Big Ten Football Preview: Week 3




Sept. 17, 2009

 


(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Indiana at Akron
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • 3:30 p.m. ET • Akron, Ohio • InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field (30,000)
ESPNU • Announcers: Todd Harris, Charles Arbuckle

Series: Indiana leads 1-0 • Last Meeting: Sept. 15, 2007: Indiana 41, Akron 24


(1-1, 0-0 MAC East)

Owners of a 2-0 mark, Indiana enters Saturday looking for its second-straight win over a MAC team and over Akron, after topping the Zips, 41-24, in Bloomington in 2007.  The Hoosiers will enter the third week with an undefeated record for the sixth straight season, while 1-1 Akron enters on the heels of a 41-0 shutout over Morgan State.  The Zips dropped a 31-7 decision at Penn State in the season opener.

Despite squeaking out another victory last week in a 23-19 contest over Western Michigan, Indiana enters the weekend coming off a very balanced offensive attack.  The Hoosiers threw for 185 yards and rushed for 187, including a career-high 134 yards from senior Demetrius McCray, who leads the team with a 6.1 yards-per-carry average.  In addition to an 18-of-28 passing performance for 185 yards by Ben Chappell, the Hoosiers implemented the Wildcat formation with Mitchell Evans.  The junior wideout, who filled in at QB last season, rushed six times for 35 yards and threw one pass in 11 snaps behind center.  As a wideout, Evans caught two balls for 31 yards. He even made two tackles on special teams.  On defense, Akron returns six starters from last season and so far as picked off three passes, recovered one fumble, and recorded two sacks in 2009. Redshirt freshman middle linebacker Brian Wagner paces the team with 18 tackles and 10 solos to go along with one sack, one interception and two forced fumbles. Sophomore strong-side linebacker Aaron Williams is right behind Wagner with 16 tackles and leads the team with three tackles for loss.

The Zips' offense have nine returning starters and is led by senior QB Chris Jacquemain, who has thrown for 320 yards with four touchdowns and one interception this year. Jacquemain has completed 26-of-44 passes (.591) and owns a 145.64 passing efficiency, with his most success coming to Deryn Bowser.  The third-team All-MAC wideout from a year ago has hauled in all four touchdown receptions for the Zips and leads the team with 149 yards and 11 catches.  Senior Jeremy Bruce has seven catches for 72 yards.  In addition to its 172 passing yards per game, Akron is averaging 139 yards on the ground. Sophomore Dale Martin leads the backs with 64 yards on just six carries, all of which came against Morgan State, while senior Alex Allen has the team's lone rushing score with 52 yards on 18 attempts.  Indiana's defense has turned in its version of the "Last Stand" the past two weeks, forcing a fumble inside the 10-yard line to preserve both wins in the final minutes of play.  Linebacker Will Patterson (14 total tackles), cornerback Ray Fisher (13) and linebacker Matt Mayberry (11) lead an IU defensive unit that is allowing 272 yards in the air and just 61 on the ground.


 


(2-0, 0-0 Pac-10)

Arizona at Iowa
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • 2:30 p.m. CT • Iowa City, Iowa • Kinnick Stadium (70,585)
ABC • Announcers: Mike Patrick, Craig James, Heather Cox

Series: Arizona leads 6-5 • Last Meeting: Sept. 19, 1998: Arizona 35, Iowa 11


(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Unfortunately for Arizona or Iowa, a winning streak will be halted on Saturday.  Dating back to the 2009 Outback Bowl, the Hawkeyes have claimed six straight games, while Arizona has captured four in a row, which included a victory at the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl.  Between the two teams, the Wildcats hold a slim 6-5 advantage in a series that dates back to 1966.  It's been 11 years since the two teams met, which Arizona won by snapping a three-game Iowa win streak with a 35-11 victory in Tucson.

