Miami (Ohio) (1-2) at Northwestern (1-2), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)

Line: Northwestern by 7 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Miami leads 6-3


Northwestern has dropped two straight since a season-opening win over Nebraska in Ireland, including a 31-24 stunner to Southern Illinois of the Football Championship Subdivision. The Wildcats are also staring at a tough one-two punch to open Big Ten play. They visit No. 14 Penn State next week and host Wisconsin on Oct. 8. Miami lost 38-17 at Cincinnati in the 126th Battle for the Victory Bell, giving the Bearcats 16 straight wins against their in-state rival and the series lead. The Redhawks open MAC play at Buffalo next week.


Northwestern RB Evan Hull vs. Miami ILB Ryan McWood. Hull leads the nation in all-purpose yards with 652, including 308 rushing and 301 receiving. McWood has been arguably Miami’s best player with 31 tackles and one of the defense’s four interceptions.


Miami: QB Aveon Smith. Smith figures to make his third straight start since Brett Gabbert exited a season-opening loss at Kentucky with an injury to his non-throwing arm. He was 9 for 21 for 116 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Cincinnati.

Northwestern: Hull. Hull ran for 124 yards and a touchdown against Southern Illinois. Against Duke, he caught 14 passes for a career-best 213 yards and a TD. That made him the first Power Five running back this century with at least 14 receptions and 200 yards in a single game.


The programs are meeting for the first time since Northwestern’s 16-6 win in 2009. … Northwestern and Miami have some connections. Ara Parseghian and Randy Walker played at Miami and served as head coaches there before taking over at Northwestern. … Miami is 0-7 against the Big Ten since coach Chuck Martin took over in 2014. The RedHawks’ most recent win against the conference was 44-14 over Northwestern in 2003, when they went 13-1 and were ranked No. 10 in the final AP Poll with Ben Roethlisberger leading the way. … Miami has held leads in 36 of its past 41 games. … The RedHawks have been quick starters, winning all three coin tosses and scoring on each game-opening possession, including touchdowns at Kentucky and against Cincinnati. … Northwestern was held to 380 yards last week after going for 528 against Nebraska and 511 against Duke. … The Wildcats are averaging a league-low 16.6 points while giving up 29 per game – third-most in the Big Ten.

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