Whole Nine Sports

Week 2 Big 10 Preview

Big 10
Mike Hrynyshyn
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Finally. After two weeks of Big 10 teams blowing out far lesser teams, we finally have a slate of games that truly looks exciting.  With two huge rivalry games on tap as well as a conference matchup, this is the type of week I’ve been waiting for.

Saturday

Ohio State Indiana

#6 Ohio St. vs Indiana Noon EST (Fox)

Prospects to watch (Ohio St.): RB JK Dobbins, WR KJ Hill, WR Binjimen Victor, OT Thayor Munford, EDGE Chase Young, LB Malik Harrison, LB Tuf Borland, CB Jeffrey Okudah, DB Shaun Wade

Prospects to Watch (Indiana): WR Nick Westbrook, S/LB Marcelino Ball

What a way for Ohio St. to get their first legitimate opponent of the season. The Hoosiers come into this one having beaten Ball St and whooped on Eastern Illinois. That being said, Indiana has played the Buckeyes tight in recent years. I think this year is no different, although I would be shocked if Indiana kept it within single digits.

Pittsburgh Pen State

Pitt vs #13 Penn St. Noon EST (ABC)

Prospects to Watch (Penn St.): WR KJ Hamler, EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos

The 100th matchup in this rivalry is not going to be one to write home about unfortunately. Gross Matos is off to a red-hot start to the season with 3.5 sacks through 2 games. The Panthers OL is not equipped to stop him, so I expect that to continue. Expect the Nittany Lions to roll through Pitt without much difficulty.

Maryland Temple

#21 Maryland vs Temple Noon EST (CBS Sports)

Prospects to Watch (Maryland): QB Josh Jackson, RB Anthony McFarland Jr, LB Keandre Jones, DB Antoine Brooks Jr.

After ragdolling Syracuse last week, the Terps are on the road to face the always tough Temple Owls. Temple may not be as threatening as they were under Matt Rhule or Geoff Collins, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to roll over. Maryland has put up a staggering 142 points over their first 2 games of the season, with Anthony McFarland making the absolute most out of his limited touches. Josh Jackson has also seen a massive resurgence in the Terps RPO based offense. I expect Maryland to come out with the W, however be aware, in past years Maryland has had similar starts to the season fizzle out quick.

Eastern Michigan Illinois

Eastern Michigan vs Illinois Noon EST (BTN)

Prospect to watch (Illinois): EDGE Oluwole Betiku Jr.

Illinois has played two games that admittedly, I have not watched in full detail. However, I have come away impressed with Oluwole Betiku Jr. Coming off of a 3.5 sack performance last week against UConn, I’m curious to see if he can keep the momentum going. I expect Illinois to get an easy W.

UNLV Northwestern

UNLV vs Northwestern 3:30 EST (BTN)

After a bye week following their week 1 loss to Stanford, Northwestern looks to bounce back against the Runnin’ Rebels. Northwestern turns to Hunter Johnson at QB with TJ Green now out for the season. This will be a litmus test for the former Clemson 5 star recruit. I expect Northwestern to take this one quite easily.

Georgia Southern Minnesota

Georgia Southern vs Minnesota 3:30 EST (BTN)

Prospects to Watch (Minn): RBs Rodney Smith & Mohamed Ibrahim, WR Tyler Johnson, EDGE Carter Coughlin, DB Antoine Winfield Jr.

Georgia Southern is going to try to triple option the Gophers to death, however the UM defense is one of the conference’s best. Carter Coughlin has needed a great game this year and Saturday may be the perfect opportunity for one. This is also a big game for Tyler Johnson who in 2 games only has a total of 7 catches for 99 yards, a far cry from the performance we all expected of him. My Guess is that they key Gophers show out and it results in a blowout win.

Arizona State Michigan State

Arizona St. vs #18 Michigan St. 4PM EST (Fox)

Prospects to Watch (ASU): RB Eno Benjamin, CB Chase Lucas

Prospects to Watch (MSU): QB Brian Lewerke, WRs Cody White & Darrell Stewart Jr, DL Raequan Williams, EDGE Kenny Willekes, LB Joe Bachie, S David Dowell

Is this the game where Brian Lewerke finally shows he’s an NFL prospect? I doubt it. Sparty’s D has an interesting matchup in their own right. Arizona State RB Eno Benjamin is seen by many as a Day 2 pick at RB, despite a slow start. The front 7 of Michigan State should be able to keep him in check. Expect a low scoring game, but I think this is a coin flip.

Iowa Iowa State

#19 Iowa vs Iowa State 4PM PM EST (FS1)

Prospects to Watch (Iowa): QB Nate Stanley, EDGE AJ Epenesa

I love the Cyhawk Bowl. Iowa and ISU absolutely hate each other and it’s a sight to behold. Iowa State has gotten off to a sluggish start, but Matt Campbell’s boys are going to be locked and loaded heading into the afternoon. College GameDay is headed to Ames for the first time ever, if you don’t think that factors in to the motivation, you’re wrong. This is my “Kick Back on Your Couch With a Cold One Game of The Week”. Who wins? Us, the fans.

TCU Purdue

TCU vs Purdue 7:30 PM (BTN)

Prospects to Watch (Purdue): QB Elijah Sindelar, TE Brycen Hopkins, DL Lorenzo Neal

Purdue received bad news this week with the announcement that Senior LB Markus Bailey is done for the year with a knee injury. The big test in this game is how QB surprise Elijah Sindelar does in a matchup against a TCU defense that is always stingy. He balled out against Vandy last week to my surprise. A big game Saturday may put him in the top 100 discussion, something I could’ve never predicted at the start of the season.

Northern Illinois Nebraska

Northern Illinois vs Nebraska 8PM (FS1)

Prospects to watch (NEB): RB Maurice Washington, WR JD Spielman, CB Lamar Jackson

Nebraska has looked as uninspired as a preseason top 25 team could look. Barely escaping in week 1, then collapsing against Colorado last week. This should be a good bounce back for them. JD Spielman has looked great at wideout despite lackluster QB play from Taylor Martinez. Huskers take this one, hopefully by a sizeable margin.

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