Some notes and nuggets to help you to win some bets at your tailgating party this weekend:
Ohio State has not given up a sack in three consecutive games and 90 straight pass attempts going into the Miami game. The last sack Ohio State gave up was against rival Michigan in 2010.
Michigan State tied a school record by holding Florida Atlantic to only one first down last week. The last time it happened was in 1944 against Maryland. The Spartans became the first FBS team to allow only one first down since Oklahoma did it against Chattanooga in the 2008 opener. The 48 yards allowed by the Michigan State defense was the seventh-lowest in school history and the fewest since Notre Dame had only 12 yards in 1965. The 26 passing yards by FAU were the lowest against Michigan State since the 1984 Cherry Bowl.
Third down is prime time for Illinois. The Illini lead the nation in third-down efficiency, having converted 21 of 29 (.724) attempts thus far. They were 9-for-11 last week against South Dakota State. Illinois also leads the Big Ten in scoring offense (44.5 ppg), total offense (496.0 ypg) and rushing offense (283.0).
Nebraska meets Washington on Saturday for the third time in a year, which is quite unusual. The Huskers last faced an opponent that many times in a short period in 1998 and 1999, when they played Texas three times in 13 months, including the 1999 Big 12 title game. Nebraska and Oklahoma played three times in a year in 1978 and 1979, including the 1979 Orange Bowl.
Iowa plays Pittsburgh on Saturday, and Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz knows all about the visiting team's city. He went to Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh and served as a graduate assistant at Pitt under Jackie Sherrill in 1980. That team went 11-1 and finished No. 2 in the polls.
Penn State plays Temple at Lincoln Financial Field and is growing used to pro stadiums. This is the third NFL stadium in the last six games for the Lions, who met Indiana at FedExField on Nov. 20 last season and then played Florida in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. All time, Penn State has played in seven current NFL stadiums, including five since 2005.
Northwestern ran for 320 yards last week against Eastern Illinois, marking the first time the Wildcats topped 300 rushing yards since 2005. The 67 rushing attempts were the most since 2003 and 10 short of a school record. Northwestern has now gone over 200 yards rushing three straight games, including the Ticket City Bowl. The Wildcats' first eight touchdowns of the season have come on running plays; they are tied for fourth nationally in rushing scores.
A year after finishing fifth in the country in scoring at 41.5 points per game, Wisconsin is averaging 43 per game through two games. The Badgers are one of just four teams in the nation who haven't turned the ball over yet, and they led the country last year with a school-record nine giveaways. Wisconsin is also a perfect 11-for-11 in the red zone this season with 10 touchdowns.
Michigan had a plus-3 turnover margin in the opener against Western Michigan, the first time it had won the turnover battle since the Sept. 11, 2010 game at Notre Dame. The Wolverines followed that up with a plus-two margin against the Irish last week. They are now plus-five on the season after being a combined minus-32 the past three seasons.
Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray passed for 211 yards and rushed for 110 last week against New Mexico State, becoming the first Gopher quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards since Asad Abdul Khaliq had 106 against Michigan in 2003. Gray's 110 rushing yards were the most by a Minnesota quarterback since Billy Cockerham produced 122 at Iowa in 1999. Cockerham was also the last Gophers QB to pass for 200 and run for 100 in the same game, which he did versus Illinois in 1999.
Purdue has had almost perfect balance offensively in the first two games. The Boilermakers have 383 rushing yards and 403 passing yards so far this season. Last week at Rice, they had exactly 183 yards each rushing and passing.
Indiana played 10 true freshmen in the opener and three more last week against Virginia. Only Texas (18) has played more true frosh than the Hoosiers this season. Tre Roberson became only the second true freshman quarterback to ever play for the Hoosiers; Tim Clifford was the first in 1977.