The Hawkeyes used a balanced attack to overpower Iowa State last week with 191 yards on the ground and 235 through the air.  Ricky Stanzi threw for four touchdowns and 197 yards on 18-of-34 passing, while freshman running back Brandon Wegher gained 101 yards on 15 carries.  His classmate Adam Robinson is currently sixth in the Big Ten with 66.0 yards rushing per game. Tight ends Tony Moeaki and Allen Reisner have also combined for 13 receptions and two touchdowns.  As a team, Iowa has gotten it done when it counts, converting 8-of-13 third downs and capitalizing on all but one of six occasions in the red zone.  Arizona is allowing a modest 204.0 yards per game with just 70.5 on the ground.  The Wildcats' defense is 15th-best in the nation and has given up an average of 11.5 points over two games.  Senior linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka leads the way with 12 tackles and one interception, followed by senior cornerback Devin Ross with 11. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Trevin Wade, who posted his second career two-interception game last week against Northern Arizona, has six picks in 15 career games.

Arizona's offense ranks fifth-best in the country with 503.5 total yards per game.  Most of that yardage, 305.5 to be exact, comes from the ground.  The Wildcats put up 365 rushing yards last week, led by Nic Grigsby and a career-high 207 rushing yards. Quarterbacks Matt Scott (14-of-20, 150 yards) and Nick Foles (6-of-8, 44) each tossed a touchdown pass and combined for a 71 percent completion rate last week, while neither was sacked. Terrell Turner leads the team with 11 receptions and 50.5 receiving yards per game.  Returning All-American tight end Rob Gronkowski has not played this season, but is listed as the starter against the Hawkeyes.  Iowa is second in the conference in scoring defense (9.5 ppg) and sixth in total defense (328.5 ypg).  The Hawkeyes will look to stop the Wildcats' rushing attack with Brett Greenwood and Pat Angerer leading the way, averaging 9.5 and 8.0 tackles per game, respectively.  In last week's win, the Hawkeyes snatched five interceptions for the first time since a 59-0 shutout win over Illinois in 1985.  Greenwood had two picks on the year, but the Hawkeye making headlines was co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Tyler Sash.  Last week the freshman equaled a school record with three interceptions while adding a team-best 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble to lead Iowa to a road victory at Iowa State. 

 


 


(0-2, 0-0 MAC)

Eastern Michigan at No. 25/- Michigan
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • Noon ET • Ann Arbor, Mich. • Michigan Stadium (106,201)
Big Ten Network • Announcers: Wayne Larrivee, Chris Martin, Charissa Thompson

Series: Michigan leads 8-0 • Last Meeting: Oct. 6, 2007: Michigan 33, Eastern Michigan 22


(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Michigan is back in the top 25 rankings where it belongs, albeit on the cusp at No. 25 following a thrilling 38-34 win over Notre Dame last week.  Eastern Michigan, which has yet to taste victory against the Wolverines in eight contests dating back to 1896, is facing its second straight Big Ten opponent, having fallen at Northwestern in the final seconds by a score of 27-24. U-M has outscored EMU by a 251-42 margin, with six of those previous eight matchups being shutouts.  Michigan Stadium is an intimidating place for opposing teams, but Saturday's contest isn't so much of a true road game for EMU.  The Eagles' campus is located just seven miles from Ann Arbor.

Tate Forcier, the current Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, racked up 310 yards of total offense in his second career start, leading Michigan to the game-winning score over nationally ranked Notre Dame.  The true freshman quarterback completed 23-of-33 passes (.697) for 240 yards and two touchdowns and also added 70 yards on 13 carries with another score.  Forcier is second in the league in total offense (263.0 ypg) and pass efficiency (161.7), seventh in passing (209.5 ypg) and ninth in rushing (53.5 ypg).  Other offensive highlights last week included sophomore wide receiver Darryl Stonum's 94-yard kick return for a touchdown, senior wideout Greg Mathews' game-winning touchdown catch, and senior Brandon Minor's fifth 100-yard rushing effort of his career.  Eastern Michigan, which has not defeated a Big Ten opponent over the last 25 games, nearly ended that skid by jumping out to a 21-0 advantage on Northwestern.  But the defense allowed the Wildcats back in the game and ultimately gave up the win. Marty Cardwell and Andre' Hatchett each had 12 stops apiece.

