Around the region
EWU at Toledo
Kickoff: 4 p.m. at the Glass Bowl, Toledo, Ohio
Records: EWU 2-0, Toledo 0-2
Overview: Toledo is unranked, but may offer a stiffer challenge than Oregon State partly because the Rockets know what’s coming. Eagles QB Vernon Adams has completed 41 of 52 pass attempts (78.8 percent) for 709 yards and nine TDs in two games. He’s also run for 152 yards and two more scores, helping EWU rank second in FCS in total offense with 611 yards per game. The Eagles defense, ranked 50th overall, faces a diverse offense that includes running back David Fluellen (1,498 yards last year) and wide receiver Bernard Reedy (88 catches, 1,113 yards in 2012). Senior QB Terrance Owens struggled against Florida and Missouri, going 43 of 79 (54.4 percent) with one TD and four interceptions. The Eagles are making their first trip east of the Mississippi since an FCS playoff game at Appalachian State in 2007.
NIU at Idaho
Kickoff: 2 p.m. at Kibbie Dome
Records: NIU 1-0; UI 0-2
Overview: The Vandals open their home schedule with the best nonconference team to come to the Kibbie Dome in years. Northern Illinois has received votes in both major polls following a win at Iowa to start the season and reaching a BCS bowl last year. In his first year as starter in 2012, Jordan Lynch became the first FBS quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards and run for more than 1,500 yards in a single season. Lynch and the Huskies’ talented receiving corps, led by Tommylee Lewis and Da’Ron Brown, will likely try to test the Idaho secondary down the field. The Vandals have given up four pass plays of at least 40 yards and more than 700 passing yards in two games. Another unit that has struggled is Idaho’s offensive line, which has allowed 12 sacks, most in the FBS. Chad Chalich is still UI’s starter at quarterback, but JC transfer Josh McCain will continue to get snaps, coach Paul Petrino said. Chalich has completed 69.5 percent of his passes and has yet to throw an interception.
UW at Illinois
Kickoff: 3 p.m., Soldier Field, Chicago
Records: Washington (1-0), Illinois (2-0)
TV/Radio: Big Ten/590-AM
Overview: Washington will look to control Illinois’ big plays. The Illini have plenty of gadget plays at their disposal in addition to a preference to throw deep passes. Expect the Washington cornerbacks to play press coverage and attempt to jam Illinois receivers at the line. Offensively, a big dose of Bishop Sankey should serve the Huskies well against an aggressive Illinois defense. Big plays over the top to John Ross, Jaydon Mickens and down the seam to Austin Seferian-Jenkins should be available off play-action.
Todd Dybas, TNT
Whittier at Whitworth
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. at the Pine Bowl
Records: Whitworth (1-0), Whittier (0-0)
Overview: Whitworth looks to build on its success after a 36-7 drubbing of St. Scholastica in the Pirates’ opening game last Saturday. Whittier, the alma mater of former President Richard Nixon, went 4-5 and 3-4 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2012. Whitworth’s secondary is expected to be tested by Poets wide receiver Diante Jackson, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior from Oakland, Calif. Jackson was originally recruited by Oregon before attending junior college and then transferring to Whittier. The Pirates defense held the Saints 200 total yards and only 52 yards in the first half last week.