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September 13, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-13

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 13, 2005 -11

Big Ten powers look for turnaround

By Dan Feldman
and Chris Herring
For the Daily
After starting the season 11-0, the
Big Ten continued their strong show-
ing, posting a 8-3 record last week. But
the conference's three highest rated
teams - Michigan, Ohio State and
Iowa suffered all
three losses. Head-
ing into the last
weekend before Big
Ten conference play
begins, this will be
the last chance for
the Big Ten power-
house teams to boost their records.
No. 12 Purdue (1-0) at Arizona (1-
1) - 10 p.m.
In Arizona's first two games, both
Utah and Northern Arizona had moder-
ate success passing the ball on the Wild-
cats' defense. With Joe Tiller's pass-heavy
spread offense, this is the kind of game
where Purdue quarterback Brandon Kirsch
will look to pad the already impressive
stats he posted in an opening victory over
Akron. Last season, Purdue also opened
the season against two weak teams (Syra-
cuse and Ball State) and totaled 110 points
in those games. To match that mark, Pur-
due will need to score 61 points Saturday.
ECKER
Continued from page 10
the Notre Dame 12 yard line, Henne
tried to force a throw to Ecker near
the sideline. But Notre Dame's safe-
ty, Tom Zbikowski, knew the pass
was going to Ecker and stepped in
front for the interception.
Despite the interception, Henne
continued to look for Ecker. The
tight end caught passes on five
different Michigan drives, and, at
one point in the fourth quarter, he
was the intended receiver on three
straight plays from scrimmage. He
was even the intended receiver on
Michigan's last two offensive plays
of the game. Afterward, Carr said
the fact that he needed fluids just
showed how hard he worked all
game long.
"Because Tim was out, he played
a lot more than he normally would
have played, and probably more
than we would like for him to play,"
Carr said. "But I thought he played
really hard."
Massaquoi's status for next game
is still unclear. But one thing is cer-
tain: Tyler Ecker is going to show
up to play. He always does.

Even though his first name isn't Bob, Mike
Stoops will not allow a rising Arizona pro-
gram to fall that badly.
Purdue 38, Arizona 14
San Diego State (0-2) at No. 9 Ohio
State (1-1) - 3:30 p.m., ABC
After losing to Texas last Saturday in
the most hyped game of the early season,
things should be easier for the Buckeyes
at The Horseshoe this week. It doesn't
matter whether the Buckeyes go with
Troy Smith or Justin Zwick at quarter-
back, they should have no problem scor-
ing on the Aztecs, who surrendered 44
and 41 points in losses to UCLA and Air
Force. Ohio State tends to keep weaker
teams in the game in the first half, and
this game probably won't be an excep-
tion. But behind a strong performance
from Ted Ginn Jr., the Buckeyes will
pull away in the second half, leaving the
hapless Aztecs 0-3.
Ohio State 34, San Diego State 17
Central Michigan (1-1) at Penn
State (2-0) - 3:30 p.m. -
The consensus this year is that Penn
State will cruise to a 5-0 record with their
apparently weak early schedule, which
features South Florida and Northwest-
ern. But hasn't every year lately been the
year of Nittany Lions' return to glory?
On the opposite sideline, Central Michi-
gan's coach Brian Kelly will get another

chance to upset a Big Ten team. In their
opening game, the Chippewas fell just
short of upsetting Indiana, falling 20-13.
Last week, they beat MAC powerhouse
Miami (Ohio). Penn State and fab-fresh-
man receiver Derrick Williams won't put
up enough points to beat a scrappy Central
Michigan team.
Central Michigan 16, Penn State 13
Northwestern (2-0) at Arizona
State (1-1) - 10 p.m.
Michigan fans know first-hand that
Northern Illinois isn't a pushover. Follow-
ing in the Wolverines footsteps, North-
western managed to beat the Huskies last
week as well. A 38-37 win over Northern
Illinois kept the Wildcats' record unblem-
ished at 2-0, but expect their first loss to
come this weekend when they travel to
Tempe and take on the Sun Devils. Ari-
zona State blew a 10-point fourth-quarter
lead to an emotionally charged LSU team
last weekend, but the Sun Devils will be
looking to release a week's worth of anger
on someone. Unfortunately for the Wild-
cats, that will be them.
Arizona State 31, Northwestern 13
Wisconsin (2-0) at North Carolina
(0-1, 0-1) - 7 p.m. - ESPN2
Fleeting memories of last year's Elite
Eight showdown during March Madness
may still linger for these two programs.
But look for Wisconsin coach Barry Alva-

rez to leave the Big Ten with a splash. Still,
the Badgers looked horrible on defense in
week one, allowing 42 points to Bowling
Green. Last week, they pitched a shut-
out and led 51:0 at half against Temple.
Which defense will show up? It might not
matter. North Carolina quarterback Matt
Baker completed less than 50 percent of
his passes, and no Tar Heel rusher man-
aged more than 30 yards against Georgia
Tech last week.
Wisconsin 42, North Carolina 20
Michigan State (2-0) at No. 10
Notre Dame (2-0) - 3:30 p.m. -
NBC
Every year, this matchup seems to be
an interesting one. This time around,
Michigan State comes in undefeated,
but against questionable competition.
Notre Dame, coming off a big win
against Michigan, will play at home for
the first time in the Charlie Weis era.
The Irish looked very average offensive-
ly after their first drive against Michi-
gan. But the Spartans' defense is not
quite as solid as Michigan's, so expect
Notre Dame's offense to look more like
it did in week one against Pittsburgh
than it did last week in Ann Arbor.
Notre Dame's defense should pounce
on Michigan State's Drew Stanton and
contain the Spartan offense.
Notre Dame 31, Michigan State 16

AP PHOTO
Ohio State's Brandon Schnittker and the rest of the Big Ten are coming off a tough week.

LAYOUT STAFF:
THE GREATEST
THINWG SINCE
SLICED BREAD.

Jon

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