Big Ten Football Week 3: Top Storylines and Matchups from Nebraska to Michigan State


Entering Week 3 of the 2022 College Football season, several Big Ten teams are off to a strong start, including two teams sitting in the top four (No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan) and two more in the top 25 (No. 11 Michigan State and No. 22 Penn State). Meanwhile, other teams in the conference are not starting 2022 as they’d hoped, with Wisconsin coming off a surprising defeat at the hands of unranked Washington State and Iowa losing to rival Iowa State as the Hawkeyes struggle to make anything happen offensively.

No program has been as thoroughly disappointed as Nebraska, though, whose head coach Scott Frost was fired Sunday. How Nebraska reacts is among the storylines to watch in the conference this week, along with Michigan State and Penn State’s intriguing non-conference road games.

How will Nebraska respond under new head coach?

The Huskers enter a rivalry contest against No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) under interim head coach Mickey Joseph after Scott Frost’s ouster, which came following two early-season losses to Northwestern and the Sun Belt’s Georgia Southern. After paying Southern nearly $1.5 million for the loss, Nebraska (1-2) decided to pay $15 million more to buy out Frost, which the school deemed urgent enough not to wait until October 1st, when the buyout would’ve been reduced by $7.5 million. Frost had coached the Huskers to four losing seasons before this one, the worst of which came last year with a 3-9 record.

Joseph says he’s hoping to not just be an interim solution for Nebraska, where he played quarterback from 1988 to 1991 and joined the coaching staff this season after several seasons at LSU. He is the first Black head coach at Nebraska, interim or permanent, in any sport. Joseph, 54, will coach the team for the remainder of the season.

At 1-2, the Huskers are likely already out of the conversation to compete for a Big Ten division or conference title, but there are certainly some reputation and pride points on the line in the rivalry matchup this week. Oklahoma is a road favorite by more than a touchdown, but the Sooners are relatively untested this season with wins over UTEP and Kent State, and despite the final results, Nebraska has proven capable at moving the ball in every contest this season. The Huskers have 866 yards through the air and 611 rush yards in three games this season, scoring at least 28 points in each.

RELATED: How to Watch Notre Dame vs. Cal on Saturday

No. 22 Penn State travels to Auburn in big test for both programs

One of the more exciting matchups across the Week 3 college football slate on Saturday will see the Nittany Lions travel to Auburn’s Jordan-Hare stadium in an early litmus test for both teams, who are each sitting at a somewhat untested 2-0, having only faced unranked teams.

Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin said turnovers and discipline are concerns for the Tigers going into this game after the team turned the ball over twice and gave up 85 yards on 9 penalties against San Jose State in Week 2. He called Penn State “much better” than the teams they’ve faced so far, noting the Nittany Lions’ fast and physical style of .

The Tigers have an offensive star in junior running back Tank Bigsby, but with only one passing touchdown so far this season, they have shown little capacity to mix up their offensive approach, which may haunt them against a stronger defense like Penn State.

The game could prove crucial for Harsin, who many thought wouldn’t be around for a second season at Auburn after the Tigers went 6-7 in 2021.

Similarly, the win could build legitimacy for Penn State and head coach James Franklin, who are coming off a 7-6 year.

Freshman running back Nick Singleton had a breakout week for Penn State last week, putting up 179 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio and adding dimension to an offense that has been defined by Sean Clifford’s passing performances in recent seasons.

RELATED: How to Watch Howard vs. Morehouse in the HBCU New York Football Classic

Washington hosts No. 11 Michigan State in tough defensive matchup

Despite the big numbers both teams have put up in their early-season wins, this matchup between the Spartans and Huskies in Seattle is liable to turn into more of a defensive contest, as Michigan State (2-0) is averaging 6.5 points allowed (7th in FBS) and the Huskies (2-0) are averaging 13. Similarly, both teams are averaging fewer than 300 total yards allowed per game through two contests.

Michigan State has a standout defender in linebacker Jacoby Windmon, who leads all FBS players with 5.5 individual sacks and 4 forced fumbles this season. Windmon has only played two games as a Spartan since transferring from UNLV ahead of the 2022 season. His effort has helped Michigan State average only 81.5 rush yards allowed through the first two games of the season.

