Week 2 Big Ten Football Preview

The Big Ten opened the 2011 season with a 10-2 clip in Week 1. It was a solid opening act, considering the two losses — both away from home — came by a combined nine points. This week, the competition gets tougher with five BCS opponents on the slate, including No. 2 Alabama and Notre Dame. Unlike last week, all 12 games are on Saturday this time around. Six of the games will air live on BTN. Use our GameFinder to find your BTN game. Listen to BTN.com’s Week 2 Preview Podcast and read my Week 2 Preview inside.

South Dakota State (1-0) vs. Illinois (1-0)
Time: noon ET
TV: BTN, BTN2Go
Stat: Since throwing three interceptions against Michigan State on Oct 16, 2010, Nathan Scheelhaase has thrown one interception, to 15 TDs, in his last eight games.
Prediction: Illinois 45, South Dakota State 10

Iowa (1-0) vs. Iowa State (1-0)
Time: noon ET
TV: FSN
Stat: Iowa has won three in a row in the series and has not allowed the Cyclones to score double digits since the 2007 (15) meeting, outscoring its foes 87-15 during the span.
Prediction: Iowa 31, Iowa State 16

Florida Atlantic (0-1) vs. Michigan State (1-0)
Time: noon ET
TV: ESPN2
Stat: Michigan State wide receiver B.J. Cunningham, who caught nine passes in the season opener, is one catch away from becoming the program’s all-time leading receiver.
Prediction: Michigan State 42, Florida Atlantic 13

Toledo (1-0) vs. Ohio State (1-0)
Time: noon ET
TV: BTN, BTN2Go
Stat: Ohio State is 42-0-1 against in-state foes since their last defeat, a 7-6 loss to Oberlin, way back in 1921.
Prediction: Ohio State 40, Toledo 7

Oregon State (0-1) vs. Wisconsin (1-0)
Time: noon ET
TV: ESPN
Stat: Montee Ball has scored four touchdowns in his last three regular-season games, dating back to last season.
Prediction: Wisconsin 48, Oregon State 17

New Mexico State (0-1) vs. Minnesota (0-1)
Time: 3:30 p.m.
TV: BTN, BTN2Go
Stat: Troy Stoudermire now has 3,001 kickoff return yards, making him the second Big Ten player to ever reach the 3K milestone. With 25 more return yards, he’ll pass Wisconsin’s David Gilreath for the most all time.
Prediction: Minnesota 23, New Mexico State 13

Eastern Illinois (1-0) vs. Northwestern (1-0)
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: BTN/BTN2GO
Stat: Fresh off an impressive season-opening win at Boston College, Northwestern is 13-1 in its last 14 non-conference games. The lone loss during that time was a 37-34 defeat at Syracuse in 2009.
Prediction: Northwestern 36, Eastern Illinois 14

Purdue (1-0) vs. Rice (0-1)
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: NA
Stat: The Boilermakers have lost their last three non-conference road games, although those three games have been against Notre Dame, twice, and Oregon.
Prediction: Purdue 28, Rice 20

Alabama (1-0) vs. Penn State (1-0)
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: ABC
Stat: Penn State hasn’t defeated a top 5 team since 1999 and has lost six of its last seven to ranked foes.
Prediction: Alabama 36, Penn State 13

Virginia (1-0) vs. Indiana (0-1)
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: BTN/BTN2GO
Stat: Indiana is 0-1 for the first times since 2003, when it lost its season opener to Connecticut.
Prediction: Virginia 28, Indiana 24

Fresno State (0-1) vs. Nebraska (1-0)
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: BTN/BTN2Go
Stat: Despite putting up 40 points in the opener against Chattanooga, Nebraska lost yards on 12 plays and faced 3rd-and-10 seven times.
Prediction: Nebraska 41, Fresno State 17

Notre Dame (0-1) vs. Michigan (1-0)
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN/ESPN3
Stat: Denard Robinson set a Michigan record with 502 yards of total offense vs Notre Dame last year.
Prediction: Michigan 28, Notre Dame 26

Season record: 10-2

Game of the Week: Notre Dame vs. Michigan – No disrespect to Alabama-Penn State, one of the best historical matchups and one of my favorite uniform games, the first night game in Michigan Stadium history has all the makings of something special. ESPN College GameDay will be in Ann Arbor, the two teams will be wearing special uniforms and Michigan AD Dave Brandon thinks the game could draw 115,00 fans, which would break the NCAA record Michigan set last year against Connecticut. On top of that, if the last two games of this series are any indication (28-24, 38-34, both Michigan wins), we’re in store for a high-scoring affair that goes down to the final minutes.

Player of the Week: Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois – As mentioned above, Scheelhaase has thrown 15 touchdowns and one interception in his last eight games. The Illini quarterback has been one of the more underrated players in the nation, let alone the Big Ten, during that span. And on Saturday, he gets to face South Dakota State, an FCS foe, which allowed Southern Utah to complete 31-of-47 passes for 340 passing yards last week. Assuming the game doesn’t get out of hand too early, Scheelhaase is primed for a big day.

Team of the Week: Michigan – A third straight win over Notre Dame would be something for Michigan to get excited about. Yes, the Wolverines haven’t parlayed the previous two wins over the Irish into much of anything all that great, but this is a different team and a different regime. Win this one, and many people think Michigan could be on its way to a 5-0 start, if not better.

You can follow Brent on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.

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Show Comments (2 Comments)
2 Post Your Comment
Miss Sirilak Thongin on 9/7/2011 @ 11:47pm EDT Said:

It is great for programs that you offer.

taureanw on 9/8/2011 @ 9:24am EDT Said:

Thank god for football….that is all

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