Here’s what to watch in the Big Ten this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin

 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 29: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on against the Florida Gators in the first quarter during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

 

MADISON, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 07: Jonathan Taylor #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers scores a touchdown past Norman Anderson #16 of the Central Michigan Chippewas in the first quarter at Camp Randall Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

 

Both teams are coming off open dates heading into a matchup that should provide some clarity about how good each is. Michigan’s new spread offense has been unable to gain traction because of turnovers and penalties, and the Wolverines (2-0) haven’t won in Madison since 2001. Wisconsin (2-0) has outscored two overmatched opponents 111-0 to become the first Football Bowl Subdivision team since 1980 to score at least 100 points and allow no points in the first two games. 

This is an opportunity for the Badgers to show they’re the team to beat in the Big Ten West and that their 8-5 record in 2018 was a one-year blip.

BEST MATCHUP

Illinois RB Reggie Corbin vs. Nebraska defense

 

LINCOLN, NE – SEPTEMBER 14: Quarterback Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers warms up before the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Memorial Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

 

Nebraska (2-1) hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher and is giving up just 2.2 yards per carry. Corbin will give the Cornhuskers their best test so far. He’s averaging 7.5 yards per carry for the Illini (2-1) and, coming off a hip pointer that sidelined him for most of two games, ran for 144 yards on 18 carries against Eastern Michigan last week. Corbin’s 8.48-per-carry average in 2018 ranked third in the nation among players with at least 10 attempts a game.

FACTS AND FIGURES

 

PISCATAWAY, NJ – AUGUST 30: Raheem Blackshear #2 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights hoists a sword after the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at SHI Stadium on August 30, 2019 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers defeated UMass 48-21. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

 

It’ll be a Big East reunion when Boston College visits Rutgers (1-1). The teams are meeting for the first time since 2004, BC’s last season before moving to the ACC. The Eagles went 12-1-1 in the series when both teams were in the Big East, winning each of the last 10 meetings. …  Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr., who missed last week’s loss to Ohio State with an undisclosed injury, could be a game-time decision when the Hoosiers (2-1) host UConn. … Ohio State’s home game against Miami (Ohio) was scheduled in April 2017 after the Buckeyes (3-0) and TCU modified their scheduled home-and-home series for 2018-19 and played a neutral-site game in 2018.

LONG SHOT

Northwestern, 9 ½-point underdog at home to Michigan State

 

EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 14: Darrell Stewart Jr. #25 of the Michigan State Spartans runs downfield after catching a pass in the first half of the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Spartan Stadium on September 14, 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

 

The Wildcats (1-1) have won three straight and four of five against Michigan State (2-1), and they bounced back from a season-opening loss to Stanford with a solid win over UNLV. Michigan State figures to show up angry after its quirky home loss to Arizona State. Northwestern ran for 276 yards against a horrid UNLV defense. 

The Spartans have been stuffing ground games for years and are doing it as well as ever this season. That means Hunter Johnson is going to have to be much better than his two-game passing stats show: 43-percent completion rate, three interceptions, one touchdown.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Michigan QB Shea Patterson

 

ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 7: Quarterback Shea Patterson #2 of the Michigan Wolverines is tackled behind the line by Arik Smith #53 of the Army Black Knights during the first half at Michigan Stadium on September 7, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

 

Patterson lost three fumbles in the first two games and has had two weeks to stew over his flat performance against Army. He said this week he played with an oblique injury the first two games but now is 100-percent healthy. He needs to elevate his game against a Wisconsin defense that allowed a total of 215 yards while posting back-to-back shutouts.

 

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