B1G Week Three Preview: Taking on the PAC-12

After a great second week of the season for the B1G conference, they look to continue their success in week three. This week though the schedule steps up a notch in difficulty. The key match-ups for the conference this week are against PAC-12 schools (4 games against these schools). Can the B1G have another great week? How will the B1G fare against the PAC-12? Let’s get to the games!

Bowling Green @ Indiana

Both teams have demonstrated they can score a lot of points so far. Bowling Green scored 34 against Tulsa and 41 against Kent State, while Indiana hung 73 on Indiana State opening weekend and 35 in a loss to Navy. I see both putting up similar numbers again and it should be a shootout for the entire game. It’s going to come down which defense can cause more turnovers. This game is a complete toss-up and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons snatched a mild upset against the Hoosiers.

Western Illinois @ Minnesota

Look for Minnesota to improve to 3-0 in this game. While Western Illinois has started off the season with two easy victories, I don’t see them defeating Gophers. Mainly because the Gophers have been playing great defense and running the ball effectively, something that should worry the Leathernecks. Minnesota also knows it needs every win it can get before getting into conference play if they want to ensure they reach a bowl for a second straight season.

#16 UCLA @ #23 Nebraska

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This is the kind of game I’ve been looking forward to since opening kickoff. After getting a lot of cupcake games completed, we finally getting a top 25 match-up. UCLA opened up their season with a 58-20 victory over Nevada, a game in which quarterback Brett Hundley threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns. Nebraska looked much better last weekend against Southern Miss, particularly on defense. With this major step up in competition, we’ll all get to see how much the Blackshirts have really improved. UCLA gets an advantage coming into this game with an extra week to prepare, but playing in the Sea of Red is the equalizer for Nebraska. Expect lots of fireworks in this game.

Akron @ #11 Michigan

This game is going to be ugly. After coming off a great win over rival Notre Dame, the Wolverines get a nice cupcake in Akron to destroy. Akron is horrible, so I highly doubt we see another Toledo moment. Don’t expect to see a lot of Devin Gardner here, as Michigan will have a lot of backups playing in this game.

Youngstown State @ Michigan State

Michigan State features one of the most atrocious offenses in the country, but also one of the best defenses in the nation. Youngstown State comes into the game 2-0. The Penguins will probably make things close for a couple of quarters, but I just don’t see them pulling off the upset. The Spartans will attempt to have an offense, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Look for Michigan State to kick lots of field goals and of course score a defensive touchdown.

Iowa @ Iowa State

This annual rivalry game has been fun to watch the last couple of seasons. Well at least for non-Hawkeye fans. After winning three straight in this series, Iowa has lost the last two. Last year in a defensive struggle, the Cyclones edged out a 9-6 victory. In the last 16 match-ups of this rivalry, Iowa State actually has the advantage with a 9-7 record. Both fan bases will be fired up for this one and both need the win to build momentum going into conference play. Expect another tight game again this weekend.

UCF @ Penn State

UCF comes into this game with two squash victories over Akron and Florida International, so this is the first real test of the season for the Knights. Quarterback Blake Bortles has lived up to expectations, completing 30 of 43 passes for 528 yards and four touchdowns. Penn State is coming off an easy win over Eastern Michigan. Nittany Lion quarterback Christian Hackenberg got off to a shaky start, but got it together and threw for over 300 yards. I give UCF a solid chance of winning this game and I really think it will come down to which quarterback can be better leader and deliver when it counts.

#19 Washington @ Illinois

Illinois shocked everyone last week when they dominated Cincinnati. Nathan Scheelhaase had a great game again and is poised to be one of the best quarterbacks in the B1G. But they have a tough match-up against a Washington team that got a lot of people buzzing after they demolished Boise State in the opening weekend. The Huskies are led by the one-two punch of quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey. I’m going to give Illinois a fighting chance in this game and I’ll be pulling for the Illini to pull off the upset. But I’m picking the Huskies to take care of business and for them to establish themselves as one of the top contenders in the PAC-12.

#21 Notre Dame @ Purdue

I don’t see much hope for the Boilermakers in this game. Notre Dame is pissed coming off the loss to Michigan and I look for them to take their anger out in this game. Quarterback Tommy Rees threw over 300 yards against a solid Wolverine defense, so he should have no problem dissecting Purdue’s defense. Irish defensive standouts Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix III should also have great games against a mediocre Purdue offense. It’s clearly a rebuilding year for the Boilermakers.

Western Michigan @ #17 Northwestern

The Broncos come into this game 0-2 with losses against Michigan State and FCS foe Nicholls State. They let Michigan State score 26 points against them, so that gives you an idea of what Northwestern’s offense can do in this game. Quarterback Kain Colter and running back Venric Mark are still banged up, but they won’t be needed in this game. Look for the Wildcats to get an easy win after opening the season with two BCS teams.

#20 Wisconsin @ Arizona State

Out of all of the B1G games (other than the Buckeyes of course), I look forward to this game the most. Why? Because we finally get to see if the Badgers are the real deal after feasting on two cupcakes. Wisconsin rushed for over 600 yards the first two games (slightly more than what BYU rushed against Texas last week). Arizona State shutout Sacramento State 55-0 last week and this is also their first real test of the season. The Sun Devils are a solid team all-around and dare I say one of their best in recent memory. On offense they’re led by quarterback Taylor Kelly and running back Marion Grice. Both players have gotten off to solid starts. On defense, all eyes are on one player: Will Sutton. Sutton is an absolute beast, standing over 6 feet tall and weighing 288 pounds. Last season, Sutton racked up 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. Needless to say he is an absolute nightmare for offensive coordinators. And that is what this game will come down to: Sutton and the Sun Devil’s defense against the Badgers’ rushing juggernaut of James White, Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement. The winner of this match-up will win the game.


  1. Finally a decent slate of games. I’m also interested in the Wisky/ASU game and I am on the “Illinois isn’t that bad” bandwagon. I think they pull off the upset.

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