In the loss to Northwestern, EMU senior quarterback Andy Schmitt completed 20-of-28 passing for 148 yards and one touchdown. After opening the season with eight catches for 97 yards in the season opener against Army, senior wide receiver Jacory Stone turned in seven receptions for 61 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass last week. He has hauled in 163 passes for 1,662 yards and eight touchdowns in his 38-game EMU career.  Junior running back Dwayne Priest gained 127 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown last week, marking just his second career game over the century mark in rushing yards.  Michigan rates just 10th in the conference against the pass (299.5 ypg), but that also stems from defending the aerial attack of Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen last week.  The Wolverines are giving up 395.5 total yards per game - ninth best in the league - but ranks second against red zone offense, allowing just four scores in seven tries.  Junior linebacker Obi Ezeh leads the team with 7.5 stops per game, while Donovan Warren has four pass breakups on the year.


 


(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

Michigan State at Notre Dame
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • 3:30 p.m. ET • Notre Dame, Ind. • Notre Dame Stadium (80,795)
NBC • Announcers: Tom Hammond, Pat Haden, Alex Flanagan

Series: Notre Dame leads 44-27-1 • Last Meeting: Sept. 20, 2008: Michigan State 23, N.D. 7


(1-1 Independent)

Both Michigan State and Notre Dame felt confident they would each enter Week 3 undefeated at 2-0.  Well, Notre Dame was surprised by a determined Michigan ballclub last week, falling 38-34 in the final seconds, while the Spartans were shocked in the last three seconds of the game by Central Michigan, 29-27.  Both teams unquestionably disappointed, now are refocused on one of their big rivalry games of the season.  Of the 72 previous meetings between the two, the Irish hold a 44-27-1 lead in the series, but have dropped each of the last two, including last year's meeting, 23-7, in East Lansing. Michigan State has won nine of the past 12 games in the series, including six consecutive wins in Notre Dame Stadium.

Michigan State enters the weekend with the Big Ten's third-best scoring offense (35.5) and seventh-best total offense (404.5).  Kirk Cousins has appeared to win over the starting role for Mark Dantonio, as he was 13-of-18 for 164 yards and a touchdown last week.  Keith Nichol, who has also been playing under center for MSU, was 3-of-8 passing for 51 yards and a score. Blair White recorded his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game with 105 yards on seven catches.  Caulton Ray (16 carries, 53 yards) and Larry Caper (6, 33) helped lead the Spartans in the backfield. Notre Dame allowed just three touchdowns in the opening quarter over the entire 2008 season and just one over the final nine games of the year, but Michigan scored 14 points to grab a 14-3 advantage after the first 15 minutes of the contest last week.  The Irish, who allowed Michigan 430 yards of total offense, did manage to register 10.0 tackles for loss - the most since 2005.  Harrison Smith led the Irish with 11 tackles in the game, while Kyle McCarthy had nine stops and an interception.

The Notre Dame offense was impressive against the Wolverines last week, posting 490 total yards -- the most ever by an Irish squad in the all-time series with Michigan.  In fact, with the 510 yards Notre Dame posted in the first game of the season, the 1,000 yards are the most over the first two weeks of a season since the Irish registered 1,051 yards of total offense to open the 1974 campaign. Notre Dame is the only offense among all 120 FBS schools that has a running back, wideout, and quarterback among the top 25 in their respective categories. Sophomore WR Michael Floyd ranks second in receiving (160.0 ypg), junior QB Jimmy Clausen ranks eighth in passing (325.5 ypg) and junior RB Armando Allen ranks 23rd in rushing (105.5 ypg).  Allen will face a tough rush defense Saturday as Michigan State held CMU to 66 yards rushing, marking back-to-back games the Spartans allowed less than 100 rushing yards.  Senior linebacker Greg Jones continues to dominate with a Big Ten-best 29 tackles on the year and 1.5 sacks.


