 2 saw the Big Ten Conference go 10-1 in non-conference games with the lone loss coming in Nebraska’s rivalry game against Colorado. Iowa easily handled Rutgers in the lone conference game and earned the first conference win in the West Division. Week 2 was all over the board as you had eight games that ended up being blowouts in favor of the Big Ten and four games that were decided by 8 points or less. Week 3 consists of ten games, two of which are non-conference rivalry games, and one of which is a conference game. Three teams are on bye this week with Michigan, Wisconsin, and Rutgers all getting a breather before conference play gets rolling. So here are your Week 3 game previews, enjoy.

Pittsburgh Panthers at #13 Penn State Nittany Lions Time: 12:00PM TV: ABC, Line: Penn State -17

This is the last time the in-state rivals are scheduled to play in the near future and there is no love lost between these two schools. The Nittany Lions are coming off a surprisingly tough game against Buffalo in a game they trailed at halftime. Quarterback Sean Clifford has looked very comfortable in his first two starts in State College and was much needed as Penn State struggled to run the ball last week. Tight End Pat Freiermuth found his place in the offense last week and was a focal point in the second half surge. Buffalo exposed some opportunities in Penn States rush defense and that could be trouble against a Pitt team that likes to run the ball. In order to win this game Penn State will need somebody besides Clifford to lead the team in rushing and the defense will have to slow down Pittsburgh’s rushing attack. Final: Penn State-45 Pittsburgh-23

#6 Ohio State Buckeyes at Indiana Hoosiers Time: 12:00PM TV: FOX, Line: Ohio State -17.5

Both teams are coming into their first conference game of the year with a record of 2-0. Ohio State has dominated this series and will look to continue the winning streak against Indiana. Quarterback Justin Fields has looked the part through two games but will have to take his show on the road this week for his first road start. So far this year Ohio State has been very balanced and both sides of the ball has looked the part for a possible playoff team. Indiana is ushering in a new era with Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. who has reinvigorated the passing offense for the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers are still looking to get Stevie Scott III going as good as last year to balance the offense. Indiana has come close the last couple of years to pulling off the home upset and should provide a real test for the Buckeyes. I think this game will be close but Ohio States talent will win out. Final: Ohio State-35 Indiana-24

#21 Maryland Terrapins at Temple Owls Time: 12:00PM, TV:CBSSN, Line: Maryland -6.5

Ranked Maryland has a nice ring to it and is well deserved after dismantling a ranked Syracuse team. Maryland has had the best offense in football through two weeks and show no signs of slowing down. Josh Jackson continues to throw the ball well and provides the stability at the Quarterback position that has been lacking in previous years. The rushing attack is averaging over 330 yards a game with Jake Funk currently leading the way in a stable of backs. The defense has also been surprisingly good and holding opponents under 240 yards a game and have been really good against the ground game. The key to this game is going to be Maryland not overlooking the Owls as Maryland has lost the last four games they have played as a ranked team. Josh Jackson should play a huge role in this game and as long as he protects the ball the Terrapins should be fine. Final: Maryland-48 Temple-24

Eastern Michigan Eagles at Illinois Fighting Illini Time:12:00PM, TV: BTN, Line: Illinois -7

Illinois has started the season off with a 2-0 record and will look to earn their third this week on their quest to become bowl eligible. Illinois showed some resolve we haven’t seen in a while with a come from behind victory against UConn last week. The Illini are not the most flashy team on offense but they are efficient and still trying to find their identity. Brandon Peters has been a nice addition this season and providing Lovie Smith with his best Quarterback play since coming to Illinois. The defense has been much improved so far this season with Lovie Smith taking that side of the ball over. The eagles have not been great this season on offense but still could provide a tough matchup. I think this game comes down to the Illini playing good pass defense and not allow the Eagles to get many big plays. Final: Illinois-27 Eastern Michigan-21

