Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 6, 2013

It?s Friday, one day before the big test on Saturday. So, here?s a pop quiz to make sure you?re up to speed before kickoff. Get out your No. 2 pencils ? eyes down ? begin.

1. How many Big Ten teams will score 50 or more points this Saturday?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. None

Answer: C. Ohio State (San Diego State), Wisconsin (Tennessee Tech) and Nebraska (Southern Miss) will score at least 50. And that will make Barry ?Half-A-Hundred? Switzer smile, wherever he is. The post-game tailgating will start early in Columbus, Madison and Lincoln. Save me a Diet RC Cola and some Velveeta and Rotel Cheese Dip!

2. Who will start at quarterback for Michigan State?

A. Andrew Maxwell

B. Connor Cook

C. Tyler O?Connor

D. Damion Terry

E. Bobby McAllister

F. Bill Burke

Answer: It?s a trick question, silly. You see, it doesn?t really matter who takes snaps in East Lansing if the receivers keep dropping the ball. Pay attention!

3. Which of the three Big Teams playing FCS foes will win by the lowest margin?

A. Purdue vs. Indiana State

B. Wisconsin vs. Tennessee Tech

C. Iowa vs. Missouri State

Answer: A. This is a Boilermakers offense that?s, well, struggling. Let?s go with that word: struggling. Yes. Can Rob Henry pass? Who is the go-to receiver? Are there any running backs in the house? Yes, Purdue will win vs. the Sycamores, but it has much to sort out on offense and won?t post a pinball score on Saturday. Ok, let?s hear it: ?Hail, hail to old Purdue ? ?

4. How many yards will Nebraska?s defense allow to Southern Miss?

A. 200-300

B. 300-400

C. 400-500

D. 500-600

Answer: B. A calmer, gentler Bo Pelini didn?t flip-out after last week?s 602-yard debacle. And, his players will respond with calm, cool deadliness vs. overmatched Southern Miss. Now, what will happen the next Saturday when UCLA visits? Ah, forget it. Let?s just enjoy the moment, OK? Put on your corn hat and enjoy the day.

5. True or False: Urban Meyer will spike his headset this Saturday?

Answer: False. I?m guessing a message was delivered by Urb and his staff after the Buckeyes sleep walked through the last three quarters vs. Buffalo (Buffalo?). The pedal will be pressed firmly against the metal vs. San Diego State. Poor San Diego State. So, not only won?t Meyer spike his headset. He won?t even perspire.

6. True or False: Penn State wunderkind Christian Hackenberg will post the first 300-yard passing game of his soon-to-be illustrious career?

Answer: False: Oh, Hackenberg is more than capable-and Eastern Michigan is more than bad enough. But Bill O?Brien is so rankled by critics snipping about the Nittany Lions rushing for just 57 yards last week vs. Syracuse that he?ll commit to running and running and running.

7. Which team has the most prove in Week Two?

A. Ohio State

B. Michigan

C. Michigan State

D. Nebraska

E. All of the above

Answer: E. The Buckeyes need to play four quarters like a national title contender should vs. a lesser foe; Devin Gardner needs to show he can deliver a big win over a good team; the Spartans need to produce on offense; the defensive bleeding has to stop for the Cornhuskers.

8. Aside from quarterback Devin Gardner, who will be Michigan?s most vital player on Saturday vs. Notre Dame?

A. RB Fitz Toussaint

B. DE Frank Clark

C. OT Taylor Lewan

D. LB Cam Gordon

E. K Brendan Gibbons

Answer: C. This will be the best defense Michigan sees all season. Really. And the strength of that defense is up front in massive Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt. Nix is a 342-pound nose man, while Tuitt is a 312-pound end. This will be a big test for a trio of new starters on the interior of the Wolverines? offensive line. And the clash between Tuitt and Lewan will be epic on the edge and likely will set the tone for trench play. But, this thing could come down to Gibbon?s making a kick.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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