B1G 10 Week 2 Preview
The games come thick and fast now that football season is upon us. In week 2 all 14 Big Ten teams are in action, with no conference matchups at all. Maryland are the only school to go on the road with 13 B1G teams playing in front of a home crowd. There’s a serious possibility that all 14 Big Ten teams could win this weekend!
So what should you be looking out for in week 2?
Ohio State’s defense showed marked improvement against Notre Dame, and should have another great day against Arkansas State in week 2. What we really want to see is the Buckeye’s offense really click. The Red Wolves do not have a good defense and CJ Stroud should have a lot of joy through the air. Expect Ohio State to win comfortably, with the starters being pulled at some point in the second half.
Can Mo Ibrahim total 100 yards for a second week running? I reckon so with a favourable matchup against Western Illinois. I’d love to see more of Chris Autman-Bell this week. Hopefully he gets more than 3 catches on Saturday.
An Irish Return
Northwestern Wildcats are back in action after their Dublin victory and early season bye at home to Duke. Ryan Hilinski had a DAY against Nebraska last time out, and Duke will provide a good test of his skills. Penn State welcome the Ohio Bobcats to Beaver Stadium, and I want to see how the running back room is shaping up. Nick Singleton is by far the most talented back on the roster, but as a freshman he sits further down the depth chart. How long can seniority outway pure talent?
The runner-up to game of the week has Wisconsin battling it out with Washington State. Wazzu are a really interesting and enticing team this year. Cam Ward has transferred in, following his coach from Incarnate Word. He’s made the jump from FCS to FBS and has some top talent around him. I anticipate Wisconsin being too good and too tough for Washington State, but it should be a fun game anyway. I always love watching Braelon Allen, and I always endure watching Graham Mertz!
Our lone B1G 10 team heading on the road is Maryland, who travel to Charlotte and should head home with a win. Week 1 breakout RB Roman Hemby will look to lock up the starting job and Taulia Tagovailoa will hopefully let loose and bombard Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus Jr with targets.
Finding the Flow
Michigan State play Akron with the challenge of finding another level of intensity and consistency to their play. Chase Brown has the opportunity to cash in against a Virginia defense that surrendered 170 rushing yards to lowly Richmond last week. Illinois need a bounceback after the late heartbreak at Indiana, but Bennan Armstrong and co will be licking their lips at the state of the Illinois secondary.
Charlie Jones had a mega week for Purdue, so watch out for how heavily he is targeted by Aidan O’Connell again this week against Indiana State. Rutgers should move to 2-0 by sweeping aside Wagner and Indiana host an Idaho team that shouldn’t pose too many threats.
Michigan’s playmakers should go wild on a dreadful Hawaii defense. It’s JJ McCarthy’s turn to start so all eyes on how he performs and whether he can make the job his own. Nebraska obviously aren’t a lock for a win in any week, so how they handle Georgia Southern is of intrigue (but not that much intrigue!)
Game Of The Week
Iowa State @ Iowa
The Cy-Hawk trophy is on the line again in 2022. The trophy is named after the teams mascots – Cy the Cardinal and Herky the Hawk, and currently sits in the Hawkeyes trophy cabinet and has done for the past 6 meetings. Iowa have had a stranglehold on this fixture in recent times, but won’t have an easy time of it on Saturday night.
Iowa State have lost their biggest weapon of 2021 to the NFL draft. Breece Hall is a monster of a running back and will be lighting it up in New York this year. The Cyclones lean heavily on the running game, so his vacancy needed filling. In week 1, up stepped Jirehl Brock who racked up over 100 yards and a touchdown in Iowa State’s victory over Southeast Missouri State. Iowa’s stout defense won them the game against South Dakota State and will need to be on song to cancel out Brock and co. New QB Hunter Dekkers is an exciting, dual-threat prospect to keep an eye on too.
Up The Attack
On offense, Iowa simply have to get much better, fast! Their output in week 1 was unacceptable, even for a defense-first team. In this hot-tempered rivalry game Spencer Petras needs to be able to move the ball down the field more than last week. You can’t win another game with just a field goal from the offense – Iowa State are too good for that.
Assuming there’s improvement from the Hawkeyes attack, this is a knife-edge game even without the rivalry aspect. It should be a lot of fun to watch, hopefully we can see some touchdowns – fingers crossed eh?!
Hope you all enjoy the B1G 10 action!
Jack – @JackCDCTT