Bouncing around the Big Ten: Iowa, Minnesota gearing up to open Big Ten play - Mitchell Republic

Bouncing around the Big Ten: Iowa, Minnesota gearing up to open Big Ten play – Mitchell Republic

Minnesota and Iowa rolled to wins last week, while Nebraska got blown out by Oklahoma at home. Here’s a look at Iowa and Minnesota’s games this week, as Nebraska goes on a bye, as well as a look around the rest of the conference.

Iowa travels to Rutgers for first Big Ten game

The Hawkeyes (2-1) started the year by barely defeating FCS foe South Dakota State 7-3 with two safeties and a field goal rather than one touchdown. After falling to Iowa State 10-7, Iowa’s offense finally struck the right chord in last week’s 27-0 win over Nevada, as Kaleb Johnson ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries.

Then there are the Scarlet Knights (3-0), who dropped 66 points on FCS Wagner two weeks ago but squeaked by Temple 16-14 last Saturday without an offensive touchdown. Rutgers only managed 59 passing yards, instead winning with three field goals and a pick-6 by Shaquan Loyal.

Rutgers must cope with a Hawkeyes defense tied for second in FBS with 13 total points allowed, including just one touchdown. And Iowa — which ranks last among 131 FBS teams with 217.7 yards per game — now faces a Rutgers defense allowing 240.3 per game, 10th in the nation.

Two Rutgers quarterbacks will be game-time decisions, Schiano said: Gavin Wimsatt, who came up limping early in the Temple game and did not return, and senior Noah Vedral, who’s yet to play this year while recovering from an upper-body injury. Evan Simon started and took most of the snaps against Temple.

The game is set to get started at 6 pm from Piscataway.

Minnesota looks to stay unbeaten against Michigan State

If Minnesota and Michigan State were stocks at the moment, they would be trending in completely opposite directions on Wall Street heading into their Big Ten matchup on Saturday afternoon in East Lansing, Mich.

Minnesota comes in trending way up after a 3-0 start to the season, with all three wins being blowouts.

The latest rout for the Golden Gophers was a 49-7 win at home over Colorado last Saturday, as Minnesota has now outscored opponents 149-17.

Minnesota features one of the Big Ten’s best quarterbacks in Tanner Morgan in addition to one of the top running backs in Mohamed Ibrahim.

On the other side, Michigan State’s stock has taken a drastic tumble.

The Spartans (2-1) went from No. 11 to unranked following a 39-28 loss at Washington last week in a game that saw them trail 29-8 at halftime.

Michigan State might have gone 11-2 last season, but two big weaknesses from 2021, offensive line play and pass defense, reared their heads again in Washington.

Ranked last in the country in passing yards allowed per game in 2021, Michigan State saw Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. throw for 397 yards and four touchdowns.

Offensively, Michigan State struggled to block, with its leading rusher for the game, Jalen Berger, rushing for 27 yards on 13 carries.

The Spartans had to fly back from the West Coast early Sunday morning and now have a shorter turnaround than normal to prepare for a red-hot opponent.

The contest kicks off at 2:30 p.m. from East Lansing.

  • Minnesota’s leading receiver so far this season, Chris Autman-Bell, has been ruled out for the season with a leg injury.

  • Nebraska fired defensive coordinator Erik Chinander on Sunday following the team’s 49-14 loss to Oklahoma.

Last week’s Big Ten scores

Saturday, Sept. 17
Ohio State 77, Toledo 21
Michigan 59, UConn 0
Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14
Washington 39, Michigan State 28
Penn State 41, Auburn 12
Southern Illinois 31, Northwestern 24
Indiana 33, Western Kentucky 30 (OT)
Rutgers 16, Temple 14
Minnesota 49, Colorado 7
Wisconsin 66, New Mexico State 7
Iowa 27, Nevada 0
Maryland 34, EMS 27

Thursday, Sep 22
Chattanooga at Illinois

Saturday, Sept. 24
Maryland at No. 4 Michigan, 11 a.m.
Central Michigan at No. 14 Penn State, 11 a.m.
Minnesota at Michigan State, 2:30 p.m.
Indiana at Cincinnati, 2:30 p.m.
Iowa at Rutgers, 6 p.m.
Wisconsin at No. 3 Ohio State, 6:30 p.m.
Miami (Ohio) at Northwestern, 6:30 pm
Florida Atlantic at Purdue, 6:30 p.m.

  • Ohio State and Michigan at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, for the second week in a row.
  • Penn State moved up eight spots to No. 14.
  • Michigan State fell out of the poll from the No. 11 spot.
  • Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin are receiving votes.

Three FBS games you should tune into this weekend:

Duke at Kansas—11 a.m. Saturday — Perhaps the marquee ACC matchup of the week, two unbeatens will battle in Lawrence, Kansas. The Jayhawks are coming off a big win over Houston, while Duke has a Power 5 win over Northwestern under its belt this season.

James Madison at Appalachian State — 2:30 p.m. Saturday — James Madison has yet to lose as an FBS school, while App State has already beaten Texas A&M and is coming off a Hail Mary win over Troy last week. This could be one of the most important Sun Belt games of the season.

Rutgers at Iowa—6 p.m. Saturday — Rutgers is unbeaten, albeit with a weaker schedule to this point. And despite Iowa’s early-season offensive struggles, the Hawkeyes are still real competitors in the Big Ten West thanks to their strong defense. Rutgers’ schedule only gets harder from here, so a win would go a long way to help the Scarlet Knights become bowl eligible.

Note: This report was compiled in part through previews from Field Level Media.

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