As a result, Washington is likely to rely on continued success from junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who’s averaging more than 330 yards per game with 6 touchdowns and 1 interception in the Huskies’ two wins this season.

Michigan State’s QB Payton Thorne is still looking for a rhythm, having thrown for 4 touchdowns but 3 interceptions so far. The Spartans’ rushing core has led the way on offense, highlighted by sophomore running back Jalen Berger’s 4 touchdowns, including three last week against Akron.

The Huskies are the slight favorite heading into the weekend, but Michigan State’s defense is likely to keep the Spartans in contention throughout the night, and head coach Mel Tucker’s coaching experience may give them even more of an edge against Washington’s Kalen DeBoer, who’s in just his third NCAA season and first with the Huskies.


Michigan, Penn State, Purdue headline NBC Sports, Peacock’s early Big Ten schedule


Big Ten Football is coming to NBC Sports and Peacock for the first time ever this upcoming season. This year’s coverage will feature Big Ten’s first weekly broadcast primetime games and nine Peacock-exclusive matchups. The NBC Sports Big Ten Football package will feature Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock, marking the first time ever that the Big Ten will have a dedicated weekly primetime game on a national network. There will also be nine games available exclusively on Peacock.

Big Ten opening week schedule

NBC Sports will debut its Big Ten Football package with two of college football’s top programs — Penn State and Michigan — on Sept. 2.

  • Exclusively on Peacock, at Noon ET, the reigning Big Ten champion Michigan Wolverines will host East Carolina at “The Big House.”
  • On NBC and Peacock, at 7:30 p.m. ET, the reigning Rose Bowl champion Penn State Nittany Lions will host West Virginia at Beaver Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams since 1992.

Additional Big Ten Football games announced today

Saturday, Sept. 16th – Washington vs. Michigan State (5 p.m. on Peacock)

The Washington Huskies, who had the nation’s top passing offense in 2022 led by Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Penix Jr. visit the Michigan State Spartans, who finished 11-2 in 2021 and ranked among the country’s top 10 teams.

Saturday, Sept. 16th – Purdue vs. Syracuse (7:30 p.m., NBC and Peacock)

The Purdue Boilermakers, winners of the Big Ten West division last season, host the Syracuse Orange. These teams will face in a rematch of last season’s thriller, where the two combined for 42 points in the fourth quarter alone before the Orange squeaked out a three-point victory.

Saturday, Nov. 11th – Ohio State vs. Michigan State (7:30 p.m., NBC and Peacock)

The Ohio State Buckeyes, a College Football Playoff national semifinalist last season, host Michigan State.

Friday, Nov. 24th – Penn State vs. Michigan State (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock)

Penn State visit Michigan State in a Black Friday primetime matchup at Ford Field in Detroit.

Notre Dame games on NBC

NBC Sports’ primetime schedule also includes two of college football’s most-anticipated matchups. Ohio State will play at Notre Dame Sept. 23 and USC, the top team in the Pac 12 last season, will play at Notre Dame on Oct. 14. Both games will be broadcast on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: Notre Dame announces 2023 NBC kickoff times, led by Ohio State and USC in prime time

NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football and primetime games announced to date:

Sat. Sept. 2 Noon East Carolina at Michigan Peacock
Sat., Sept. 2 7:30 p.m. West Virginia at Penn State NBC, Peacock
Sat., Sept. 9 Noon Delaware at Penn State Peacock
Sat., Sept. 9 7:30 p.m. Charlotte at Maryland NBC, Peacock
Sat., Sept. 16 5:00 p.m. Washington at Michigan State Peacock
Sat., Sept. 16 7:30 p.m. Syracuse at Purdue NBC, Peacock
Sat., Sept. 23 7:30 p.m. Ohio State at Notre Dame NBC, Peacock
Sat., Oct. 14 7:30 p.m. USC at Notre Dame NBC, Peacock
Sat., Nov. 11 7:30 p.m. Michigan State at Ohio State NBC, Peacock
Fri., Nov. 24 7:30 p.m. Penn State at Michigan State (Ford Field) NBC, Peacock

The remaining NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football games will be announced during the season.