 


(2-0, 0-0 Pac-10)

No. 8/T7 California at Minnesota
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • 11 a.m. CT • Minneapolis, Minn. • TCF Bank Stadium (50,720)
ESPN • Announcers: Dave Pasch, Bob Griese, Chris Spielman

Series: California leads 3-2 • Last Meeting: Sept. 9, 2006: California 42, Minnesota 17


(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Minnesota proudly opened its new TCF Bank Stadium last Saturday with a 20-13 win over Air Force.  The Golden Gophers have now had to come from behind to defeat both Syracuse and the Falcons to earn their two victories on the season.  Things get tougher now as No. 7/8 California travels to Minneapolis.  The Golden Bears hold a slight 3-2 advantage over Minnesota in the all-time series and own the last meeting between the two teams, which occurred back in 2006 at Berkeley by a score of 42-17.

The Gophers continue to dominate the passing game, throwing for 233.5 of their 353.5 yards of total offense each game.  Adam Weber is 39-of-71 through the air this year, with his lead receiver being Eric Decker.  Already this season Decker has 19 receptions for 148 yards per game, both numbers ranking first in the Big Ten and third in the nation.  Duane Bennett has carried the ball 23 times for 105 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per rush. Defensively, the Bears are 36th in the nation in total defense (269.0 ypg), 18th in scoring defense (10 ppg) and sixth in sacks (4.5). Mychal Kendricks is tied for fifth in the nation and is tops among all Pac-10 defenders in tackles, averaging 13.0 per game.   

Cal's offense has been hitting all the right notes through the first two games.  The Bears have tilted the scoreboard, outscoring Maryland and Eastern Washington by a combined score of 111-20. Cal's 55.5 points-per-game average ranks third in the country, while its 293.0 rushing yards is sixth. Running back Jahvid Best, who is averaging 140.5 yards per game, sits sixth in the nation and second among Pac-10 rushers. Quarterback Kevin Riley has tossed five touchdowns so far and is an accurate 30-of-46 in the air.  He currently ranks eighth in the nation in pass efficiency.  The Gophers have had the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week each of the past two weeks, including last week's impressive performance by Nate Triplett - both the Walter Camp Football Foundation and FWAA/Nagurski National Player of Week. Triplett recorded a career-high 17 tackles and returned a fumble 52 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as Minnesota bested Air Force.  He also had 12 solo tackles and a pass break up in the contest.  Senior Cedric McKinley led all Gopher defensive linemen with six total tackles last week, including one tackle-for-loss.  Minnesota is allowing 321.5 total yards each game.


 


(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Northwestern at Syracuse
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • 6 p.m. CT • Syracuse, N.Y. • Carrier Dome (49,262)

Series: Tied at 4-4 • Last Meeting: Aug. 31, 2008: Northwestern 30, Syracuse 10


(0-2, 0-0 Big East)

After this Saturday, Syracuse might just be done facing the Big Ten.  Well, technically they will be, but the Orange have lost to Big Ten opponents in the first two weeks - Minnesota (23-20 in overtime) and Penn State (28-7).  Now they face Northwestern, a squad that squeaked out a close one last week against Eastern Michigan, needing a 49-yard field goal with six seconds left to win 27-24.  The Wildcats and Orange are tied 4-4 in the all-time series and Syracuse owns a 2-0 advantage in the Carrier Dome.

If the NU offense and defense take off like it did last week, the Wildcats will have no problem whatsoever.  Northwestern stormed out to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter. QB Mike Kafka finished 14-of-24 passing for 158 yards and added 21 additional yards on the ground.  Stephen Simmons scored a pair of touchdowns en route to a career-best 196 all-purpose yards.  NU is second in the Big Ten in scoring offense (37.0) and fourth in rushing offense (203.0).  Wideout Andrew Brewer is seventh in the conference with 70.5 receiving yards per outing.  Question is... how with the NU offense finish?  On defense, SU senior linebacker Derrell Smith has recorded 16 tackles, including 1.5 TFL's, two pass deflections and a fumble recovery. The Orange rank 42nd nationally in run defense, having allowed just 95.0 rushing yards per game.

