Top 5 Big Ten Week 3 games and predictions

·3 min read

Week 2 saw the Big Ten have a handful of teams stumble with some opponents that did not appear to be a threat beforehand. But, that is college football and the unpredictability makes it so special.

This week we see a handful of Big Ten teams draw primetime matchups that pit two teams from the Power 5 against each other for some of the first real tests of the season. Not only are the big matchups, the Big Ten is getting quite the amount of national coverage this week. They will have teams airing across Fox, CBS, ABC, and ESPN.

There are a few duds of games such as Iowa-Nevada, Michigan-UConn, Northwestern-Southern Illinois, and Wisconsin-New Mexico State. The fun part about these is that there is a decent chance we are back here on Monday talking about which one of these ended up having a boat load of points or saw a big time upset.

Nonetheless, let’s get into the top five Big Ten games in week 3 with a prediction of how each shakes out.

SMU (2-0) at Maryland (2-0)

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With the other games the Big Ten has, this one feels a bit pushed aside but it is a matchup of two 2-0 teams on Saturday night. SMU is averaging nearly 47 points per game and Maryland is averaging 43 points per game. This could be Saturday night fireworks and has the potential for a wild one.

Prediction: Maryland 38, SMU 35 in a thrilling overtime game

Purdue (1-1) at Syracuse (2-0)

(AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

This matchup is intriguing. How good is Purdue? This game could go a long way in providing an answer to that. We saw the Boilermakers lose a close one to Penn State to open the season and then dismantle Indiana State 56-0 last week. Syracuse is 2-0 and will try to pound the rock on Purdue here.

Prediction: Purdue 28, Syracuse 24 with Aidan O’Connell carrying the Boilermakers with a 300-plus yards and three touchdown performance

No. 22 Penn State (2-0) at Auburn (2-0)

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the top 25 party, Penn State. The Nittany Lions find themselves ranked only to have to go on the road to Auburn who is 2-0 after a few warmup games. Auburn is expected to be down this year by everyone, which is exactly why they could shock some teams. Can Sean Clifford handle the SEC environment?

Prediction: Penn State 35, Auburn 31 which sees Auburn’s speed keep this close with a shot to win it late

No. 11 Michigan State (2-0) at Washington (2-0)

Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

Now this one gets tricky for the Spartans. On the road at 2-0 Washington for a late kickoff is no easy task. Both teams enter undefeated and neither has been tested in any of their matchups yet. Michigan State already has an uphill battle to even meet last season’s output and this feels like a regression game.

Prediction: Washington 27, Michigan State 17 in a game that Michigan State struggles offensively

No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) at Nebraska (1-2)

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

This one was interesting and only got more enticing with the Scott Frost firing. Do the Cornhuskers continue their free fall? Do they play well without the pressure of his job security on their shoulders? It probably doesn’t matter either way.

Prediction: Oklahoma 35, Nebraska 17 in a game that doesn’t even feel that close. Is Nebraska an enticing job anymore?

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