College Football Insider: Big weekend for the Big Ten

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 13, 2013 - 12:27 AM

In Saturday showdowns, conference has a chance to shine – or crumble.

hide

A missed field goal contributed to Nebraska’s stunning 36-30 loss to UCLA last year. The No. 23 Cornhuskers face No. 16 UCLA again on Saturday.

Photo: File photo by Mark J. Terrill • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

In many ways, last year’s Big Ten season was defined by Week 2.

Its teams went 0-3 against Pac-12 opponents that week, as Arizona State crushed Illinois, Oregon State upset Wisconsin and UCLA stunned Nebraska.

The Big Ten basically never recovered, closing the season with just one team — postseason-ineligible Ohio State — ranked in the top 15.

Two weeks into a new season, Big Ten teams haven’t had many chances to truly distinguish themselves. The conference is a combined 21-3, but most of those wins have come against cream puffs, with Michigan’s victory over Notre Dame the most notable exception.

This Saturday, the conference has a chance to show something again, especially with four games against Pac-12 opponents.

“There’s certain weekends of the year that you can change the perception,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “As you look at the schedule, this is one of those weeks.”

Iowa has a chance to avenge last year’s Week 2 loss to Iowa State on Saturday, but the Pac-12 showdowns are particularly intriguing. A closer look:

No. 16 UCLA (1-0) at No. 23 Nebraska (2-0), 11 a.m., Ch. 5

Last year’s 36-30 loss to UCLA in Pasadena was a nightmare for Nebraska, as the defense surrendered 653 yards. Later in the season, that nightmare recurred in losses to Ohio State, Wisconsin and Georgia.

“We missed a lot of tackles [last year], which really hurt us,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said.

Nebraska’s defense looked terrible again in its opener against Wyoming but improved some last week against Southern Miss. The Cornhuskers might be relieved that UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin headed for the NFL after rushing for 217 yards against them last year. But his replacement, Jordon James, rushed for 155 yards in Week 1 against Nevada.

Illinois (2-0) vs. No. 19 Washington (1-0), 5 p.m., BTN

Illinois is the surprise of the Big Ten after upsetting Cincinnati 45-17 last week. Now the Illini head to Soldier Field to face a Washington team that opened the season with a win over then-No. 19 Boise State 38-6.

Illinois went 2-10 last year, but senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase looks like a completely different player. Coach Tim Beckman said the main reason is health. “Last year, he got injured in the first game and really fought through it,” Beckman said. “His knee was a lot worse than people thought.”

 

No. 3 Ohio State (2-0) at Cal (1-1), 6 p.m., Ch. 9

Cal went 3-9 last year and still gave the Buckeyes a 35-28 scare in Columbus. This time, the Buckeyes travel to Berkeley, where the Bears opened the season with a hard-fought 44-30 loss to Northwestern.

The Buckeyes have a terrific defense, but new Cal coach Sonny Dykes and true freshman quarterback Jared Goff will challenge them with their air raid offense.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close