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Big Ten Country: Week 2 Preview

Minnesota also needs better play from their QB. I don't think this team is beating Fresno in Fresno with just 18 pass attempts.

Moxie Sports lives in Big Ten county, the best god damn conference in the country. So we’ve decided to do attempt to do a Big Ten football preview each and every week. If you don’t see a specific game listed below, that means it is in the Picks Blog for CFB because it is a big game we wanted to highlight.

This week the Big Ten has some big match-ups on the docket. We have our first conference game, an SEC team visits Big Ten Country, a ranked ACC team visits Big Ten Country, Nebraska plays an old rival, an 11 win team from last year visits Michigan, and Minnesota heads out West. Let’s dig in and see what we got.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0) @ #20 Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) – 11:00 AM CST on FS1

  • Rutgers starting off HOT with a 48-21 win over UMass.
  • Iowa took awhile to get going but ran away with a 38-14 win over Miami (OH)
  • QB Nate Stanley passed for 252 YDS and 3 TDs on 70% completion percentage.
  • RB Mekhi Sargent had himself a day running for 91 YDs and 1 TD, he also led the team in receiving with 65 YDS.
  • Iowas defense held Rutgers to just 59 yards rushing and forced 1 turnover.
  • Rutgers meanwhile had a huge offensive explosion. QB McLane Carter threw for 340 YDS with 2 TDs and 3 INTS. RB Isaih Pacheco ran for 156 YDs and 4 TDs.
  • Rutgers got down early 21-7 in the first quarter but then exploded for 31 points in the 2nd quarter. Obviously, Rutgers defense held UMass scoreless for the final three quarters.
  • It was fun while it lasted Rutgers but Iowa is going to destroy them.
  • The only hope Rutgers has is that Iowa looks ahead to their match-up against Iowa State next week.
  • Iowa is favored by 20 points at home and I think they cover number.

Vanderbilt Commodores (0-1) @ Purdue Boilermakers (0-1) – 11:00 AM CST on BTN

  • Purdue had a heartbreaking loss to Nevada in Week 1 losing on a 56 yard FG as time expired.
  • Purdue’s passing offense was as advertised, QB Elijah Sindelar completed 34 passes for 423 YDS and 4 TDs. Sindelar did throw 2 INTs however.
  • WR Rondale Moore had himself a day and proved how good he is, he had 11 catches for 124 YDS and 1 TD.
  • Purdue was in control for most of this game but lost this game because of turnover. Sindelar threw 2 INTs and the Purdue lost another 3 fumbles. Nevada on the other hand, had 0 turnovers.
  • Purdue also couldn’t establish the run, they only ran for 96 YDS on just 3.3 YPC.
  • Vanderbilt opened up at home against Georgia and lost 30-6.
  • Not sure what you want to take from that game because Georgia is one of the top teams in the nation, and Vanderbilt it going to be one of the worst teams in the SEC.
  • Vandy only threw for 109 YDS and only ran for 116 YDS. Purdue almost gave up 300 YDS passing so maybe Vandy can find some success there.
  • This will be Purdue’s home opener and they are favored by 7.
  • I’ll take Purdue to get a big win here against an SEC team and over those 7 points.

Army Black Knights (1-0) @ #7 Michigan Wolverines (1-0) – 11:00 AM CST on FOX

  • Michigan won last week 40-21 over Middle Tennessee, debuting their new offense under Josh Gattis.
  • Shea Patterson was so-so going 17 for 29 and 203 YDs with 3 TDs. His first play from scrimmage he fumbled the ball that eventually led to a 7-0 Middle Tennessee lead early in the first quarter. It’s now being reported that Patterson was injured and couldn’t move like he wanted so the play calling was changed to help him out.
  • Dylan McCaffrey also played a big, throwing just 2 passes but he ran the ball for 42 YDs and a TD.
  • Speaking of the running game, Michigan got a good game out of Zach Charbonnet who ran for 90 YDS as a True Freshman.
  • On defense there are some issues for Michigan in the interior line. The LB core and DBs are still very good but the weakness to be exploited is in the middle for Michigan.
  • That middle can be exploited by Army who won last week against Rice 14-7. Army obviously doesn’t throw the ball, they only threw for 53 YDS and 1 TD on just 8 attempts.
  • Army ran for 234 YDS against Rice on 54 carries for 4.33 YPC. Michigan gave up 67 YDS on 28 carries, so we’ll see if Army can get the ground game going unlike Middle Tennessee was able to do.
  • Army did win 11 games last year and had that crazy game at Oklahoma where they almost won.
  • Oklahoma’s defense was absolute trash this year so I’m not sure they’re going to score 30+ against Michigan.
  • Currently Michigan is favored by 22.5 at home.
  • I will take Michigan and the points this week. I think Michigan might give up some points early against Army but really tightens down as the game goes on.
  • Just like the defense tightens, I think the offense struggles early but explodes late and Michigan finds a way to cover this game.

