Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's Week 3 of October in the Big Ten ...

Vault Beating Defenders vs Michigan
Northwestern sophomore RB #4 Solomon Vault carrying the ball Michigan
last week. Michigan defeated Northwestern 38-0 in the Big House.
NCAA Football: Ball State at Northwestern
Northwestern redshirt freshman QB
#18 Clayton Thorson leads the
Wildcats offense in the 5-1 start.

Saturday, October 17th in the B1G

  • #17 Iowa (6-0, 2-0 B1G West) @ #20 Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 B1G West) 11:00 am on ESPN2 / ABC / espn3 
  • Homecoming at Ryan Field in Evanston, IL
  • 20th anniversary for the Wildcats Big Ten championship team in 1995
  • Former 'Cats head coach Gary Barnett, inducted into the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame in September, will serve as the honorary captain for the game and join Northwestern captains Deonte Gibson, Traveon Henry, Christian Jones and Dan Vitale at midfield for the coin toss
  • 30th anniversary for the Hawkeyes, when Iowa was 6-0 heading into Evanston ... Hawkeyes were champions of the Big Ten in 1985, winning against Northwestern for a 7-0 start!
  • Prediction: Iowa 27, Northwestern 17
Justin Jackson Touchdown
Northwestern sophomore RB #21
Justin Johnson leads the
Wildcats ground attack again.
The Hawkeyes will play Saturday without their outstanding senior defensive end Drew Ott, who tore his ACL during their win last week over Illinois. He leads them in both sacks and tackles for loss. Still, said Northwestern sophomore running back Justin Jackson, "They have the same type of defense they've always had. They're not going to change anything up. They're going to make you go win one-on-one battles. That's what it comes down to. So we know what they're going to do. We know where they're going to be. We just have to go execute the play that's called. If we win our one-on-one battles, then we win the game." The Hawkeyes' passing defense is not nearly as strong as its rushing D. It is surrendering an average of 232.3 yards per game, which ranks ninth in the Big Ten.

Iowa junior QB #16 C.J. Beathard won Big Ten weekly honors for his work
in the Hawkeyes' 31-17 road win @ Iowa State. Health concerns were hot
topics this week, after Beathard sustained a groin injury in win over Illinois.
Iowa senior RB #33 Jordan Canzeri
is leading the B1G in rushing, after
the Hawkeyes' 2-0 B1G start.
Iowa junior quarterback C.J. Beathard has completed 61.1 percent of his passes (99-of-162) while throwing for nine touchdowns with only two interceptions. Beathard is seeking to become Iowa's first quarterback to win his first eight starts in program history.

But the Hawkeye workhorse is senior running back Jordan Canzeri, who is averaging 116.2 ypg. Last week against Illinois, with his team up three with just over 10 minutes remaining, he carried the ball on 11 straight plays; netted 59 yards; ate up 6:53 of the clock; and set up a field goal. He ended the day with 256 yards on 43 carries. Nice story on Canzeri and Iowa ahead of the game.

Another Homecoming game in the Big Ten ...

The Badgers have won nine consecutive games vs. Purdue dating back to 2004. It's a stretch in which Wisconsin has had as many coaches (Barry Alvarez, Bret Bielema and Gary Andersen) as the Boilermakers (Joe Tiller, Danny Hope and Darrell Hazell). The Badgers are on coach #4 this year.
  • Purdue (0-2 B1G West) @ Wisconsin (1-1 B1G West) 11:00 am on BTN - the Badgers return home, after another fourth quarter dogfight @ Nebraska last weekend, with a 23-21 win. It will be Homecoming in Madison as first year head coach Paul Chryst and his Badgers seek to keep pace in the B1G West ...

B1G Michigan in-state battle in the Big House for Paul Bunyan Trophy ...

The Spartans have won six of the last seven games in this series, including two games in Ann Arbor. ESPN College Game Day will be in Ann Arbor for the Michigan-MSU game.
  • #7 Michigan State (5-0, 2-0 B1G East) @ #12 Michigan (5-1, 2-0 B1G East) 2:30 pm on ESPN - The Spartans last six series losses have come by eight or less points. Michigan entered the season with a 1-9 record in the last ten games against Top 25 competition, but the Wolverines are coming off a 38-0 win against a Top 25 Big Ten team, so a change for back to back wins.
  • Nebraska (0-2 B1G West) @ Minnesota (1-1 B1G West) 2:30 pm on ESPN2 - the Cornhuskers have lost two straight to the Golden Gophers. Minnesota returns home, after back to back B1G road games looking for their third in a row in this series.
  • Rutgers (0-2 B1G East) at @ Indiana (0-2 B1G East) 2:30 pm on BTN - who falls into the sole position of the East cellar early in the conference race? Last year, it was the first meeting between the Scarlet Knights and the Hoosiers, with Rutgers winning 45-23. Payback?
  • Penn State (5-1, 2-0 B1G East) @ #1 Ohio State (6-0, B1G East) 7:00 pm on ABC / espn3 - Last year, this was the most difficult conference game for the Buckeyes, as the 2 OT game ended in a 31-24 win for Ohio State. The higher ranked team in this series has won 22 of the last 24 ... Buckeyes should roll!
  • Illinois (1-1 B1G West) enjoys a bye week
  • Maryland (0-2 B1G East) regroups on a bye week, under interim coach Mike Locksley

Homecoming in the FCS in Iowa ...

  • Western Illinois at Northern Iowa 4:00 pm on ESPN Extra / CSNC / espn3 / PSN (cable) - the Panthers opened the Valley with back to back road losses against the defending FCS title game participants ...

Cyclones seek to get back home, but must face #3 ...

  • #3 TCU at Iowa State 6:00 pm on ESPN2 - the Cyclones will hope to regroup back home, but the Horned Frogs are clearly not the program to play, when you are coming off a nasty 66-31 loss @ Texas Tech ...

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