B1G Preview: A Look Ahead at Week Two

The B1G Conference started the season on a solid foot, going 10-2 in the first week of the college football season. But its only going to get tougher as the season progresses. And of course the match-up of the week in college football involves a B1G team. I hear the game involves wolverines and leprechauns, so it should be exciting. Anyway let’s look at this week’s slate.

Saturday, September 7

South Florida @ Michigan State

The biggest question for Michigan State entering this game: Can the offense get going and help out the defense? Well if the Spartans want to win the B1G they better. And what better game to get going than this one? South Florida is coming off a season-opening beat down at the hands of FCS “powerhouse” McNeese State, who hung 53 points on the Bulls’ defense. The Spartans’ defense should have no problem handling South Florida’s offense too, which only mustered 21 points last week. I look for Michigan State to get a comfortable victory.

Eastern Michigan @ Penn State

The college football world was introduced to Penn State freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg last week and many Nittany Lion fans expect him to improve on his game this week as they take on a MAC team. Hackenberg threw for 278 yards in Penn State’s season opening victory over Syracuse, but turned the ball over twice. I expect coach Bill O’Brien to use this game to build up the young quarterback’s confidence and help him cut down on turnovers. Penn State will get an easy win and some valuable playing time for its backups.

Cincinnati @ Illinois

Can head coach Tim Beckman get Illinois fans to like him? Maybe. But it won’t happen this weekend. I view Illinois as a notch above Purdue this season. Cincinnati started off it’s season by thrashing Purdue, so I expect a similar blowout this Saturday in Champaign. I think Illinois could make this a game for a half if quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase gets off to a good start, but I just don’t see the Illini coming out on top in this game.

Missouri State @ Iowa

Iowa started off the season on the wrong foot last week as they suffered a heartbreaking three-point loss at the hands of Jordan Lynch and North Illinois. And there really shouldn’t be any shame in losing to a good football team like the Huskies. But the Hawkeyes need to get refocused if they want to have a good season. Beating Missouri State is a good place to start. Now I’m not going to tell you that Iowa is going to handle the Bears easily after the FCS blew everyone’s minds last week by winning eight games against FBS foes. Iowa also had a close call against an FCS foe in 2009 if you recall. All I’m going to say is Iowa should win this game.

Indiana State @ Purdue

As I noted in my B1G Week 1 Review, Indiana State was trounced by the Hoosiers. Purdue was also beaten soundly by Cincinnati. Both teams come into this game hungry for their first win and want to get the taste of their first games out of their mouth. I want to say Purdue wins this game, but I can’t. I also can’t say Indiana State will win. I really view it as an (ugly) toss-up. I know if the Boilermakers want to win they better get more production from quarterback Rob Henry, who only threw for 161 yards and no touchdowns against the Bearcats. The running game was also disappointing. This is a must-see game for college football fans who are masochists.

Tennessee Tech @ #21 Wisconsin

Wisconsin looked so good in their opening game, that I have no problem saying the Badgers should cruise to a huge victory. After racking up over 300 yards rushing in the first game, look for more of the same here. With a big game against Arizona State on-deck, the starters will be pulled as soon as possible to avoid injuries.

Navy @ Indiana

Indiana rolled to a victory in week 1 and look to add win number two this weekend against Navy. The Midshipmen had a bye week to start off the season, so this is the first game of the 2013 season for them. Navy starting quarterback Keenan Reynolds returns, coming off a season in which he threw for 898 yards, rushed for 649 yards and had 19 total touchdowns in his freshman season. One of Navy’s top running backs also returns, Noah Copeland, who rushed for 738 yards and five touchdowns last season. These two teams faced off last season in a barn burner, with Navy edging the Hoosiers 31-30 in Annapolis. I look for another close game here as the high-powered spread attack of Indiana and the triple option threat of Navy score a ton of points in this game.

Southern Miss @ #22 Nebraska

Southern Miss went 0-12 last season and extended their losing streak to 13 in their season opening game. Nebraska defeated the Golden Eagles by a score of 49-20 last season. The Cornhuskers can’t screw this up, right? Nebraska will this game easily shouldn’t they? Well they should, but they won’t. Bo Pelini and Taylor Martinez, until they prove otherwise, will continue to play close games against clearly inferior opponents. The defense also still looks like human turnstiles. Hey Husker fans, you better have Tylenol and antacids nearby (not just this game, but for the season).

Syracuse @ #19 Northwestern

Well this is an interesting game. Syracuse gave everything they had against Penn State in their opening game, while Northwestern is coming off a slug fest against California. And the Wildcats didn’t come out of it clean either. Cornerback Daniel Jones injured his left knee and will be out for the rest of the season. Starting quarterback Kain Colter suffered a concussion in the game and is questionable for the game, along with running back Venric Mark. Northwestern seems to have a slight edge, but there’s really too much unpredictability to call a winner in this one.

Minnesota @ New Mexico State

Congratulations Minnesota on defeating UNLV last weekend! If you lost that game, we were going to have to kick you out of the conference. It was an ugly win for the Golden Gophers, but a win is a win. They now get the newly independent New Mexico State Aggies, who got clocked by Texas in the opening weekend. Minnesota should get another win, but they’ll win in the most Minnesota-way possible (one offensive touchdown, three defensive touchdowns and two field goals). Also Gophers, win or you’re out of the conference.

Game of The Week: #14 Notre Dame @ #17 Michigan

Not only is this the B1G Game of the Week, but the National Game of the Week. It’s even getting the College Gameday treatment! (Related note: I will not be watching because it’s in Ann Arbor. Let’s just say I enjoy not barfing.) And let’s get this clear up front: I hate both of these teams. Both fan bases are delusional and love to hate on the Buckeyes, so I’m rooting for a tie. This could be the last game between these two teams for a while, as a war of words have been taking place for the last couple of years between each school regarding the expiration of the current series deal. In other words, whoever wins will never shut up about it.

There are many things you could talk about in the game itself, but I’m focusing on the quarterbacks in this match-up. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner is coming off a disappointing opening game, in which he threw two interceptions. Gardner has never taken the field against Notre Dame. On the other side of the field, senior quarterback Tommy Rees leads the Fighting Irish offense. Unexpectedly, Rees was re-handed the quarterback reigns after starter Everett Golston was suspended for the fall 2013 semester. Rees started off the 2013 season by throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns against Temple. Rees has played against the Wolverines the last two seasons, including throwing for over 300 yards in 2011. I believe this game comes down to the quarterbacks and whoever performs better will lead their team to victory.

Comments

  1. Say a prayer for Tennessee State’s run defense 🙁

  2. Is it ok to hope Syria attacks the US preemptively and only launches a missile at the Big House during the TTUN/ND game?

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