Week 3: We predict all 12 Big Ten games

Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners. After two weeks, it’s Tom and BTN.com fans on top, at 19-5, while Brent is in the cellar, at 17-7. See our Week 3 predictions and choose your winners in this post.

BTN.com fans: 19-5; .792
Tom: 19-5; .792
Brent: 17-7; .708

Charleston Southern (0-2) vs. Illinois (1-1) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Illinois, 33-7 – The Fighting Illini won’t need QB Nathan Scheelhaase vs. this FCS team. Just run, run, run and watch the embarrassed Illinois defense dominate.
Brent’s pick: Illinois, 47-10 – I picked the Illini to upset Arizona State last week, and I looked foolish in the process. It’s impossible not to stick with them against Charleston Southern.

[Related: Illinois adds helmet stickers]

Ball State (1-1) vs. Indiana (2-0) – 8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Indiana, 30-21 – The Hoosiers must begin life without QB Tre Roberson. And they will be OK this week. Can you say “3-0”?
Brent’s pick: Indiana, 30-24 – Tre Roberson will be missed, but Indiana still has enough weapons to get past Ball State, which it lost to last season at Lucas Oil Stadium.

[Related: Dienhart’s Q&A with Greg Heban]

Northern Iowa (1-1) vs. Iowa (1-1) – 3:42 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Iowa, 19-17 – The Hawkeyes never have lost to a FCS program. That streak may be in peril this week vs. a very good Panther team that almost won at Wisconsin this year and at Iowa City in 2009.
Brent’s pick: Iowa, 23-13 – It finally happens! James Vandenberg, who tossed 25 touchdowns last season, throws his first scoring strike(s) of the season.

Massachusetts (0-2) vs. Michigan (1-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Michigan, 55-6 – How do you cure a struggling program? Play UMass. The Minutemen got run off the field last week by Indiana, 45-6. What will Denard Robinson do to this team?
Brent’s pick: Michigan, 57-7In its first two games at the FBS level, UMass has been outscored 82-6 against Connecticut and Indiana. Michigan could probably put up 82 itself, but it will take it easy in the second half with Notre Dame on deck.

Notre Dame (2-0) vs. Michigan State (2-0) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Tom’s pick: Michigan State, 31-21 – The Spartan defense finally will give up a touchdown. But the offense will have more success, as QB Andrew Maxwell exploits those young Irish cornerbacks.
Brent’s pick: Michigan State, 20-13 – The Spartans surrender their first defensive touchdown, and Le’Veon Bell visits the end zone twice for the fourth consecutive game.

[Related: Twitter: Your tweets for the trick play Spartans will run vs. Irish]

Western Michigan (1-1) vs. Minnesota (2-0) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Minnesota, 30-20. The confident Gophers should be able to run with aplomb, while the improved defense will keep big plays to a minimum vs. underrated Bronco QB Alex Carder.
Brent’s pick: Minnesota, 33-21 – John “Red Zone” Rabe, as BTN commentator Matt Devlin nicknamed him, catches a couple more touchdown passes.

Arkansas State (1-1) vs. Nebraska (1-1) – noon ET
Tom’s pick: Nebraska, 31-23 – The Cornhuskers won’t give up 653 yards. And they will win, but it won’t always be pretty vs. Gus Malzahn and his go-go offense.
Brent’s pick: Nebraska, 41-24 – Nebraska’s defense improves from last week’s dud at UCLA, and either Ameer Abdullah or Rex Burkhead has a field day on the ground.

Boston College (1-1) vs. Northwestern (2-0) – 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Northwestern, 28-27 – How about this script? The Eagles score a late touchdown–and the Wildcats insert QB Trevor Siemian, who leads the team on a game-winning drive. Sounds about right.
Brent’s pick: Northwestern, 28-23 – Another week, another win over a BCS foe. And just like the previous two weeks, this one will be decided in the final minutes.

California (1-1) vs. Ohio State (2-0) – noon ET, ABC
Tom’s pick: Ohio State, 38-14 – The Buckeye four-game home stand continues with a visit from an overmatched Golden Bears team that already has a loss to Nevada.
Brent’s pick: Ohio State, 34-10 – The Braxton Miller show rolls on. Only question is, what kind of Ohio State history will the quarterback make this week?

[Related: Miller headlines Dienhart’s Big Ten Heisman candidates]

Navy (0-1) vs. Penn State (0-2) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Navy, 29-21 – The Midshipmen have had two weeks to prep. The Nittany Lions are coming off a gut-wrenching loss at Virginia. The offense may have success, but Navy figures to control the ball and clock with its offense.
Brent’s pick: Penn State, 23-17 – Here’s a change: Matt McGloin and Penn State hold onto an early lead. Also, expect Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges to rack up a ton of tackles against the option.

Eastern Michigan (0-2) vs. Purdue (1-1) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Purdue, 40-13 – The Eagles will struggle to run on the Boilermakers—and EMU can’t pass. What’s it mean? Purdue will romp.
Brent’s pick: Purdue, 41-3 – It’s Caleb TerBush’s team again, although it doesn’t matter who’s under center this week because Eastern Michigan stands no chance against this Purdue defense.

Utah State (2-0) vs. Wisconsin (1-1) – 8 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go
Tom’s pick: Wisconsin, 24-20 – It’s gut-check time for a Badgers program that has to be filled with doubt coming off a stunning 10-7 loss at Oregon State. This is a tough Aggie team that will push Wisconsin to the limit. Whatcha got, Bucky?
Brent’s pick: Wisconsin, 30-24 – It’s been a struggle the first two weeks, but Danny O’Brien throws a late game-winning touchdown pass to hand Utah State its first loss.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (5 Comments)
Kelly Rumpel on 9/12/2012 @ 10:27am EDT Said:

Upset ALERT!!!! Northern Iowa over Iowa, no run game, still searching for a go to guy at receiver, no protection for Vandenberg, to many questions on defense. If the game was t UNI I’d put $$$ down.

Doug on 9/12/2012 @ 12:28pm EDT Said:

Kelly, I’m not so sure that would be an upset….

Rod on 9/12/2012 @ 1:00pm EDT Said:

Look for Utah State to upset Wisconsin, 24-21. And for Iowa to score a few TD’s this weekend, and beat UNI, 31-17.

Chris on 9/13/2012 @ 1:27pm EDT Said:

Definitely think Utah State gets the win over UW this weekend. There’s no offense at all for the Badgers and their defense is going to get run over by Chuckie Keeton. It won’t be close.

Nick *GBR* on 9/14/2012 @ 2:02pm EDT Said:

If Iowa beats UNI, they will not cover the spread, but I have UNI defeating Iowa.

Ohio State has a chance for an upset. We will see.

Notre Dame I think will also beat Michigan State.

All in all, I think the Big 10 will go 7/12 this weekend. Indiana, OSU, MSU, PSU, and Iowa going with losses. OSU is my only one I keep looking back and wanting to change my opinion, but I was not impressed with how they performed against Central Florida, and I think more points should have been put on the board. Cal has a better defense and offense than Central Florida and Miami (OH), so that is why I see an upset.