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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Unbeaten teams face tough tests

As October begins, most of the Big Ten football teams are entering their third week of conference play and fifth game of the season. As a result, many teams begin to get hit by injuries and general fatigue from getting near the mid-point of the season. Several Big Ten teams are without bye weeks throughout the season, including Indiana and Michigan, which can result in some tough stretches.

“Yeah it would be nice to have a bye week, but we’ll keep fighting,” Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez said.

Coming off a big second week of conference play, many Big Ten teams played in some of the most competitive college games of the week. Michigan went to East Lansing and nearly came out with a win, Northwestern came back to win at Purdue, Iowa squeaked out against a surprising Arkansas State team, and Wisconsin traveled to Minnesota to win one of the biggest rivalry games in the country.

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Undefeated Conference Teams Head into Tough Week

Three undefeated teams — Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin — head into the third week of conference play unscathed but with big tests Saturday, both of which will be nationally televised.

Wisconsin, which sits at 5-0 overall and 2-0 in conference travels to the always difficult environment of the “Horseshoe” to face Ohio State. The Badgers, who lost a close game to the Buckeyes on a late drive last year in Madison, are looking to change things this year.

“We have a dramatically different team this year. … We learned from our mistakes,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said.

“Against a team like Wisconsin you better be ready to play 60 minutes or more,” Ohio State’s head coach Jim Tressel said.

Iowa hosts a Michigan team that is coming off a tough loss.

“We play a Michigan team that’s very good, a couple plays away from being undefeated,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Michigan lost in overtime last week to Michigan State and Rodriguez stated the need for his team to keep focus.

“This needs to be another big week of preparation, we need to keep our focus strong,” Rodriguez said. “Iowa’s defense is the type that’s always in position, always ready to make a tackle.”

Conference teams look to get back on track

Several teams in conference, including Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota, are looking to get big conference wins and put themselves back in position to compete for a Big Ten title.

Michigan State travels to face an Illinois team that is winless in the conference.

“This is going to be an exciting football game, were hoping it springboards us to go to 3-3,” MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said.

“Were just getting ready, they [Michigan State] has numerous playmakers all over the field,” Illinois head coach Ron Zook said.

The Illini are coming off of a loss to Penn State.

Purdue travels to Minnesota, with both teams coming off disappointing losses to conference opponents.

“We’re looking back to getting on the field, we had some horrific errors last week,” Purdue head coach Danny Hope said.

Minnesota looks to rebound to put itself back in the conference title race after a disappointing loss to Wisconsin.

Big Ten teams going out of conference

Next Saturday, Penn State hosts FCS opponent Eastern Illinois. However, when asked about how his team was preparing, PSU head coach Joe Paterno was quick to reply.

“They’re a definite quality team, and they have a few Big Ten transfers on their roster,” Paterno said.

Northwestern hosts a Miami University of Ohio team that is winless overall and last in numerous offensive categories in their conference. When asked about it, head coach Pat Fitzgerald said they would not underestimate the RedHawks.

“Don’t let their record confuse you, we expect an outstanding performance from them,” Fitzgerald said.

In a Big Ten showcase, Indiana travels to Virginia to play a late out of conference game. Indiana is coming off a tough loss to Ohio State, but Virginia is coming off a big win at North Carolina.

“That team (Virginia) is truly progressing, it’ll be a good challenge, but we knew it would be when we scheduled it,” IU head coach Phil Lynch said.

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