#21 Syracuse Orange (1-0) @ Maryland Terrapins (1-0) – 11:00 AM CST on ESPN

  • Maryland beat Howard 79-0 in Week 1. Not sure you can take anything from that.
  • Josh Jackson threw for 245 YDS and 4 TDs, while Maryland ran for 318 YDS on the ground.
  • Syracuse shutout Liberty, 24-0. The game was overshadowed by Hugh Freeze coaching from the booth in a fucking hospital bed. Nobody loves Hugh Freeze more than Hugh Freeze.
  • Syracuse was breaking in a new QB and it didn’t go so well for him. Tommy DeVito went 17 for 35 for 176 YDS and 2 INT.
  • The Orange won because of their running game, getting 192 YDS on the ground and all three TDs from that group.
  • What was more impressive was the Oranges defense. The Orange held Liberty to -4 yards rushing and forced 4 turnovers.
  • Although Maryland had a great passing offense in Week 1, they have been a run first team for awhile and they’re going to get a real test against a great DL Syracuse is bringing to Capital One Field in College Park.
  • Maryland did pull the upset of Texas two years in a row, but Texas is a much different team defensively than Syracuse.
  • Currently Maryland is actually favored by 2 points at home. I chalk that up to Syracuses’ poor offense and questions at QB.
  • This game actually opened up with Syracuse favored by 5 points.
  • This will be a huge win for B1G if Maryland can pull off this win and I think they get it done. I’ll take Maryland at home over a Syracuse team that will struggle on offense.

#25 Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) @ Colorado Buffaloes (1-0) – 2:30 PM CST on FOX

  • Nebraska had an iffy game against South Alabama winning 35-21.
  • 21 of their points came off of non-offensive TDs. It was only 14-7 going into the second half before the Cornhuskers scored their 3 TD on defense, and INT return, punt return, and fumble recovery in the end-zone.
  • On offense Nebraska ran for just 122 YDS. Adrian Martinez looked bad, going 13 for 22 for only 178 YDS and an INT.
  • Nebraska also turned the ball over 3 times but luckily for them, the defense forced 5 turnovers.
  • Colorado put up some points against Colorado St. winning 52-31.
  • Unlike Nebraska, the Colorado offense looked good. QB Steven Montez threw for 232 YDS and 2 TDs, while the Buffaloes also ran for 243 YDS behind Alex Fontenot who had 125 YDs and 3 TDs.
  • At the start of the year this game looked like an easy win for Nebraska but not, not so much.
  • Frankly if Nebraska plays like they did against South Alabama they are going to be blown out. Colorado is a big time school and although they were picked to finish at the back of the Pac 12, they do have talent and are MUCH better than South Alabama.
  • The line right now is favoring Nebraska by 3.
  • Last year Colorado won in Nebraska 33-28. So the question here is has Nebraska improved that much over Colorado in one year that they should be favored on the road?
  • This game is a huge toss up for me. I like Nebraska as a team with more talent, but they just looked so bad last week I can’t trust them.
  • I’ll go with Colorado and the points here.

Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0) @ Connecticut Huskies (1-0) – 2:30 PM CST on CBSS

  • Spicy little game here. Connecticut is a pathetic football program but they did win Week 1 24-21 of Wagner.
  • Illinois started out strong by beating Akron 42-3. Even though its Akron, it was still an impressive win for Lovie Smith and company.
  • Michigan transfer Brandon Peters threw for 163 YDS and 3 TDs. Illinois ran for 207 YDS behind a balanced attacked, three different guys scored a TD.
  • This shouldn’t be much of a game honestly, the Huskies are awful.
  • If Illinois can go 3-0 in non-conference play, they have a outside shot at getting to 6 wins if they can pull an upset during the year. And by upset I mean them winning at Minnesota or something like that.
  • Illinois is currently a 20 point favorite at Connecticut. Unbelievable that Illinois in 2019 is a 20 point favorite.
  • I’ll take them though, Connecticut sucks. Give me homeless Lovie and Fighting Illini.

Eastern Illinois Panthers (0-1) @ Indiana Hoosier (1-0) – 2:30 PM CST on BTN

  • Indiana did not look good last week against a bad Ball State team winning just 34-32. By the way, that game was played at Lucas Oil Stadium as a neutral game? How many people actually showed up to that.
  • QB Michael Penix had a rough game going 24 for 40 with 326 YDS, 1 TD, and 2 INTs. He did lead the team in rushing though, with 67 YDS.
  • Eastern Illinois lost to Chattanooga 24-10. They suck.
  • Indiana has a huge game against Ohio State next week, so hopefully Indiana doesn’t look ahead after a poor Week 1 performance.
  • There is currently no line for this game on Vegas Insiders, but I’ll take Indiana to win this game. Eastern Illinois is somehow probably worse than Ball State? No way Indiana doesn’t win this game comfortably.
  • Indiana also very much needs this game to make a bowl at the end of the year. Motivation.