As for the Syracuse offense, the Orange have been paced this season by quarterback Greg Paulus, who has completed 33-of-51 passes (.647) for 272 yards, a pair of touchdowns, but three interceptions as well. Running back Delone Carter leads the Orange ground attack with 128 yards (3.4 ypc) and a TD in two games.  Carter is 22 yards shy of becoming the 29th Syracuse back to gain more than 1,000 rushing yards. Senior wide receiver Mike Williams extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception last week to 22. He had five catches for 54 yards in the loss to Penn State.  Contributing to the Wildcats' impressive start last week was linebacker Ben Johnson, who returned an interception 70 yards for a score.  Safety Brendan Smith's 12 tackles led Northwestern last week and equaled a personal single-game best, while also tying a career high with seven assisted tackles.  Linebacker Nate Williams' seven solo tackles led NU and also was a personal single-game best.  Junior Quentin Davie is the team's leading tackler for the season with an average of 8.5 stops per contest.


 


(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

No. 11/11 Ohio State vs. Toledo
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • Noon ET • Cleveland, Ohio • Browns Stadium (73,200)
ESPN Plus • Announcers: Michael Reghi, Doug Chapman

Series: Ohio State leads 1-0 • Last Meeting: Sept. 12, 1998: Ohio State 49, Toledo 0


(1-1, 0-0 MAC West)

It's been more than a decade since Ohio State shutout Toledo, 49-0, in Columbus in the first meeting between the two teams.  Now 11 years later, the Buckeyes and Rockets meet again, this time on a neutral field at Cleveland's Browns Stadium, although Toledo will be deemed the home team.  Ohio State enters off a heartbreaking 18-15 home loss against USC, while Toledo storms into the weekend on the heels of an impressive and high-scoring 54-38 victory over Colorado.  Ohio State is 24-1 all-time against MAC schools with its lone loss coming to Akron in 1894.

Saturday's contest features two talented quarterbacks, including Toledo's Aaron Opelt and Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor.  More on Opelt later, but Pryor has guided the Buckeye offense well this season, posting 208.5 yards of total offense.  He is 9-2 and has accounted for 20 of Ohio State's 36 offensive touchdowns (.555) since becoming the starting QB last year.  Last week against USC, Pryor passed for 177 yards and rushed for 36 yards.  In his last four games, sophomore tailback Dan "Boom" Herron has rushed for 226 yards with five touchdowns on 48 carries -- an average of 4.7 yards per carry. Wide receiver DeVier Posey had career highs with 81 receiving yards on six catches.  Defensively, the Rockets forced four Buffalo turnovers and notched three sacks in last week's win.  Junior linebacker Archie Donald, senior safety Barry Church and freshman cornerback Daxton Swanson led the Rockets with eight tackles apiece. Church added an interception while junior defensive end Douglas Westbrook picked off his third pass of the season.

Toledo's potent offensive attack leads the MAC in scoring offense (42.5 ppg), passing (371 ypg), rushing (187.5 ypg), total offense (558.5 ypg) and first downs (47).  The Rockets logged 624 yards of total offense last week and are led by Opelt, who tops the nation in total offense with 437 yards per game. He has completed 56-of-90 passes for 742 yards and seven touchdowns, good for a 152.70 pass efficiency rating. Two of his receivers --  Eric Page and Stephen Williams - are both tied for eighth nationally with 15 catches through two games. Running back DaJuane Collins leads Toledo and is second in the MAC with 93.5 yards per game on the ground.  What is interesting about Saturday's matchup is that Ohio State's defensive squads have held opponents to fewer than 21 points - more than half of Toledo's 43 points-per-game average - an impressive 40 times since 2006, the best among FBS teams.  Against the Trojans last week, OSU's defense did not allow a first down until the 13:15 mark of the second quarter and held the Trojans to only five yards of total offense on its first three possessions. The previous week, USC totaled 620 yards of total offense against San Jose State.  Brian Rolle paces the Buckeyes with 8.5 tackles per game, while Kurt Coleman and Ross Homan each average 7.0 stops per outing.


