Big Ten Football Game by Game Predictions: Week 3

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Sep 12, 2015; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Warren Long (13) runs off the field with teammates after a touch down during the first half of the game against the Eastern Illinois Panthers at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

UNLV (0-2) vs. Michigan (1-1), 12 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network

Earlier in the offseason, I had made a bold prediction that Michigan would head into the game versus Michigan State with just one loss. I’m sticking to that as the Wolverines will have no issue with disposing of UNLV at home.

The Rebels have yet to win a game this season and the Wolverines won their first game under Jim Harbaugh — expect the momentum to keep going in the right direction for this team. Don’t expect Jake Rudock to get any better, however.

Prediction: UNLV 14, Michigan 38

Kent State (1-1) vs. Minnesota (1-1), 12 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network

Another game that will likely be in hand starting from the opening whistle happens to be Minnesota vs. Kent State. Darrell Hazell’s former team hasn’t had the same success in a few years and will struggle against a tough Minnesota defense.

Losing his top tight end target from a season ago, Mitch Leidner’s passing attack has lost even more luster — if that’s even possible. Drew Wolitarsky and KJ Maye are trying to give the aerial attack new life while Rodney Smith is doing his best David Cobb impression.

Prediction: Kent State 10, Minnesota 31

No. 23 Northwestern (2-0) vs. Duke (2-0), 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN 3

Northwestern is the Big Ten’s surprise team, coming in as the newest squad from the conference to make the AP Top 25. However, the Wildcats will have their hands full against Duke in this one on the road as the Blue Devils’ offense has been scary-good through two weeks.

Thomas Sirk is running the offense to perfection for Duke while Clayton Thorson has been trying to gain traction and confidence for the Wildcats. Look for Justin Jackson to have a big day on the ground for Northwestern, but Sirk will have the final say.

Prediction: Northwestern 24, Duke 27

Next: Saturday's games: Part 3