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Big Ten Report


Hosts Western Michigan on Saturday


** Starting QB Jon Beutjer missed the second half of last week’s 35-17 loss to UCLA with a bruised sternum.  Tests were done and no fractures were found.  He didn’t practice on Sunday or Monday and is listed as day to day.  If Beutjer can’t go, true freshman Brad Bower will start.  Bower had 102 yards passing and another 39 on the ground last week.


** UCLA scored TD’s on their first two possessions of the game to lead 14-0.  The Illini defense gave up a whopping 14.6 yards per play on those two possessions.  In those two drives the Bruins marched 96 yards in 6 plays and 65 yards in 5 plays.  The Bruins first possession started on their own 4-yard line after the Illini failed to get a first down on 4th and one from the four.


** Last Saturday’s loss was the Illini’s 12th straight vs. Division 1A opponents.




@Kentucky on Saturday


** The Hoosiers won 30-24 at Oregon last Saturday in what may have been the surprise of the week.  However a closer look reveals that the Ducks may have “handed” them the game so to speak.  The Ducks turned the ball over a whopping 7 times while Indiana had just two.  Oregon had 21 first downs to Indiana’s 12.  The Ducks also ended the game with 495 total yards to Indiana’s 198.   


** IU led the Ducks 23-0 at halftime and literally “held on” for the win.  Oregon had a first down on the Indiana 16 yard line with just under
three minutes left in the game.  A TD would have given them a one point lead.  OU QB Kellen Clemens screen pass was picked off on first down a put an end to the Ducks final scoring threat.


** Going into the game, Oregon had won 21 straight non-conference games at Autzen Stadium dating back to 1994.


** Saturday’s win was just the third non-conference road win for the Hoosiers since 1995.  The others were at Toledo in 1996 and at Cincinnati in 1998.




@Arizona State on Saturday


** Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz admitted that they will have to rely heavily on their defense until the offense comes around.  The Hawks scored 17 points and had just 305 yards of total offense in last Saturday’s win over Iowa State.  He is most concerned with the offensive line as they have struggled as a whole.


** Iowa backup tailback Albert Young sprained his knee and will most likely be out this weekend @ ASU.  Young had 87 yards on 26 carries so far this year.


** ASU expects a sellout of 73,000 for this Saturday’s games.  Iowa will be well represented, however as they have sold approximately 9,000 to their fans.


** The Sun Devils lost at Iowa last year 21-2.  ASU had just 184 yards of total offense and were held without a TD for the first time since 1995.  The Devils are just 1-12 the last 13 times they’ve faced a team ranked in the top 25.




Hosts San Diego State on Saturday


** Head coach Lloyd Carr is very upset and concerned over Michigan’s lack of a running game.  The Wolves had just 56 yards rushing on 30 carries last week.  For the first time in a LONG time, Michigan does not have a top notch tailback.  They have many who are decent capable backs (David Underwood, Jerome Jackson, Pierre Rembert & Michael Hart), however none are All-American or even All-Big Ten caliber at this point in their careers.


** Speaking of David Underwood, the Wolverines starting tailback was knocked out of last week’s game on just the second play from scrimmage.  He suffered a mild concussion when attempting to throw a block.  He did not return to the game and his status for this Saturday is up in the air.  He did not take place in a light workout on Sunday.


** QB Matt Gutierrez, who was supposed to be the opening day starter before suffering an injury, still has not practiced as of Sunday.  His shoulder is still bothering him.  True freshman Chad Henne has started in his place.  Henne threw 40 passes @ ND on Saturday which Carr said is way too many.  They didn’t have a choice due to their lack of a running game.




Hosts Notre Dame on Saturday


** “Unsettled” is the one word to describe MSU’s QB situation.  Senior Damon Dowdell started and played the entire game against Rutgers in week one.  He didn’t play at all last week vs. Central Michigan.  Redshirt freshman Stephan Reaves made his debut last Saturday and got the start vs. CMU.  Drew Stanton, who would have been the Spartans starter beginning the year were it not for a knee problem, also got his first action of the season.  His knee has been bothering him throughout training camp and could be an ongoing problem.  Reaves (9 for 19, 183 yards vs. CMU) will start this Saturday vs. Notre Dame.


** Starting LB Seth Mitchell, arguably the Spartans best defensive player, has yet to play this season.  Mitchell has had a chronic knee problem since 2001 and may not play at all this season.


** Defensive end Clifford Dukes, who is also one of MSU’s top defensive players, played sparingly vs. CMU due to a quadriceps injury.  His status for this weekend’s game will be evaluated later in the week.



@Colorado State on Saturday


** Starting left tackle Rian Melander injured his hip in the first quarter of last Saturday’s win over Illinois State.  Head coach Glen Mason keeps injuries under wraps, thus his status is unknown.


** The Gopher defense looked poor at best last Saturday vs. Illinois State.  They gave up 480 total yards and 21 points to the Division 1AA team.  Why did they play so poorly?  Easy, they were flat.  After coming off a big win over Toledo and with a trip to Colorado State on deck, they had a hard time focusing on a team that they knew they would beat.  Some of the players actually admitted to not playing as hard at they could have.  It happens every week in College Football.  The key for us is to try and find out who those teams will be before the game starts. 


** First year starting QB Billy Cupito ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency after the first two games of the season.  He ranks behind fellow Big Ten QB Kyle Orton of Purdue who leads the country.  In two games Cupito is 20 for 34 for 483 yards. 