Central Michigan Chippewas (1-0) @ Wisconsin Badgers (1-0) – 2:30 PM CST on BTN

  • Wisconsin went down to South Florida and absolutely manhandled them winning 49-0.
  • Jonathan Taylor scored 4 TDs to start off his Heisman campaign, and the Badgers defense looked like the unit of two years ago.
  • Central Michigan beat the Albany Great Danes 38-21.
  • Wisconsin and Michigan have big match-up on Sept. 21st but no need to look ahead here for the Badgers as they have a bye week during Week 3.
  • Central Michigan played some good rush defense against Albany only giving up 45 YDS but honestly, who cares.
  • Currently Wisconsin is favored by 35 points. Central Michigan is predicted to be one of the worst teams in the MAC this year, so I said Wisconsin adds 200+ yards to what Central gave up last week against Albany, and blows them out at home.
  • I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’ll take Wisconsin and the 35 points at home.

Buffalo Bulls (1-0) @ #15 Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0) – 6:30 PM CST on FOX

  • Penn State had zero push back last week, beating Idaho 79-7.
  • PSU passed for 342 YDS behind Sean Clifford who threw for 280 and 2 TDs. They also ran for 331 YDS behind Devyn Ford and his 107 YDS on just 6 carries.
  • PSU is going to get a better test this week going up against the Bulls who are one of the favorites in the MAC this year.
  • Buffalo beat Robert Morris 38-7.
  • They got a little help from the rushing game with 285 YDS and 3 TDs.
  • Meanwhile in the passing game the Bulls threw just 10 passes, completing 5 for 69 YDS and 2 TDs.
  • PSU has one of the best defenses in the country, and a phenomenal front seven. The Bulls are not running for almost 300 yards against PSU and that means they’ll have to throw the ball way more than 10 times.
  • Buffalo is going to be a much tougher test for PSU than Idaho was. Even so, PSU is still favored by 29.5 points and it was bet up from an opening 22 line.
  • Its hard to judge a team when they open with such a shitty opponent so I’m not sure what to think of PSU here. They have to replace so much production on offense but they have such a good defense to carry them along until the offense picks it up.
  • Can Penn State win by 30? Sure they can. But I’ll take Buffalo and the points here simple because I think Buffalo is a way, way better team than Idaho. Still don’t think this is much of a game though.

Western Michigan Broncos (1-0) @ #19 Michigan State Spartans (1-0) – 6:30 PM EST on BTN

  • Michigan St. struggled on offense against Tulsa in week one putting up just 28 points, but their defense was dominate holding Tulsa to -73 rushing yards. You read that right: NEGATIVE 73 rushing yards.
  • Western Michigan won in week one against Monmouth 48-13.
  • QB Jon Wassink was incredibly efficient fro the Broncos going 20 for 25 with 368 YDS and 5 TDs. If you’re going to beat MSU in MSU, passing the ball is the way to go.
  • MSU on offense was pretty dreadful. They only ran for 108 YDS, and QB Brian Lewerke only threw for 192.
  • MSU’s defense scored 9 points on the day, while the MSU offense only put up 7 points. Their other 12 points came four field goals.
  • It’s hard to say if Western Michigan or Tulsa will be better but at least on paper Western Michigan has a better passing attack.
  • Currently Michigan St. is favored by 16 points at home. As bad as their offense was last week, I think I’d take Michigan St. and the points because of how dominate their defense is.
  • Mark Dantonio came out and bashed his team, mostly the offense, in a press conference the other day and I think they show up big time this week.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0) @ Fresno State Bulldogs (0-1) – 9:30 PM CST on CBSS

  • Minnesota is coming off of a very close win against a good South Dakota St. team, they won 28-21 after being down 21-20 heading into the 4th quarter.
  • Minnesota only threw the ball 18 times during the game for 176 yards. Stud WR Rashod Bateman had 132 of those yards and a sick one-handed TD catch.
  • Minnesota also only ran for 137 yards behind 92 from Rodney Smith.
  • Fresno St. meanwhile lost at USC but played them tough, even after losing a ton of talent from a team that won double digit games in 2018.
  • Fresno St. passed for 256 YDS and ran for another 207 YDS.
  • QB Jorge Reyna got his first start under his belt, completing just 48.7% of his passes but did throw for 2 TDs and just 1 INT.
  • Based on last week, Minnesota’s defense is going to have to toughen up on the road. Minnesota gave up 174 yards on 34 attempts against SDSU.
  • Fresno St. just got done running for 207 YDS on 29 carries against USC. If Minnesota doesn’t tighten up, it’s going to be a long day for their defense.
  • Minnesota also needs better play from their QB. I don’t think this team is beating Fresno in Fresno with just 18 pass attempts.
  • One of the main reasons Minnesota won last week is because they won the turnover battler, 2-1, and one of those turnovers was returned for a TD.
  • Currently Minnesota is favored by 3 points on the road. Given how both teams played last week, I’d take Fresno State to win this game outright. Minnesota needs to play better.
Maryland QB Josh Jackson handing the ball off Week 1 via (AP/Julio Cortez)
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