 


(0-1, 0-0 MACEast)

Temple at No. T5/5 Penn State
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • Noon ET • University Park, Pa. • Beaver Stadium (107,282)
Big Ten Network • Announcers: Ari Wolfe, Anthony Herron, Kenny Jackson

Series: Penn State leads 34-3-1 • Last Meeting: Sept. 20, 2008: Penn State 45, Temple 3


(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Penn State has defeated Temple in 34 of the previous 38 meetings and the Nittany Lions are poised to move to 3-0 on the season.  Having ousted the Owls 45-3 last year, Penn State has already outscored its opponents by a count of 59-14 in 2009. Under head coach Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions are a perfect 25-0 against the Owls.

Penn State's offense has been paced so far by senior QB Daryll Clark and junior tailback Evan Royster.  Clark is 49-of-71 for 593 yards and six touchdowns in two contests, while Royster is the Nittany Lions' leading rusher with 102 yards on 26 carries. He also hauled in a pair of receptions last week for a career-high 61 yards, including a 49-yard TD pass from Clark.  Junior wideout Graham Zug is the top receiver with 141 yards on 11 receptions and two touchdowns.  Paterno noted this week that he was a little concerned of his team's play around the goal line last week, losing one of two fumbles on a botched snap inside the 1.  Temple's defense has improved dramatically over the past three years.  The Owls, who allowed 41.3 points in 2006, led the nation with an 18.2 difference, allowing just 23.1 points in 2008.  Temple currently ranks No. 2 nationally in sacks (5.00) and No. 3 in tackles for loss (11.00).  Amara Kamara leads the way with nine total tackles, followed by Kevin Kroboth with eight.

The Owls are hoping their offense will fire immediately as the team has been idle for 16 days since opening the 2009 season with a 27-24 loss to Villanova. Redshirt junior QB Vaughn Charlton went 19-of-28 for a career-high 317 yards and two touchdowns. Junior WR Michael Campbell scored his first TD and led the receivers with 93 yards on five catches. On the ground, sophomore RB Kee-ayre Griffin gained 70 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.  Though having played in only one game, the Owls are first nationally in sacks allowed (0.00, 12th in passing offense (317.00). The bad news is is that Penn State ranks ninth in scoring defense (7.00), 10th in rushing defense (46.50), and 11th in tackles for loss (9.50).  Linebacker Sean Lee, who is currently tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 10.0 tackles per game, notched 13 stops against Syracuse, including three for loss and one sack.


 


(1-1, 0-0 MAC West)

Northern Illinois at Purdue
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • Noon ET • West Lafayett e, Ind. • Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500)
Big Ten Network • Announcers: Craig Coshun, Rod Woodson, Larra Overton

Series: First Meeting


(1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

Northern Illinois and Purdue are set for battle for the very first time and both will be looking for the coveted "W" on Saturday.  The Boilermakers missed out on a heartbreaker last week, falling 38-36 at Oregon.  NIU dropped a season-opening contest to Wisconsin, but bounced back to defeat Western Illinois.  The Boilers are 37-7-1 all-time against MAC schools.

Purdue's offense has not been lacking one bit. The Boilers enter the third week of the season leading the Big Ten in total offense (493.0 ypg) and scoring (44.0 ppg), and are second in rushing (242.5 ypg).  The majority of the rushing attack as been from sophomore Ralph Bolden, whose 357 yards rushing on 50 carries not only leads the Football Bowl Subdivision, but marks the best start to a year by any Boiler running back in school history.  Bolden, who carried 28 times for 123 yards in last week's loss to the Ducks, also hauled in a career-high three receptions for 52 yards, including a career-long 22-yarder for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.  Quarterback Joey Elliott had a career day in Eugene as well, throwing for personal bests in completions (24), attempts (41) and passing yards (266). Defensively, the Huskies are allowing only 328 yards of total offense per game thus far.  In its two games this year, NIU has allowed only 3.5 yards per carry, while Purdue is currently averaging 5.8 per rush.   Tracy Wilson has 21 tackles on the year, followed by Mike Sobol (15), Pat Schiller (12) and Alex Kube (11).

