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Continued: College Football Insider: Big weekend for the Big Ten

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

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is questionable with sprained left knee, but the offense didn’t miss a beat last week with backup Kenny Guiton.

No. 20 Wisconsin (2-0) at Arizona State (1-0), 9:30 p.m., ESPN

The Badgers trampled UMass and Tennessee Tech by a combined 93-0, but their fans will learn a lot more this week. The same goes for Arizona State, which won its only game 55-0 over Sacramento State.

Big Ten teams have gone 0-8 at Sun Devil Stadium over the years, with most of them wilting in the heat. The forecast calls for a high of 101 degrees in Tempe on Saturday, and it’ll still be in the mid-90s for kickoff.

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen had his team travel to Phoenix on Thursday, one day earlier than normal, to help acclimate.

BIG TEN SHORT TAKES

• Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald hails from the Chicago suburbs and played linebacker on the Wildcats’ 1996 Rose Bowl team, so it’s hard to imagine him leaving. But if Texas fires Mack Brown, or if USC fires Lane Kiffin, all bets are off.

The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein wrote that Texas and USC are the only two landing spots that make sense for Fitzgerald, beyond Evanston. He’s had recruiting success in Texas, and USC athletic director Pat Haden is said to be a big fan.

• Iowa is 6-8 against Iowa State under coach Kirk Ferentz, and both teams need a victory Saturday.

The Hawkeyes got 180 rushing yards from Mark Weisman last week as they ended a seven-game losing streak against Missouri State. The Cyclones had a bye week after losing to Northern Iowa, from the FCS, in Week 1.

• Michigan State has played three quarterbacks this season with little success, and that number could grow to four this week. Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press wrote, “Not only do I believe [true freshman] Damion Terry will play Saturday against Youngstown State, I’ll throw out this prediction: Terry starts Oct. 5 at Iowa.”



BIG TEN POWER POLL

1. Michigan (2-0): The Devin Gardner to Jeremy Gallon connection was unstoppable against Notre Dame.

2. Ohio State (2-0): Braxton Miller’s backup, Kenny Guiton, could start for half of these Big Ten teams.

3. Wisconsin (2-0): Key stretch coming vs. Arizona State (road), Purdue, Ohio State (road) and Northwestern.

4. Northwestern (2-0): The Wildcats are 15-4 in their past 19 games, including wins this year over Cal and Syracuse.

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