Week 2 Big Ten Game Previews/Predictions

Week 2 Big Ten Game Previews/Predictions

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Week 2 Big Ten Game Previews/Predictions

Week 1 is in the books. What’s gonna happen across the Big Ten in Week 2?

Contact @crowleysullivan

NEW MEXICO at WISCONSIN

  • Saturday – 12n et
  • Camp Randall Stadium
  • BTN

I spent last weekend in Madison, Wisconsin with my family – my oldest daughter is approaching the age when she’ll decide where to pursue her tertiary education.

I’m totally and completely embarrassed to say this – it was my first trip to Madison.

I’m totally and completely proud and excited to say this – Madison is what everyone has said it is.

Thanks to all of the folks at State Street Brats for taking good care of my family and the two other families that joined us – I could live at State Street Brats for the rest of my life and be very happy.

New Mexico opened up the season last week with quite a bang.

The Lobos wound up with 680 total yards and put 62 points on the board.

Someone named Tevaka Tuioti threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns for New Mexico.

The Lobos piled up 319 yards on the ground.

Oh, one small item – New Mexico did all of this against……..Incarnate Word.

Incarnate Word.

I seem to recall that Ricky Williams camped out a bit at Incarnate Word and that Incarnate Word is a school and stuff – but I have a fair amount of questions regarding Incarnate Word.

For instance, if I went to the Incarnate Word campus right now, would I see people walking around in robes or is everyone required to wear sandals at all times or are there Gregorian monks walking solemnly around or does the cafeteria only serve Vegan food or is there some sort of rule that states no student may speak above a certain vocal decibel level?

New Mexico – 14

Wisconsin – 37

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WESTERN MICHIGAN at UMAA

  • Saturday – 12n et
  • UMAA Stadium
  • FS1

I have two bottles of Coke – can I get into this game for free?

We send our best wishes to former UMAA Athletic Director and former Toys R Us President & CEO (and recognized American corporate pillar of success) Dave Brandon.  We hope he’s enjoying all of the money he earned as he successfully navigated Toys R Us through their bankruptcy proceedings.

It’s only a matter of “if” not when “when” UMAA climbs over the .500 mark over their last 19 games played.

Western Michigan – 10

UMAA – 30

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EASTERN MICHIGAN at PURDUE

  • Saturday – 12n et
  • Ross-Ade Stadium
  • BTN

The Boilers came very close to opening up the 2018 season in grand fashion and keeping the momentum from 2017 cranking.

Instead, they came up short against a very solid Northwestern team and they’re 0-1 with a lot of people forgetting that Purdue has a football squad.

We’re keeping an eye on the Boilers – with games ahead against Missouri, Boston College, and Nebraska before Purdue gets Illinois, it might sound a bit weird but the Boilers have to take care of Eastern Illinois.

West Lafayette isn’t necessarily the hangover capital of the Big Ten and that’s good for Purdue since the Boilermakers have to come out strong and get this thing over with as soon as possible.

Otherwise, Eastern Illinois is capable of killing all of the 2017 Boiler momentum.

Eastern Illinois – 24

Purdue – 30

______________________________________________________________

DUKE at NORTHWESTERN

  • Saturday – 12n et
  • It Will Always Be Dyche Stadium To Me
  • ESPNU

Duke is good.

Northwestern is good.

But for all of you Duke and Northwestern people who love to pontificate about how you have some sort of a “rivalry” because these are two “elite” institutions who have demonstrated that football can be done the right way with brilliant young minds who will soon change the world, please spare us.

We get it – you guys are smart and important and have the proper perspective on the world and we’re knuckle-draggers.

Just please spare us.

And I mean this in the nicest way possible.

Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson sure does look like he’s back from that injury he sustained in the bowl game.

And Jeremy Larkin had 143 yards and two touchdowns against Purdue in the opening win for the Wildcats.

Army found a way to gain 197 yards through the air against Duke.

Army last had a passing attack when Army last had football players who were of similar size and skill to that of the rest of the college football players around the nation.

