Around the Big Ten: Week 3

posted September 11, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio by Kris Rogers

West Virginia Mountaineers vs Maryland Terrapins 12:00 ET

The Maryland Terrapins (2-0) host the West Virginia Mountaineers (1-1), looking to remain undefeated in their inaugural Big Ten season. The Terps boast an impressive defense, only allowing 12 points per game and less than 160 yards passing per game.

However, that secondary will be tested by a potent passing attack that stayed competitive with second-ranked Alabama in week 1. Quarterback Clint Tricket has already thrown for 713 yards and three touchdowns in games against the Crimson Tide and FCS Towson Tigers.

Maryland’s biggest threats on offense are five-star wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, each of whom missed half of their true freshman season last year with fibula injuries. In 2014, Diggs and Long have combined for 18 catches for 193 yards and one touchdown.

Maryland will also unveil brand new “TRIUMPH” jerseys with an American flag on the helmet and the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner written on the shoulders.

Indiana Hoosiers vs Bowling Green Falcons 12:00 ET

Coming off a 28-10 victory over FCS Indiana State, the Indiana Hoosiers (1-0) had a bye week to prepare for the Bowling Green Falcons (1-1) of the Mid-American Conference.

The Hoosiers are led by running back Tevin Coleman, who rushed for 247 yards on 23 carries against the Sycamores, a career high and his second 200-yard rushing game for the Hoosiers.

Bowling Green is looking to continue their winning streak after a week one loss to Conference USA opponent, Western Kentucky. Look for running backs Travis Greene and Fred Coppet to get a lot of touches.

Kent State Golden Flashes vs #22 Ohio State Buckeyes 12:00 ET

After a sobering loss to unranked Virginia Tech, Ohio State (1-1) dropped 14 spots in the AP Poll. Freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett struggled, only completing nine of 29 pass attempts while throwing three interceptions against a stout Hokies defense.

Ohio State should easily rebound at home this week against the Kent State Golden Flashes (0-2, 0-1 MAC), who are still searching for their first win of the season. The Golden Flashes are only averaging 47.5 rushing yards a game, and the front four of Ohio State of Joey Bosa, Michael Bennett, Steve Miller, and Adolphus Washington should give Kent State fits.

Watch for the Buckeyes to try to establish the ground game with sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliot to take some of the pressure off of Barrett.

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks vs. Michigan Wolverines 3:30 ET

Coming off their first shutout since 1984, the Michigan Wolverines (1-1) are looking to rebound at home against the Miami of Ohio Redhawks (0-2). The 31-0 loss at the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was the first time in 365 games that the Wolverines had been held scoreless.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner struggled mightily against the Fighting Irish, being held for less than 200 yards passing and throwing three interceptions. Receiver Devin Funchess was the only bright spot for the Wolverines, catching nine passes for 107 yards.

The Wolverines offense should be able to get back on track this week against the Redhawks, who have given up 356 yards per game so far this season.

Iowa State Cyclones vs Iowa Hawkeyes 3:30 ET

Winners of seven of the last 11 meetings, the Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) look to defend the Cy-Hawk Trophy against in-state rival Iowa State (0-2, 0-1 Big 12). The Hawkeyes lead the overall series 40-21.

Despite their opposite records, both teams have struggled this season. Iowa barely squeaked out wins against FCS-opponent Northern Iowa and Ball State of the MAC; needing a late rally to beat both teams.

Iowa State lost games to three-time defending FCS National Champion South Dakota State, and a heartbreaker to No. 20 Kansas State on a late touchdown.

Arguably the Hawkeyes’ best player, left tackle Brandon Scherrf will not be protecting quarterback Jake Ruddock’s blind side due to a right knee injury.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Texas Christian Horned Frogs 4:00 ET

The Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0) will travel to Fort Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs (1-0) in a matchup of unbeaten teams.

The Gophers will likely rely heavily on running back David Cobb, who leads the Big Ten in rushing. Ranked seventh in the nation, Cobb has run for 291 yards in wins against Eastern Illinois and Middle Tennessee State.

However, he will be challenged by a talented TCU defense that held FCS Samford at 146 total yards of offense in their opener.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs Washington Huskies 4:00 ET

The Illini (2-0) travel to the west coast for a matchup in Seattle against the Washington Huskies (2-0). The Illini offense has gotten off to a hot start, especially though the air. Former Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt is 8th in the nation in passing with 741 yards through the air and seven touchdowns.

The Huskies defense is loaded with NFL-Caliber talent, but have underperformed so far this season, giving up 997 total yards in two games.

Purdue Boilermakers vs #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7:30 ET

The Boilermakers (1-1) have already matched their win total from the 2013 season, splitting their first two games against MAC opponents Western Michigan and Central Michigan. Saturday, they take on in-state rival Notre Dame, who has rocketed up the AP Poll after a shutout of Michigan.

Boilermakers quarterback Danny Etling has struggled throwing the ball thus far in his first full season as a starter, but is still making plays with his legs, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for two.

Either way, Etling will be the second best quarterback on the field. Fighting Irish signal caller Everett Golson has thrown five touchdowns to zero interceptions so far after sitting out 2013 for academic issues.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights 8:00 ET

The first Big Ten matchup of the year is also Rutgers (2-0) first official game in the Big Ten as they host the Nittany Lions (2-0). The Knights will have their hands full with Penn State’s passing attack, especially after giving up more than 500 yards through the air to Washington State in week one.

Christian Hackenberg is picking up where he left off in the 2013 season, rating fourth in the nation with 386.5 passing yards per game as well as four touchdowns.

However, Rutgers running back Paul James leads the FBS in touchdowns with six (four rushing, two receiving), and has 316 all-purpose yards on the season.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Fresno State Bulldogs 10:30 ET

The Huskers (2-0) are the second Big Ten team to travel to the west coast as they visit the Fresno State Bulldogs (0-2) in a late night matchup. While undefeated, Nebraska needed a last-minute touchdown to avoid overtime against McNeese State.

Ameer Abdullah has been playing like a Heisman candidate, running for 286 yards and two scores in his first two games of work.

The Bulldogs, still searching for their first win, will have to play better on defense. Fresno State has already given up 111 points after two games against the USC Trojans and Utah Utes.

Byes: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Northwestern

Kristopher Rogers is a senior broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email him at klr5374@psu.edu.