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Week 3 Big Ten Football Preview

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It is a relatively easy week for the Big Ten, with Purdue playing one of the toughest games.

NCAA Football: Ohio at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

For most Big Ten teams this is the final week of non-conference football before the conference season starts. Three teams are off, as Michigan State and Maryland have a bye and Indiana had their game against Florida International cancelled. That leaves us with eleven games, and most of them are delicious cupcakes.

Friday

Illinois (2-0) at South Florida (2-0) 7pm, ESPN

The Champaign Room Preview

The Illini were one of the more impressive teams last week. I thought Western Kentucky was going to roll them as a seven point road favorite and instead the Illinois defense pitched a near shutout in a 20-7 win. Now they have to go on the road against a South Florida team that is ranked, but has been known for its slow starts this season. South Florida has trailed into the second quarter in both of its games so far this season, but recovered to beat San Jose State and Stony Brook. A win by Illinois would definitely turn a few heads. South Florida 31, Illinois 21

Saturday

Air Force (1-0) at Michigan (2-0) Noon, BTN

Maize N’ Brew Preview

The Wolverines have a unique tune-up here against the triple-option running Falcons. These can be tricky games because the offense is not something seen very much anymore. Michigan is a heavy favorite, of course, but Michigan should be able to fine tune a few things before beginning Big Ten play at Purdue next week. Michigan 38, Air Force 10

Northern Illinois (1-1) at Nebraska (1-1) Noon, Fox Sports 1

Corn Nation Preview

There are some definite concerns about the Nebraska defense after two weeks. They barely held on against Arkansas State and gave up 42 points in one half at Oregon. This is their final chance to fix a few things, as NIU is not the NIU of a few years ago that went to a BCS bowl. Nebraska 34, Northern Illinois 20

Wisconsin (2-0) at BYU (1-2) 3:30pm, ABC

Bucky’s 5th Quarter Preview

Wisconsin has had a few troubling moments so far, but has still comfortably beaten Florida Atlantic and Utah State. They definitely look like the best team in the Big Ten West, and this should prove it. BYU has had a bit of a front loaded schedule with losses to LSU and Utah. The offense is averaging only 11 points per game and that is not going to be enough to beat Wisconsin. Wisconsin 37, BYU 17

Middle Tennessee State (1-1) at Minnesota (2-0) 3:30pm, BTN

The Daily Gopher Preview

So far Minnesota struggled to beat Buffalo and absolutely blasted a really bad Oregon State team. Now they get a Middle Tennessee State team fresh off of a nice little road upset at Syracuse. Rodney Smith and Shannon Brookes have been doing a great job for Minnesota on the ground, and Conor Rhoda may have seized the starting job. Minnesota’s defense is also playing extremely well. Minnesota 27, Middle Tennessee State 13

North Texas (1-1) at Iowa (2-0) 3:30pm, ESPN2

Black Heart Gold Pants Preview

¡El Assico! was great last week with Iowa winning in overtime. The Hawkeyes gave up a bunch of big plays, so they have something to work on this week against North Texas. The Mean Green is averaging 45 points per game so there is a slight upset alert out there, but nothing Iowa can’t handle. Iowa 38, North Texas 14

Morgan State (0-2) at Rutgers (0-2) 3:30pm, BTN

On the Banks Preview

This game will be on one of the alternate BTN channels in favor of MTSU-Minnesota, but it needs to be relegated to the darkest corner of BTNPlus. Morgan State hasn’t even scored a point yet this year and lost to a Towson team that Maryland absolutely obliterated last week. If Rutgers somehow loses this Jim Delaney needs to kick them out of the Big Ten.

Purdue (1-1) at Missouri (1-1) 4pm, SEC Network

Rock M Nation Preview

This was going to be my upset call before the season and I am standing by it. Purdue seems to be improving by leaps and bounds and has a lot of confidence right now. Missouri is in a bit of disarray after last week and a disastrous defensive week 1. When was the last time Purdue was on the good side of this equation? A win this week has the dream of Christmas in Detroit alive! There will be points, too. Purdue 48, Missouri 45

Army (2-0) at Ohio State (1-1) 4:30pm, FOX

Land-Grant Holyland Preview

It probably won’t happen, but I would absolutely LOVE for army to spring this upset. The gnashing of teeth and rending of garments from Ohio State fans this week after a loss to a top 5 team has been absurd. They are 62-7 under Urban Meyer and maybe Oklahoma is a good team that just beat their ass. Ohio State needs a true WTF loss like all other college football fans have to deal with on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it won’t be this week. Ohio State 45, Army 10

Georgia State (0-1) at Penn State (2-0) 7:30pm, BTN

Black Shoe Diaries Preview

Georgia State lost to an FCS team in its opener. A bad one at that. Penn State 63, Georgia State 3

Bowling Green (0-2) at Northwestern (1-1) 7:30pm, BTN

InsideNU Preview

As bad as Northwestern as looked, they can’t lose to Bowling Green, can they? Bowling Green lost to FCS South Dakota at home last week. Surely the Wildcats can get it together and pull this one off. Northwestern 35, Bowling Green 24