Northwestern should be in the Top 25 this week.

Northwestern will be in the Top 25 next week.

Duke – 20

Northwestern – 31

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RUTGERS at OHIO STATE

  • Saturday – 3:30p et
  • Ohio Stadium
  • BTN

This isn’t fair.

Rutgers – 17

Ohio State – 94

______________________________________________________________

COLORADO at NEBRASKA

  • Saturday – 3:30p et
  • Memorial Stadium
  • ABC

I love the fact that this game is on the schedule.

The former Big 8/Big12 rivals should play one another every year like this and it should be a thing.

And before Nebraska fans start daydreaming about how Scott Frost is going to figure out how to get Oklahoma back on the schedule over Thanksgiving weekend, the Huskers have a very tough opener after the game with Akron was cancelled.

Colorado pummeled a weak Colorado State team last week 45-13 and might just be able to factor into the Pac 12 race.

Buffalo quarterback Steven Montez could end up in the NFL and the Colorado running game isn’t bad.

It’s going to take a minute for Frost to turn back the clock and Nebraska fans are going to have to be patient.

It’s a good thing they are.

Colorado – 27

Nebraska – 26

______________________________________________________________

IOWA STATE at IOWA

  • Saturday – 5p et
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • FOX

There is a narrative out there that Iowa State has Iowa’s number.

The fact is that Iowa has won three straight in this underrated rivalry and the Hawkeyes have gone 10-5 against the Cyclones in the series since 2003.

There’s also a narrative that this trophy that was created for this rivalry was so awful that it was thrown into a river somewhere in Des Moines –

That narrative may not be factual – but it should be.

Iowa State joined Nebraska in having their season opener cancelled last week.  The Cyclones might have a tough time getting to six wins and making it to a bowl game this year.

Kirk Ferentz, meanwhile, became Iowa’s all time winningest coach last week as the Hawkeyes controlled a pretty good Northern Illinois team and won 33-7.

As the clock wound down for Iowa last week, it was a great scene as Ferentz was hugged and cheered by his players and the entire Iowa community.

Ferentz has taken his shots from folks who don’t think he’s ever gotten over the real hump.

But the scene there in Iowa City as Ferentz wiped away tears and the Hawkeye fans went wild for this guy was what college football is all about.

The guy’s won a lot of games and he’s done it without ever making a ridiculous music video, without ever thinking he should gobble up the oxygen by taking his team to meet the pope, and he’s never once needed to discuss whether or not he read or remembered or didn’t remember text messages from his wife.

Stay as long as you want, Coach.

Iowa State – 14

Iowa – 27

______________________________________________________________

MARYLAND at BOWLING GREEN

  • Saturday – 7p et
  • Doyt Perry Stadium
  • ESPN+

For all of the horrible stuff going on at Maryland, let’s all take a minute to say this:

Congratulations to the kids on this Maryland football team for accomplishing something pretty amazing with their second straight victory over Texas.

These kids – in the middle of a gigantic s–t storm – reminded us that these are kids playing football out there and they went out and managed to forget about all of the noise, forget about what a terrible mess they’re all in through absolutely no fault of their own, and how a gang of teammates can come together and have a great moment together.

And it’s worth noting – Maryland might be pretty good.

This is a dangerous game for the Terps, though.

All of that adrenaline, all of the excitement and fun that led to the win over the Longhorns is going to be hard to recapture when the Terps take the field in Bowling Green, Ohio at Doyt Perry Stadium.

And, Bowling Green held its own for a while in its opening loss to Oregon.

While the adults who have caused a whole university – and, first and foremost, the family of Jordan McNair – to be dragged through a terrible and tragic time, the Terp players need to find a way to regain their excitement and keep the train chugging.

And having a quarterback who is healthy certainly helps.

Kasim Hill is going to cause problems for the Big Ten this season.

Maryland – 34

Bowling Green – 20

______________________________________________________________

WESTERN ILLINOIS at ILLINOIS

  • Saturday – 7:30p et
  • Memorial Stadium
  • BTN

Lovie’s Illini didn’t exactly tear it up in the team’s season opening win over Kent State.