Hosts Kansas on Saturday


** Starting tailback Noah Herron had 105 yards rushing in last week’s loss to Arizona State.  He did get belted with a very hard hit in the first half and appeared very “wobbly” on his feet.  He did play in the second half, however after the game he did have some symptoms of a possible concussion.  He will be evaluated throughout this week before a final decision is made in regards to this Saturday’s game vs. Kansas.  Early reports are that he will be cleared to play this weekend.


** Head coach Randy Walker was upset with the “passion” his team exhibited in last Saturday’s loss.  He said he wasn’t sure his players played with the passion it takes to be a good team.  It  could have been the after affects of a tough 3-point OT loss @ TCU a week earlier.  Because of their bowl aspirations and their 0-2 start, this weekend’s game vs. Kansas is pretty much a must win if the Wildcats want to reach their seasonal goals.


** Despite being 0-2, NU has really outplayed each of their first two opponents statistically.  In their 3-point loss at TCU, the Cats’ had 10 more first downs and 112 more total yards.  In last week’s home loss to Arizona State, NU had one more first down and 28 more total yards. 




@ NC State on Saturday


** In last year’s home game vs. NC State, the Buckeyes came up with a wild 44-38 win in triple overtime.  The Bucks had 13 fewer first downs and 19 fewer total yards than the Wolfpack.  OSU averaged just 1.7 yards per carry in that game.  However, the OSU defense held NC State to a miniscule 0.7 yards per carry.  The Pack was stopped inches short of the goal line on fourth down in the third overtime leading to the OSU 6-point win.


** Senior starting defensive back Dustin Fox broke his arm in Saturday’s 24-21 win over Marshall.  He will be out for at least four to six weeks.  Fox is a three year starter for the Buckeyes.


** Marshall kicker Ian O’Connor blew two chances late in the game to possibly pull the upset at the Horseshoe.  He missed a 35-yard field goal with just over three minutes to go in the game.  O’Connor, who is also the punter, then shanked a 27-yard punt with just 25 seconds left in the game.  That poor punt gave OSU a chance to drive for the game winning 55 yard field goal as time expired.

** OSU sophomore QB Justin Zwick's 318 passing yards vs. Marshall were the most by an Ohio State quarterback since Steve Bellisari threw for 320 in an Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina on Jan. 1, 2002.  Zwick is also the first sophomore to throw for 300 yards at OSU since John Borton passed for 312 yards against Washington State in 1952.  On the negative side, he did have two interceptions and fumbled four times.



Hosts Central Florida on Saturday

** Sophomore tailback Austin Scott, who ran for 116 yards in Week 1, did not receive a single carry vs. Boston College last Saturday.  He was used as a kick-returner, but was not allowed to play as a tailback due to missing a team meeting earlier in the week.  Scott and Tony Hunt have been splitting time at tailback.  His status for this weekend’s game vs. CFU is unknown. 


** Joe Paterno stated that he thought his team responded much better to this year’s loss to BC as compared to last year.  He said the “attitude” was much better on Sunday and they had a good practice.  Last year his team was “moping around” the week following the loss and this year they had a much better demeanor.  Will that turn into a solid performance vs. CFU on Saturday?  We will have to wait and see.

** Since taking over at PSU, Paterno is 13-1 SU vs. Mid American Conference teams.



Bye week

** Purdue is red-hot outscoring their first two opponents (Syracuse and Ball State) 110-7.  Thus head-man Joe Tiller is not happy that his team now has a week off before playing @ Illinois on September 25th.  The Boilermakers originally were scheduled to play Cincinnati this week, but agreed to open the season against Syracuse on Sept. 5 instead. Syracuse will now host Cincinnati this week.  Before making the change, Purdue was scheduled to open the season with Ball State last weekend and then play 11 consecutive weeks with no bye.  Thus, Tiller made the decision to change it up so his team would have a bye.  Now he’s not so sure. 

** The Boilers should be full strength when they travel to Illinois on September 25th.  Starting CB Antwaun Rogers and RB Jerome Brooks both sat out last Saturday’s win with injuries.  Both will be back at practice this week and ready to go vs. the Illini.



@ Arizona on Saturday

** Head coach Barry Alvarez is not happy with the time change on this weekend’s game.  It was originally supposed to be a night game, but was rescheduled to start at 1:00 PM Pacific time for TV.  Thus, the heat will definitely be a factor.  Game time temperature is expected to be over 100 degrees.  Wisconsin had a very mild summer camp thus the heat, which is normally a factor, was not.  However, the first two home games for the Badgers were warm (both in the 80’s) thus that should help them this Saturday.  The players have already started to drink extra liquids in preparation for Saturday.

** Wisconsin is already down to their third string tailback.  Sophomore Booker Stanley is now the starter after All-American candidate Anthony Davis suffered an eye injury in week one and his back up, Dwayne Smith has had to give up football due to a heart condition.  Davis will be out for at least a few more weeks and he could be out for the season.  Stanley’s back up is true freshman Jamil Walker who ran for 88 yards in last week’s win over UNLV.

** The Badger defense is the ONLY Division 1A team that has yet to give up a touchdown.  New defensive coordinator, Bret Bielema, who came over from Kansas State has Wisconsin playing with a renewed enthusiasm on that side of the ball.

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