Baylor (2-1) at Iowa State (3-0)
Basics: 11 a.m., Jack Trice Stadium, Ames
TV/radio: ESPN2; KGYM (1600 AM), KWPC (860 AM), KJOC (1170 AM)
Storylines: The Bears and Cyclones have become an interesting Big 12 rivalry. They have split the last six meetings with an average margin of six points. It is the conference opener for both teams, and Iowa State has a chance to start a season 4-0 for the first time since 2000. The Cyclones lead the Big 12 in scoring defense (9 ppg.) and total defense (234.3 ypg. ) and have eight takeaways. Baylor’s Blake Sharpen is an athletic quarterback completing 68% of his throws and has a 4-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Dillon Doyle transferred to Baylor shortly after the Iowa program parted ways with his father and longtime strength coach, Chris Doyle, two summers ago. Dillon has ranked second on the team in total tackles each of the past two seasons.
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Northern Iowa (0-3) at Western Illinois (0-3)
Basics: 3 p.m., Hanson Field, Macomb, Ill.
TV/radio: ESPN Plus; KXEL (1540 AM)
Storylines: UNI, coming off a 37-21 loss at home to Sacramento State, has never started 0-4 in coach Mark Farley’s 22 seasons. While both teams rank among the bottom 10 in defense in FCS football (UNI 114th at 518 yards per game and Western 117th at 534 yards), the difference could be UNI’s offense. The Panthers rank 24th nationally and QB Theo Day passes for about 300 yards per game. The Leathernecks opened the season with losses to Tennessee-Martin, Minnesota and Southern Utah. Projected to finish last in the MVFC in the coaches’ preseason poll under first-year coach Myers Hendrickson, Western threw four picks and lost a fumble last week against Southern Utah.
Wheaton (1-1) at Augustana (2-0)
Basics: 6 p.m., Lindbergh Stadium, Rock Island
Live stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/augustana/
Series: Having won the last 14 meetings, Wheaton leads the series 33-29-2. Augie’s last victory over the Thunder was a 17-14 decision in 2006.
Storylines: It is FAMILY weekend on the Augustana campus, the reason for the evening kickoff. … Thomas Hall (Jr., Metamora HS) will again be back under center for the Vikings in place of Cole Bhardwaj (Jr., Algonquin Jacobs HS), who is still nursing a wrist injury. … Augie senior Bobby Inserra was the CCIW Special Teams Player of the Week this week. He returned five punts for 78 yards (15.6 yards per return) and his long of 27 yards set up a touchdown in the 34-16 victory over Elmhurst. … Wheaton comes in ranked No. 11 in the latest D3football.com poll. The Thunder opened the season with a 17-16 loss at No. 9 Trinity (Texas) and opened CCIW play last week with a solid 42-7 thumping of Illinois Wesleyan. In last week’s game Wheaton QB Will Bowers completed 23 of 29 pass attempts for 333 yards and four TDs as the Thunder scored all 42 points in the first half. Bowers has thrown for 635 yards and five TDs in two games. … Augie coach Steve Bell has been impressed by Wheaton TB Giovanni Weeks (Sr., Kent City, Mich.), who leads Wheaton’s ground attack with 74 yards and a score. … Wheaton averages 29 points per game, 406.5 yards offense and 354 yards defensively. Augie averages 34 points per game, 394 yards offense and gives up 379 yards defensively.
Coach Steve Bell: “The key for us is we’ve got to execute. I think our kids understand the physicality that they bring to the table and the type of team Wheaton is because we have plenty of kids who have played against them before. It’s being able to stay true to who we are and not panic. … A key for us is to get the game deep into the fourth quarter and then lay it on the line.”
Up next: The Vikings are on the road next Saturday, taking on Millikin in Decatur. Game time is 1 pm