RUTGERS AT ILLINOIS The facts: 11 a. m., BTN, 670- AM. The records: Rutgers 1- 4, 0- 2 Big Ten; Illinois 2- 3, 0- 2 Big Ten. The storyline: It’s the Somebody Has to Win Bowl. Then again, there’s no need to be cynical about it. For the Illini, it’s an opportunity to see hard work pay off as they reach for any clear signs of progress. Quarterback Jeff George Jr. has to take better care of the ball after a three- interception day at Iowa. Watch out, everyone, for Rutgers all- purpose threat Janarion Grant, who could go the distance at any time. The line: Illini by 2 ½ . Greenberg’s pick: Illinois, 24- 17. NORTHWESTERN AT MARYLAND The facts: 2: 30 p. m., ESPN2, 720- AM. The records: Northwestern 2- 3, 0- 2 Big Ten; Maryland 3- 2, 1- 1.
The storyline: Sometimes the best thing a team can do is just get the heck out of Dodge and take on a challenge somewhere new. Hello, College Park. The Terrapins are three, maybe four, quarterbacks deep into their roster because of injury. Northwestern will sell out against the run and beg the Terps to try to pass the ball. Here’s a novel concept for the Cats when they have the ball: Maybe block a little? The line: Wildcats by 3 ½ . Greenberg’s pick: Northwestern, 31- 14. NORTHERN ILLINOIS AT BUFFALO The facts: 2: 30 p. m., ESPN3, 560- AM. The records: NIU 3- 2, 1- 0 Mid- American; Buffalo 3- 3, 1- 1. The storyline: Seems a little late for NIU to be playing its MAC road opener, doesn’t it? Buffalo has managed to beat the Huskies only once in 11 tries, so it’s hard to envision an upset here. Besides, NIU’s defense is legit. Yes, folks, a MAC defense is legit. The Huskies are seventh nationally in total defense. The line: Huskies by 4 ½ . Greenberg’s pick: NIU, 27- 16.
Illinois quarterback Jeff George Jr. threw three interceptions at Iowa. | AP