Wisconsin college football history: Big Ten and national titles, stadium, 2023 season outlook and more


Winners of the inaugural Big Ten title in 1896, the Wisconsin Badgers enter a new era in 2023 with Luke Fickell taking over as head coach. Fickell takes over a team which finished last season with a losing conference record for the first time since 2008 and enters this year with a new quarterback under center.

Beginning this fall, NBC and Peacock will be the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night, a primetime football game each weekend. Peacock will also serve as the exclusive home for eight additional Big Ten football games each season. Keep reading for a primer on all things Wisconsin and all things Big Ten ahead of the 2023 season.

How long has Wisconsin been in the Big Ten?

Wisconsin is one of the original members of the Big Ten, playing in the conference’s inaugural season in 1896. The Badgers won each of the first two conference titles, finishing first in the Big Ten in both 1896 and 1897.

Has Wisconsin ever won the Big Ten championship?

Wisconsin has won 14 Big Ten championships, including the inaugural title in the 1896 season. Their most recent Big Ten championship came in the 2012 season, which capped off three-straight conference titles for the Badgers from 2010 to 2012.

RELATED: Wisconsin RB Allen discusses playing for Fickell

Has Wisconsin ever won the national championship?

No, Wisconsin has never won a national championship in football. In the 1962 season, Wisconsin finished second in both the AP and Coaches polls behind Southern Cal, who defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl that season.

What is the name of Wisconsin’s stadium?

With a capacity of more than 80,000, Camp Randall Stadium serves as the home of the Wisconsin Badgers football team. The land was originally used for training Wisconsin troops during the Civil War and is named after Wisconsin’s first wartime governor, Alexander W. Randall. Camp Randall is home to one of college football’s greatest traditions, with the crowd erupting with the playing of the song “Jump Around” by House of Pain.

RELATED: Wisconsin spends spring practice adapting to new offense

Who is Wisconsin’s head coach?

After leading Cincinnati for the past six seasons, Luke Fickell is entering his first year as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Fickell replaces Paul Chryst, who was fired last October and replaced by Jim Leonhard, who finished the year as interim head coach. Fickell went 57-18 over his six seasons in Cincinnati, including a trip to the 2021 College Football Playoff. He is no stranger to the Big Ten, playing at Ohio State in the 1990’s and spending 16 of his first 18 seasons in coaching on the Buckeyes’ staff, including one year as head coach (2011).

What is Wisconsin’s mascot?

Bucky Badger (full name Buckingham U. Badger) is the mascot for the Wisconsin Badgers. While the badger has been the university’s mascot since 1889, the first costumed Bucky did not make an appearance until 1949 and is known for wearing his signature red and white striped shirt.

RELATED: NCAA rules panel approves keeping clock running on 1st downs

What is Wisconsin’s 2023 season outlook?

The Luke Fickell era is beginning in Madison, with Fickell taking over a team that has won a bowl game in eight of the past nine seasons. Coming with Fickell is new offensive coordinator Phil Longo, who spent the past four years in the same position at North Carolina. Longo is known for having a pass-heavy offense with the Tar Heels and will look to bring that to a Wisconsin program known for a ground-and-pound, run-heavy attack. Fickell and Longo brought in three new quarterbacks from the transfer portal to replace former starter Graham Mertz, who transferred to Florida. Redshirt senior Tanner Mordecai, who played at both Oklahoma and SMU, looks set to take over as the starting QB in Madison this year.

How to Watch Big Ten Football on NBC and Peacock

In August 2022, NBCUniversal and the Big Ten Conference today announced a landmark 7-year agreement for NBC and Peacock to become the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night football, beginning in fall of 2023. Peacock will also serve as the exclusive home for eight additional Big Ten Football games each season.

NBC Sports/Peacock’s new agreement with college sports’ top conference will also feature dozens of men’s and women’s basketball games (including multiple games each year in the Men’s and Women’s Big Ten Tournaments), Olympic sports, golf and more, providing hundreds of hours of Big Ten content across Peacock.

What devices can I watch Peacock on?

Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Amazon FireTV and Fire tablets; Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices;  Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs; LG Smart TVs; Comcast’s entertainment platforms including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex, and XClass TV; and Cox’s Contour and Contour Stream Player devices. To learn more about Peacock and how to sign up, visit