Big Ten Week 10 preview

Here are the scheduled matchups for the Big Ten this week.

Iowa (6-2, 3-1) at Indiana (4-4, 0-4): The Hoosiers give up points — and lots of them. Last week was an aberration against Northwestern, as the 'Cats merely put 20 points on the board, so the Hawkeyes should have plenty of opportunities to move the ball against IU. Keep an eye on the health of Adam Robinson, though. If the running game can’t get going, Ricky Stanzi should feast on a secondary that has allowed 17 passing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Ben Chappell will be facing an Iowa defense that was determined to right the ship last week against Michigan State. A one-dimensional offensive attack is not the way to win against the Hawks.

Nathan ScheelhaaseICONIllinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase is improving every week.

Illinois (5-3, 3-2) at Michigan (5-3, 1-3): Illinois is becoming a scary opponent to play for Big Ten teams, with freshman quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase getting better every week and running back Mikel Leshoure always a load to bring down. If the running game can get going early, Scheelhaase should be able to take advantage of a depleted Michigan secondary and get the Illini bowl eligible. Meanwhile, the Wolverines can’t do anything to help out Denard Robinson, and the Rich Rod Watch has begun once again.

Minnesota (1-8, 0-5) at Michigan State (8-1, 4-1): I would hate to be a Minnesota player on Saturday. Not only are the Gophers winless in conference play, but they likely will face a steaming mad Spartans squad after the debacle last week in Iowa City. Then again, will MSU have a hangover from that game? No matter, as the Spartans should be able to get back to their rushing ways versus the Big Ten’s worst run defense. Meanwhile, the biggest question remains: who will agree to take over this Minnesota program?

Wisconsin (7-1, 3-1) at Purdue (4-4, 2-2): Sean Robinson and Rob Henry are going to make mistakes under center for Purdue because that’s what freshmen do. But the Boilermakers have not shown up on defense the last two weeks, and they’re facing a Badgers squad that will try to run the ball down their throats with John Clay and Montee Ball. Wisconsin is coming off of the bye, so it may take a quarter to get back into the flow of things. If the Boilers can hang around for a half, this game could get interesting.

Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) at Penn State (5-3, 2-2): Will Joe Pa be sitting at 400 wins early Saturday evening? The Nittany Lions will be fired up for this one in Happy Valley, but Northwestern is a solid road team. And Pat Fitzgerald has gone 6-1 in his last two Novembers. Quarterback Dan Persa played high school ball in Pennsylvania and might be looking to stick it to Paterno for not recruiting him. Whether Matt McGloin or Robert Bolden starts is unknown, but Evan Royster must have a good day on the ground. I’ve seen NU’s special teams in person, and it often isn’t pretty. Plus, they get penalized way too much to steal a win in State College.

Bye: Ohio State (8-1, 4-1) is off this week.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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