• Michigan and the Gophers have byes heading into their Halloween night game at TCF Bank Stadium. First, Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines play Michigan State this week. The Wolverines will be home, where they just clobbered Northwestern 38-0. “Their defensive front is fast and physical and big and powerful,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “It looked like they dominated the 6-inch war [along the line of scrimmage] today.”
• With Iowa visiting Evanston on Saturday, Northwestern will wear black throwback jerseys from the 1995 Rose Bowl game. Fitzgerald said it’s a key game because Iowa “is in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten West.” Iowa has the division’s lone unbeaten conference mark (2-0) and has a favorable schedule. After this, Iowa plays Maryland, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and Nebraska.
• Penn State has the nation’s 11th-ranked scoring defense (14.3 points per game) heading into Saturday’s game at Ohio State. One key for the Nittany Lions has been senior defensive end Carl Nassib, a former walk-on who never even started a game in high school. He leads the Big Ten with 10 sacks and has five forced fumbles. His older brother, Ryan, is the former Syracuse quarterback who now backs up Eli Manning with the Giants.