South Dakota (1-1) at Northwestern (3-0)
When, where:2:30 p.m. Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.>
TV:Big Ten Network
Radio: ESPN-AM 1000
What you need to know: Northwestern has already handled the difficult portion of its non-conference schedule and should be able to improve to 4-0 with ease heading into Big Ten play. The Wildcats got some love in the polls this week and could find themselves closer to the top 25 with another win. Northwestern would like to see some improvement in a few areas this week. The Wildcats had no trouble picking up yards in last week’s win over Boston College, but coach Pat Fitzgerald wants to be more successful in the red zone. The Wildcats’ running game has improved this season, and the play and development of running backs Venric Mark and Mike Trumpy could determine how good the Wildcats can be in the Big Ten. South Dakota has a win over Colgate and a loss to Montana.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 45, South Dakota 10
Louisiana Tech (2-0) at Illinois (2-1)
When, where: 7 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WIND-560 AM
What you need to know: Illinois was able to cruise past Charleston Southern last week without quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, who had an ankle injury. The Illini likely will need him back Saturday against Louisiana Tech. All indications lead to Scheelhaase returning, but there’s no certain answer yet. Louisiana Tech can score and has totaled 109 points in its two wins. The Bulldogs have been successful in the air and on the ground and should be another good test for Illinois’ defense. The Illini allowed 45 points in a loss to Arizona State in Week 2. The Illini are only favored by three points Saturday.
Powers’ prediction: Illinois 38, Louisiana Tech 31
Kansas (1-2) at Northern Illinois (2-1)
When, where: 2 p.m. Saturday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WSCR 670 AM
What you need to know: Northern Illinois had a scare last week and pulled off a 41-40 comeback win over Army. The Huskies’ offensive output was no surprise, but the defense’s problems weren’t expected. Northern Illinois had looked solid defensively in a loss to Iowa and win over Tennessee-Martin. Huskies will be looking to get back to that this week against Kansas. The Jayhawks have struggled the past two weeks in losses to Rice and TCU, but should be another quality challenger for Northern Illinois. Former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist has thrown for 616 yards, two touchdown and four interceptions for Kansas this season. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch has thrown for five touchdowns and rushed for five in the first three weeks.
Powers’ prediction: Northern Illinois 34, Kansas 27