Big Ten previews: Indiana will have to buck history to beat Michigan

Buckeye Xtra

Big Ten preview capsules

No. 23 Michigan (1-1) at No. 13 Indiana (2-0) 

Time, place: Noon, Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Ind. 

TV: FS1 

Notes: Indiana is enjoying its highest ranking in the polls since 1987, it has talented athletes at key positions and has greatly improved on defense in recent years. A loose approach will be vital. Michigan is 59-9 all-time against IU and has won 24 straight in the series. But the Wolverines are doubtless questioning themselves after last week’s meltdown against Michigan State. 

Nebraska (0-1) at Northwestern (2-0) 

Time, place: Noon, Ryan Field, Evanston, Ill. 

TV: Big Ten Network 

Notes: Nobody does the gritty thing like Northwestern, which lost two fumbles in the first quarter to fall behind Iowa 17-0 last week, then methodically worked its way back until the Wildcats secured a 21-20 victory. Nebraska, meanwhile, has had two weeks to stew after its opening blowout loss to Ohio State because last week’s game against Wisconsin was canceled. 

Rocky Lombardi of Michigan State is the only Big Ten quarterback to top 300 yards passing in each of the first two games.

Michigan State (1-1) at Iowa (0-2) 

Time, place: Noon, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa 

TV: ESPN 

Notes: The Spartans may have hatched an identity behind Rocky Lombardi, who is the only Big Ten quarterback to surpass 300 yards passing in each of the first two weeks. Iowa, on the other hand, is looking for anything on which to hang a hat offensively. The Hawkeyes are 10th in the conference in rushing offense, eighth in passing and 12th in scoring. 

Maryland (1-1) at Penn State (0-2) 

Time, place: 3:30 p.m., Beaver Stadium, State College, Pa. 

TV: Big Ten Network 

Notes: Penn State will be looking to avoid its first 0-3 start since 2001 against a Maryland team that is 2-40-1 against the Nittany Lions all-time. Penn State found a go-to receiver in Jahan Dotson, who had three TDs in last week’s loss to Ohio State. The Terrapins’ Jake Funk is the Big Ten’s second-leading rusher with 256 yards. He is averaging 9.5 yards per carry. 

Minnesota (0-2) at Illinois (0-2) 

Time, place: 3:30 p.m., Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill. 

TV: Big Ten Network (alternate) 

Notes: Offense hasn’t been the problem for Minnesota, averaging 34 points and 388 yards per game. The defense, though, has been atrocious, allowing 1,156 yards and 94 points. Illinois missed more than a dozen players, including its top two quarterbacks, in last week’s loss to Purdue because of a COVID-19 scare but as of Wednesday was reporting no new cases this week. 

Purdue (2-0) at Wisconsin (1-0) 

Canceled. 

— Ray Stein

rstein@dispatch.com