UNLV at Northwestern Wildcats Time: 3:30PM, TV: BTN, Line: Northwestern -18

This is Northwestern’s first game since the disappointing game against Stanford and should give the Wildcats a chance to find their offense. Northwestern will look to get new Quarterback Hunter Johnson comfortable and more efficient than he was in Week 1. What will help is establishing the running game with Isaiah Bowser to take some pressure off of Johnson. The defense is just as good as we expect and should have no problem with a UNLV team that is not very good. I’m looking for Northwestern to assert their will and take care of business. Final: Northwestern-38 UNLV-10

Georgia Southern Eagles at Minnesota Golden Gophers Time: 3:30PM, TV: BTN, Line: Minnesota -16.5

Minnesota is coming off two thrilling games and will be looking to have a game that is decided before the fourth quarter. Tanner Morgan continues to be what Minnesota is asking for but I would like to see Minnesota go down the field more. The running game which this team relies heavy on, has been very lackluster against lower competition teams. The defense hasn’t been great either but it shows up late in games when it matters the most. Georgia Southern runs the triple option offense so it can cause some problems for Minnesota depending on how they choose to play it. Minnesota has the personnel to be a really good team it just hasn’t come together yet this season. I look for Minnesota to really get that running game going this game and dominate the line of scrimmage as they will have a huge size advantage. Final: Minnesota-32 Georgia Southern-14

Arizona State Sun Devils at #18 Michigan State Spartans Time: 4:00PM, TV: FOX, Line: Michigan State -14.5

The Michigan State Spartans finally found their offense last week and will need to build on that performance to beat the Sun Devils. This is a revenge game for the Spartans coming off of last years defeat in Tempe. Michigan State racked up close to 600 yards last week and found their running back for the time being with Freshman Elijah Collins. Collins went for 192 on 17 carries and a Touchdown while leading the Spartans offense. The Sun Devils have struggled to score points this season against some lower competition and it won’t get any easier this week. The Spartans will go as far as the offense carries them as the defense is one of the best in the country. I think Collins will have another big game and should carry this offense. Final: Michigan State-27 Arizona State-13

#19 Iowa Hawkeyes at Iowa State Cyclones Time: 4:00PM, TV: FS1, Line: Iowa -1.5

College Gameday is in town for the rivalry game for the Cy-Hawk trophy this week. Iowa is coming off two impressive showings to start the year and is getting some of the best Quarterback play in years from Nate Stanley. Mekhi Sargent has been a beast at Running Back for the Hawkeyes and with Ihmir Smith-Marsette becoming Stanley’s favorite target, Iowa is fielding one of their most explosive teams. The defense pitched a shutout last week against Rutgers and Iowa State did not look good in the opener. Anything can happen in a rivalry game but, going off of what each team has looked like so far I don’t see it being as close as the spread is calling for. The key to the game will be Iowa controlling the pace and playing their game. Final: Iowa-31 Iowa State-21

TCU at Purdue Boilermakers Time: 7:30PM, TV: BTN, Line: TCU -2

This game will come down to the health of the Purdue Boilermakers Quarterback Elijah Sindelar who is a game-time decision. As of right now signs are pointing to Sindelar being cleared to play which will keep this offense humming. Rondale Moore already has 344 yards receiving on 24 catches this season and as always will be the go-to playmaker for the Boilermakers. Purdue has abandoned the run early this season and as long as Sindelar is in that looks like the game plan. The defense looked better against Vanderbilt and didn’t suffer a late game collapse like they did against Nevada. TCU will provide the toughest challenge to date for Purdue and you know their defense will be stingy. Final: Purdue-28 TCU-24

Northern Illinois Huskies at Nebraska Cornhuskers Time: 8:00PM, TV: FS1, Line: Nebraska -14

The Cornhuskers are coming off a heartbreaking loss to rival Colorado and will look to right the ship this week. This should be a get right game for the defense as that is what let them down against Colorado. Adrian Martinez continues to be the bulk of the offense and Nebraska will go as far as he takes them. J.D. Spielman is showing every game that he is the most explosive player on the outside of the Cornhuskers and will have to be game planned against. Nebraska should be able to do whatever they want against the Huskies and they should be able to build some confidence heading into conference play. Final: Nebraska-45 Northern Illinois-27

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