I wouldn’t necessarily have thought this going into the season, but the game that excites me the most on the Big Ten slate this weekend is Illinois’ game with Arizona State. Obviously, Ohio State–Miami and Michigan State–Notre Dame are generating more national buzz. But Gerry, Howard and I thought the Illini were a legitimate contender in the Leaders Division when we watched them in the pre-season and this is our first opportunity to see if we’re right.
As discussed here last Wednesday, the Week 2 schedule was a lot more challenging than what the Big Ten faced in the opening week. As a result, the Big Ten struggled to a 7-5 record, one week after going 10-2. Well, the Week 3 schedule has a few more tough tests, with dates against Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Arizona State and Miami (Fla.). BTN will air five games Saturday, including Illinois hosting No. 18 Arizona State at 7 p.m. ET. Use our GameFinder to find your BTN game. Watch our latest Big Ten Blast now and check out Brent Yarina’s Week 3 Preview inside.
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Andre Rison. Plaxico Burress. Derrick Mason. Charles Rogers. None of these decorated former Michigan State wide receivers can challenge B.J. Cunningham when it comes to the Spartans’ record book. That’s right, Cunningham became the program’s all-time leading receiver in Saturday’s 44-0 victory over Florida Atlantic. How does Cunningham feel about being mentioned in the same breath as Michigan State’s greatest receivers? “It means a lot, just to be on the list with these guys,” he told “The Big Ten Pulse” on Monday night. Watch the entire interview now. Our “Big Ten Football Breakdown” crew caught up with Illinois’ Trulon Henry on Monday night. Henry had the 27-yard pick-6 that helped spark Illinois to its 56-3 rout of South Dakota State. In two games this season, Henry has two interceptions. The latest one was more memorable, though, because Henry turned it into six points. “I always wanted score a touchdown,” he said. Coming up Tuesday on BTN, watch “The Next Level” at 7 p.m. ET. Check out our entire programming schedule.
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. It was a rough Week 2 for the Big Ten, as the conference struggled to a 7-5 record. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
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Every week during the fall, BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina recaps the week that was in Big Ten football. Each recap includes Brent’s superlative winners and the best stats, quotes and tweets, among other things, from around the Big Ten that particular week. Have a worthy stat, quote or tweet that you think should make the recap? Tweet it to @BTNBrentYarina. Watch now as Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and star quarterback Denard Robinson talk about their thrilling win over Notre Dame.
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(AP) Freshman running back Donovonn Young introduced himself to Illinois fans with a pair of touchdowns and Nathan Scheelhaase ran for two more on Saturday in a 56-3 blowout over South Dakota State. Illinois (2-0) rolled up 519 yards of offense and allowed just 96. Young scored on a 2-yard run to give the Illini a 7-0 lead. The Houston native showed speed and strength on a 41-yard second-quarter touchdown that put the Illini up 35-3 over the Jackrabbits (1-1) at the half. Scheelhaase took a seat in the third quarter with 93 yards rushing and 102 passing yards on six completions. Illinois’ defense picked off South Dakota State quarterback Thomas O’Brien twice. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score and see our Big Ten scoreboard.
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Our TV production team has crafted several feature stories for this weekend as part of our observance of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. One of these features airs Friday night on the Big Ten Football Report” at 7 p.m. and here’s an advance clip of Illinois DB Trulon Henry.