Urban Meyer said he and California coach Jeff Tedford have a great relationship and that Meyer incorporates some of Tedford's offensive concepts into the Buckeye's spread attack. (US Presswire)

1. Can Notre Dame move the ball on Michigan State's defense? One of the marquee games of the weekend in all of college football, let alone the Big Ten, is No. 20 Notre Dame at No. 10 Michigan State. It’s the Spartans’ second huge nonconference game and fortunately for Michigan State, the Irish will start sophomore QB Everett Golson in his first road game. Golson’s been sacked six times already and will undoubtedly face relentless heat from the Spartans front-seven, despite recording just one sack through two games.

Michigan State’s defense has yet to allow a touchdown and has only conceded two field goals thus far. Notre Dame’s averaged 260 passing yards and 172 rushing yards but would be fortunate to get anywhere near either one of those numbers on Saturday night. The Spartans defense had allowed a total of 109 rushing yards in two games but the Irish welcome back suspended senior running back Cierre Wood, who rushed for more than 1,100 yards last year and nine touchdowns. Keep in mind that the Michigan State-Notre Dame series is in jeopardy following the Irish’s move to the ACC, so enjoy it while you can.

2. California represents Buckeyes' premier nonconference game: It’s not USC, Texas, or Miami, but Ohio State’s game against California Saturday at the Horseshoe is the Buckeyes’ biggest non-conference game of the year. It’s also the conference’s best shot at redemption against the Pac-12, who scored a perfect 3-for-3 in games vs. the Big Ten last week. With such a big fan base, Ohio State should be commended for feeding their appetite with at least one big non-conference game per year, even when other Big Ten foes are reluctant make their schedule tougher.

The Golden Bears defense gave up 97 yards rushing in week one to Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo and 220 yards total on the ground in the 31-24 loss at home. Fajardo’s 49-yard touchdown scramble was the longest play of the game. Braxton Miller has each of the Buckeyes’ longest plays (65 yards, 37) in their two wins and both came on scrambles that ended in the endzone.

Meyer’s offensive tactics shouldn’t come as any surprise to Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who says he and Urban Meyer have a great relationship. “He’s probably one of the better friends I have in coaching,” Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch reported.  Meyer reciprocated the statement saying, “Every year we spend a lot of time together.” Meyer also added that he respects Tedford as a coach and “studied football with him back when I was at Bowling Green and still to this day utilize some of his pass concepts.”  

3. Can Nebraska slow down the spread? Arkansas State coach Guz Malzahn guides exactly the type of the offense that burned Nebraska last week for more than 650 yards. Malzahn was the offensive coordinator for Arkansas when the Razorbacks were led by Darren McFadden and he was in the same position for Auburn when the Tigers won the championship in 2010 with Cam Newton.

The Red Wolves fit the mold of a Malzahn-led offense. Quarterback Ryan Aplin, who aside from throwing for 606 yards and four touchdowns in two games, is the team’s second-leading rusher with a 6.1 ypc average on 18 attempts. Do the Huskers have the speed to contain the Red Wolves’ running offense, after allowing 344 yards rushing last week in the loss to UCLA?

For more Big Ten coverage, follow Mike Singer and Dave Carey @CBSSportsBigTen.