Some news and nuggets for you to chew on before you heat up the grills for tailgating:
Illinois is now 3-0 for the first time since 2001, the program’s last Big Ten championship season. With a win over Western Michigan on Saturday, the Illini can improve to 4-0 for the first time since 1951, the program’s last national championship season. Ron Zook's team has now won four in a row dating back to last season, which is Illinois’ longest winning streak since 2007 and is tied for the sixth-longest current streak in the nation.
Indiana led South Carolina State, 21-7, after the first quarter last week. That was the most points in the first quarter by the Hoosiers since they scored 28 versus Northwestern on Nov. 3, 2001. IU also scored 21 points in the fourth quarter the previous week against Virginia, marking the first time on record that the Hoosiers had posted back-to-back 21-point quarters.
Iowa's 21-point rally for a 31-27 win over Pittsburgh is believed to be the largest comeback win in Hawkeyes history. The previous largest was an 18-point comeback against Oregon in 1949. The Hawkeyes trailed 24-6 with 2:30 left in the third quarter against the Ducks. Iowa's 21 fourth-quarter points were the most in a final period since it had 28 in a 42-24 win over Indiana on Oct. 31, 2009.
Michigan is 10-for-10 so far in red zone chances. Nine of the 10 scores have been touchdowns. The Wolverines scored on all five red zone possessions last week against Eastern Michigan, settling for the first field goal in the red zone of the season. Michigan scored on 78.0 percent of its red zone opportunities in 2010 (44 for 55, 40 touchdowns).
Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins moved into second place in school history in passing yards after throwing for 329 yards at Notre Dame, the most ever by a Spartans quarterback against the Fighting Irish. Cousins recorded career highs in pass attempts (53) and completions (34) against the Irish, falling one shy of the completion record set by by Jeff Smoker against Ohio State in 2003. Cousins passed Drew Stanton and now has 6,549 career passing yards, and with 45 touchdowns passes, he is just one shy of tying Bill Burke for the second-most TD passes in school history. Cousins already owns the best completion percentage (.652) and passing efficiency rating (146.8) in Spartans history.
True freshman Michael Amaefula picked up Minnesota's first sack of the season early in the second quarter vs. Miami of Ohio last week. The Gophers finished last among FBS schools in sacks for the 2010 season with just nine. Minnesota had gone without a sack in eight of its previous 14 games before Saturday.
Nebraska scored 51 points last week against Washington, marking its third straight game to open the season with at least 40 points. The last time the Huskers had at least 40 points in the first three games was the 1995 season, when Nebraska topped 40 against Oklahoma State (64), Michigan State (50) and Arizona State (77). This is the first time the Huskers have scored 40 or more points in three straight games at any point in the season since games 10 through 12 of the 2008 season, when it did so against Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado.
Ohio State’s previous two opponents -- Toledo (338 yards) and Miami (363) -- each topped 300 yards of total offense. The Silver Bullets defense hasn't allowed three straight games of 300 yards of total offense since 2004, when Michigan State (407), Purdue (384) and Michigan (399) pulled off the feat.
With its win at Temple, Penn State is now 15-3 in its next game after a loss since the start of the 2005 season. The Nittany Lions are 17-3 after a loss if the 2009 and 2011 season opening wins are included.
Wisconsin is one of five teams in the country who are averaging at least 230 yards rushing and receiving through its first three games (Georgia Tech, Oregon, Missouri and Alabama are the others). The Badgers have also given up just 24 points in their first three games and are tied for fourth in the country in scoring defense. This is the team’s best three-game defensive stretch since giving up 24 points total to Northwestern (9), Minnesota (12) and Purdue (3) from Oct. 7-21, 2006.