The Northern Illinois offense presents a balanced attack, having averaged 172 yards rushing and 162.5 yards passing through two games.  Tailback Me'co Brown leads the way with 181 yards on 25 carries (7.2 ypc) and one touchdown, while QB Chandler Harnish has completed 25-of-38 passes (.655) and thrown for 317 yards and two scores with no interceptions.  The Huskies have also not been shy about putting points on the board, totaling 61 in their first two games.  Defensively, Purdue's nine tackles for loss against Oregon were the most since the Boilers finished with nine stops behind the line against Central Michigan in the 2007 Motor City Bowl.  Purdue has made a significant difference in its pass defense, having allowed 423 yards to Toledo and only 163 passing yards to Oregon last week.  Additionally, the Purdue defensive held a Duck offense that finished seventh nationally last season with an average of 484.85 yards per game (including 503 against the Boilermakers) to just 356 total markers last Saturday.  Linebacker Jason Werner leads the Boilermakers with 19 total tackles this season, 16 of which are solo stops.


 


(1-1, 0-0 Southern)

Wofford at Wisconsin
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 • 11 a.m. CT • Madison, Wis. • Camp Randall Stadium (80,321)
Big Ten Network • Announcers: Matt Devlin, Glen Mason, Jay Wilson

Series: First Meeting


(2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

After a thrilling 34-31 double-overtime win over Fresno State last week, Wisconsin stays at home for the third straight Saturday to face Wofford - a team that has yet to play against a Big Ten school.  The Terriers are members of the Southern Conference and enter on the heels of a 42-14 victory over Charleston Southern. This will be the first meeting between Wofford and Wisconsin on the football field. The two teams did meet in 2007 on the basketball court, with the Badgers winning 70-43.

Through his first two games, UW quarterback Scott Tolzien has thrown for 482 yards and two touchdowns.  He ranks fourth in the Big Ten in passing and pass efficiency with a 156.4 rating. Isaac Anderson (85.0 ypg) and Garrett Graham (65.5 ypg) rank sixth and 10th, respectively in conference receiving yards.  Sophomore John Clay leads the team and is second in the league with 93.0 rushing yards per game and three touchdowns.  UW owns the fourth-best offense in the Big Ten, racking up 423.0 yards of total offense each game.  Wofford brought back five starters on defense, led by first team All-SoCon defensive lineman Mitch Clark and sophomore linebacker Mike Niam. In 2008, the defense was 10th in the nation among FCS teams with 34 sacks.  Clark led the team last year with eight of those sacks, which was the eighth most in school history, and both Ricco Braxton and SeQuan Stanley have two sacks apiece this season.  Niam has posted a team-high 22 tackles so far this year, including 13 solo stops.

The Wofford offense has put up an average of 340 yards of total offense each game this year, but depend mightily on the run in its wingbone offense, led by sophomore quarterback Mitch Allen and backs Mike Rucker, Sean Lees and Eric Breitenstein.  Only 54.5 yards are averaged through the air, with the rest coming from the ground by committee.  Breitenstein (93.5 ypg), Allen (73.5) and Rucker (56.5) help make up the remaining 285.5 yards the Terriers account for each time out.  Allen has only thrown 18 times, completing seven attempts, and totaling 95 yards with a touchdown.  Devin Reed leads the squad in receiving with just three receptions and 36 yards.  The Terriers also return a stout offensive line that allowed only five sacks last year, which was best in the nation among FCS squads.  Currently, the Badgers have five sacks on the year and are ninth in the Big Ten against the run, allowing 139.5 rushing yards per game.  Wisconsin's Jaevery McFadden and O'Brien Schofield are averaging 9.0 stops per game, while Schofield has also notched 6.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks.

 


 

 

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