Colorado State (1-2) at No. 5 Iowa
When: 2:35 p.m. Saturday (FS1)
Briefly: A quick glance at the statistics would indicate Iowa's Spencer Petras is an average Big Ten quarterback.
One number pops out, though, and illustrates a major reason the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes (3-0) have won nine straight games.
The second-year starter hasn’t thrown an interception since early in the second quarter of the Nov. 27 game against Nebraska, a streak of 22 quarters entering Saturday's 2:30 p.m. final nonconference game against Colorado State (1-2).
While Petras said he would like to improve on his completion percentage, he knows the more meaningful stat is his 154 consecutive passes without getting picked off.
“That’s probably the No. 1 job,” Petras said. “I think our number now is like 98% chance if we don’t turn the ball over on offense, we win the game at Iowa. Not turning the ball over is huge.”
Petras has completed 49 of 84 passes for 460 yards and two touchdowns this season for a 58.3% completion rate, below the 65% he set as his goal.
“The first stat that caught my eye was right there with the interception stuff,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “He’s doing a good job making good judgments.”
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Petras was 25 of 36 for 209 yards in last Saturday’s 30-7 win over Kent State.
This is the first matchup between Iowa and Colorado State but not the first time Rams coach Steve Addazio has gone against the Hawkeyes. Addazio's Boston College team faced Iowa in the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl, a 27-20 win for the Hawkeyes.
No. 14 Iowa State (2-1) at Baylor (3-0)
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday (Fox)
Briefly: The Cyclones (2-1) head into their Big 12 opener Saturday at Baylor having held four consecutive opponents under 100 yards rushing for the first time since 1944. But these Bears have been running wild.
Baylor (3-0, 1-0 Big 12) already has 964 yards rushing and 11 TDs to surpass its nine-game season totals from last year. Abram Smith is the first Bears running back with three consecutive 100-yard games since 2015, also the last time they had more than 300 yards rushing in back-to-back games. .
Iowa State made its first Big 12 championship game and was the league runner-up last season. Now after a disappointing loss to instate rival fifth-ranked Iowa two weeks ago, the Cyclones rebounded with a 48-3 win last week at UNLV for their largest winning margin on the road since 1923.
Nebraska (2-2) at No. 20 Michigan State (3-0)
When: 6:10 p.m. Saturday (FS1)
Briefly: The Huskers haven’t beaten a ranked opponent on the road since 2012, when they won 17-14 at then-No. 12 Penn State. But Nebraska has by far the best record against Michigan State of any Big Ten team, winning nine of 11 matchups.
Included are 50-10 and 55-14 routs of Nick Saban’s teams in 1995-96 and a 39-38 upset of a College Football Playoff team in 2015.
The Spartans are averaging 39.3 points and have scored at least 38 points in each of their three wins. They scored 16 touchdowns in less than 16 days this month, two more than they had in seven games last season.