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Big 10 West Week 2 Preview and Predictions

Wisconsin Badgers

College football is underway for the 2019 season. The Big 10 West went 5-2 in week one. Northwestern dropped a low scoring game against a tough Stanford team, and Purdue gave up a lead late to the Nevada Wolf Pack. Northwestern will be on a bye this week. Week two entails mostly non-conference games along with an early Big 10 match-up. Here is a preview and prediction of week 2’s Big 10 West games:

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0) vs. #20 Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0)

When: Saturday, September 7 | Noon EST

Watch: FS1

Big Ten Football
Image courtesy of heavy.com

Rutgers hasn’t had a winning season since 2014, which ended in them beating the North Carolina Tar Heels 40-21 in the Quick Lane Bowl. The program would like to bounce back, and they are off to a good start after beating the Massachusetts Minutemen 48-21. Rutgers had a 31 point second quarter, showing that they can move the ball downfield this season. They will face a much more talented defense this week on the road in Iowa.

The Hawkeyes defeated Miami of Ohio 38-14 in week one of the season. The team gave up just 2.4 yards per carry, and 186 passing yards. The offense also showed up, as they mustered 38 points. Senior quarterback Nate Stanley had three touchdowns and 252 passing yards. Iowa will look to keep rolling at home against the Scarlet Knights Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: As much as some people would like to see Rutgers start the season 2-0, it may not happen. Iowa’s defense and home-field advantage are some factors that could lead to a double-digit win this weekend.

Vanderbilt Commodores (0-1) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (0-1)

When: Saturday, September 7 | Noon EST

Watch: Big Ten Network

It may only be week two, but an 0-2 start for these teams can greatly decrease their postseason chances. Vanderbilt wasn’t expected to do much against a talented Georgia Bulldogs team where they ended up losing 30-6. Their points came off of two field goals, so they have yet to score a touchdown this season. They’ll have a better chance against Purdue, who gave up 34 points to the Mountain West’s Nevada Wolf Pack. This game has a chance to come down to the final possession and could end up being a big factor in the season for both of these teams.

Prediction: Purdue is at home, so that is a plus for them. Vandy is taking on LSU in week three, so a win here would be clutch. However, Purdue showed that they can score points by putting up 31 against Nevada in week one. If they can hold Vanderbilt like Georgia did, they should be able to come away with their first win of the year.

Central Michigan Chippewas (1-0) vs. #17 Wisconsin Badgers (1-0)

When: Saturday, September 7 | 3:30 PM EST

Watch: Big Ten Network

Wisconsin Badgers
Image courtesy of foxsports.com

The Chippewas started the year off with a 38-21 victory over FCS school Albany. They’ll have a much harder time this week against Wisconsin, who quite frankly obliterated USF on their turf in week one. Central Michigan’s head coach Jim McElwain is in his first year with the team, and he’ll get his first big challenge as CMU’s head coach this weekend.

Saying that the Badgers were impressive in week one may be an understatement. They scored seven touchdowns, four of which came from Heisman contender Jonathan Taylor. Taylor really proved his case for why he should be considered for Heisman, as he rushed for 8.4 yards per carry, and even led the team with 48 receiving yards. Taylor and the Badgers will want to take this momentum back to Madison.

Prediction: Central Michigan will have to have a lot go their way to even compete in this one, let alone take home the victory. Wisconsin shouldn’t struggle to start 2-0 before taking on Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0) vs. Connecticut Huskies (1-0)

When: Saturday, September 7 | 3:30 PM EST

Watch: CBSS

A 2-0 start would be great for either team as just making a bowl game would be memorable. Illinois was impressive in week one, taking down Akron 42-3. Running backs Deltron Sands and Brandon Lee combined for 81 rushing yards on 24 attempts. Two running backs taking snaps could be useful down the road, especially if they can both remain healthy.

UConn got the win in week one, but it wasn’t pretty. The defeated Wagner 24-21, and even though it counts the same as a blowout win, it could be telling. The Huskies went 1-11 last season and haven’t seemed to improve too much. Power 5 school Illinois will be a big challenge for them this weekend.

Prediction: Illinois should win this one big on the road. They showed that they can compete by crushing Akron, and Connecticut shouldn’t be a tough one either.

#25 Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)

When: Saturday, September 7 | 3:30 PM EST

Watch: FOX

Both of these teams took home week one wins. The Cornhuskers started out slow but won the game 35-21. There are definitely some things the team will want to work on moving forward. Either way, a week one win is big for this team that went 4-8 last season.

Nebraska likely has some unfinished business from last year’s 33-28 loss against Colorado. Quarterback Adrian Martinez injured his right leg during the game, and there was some controversy over whether or not the tackler twisted Martinez’s leg or not. Martinez will be on the field for the game and will hope to take home a win.

Prediction: This could be interesting, as both teams can be unpredictable at times. Both teams should look to clean some things up on defense before the matchup. Nebraska has a chance to take a close victory on the road, especially now that Scott Frost has a season under his belt at Nebraska.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (0-1)

When: Saturday, September 7 | 10:30 PM EST

Watch: CBSS

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits proved the FCS has talent in week one. They were beating Minnesota 21-20 after three-quarters last Thursday night. However, Minnesota came away with a 28-21 win. This likely isn’t the way they planned it, but they are 1-0 nonetheless. They have another tough opponent week 2 in Fresno State.

The Bulldogs played against the USC Trojans to kick off their season, and competed even though they lost 31-23. Fresno State will want to try and avoid going 0-2 to start their season, but it won’t be an easy task against P.J. Fleck’s Golden Gopher squad.

Prediction: Both of these teams can win this game. That seems like a broad statement, but whatever aspect of the game is looked at, neither team has a landslide difference. This one should be interesting, and the 10:30 PM EST kickoff can work in Fresno’s favor.

Feature Image Courtesy of greenbaypressgazette.com

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Big 10 West Week 2 Preview and Predictions - The Game Haus - SportNews.com.ng September 5, 2019 at 4:30 am

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