Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, top, leaps over Northern Illinois cornerback Albert Smalls during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 20-13. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Jay LaPrete
September 24, 2015

Some things to watch in the Big Ten during Week 4 of the season:

GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 22 BYU at Michigan. Jim Harbaugh can get his first win over a ranked opponent when the Cougars visit the Big House. Jake Rudock has been up and down, and with five interceptions he's already matched his 2014 total at Iowa. He'll face a defense that's the national co-leader with seven picks. Now would be a good time for the Wolverines to ramp up their run game. The Cougars gave up 296 yards on the ground in last week's loss at UCLA.

BEST MATCHUP: Southern Mississippi QB Nick Mullens against Nebraska's secondary. Miami's Brad Kaaya picked apart the Cornhuskers' secondary in the first half last week, and the Huskers are yet to show they can keep any passing team under control. Nebraska coaches took a hard look at their pass defense this week, and Southern Miss will be a good gauge before Big Ten play starts at pass-heavy Illinois. Southern Miss QB Nick Mullens has thrown for 275 yards or more each game.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: No. 1 Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott has run for at least 100 yards in eight straight games entering the meeting with Western Michigan. ... Indiana heads to Wake Forest on a four-game win streak since last season, the longest since 1993. ... Michigan State will go unbeaten in nonconference play for the first time since 2010 if it defeats Central Michigan. ... The Bowling Green-Purdue game features two of the nine FBS teams that have all five of their offensive line starters back. ... Matt VandeBerg's Big Ten-leading 22 catches are the most of any Iowa player through three games since Kirk Ferentz became coach in 1999.

LONG SHOT: Kansas has lost 30 straight road games since 2009 and travels to Rutgers as a 13-point underdog. Watch out, Scarlet Knights. In a season when so much has gone wrong for Rutgers, the time is ripe for an upset. The Knights couldn't run against Penn State last week and QB Chris Laviano was sacked five times. Kansas used an open date to compose itself after losses to South Dakota State and Memphis.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner felt so bad about how he played in a 10-7 win over Kent State last week that he called Jerry Kill to apologize. It's bounce-back time now. The Gophers will get all they want from a second straight MAC opponent, this time unbeaten Ohio. If Leidner struggles again, the calls will get louder for Kill to take the redshirt off freshman Demry Croft.

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