But the Illini are 1-0.

And Lovie has a shot at a 2-0 start staring him right in the face.

Losing wide receiver and Illini fave Mike Dudek to injury for the year doesn’t help matters, though.

But getting the Leathernecks in Week 2 gives the Illini a chance to get a little something going.

Mark Dantonio said it after the sloppy win over Utah State and Lovie would have every reason to say it after this one – nobody should ever have to apologize for winning a football game.

Western Illinois – 14

Illinois – 28

______________________________________________________________

VIRGINIA at INDIANA

  • Saturday – 7:30p et
  • Memorial Stadium
  • BTN

We thought FIU was going to hand Indiana a loss in the season opener last week.

Tom Allen and the Hoosiers went on the road and looked pretty damn good in the 38-28 win.

Peyton Ramsey went 20 of 27 with three touchdowns and Indiana has a chance to notch two pretty impressive wins with this match up against Virginia.

IU took it to the Cavaliers last season in Charlottesville and the 34-17 win was big for the Hoosiers.

Indiana does it again this year in front of the home folks and Bloomington starts to think that maybe Tom Allen might just be the guy the program has needed.

Virginia – 17

Indiana – 30

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FRESNO STATE at MINNESOTA

  • Saturday – 7:30p et
  • TCF Bank Stadium
  • FS1

If this was 2001 and Pat Hill was leading the Fresno State Bulldogs into Minneapolis for this battle, there would be plenty of reason for P.J. Fleck and the Gophers to be worried.

But it’s 2018 and Pat Hill is long gone.

Unfortunately, there’s even more reason to be worried about the boat-rowing this week.

It might have only been against the Idaho Vandals but Fresno State put up 79 points last week in the opener.

The Bulldogs won ten games last season and are going to be even better this year.

Fresno State will challenge San Diego State for the Mountain West’s West Division title and Minnesota is in for a tough night.

In 2016, Fresno State went 1-11.

Jeff Tedford – yes, reminder, Jeff Tedford is the head coach now at Fresno State – took over and the Bulldogs went to the Mountain West championship game (they lost 17-14 to Boise State), won the Hawaii Bowl 33-27 over Houston, and finished the season 10-4.

Fresno State will soon be causing headaches for the Mountain West on an annual basis, the Power 5 when debates about all sorts of stuff occur, and the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

First, though, Fresno State will cause a lot of headaches for the Gophers.

Fresno State – 40

Minnesota – 20 

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PENN STATE at PITT

  • Saturday – 8p et
  • Heinz Field
  • ABC

What’s going on with Pat Narduzzi?

The former Michigan State defensive coordinator was primed and ready to turn Pitt into the ACC’s version of the Spartans.

He had two good seasons in 2015 and 2016 – each resulting in 8-5 final marks – but stumbled a bit last season to a 5-7 record just when some of us thought Pitt was about to go off.

Yes, the Panthers took down #3 Clemson in 2016 but the program hasn’t appeared to find its next gear.

This is a huge opportunity for Pitt and Narduzzi to show the folks that the next gear is going to be reached.

And Penn State is not the Penn State of the last two or three seasons.

Trace McSorley is still Trace McSorley but I might fall into the camp of the people who think last week’s overtime win over Appalachian State wasn’t just opening game jitters.

Penn State is, in fact, missing a lot from the team that went 22-5 over the last two seasons, made it to the Rose Bowl, and won the Fiesta Bowl.

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett is a freshman and might be a ways off from becoming the next Dan Marino for Pitt – but he’s going to play to the system, control the game well, get protection from the line when he needs to make a few throws, and Pitt’s defense will handle Penn State in a way that will cause Penn State fans to be concerned about the season.

Penn State – 21

Pitt – 24

 

***EDITOR’S NOTE – SpartansWire reserves the right to change any of these previews and predictions prior to the 4th quarter of each individual game starting…

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