Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 11, 2014

We have a rivalry game, people: Iowa State at Iowa! Even better: We have our first Big Ten game, with Penn State visiting Rutgers in a battle of 2-0 teams.

It's going to be an incredible atmosphere at High Point Solutions Stadium. If you missed it, "BTN Football Pregame" is traveling to the game and will provide live coverage all day long.

As for the other big game, the Cyclones have been a pain in Kirk Ferentz?s behind, going 8-7 vs. Captain Kirk since he followed Hayden Fry in 1999. Yes, Iowa State is currently 0-2, but that program gets jacked up to play the Hawkeyes.

Get our latest Week 3 coverage:

[display-posts tag="week-3" posts_per_page="5"]

Here is a look at the Best of Week 3.

BEST GAME: All eyes will be on Penn State at Rutgers. It will be the Scarlet Knights? first Big Ten game ever and the first time the Nittany Lions have been on Rutgers? campus since 1955. The previous six times PSU played ?at? Rutgers were in East Rutherford, N.J. The Scarlet Knights are 2-22 all-time vs. the Nittany Lions. Both teams are early-season surprises, sporting 2-0 records and big dreams. PSU has extra motivation as its bowl ban was lifted earlier this week. This season suddenly has great possibilities. A win by the Scarlet Knights could help jump-start the program and fuel a rivalry with Penn State.

BEST MATCHUP: Washington rushing game vs. Illinois passing game. No, the two units don't match up against each other, but the one that has more success should win the game for its team. The 2-0 Huskies have a massive offensive line and a collection of capable backs that will be a challenge for an Illini front seven that still has something to prove. Illinois has a rising star at quarterback in West Lunt, who leads the Big Ten with seven touchdown passes, and he gets to face a defense that surrendered 475 yards passing and seven TDs to Eastern Washington last week.

PLAYER ON THE SPOT: Tommy Armstrong. The Nebraska signal-caller has been excellent when it comes to running the ball, carrying 18 times this season for 193 yards (10.7 ypc) with two touchdowns. But his passing needs to improve as the Huskers wade into always tough Fresno State to play. Armstrong is hitting only 51.7 percent of his passes this season-the same percentage as last year. He needs to get that number up so defenses must respect the Cornhusker pass attack. That, in turn, would open room for the vaunted Nebraska ground game and allow it to gain traction.

KEEP AN EYE ON: The Iowa running attack. It has struggled the first two weeks of the season, ranking 11th in the Big Ten (132.0 ypg). The ground game was supposed to be the identity of this attack. Iowa?s leading rusher through two games? QB Jake Rudock, with 11 carries for 53 yards. Compounding matters is a report that says star tackle Brandon Scherff has undergone surgery on an injured knee and will miss the ISU game. If the rushing game doesn?t pick up the pace, it could prove disastrous for the 2-0 Hawkeyes as the schedule gets more challenging.

BEST COORDINATOR MATCHUP: How about Iowa State offensive coordinator Mark Mangino vs. Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker? Mangino is a top offensive mind who made Kansas football matter when he led the program to an Orange Bowl crown in the 2007 season. Think about that for a second. KU hasn?t made a peep since it unjustly chased Mangino from Lawrence after the 2009 season. He sat out from 2010-12 before remerging at FCS Youngstown State in 2013. Now, he?s back in the big-time, trying to improve ISU, which came close to beating Kansas State last week. Parker?s Hawkeye defense ranked second in the Big Ten last season (303.1 ypg) and looks to be coming on as it works in three new linebackers. Iowa?s defense didn?t allow a TD last week vs. Ball State.

BEST COACHING MATCHUP: The battle between Minnesota?s Jerry Kill and TCU?s Gary Patterson should be good. These are two of the nation?s perennially underrated coaches. And, they just happen to be best buddies. Theses coaches have built their programs around defense. So, this one figures to come down to which offense can make some key plays. The Golden Gophers could be hampered if QB Mitch Leidner is limited or isn?t 100 percent after hurting a knee last week.

BEST QUARTERBACK MATCHUP: I love the clash between Rutgers? Gary Nova and Penn State?s Christian Hackenberg. Nova has been a revelation, an early-season surprise who is blossoming under new coordinator Ralph Friedgen. Hackenberg continues to emerge as one of the nation?s top signal-callers in just his sophomore season. The Nittany Lions? offense is riding on his right arm. He?s a sure-fire future first-round pick. Who knows? He may go No. 1 overall.

BEST CHANCE FOR AN UPSET: Rutgers is an underdog at home vs. Penn State. Don?t be shocked to see the Scarlet Knights emerge with a victory in what figures to be an emotionally-charged and jam-packed High Point Solutions Stadium. This arguably is Rutgers? biggest home game since that wild Thursday night in November 2006 when the No. 15 Scarlet Knights beat No. 3 Louisville, 28-25, setting off a wild celebration. We could see a repeat of that scene Saturday night.

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.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.