2017 BIG TEN Football Week 2

Posted on September 7, 2017. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sporting News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten Week 2…

September 9, 2017

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

Week 2 has some big games on tap… Who will remain undefeated? Who will get that first win? Big Ten went 9-4 record during Week 2. Many teams have opportunities but let them slip away. Who were the BIG rinners…

44 21

Jeff Brohm and the Boliermakers jumped out to a 34-7 halftime lead over the Bobcats. Purdue put up some massive numbers offensively, 558 yards, with a nice run/pass balance; 295 through the air and 263 on the ground. David Blough averaged an absurd 18 yards per attempt as the junior went 11 of 13 for 235 yards and three scores.

17 41

 

44 41 (overtime)

Always, we mean always a good game… Picture this: it was late in the fourth quarter and things weren’t looking so hot for the Hawkeyes then Akrum Wadley scored an incredible touchdown to tie the game and sent things to overtime. Iowa State kicked a field goal but then the Hawkeyes answered with a touchdown pass to hang onto the Cy-Hawk trophy. INSTANT CLASSIC!!!!

6317

 

3614

Wilton Speight threw for 221 and two scores, but continues to struggle with errant throws. Kekoa Crawford and Grant Perry were both on the receiving end of the touchdown strikes. Ty Isaac continues to look like the best option in the backfield, rushing for 133 yards on 20 carries.

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3114

 

28 14

Another MAC opponent defeated by BIG TEN… what’s more incredible is the Spartans are 2-0… what a difference a year makes! Plus, Brian Lewerke has been showing off his legs this season, and he scored twice on Saturday; including a 61-yarder. L.J. Scott rushed for 86 yards and a score on 18 carries.

33 14

Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley, and Mike Gesicki led the way for the Penn State offense. McSorley ran and threw for 229 total yards with three touchdowns and an interception; Barkley ran for 88 and a score while adding another touchdown on a nifty 46-yard catch and run; and Gesicki hauled in two touchdown catches in the first quarter of play.

13 16

 

17    34

 

41 35

Completing 21 of 25 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions is a hell of a game for a college quarterback, right? That was the half-time stat line for Oregon’s Justin Herbert and he’s a sophomore. WOW!

The Duck offense looked like what we’ve gotten used to seeing over the years, putting up 566 yards of total offense.

Tanner Lee wasn’t his best in Eugene. Lee completed just 19 of 41 passes for 252 yards with three touchdowns and four crucial interceptions. Tailback Tre Bryant and wideout Stanley Morgan Jr. both topped the 100-yard mark. Bryant scored once while Morgan found the end zone twice. The Huskers did rally back quite nicely after a 42-14 half-time deficit, but they fell short in the end.

3116

Talk about a BIG loss… Game was tied at the half at 3-3. In the first 30 minutes, the Buckeye defense held their own against a highly explosive Sooners’ offense, but halftime adjustments were made, and the Sooners came out on fire.

OU quarterback Baker Mayfield came through on the field as well as made his name more known as a Heisman candidate, he ended the game throwing for 386 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-35 passing.

All momentum shifted in the fourth quarter, as the Sooners 17-13 lead turned into a 31-13 lead after a 10-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to Trey Sermon, and a 3-yard rushing TD from Jordan Smallwood. Those two TDs were part of a 21-point unanswered scoring spree for Oklahoma, who entered the game ranked as the fifth best team in the country.

 

7    20

Defensively the Illini played tough as nails Saturday night against Western Kentucky as they knocked them off. Linebacker Julian Jones returned an interception for the game’s first touchdown. The visitors could only manage 244 yards of offense on the day. On the other side of the ball, the Illini ground game held their own behind the play of Mike Epstein, who led all rushers with 111 yards on 21 carries.

48     14

 

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What a weekend of games for the BIG Ten! Next week’s slate brings very little excitement to the table. The Buckeyes will look to contain Army’s option attack (oof). Michigan hosts Air Force and the Nittany Lions take on mighty Georgia State. Those games should be sponsored by Red Bull.

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2017 BIG Ten Football Week 1 Recap

Posted on September 1, 2017. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sporting News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten Week 1 Recap…

September 2, 2017

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

It’s that time… BIG TEN Football time!!!!  Who snagged an opening day victory?

For the most part, the Big Ten took care of business in the opening weekend. The season kicked off Thursday night will league victories by Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin (Friday), while Rutgers came up short.

Then came Saturday…. teams like Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa and Penn State all took care of business against lesser so-called opponents—which, I suppose, is expected in the first game of the season.

But what about Maryland? The Terrapins went into Austin and stuck it to the Texas Longhorns, 51-41. More on this below, so let’s go around the league….

 

7  17

49  21

In front of a jammed packed crowd (Attendance: 52,929) at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, the Hoosier put up a good, solid fight against the nations number 2 team, Buckeyes, but came up short, 49-21.

The hometeam jumped out on top and held the lead until the second half and freshmen, J.K. Dobbins, stepped up on his debut, finishing the contest breaking a 15-year-old school rushing record with 181 yards on 29 carries. Quarterback, J.T. Barrett tossed three touchdown passes in the victory.

”I’m probably the only good thing going on in my town right now, so I just thought of it as bringing my city up,” Dobbins said after spending the past week watching the flooding in the Houston area. ”That’s why I came out and played hard like that.”

The Hoosiers were led by R. Lagow, who finished the game with 40 of 65 with 410 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Really nothing to hold his head down about. The biggest problem was rushing, where the Hoosiers had 27 carries for 17 yards. Receiver Simmi Cobbs Jr. had a career-high 11 catches for 149 yards and one TD. Luke Timian had 10 receptions for 72 yards.

Coach Meyer is 16-0 all-time in season openers. The Buckeyes finished with 596 total yards, 292 on the ground, and forced three turnovers. Campbell had six catches for 136 yards.

OTHER GAME HIGHLIGHTS – CORSO HOISTED

ESPN broadcaster Lee Corso got a lift, literally, from his former players after receiving Indiana’s Bill Orwig Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the university by a non-alum.

After a video played and he was presented with a plaque, the players gathered round and hoisted him on their shoulders. Corso coached the Hoosiers from 1973-82 and led the Hoosiers to their first bowl win – 38-37 over No. 9 Brigham Young in the 1979 Holiday Bowl. He was inducted into school’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

UP NEXT

Ohio State: Heads home Sept. 9 for an even tougher match-up against No. 7 Oklahoma.

Indiana: Travels to Virginia on Sept. 9.

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30   14 (final)

10  59 (final)

 

21 24 (FINAL)

This game was a lot closer than it should have been but was pure, old school grunt football as hometeam, Illini, held off Ball State with a 24-21 win. Illini were up at halftime and blew a nine-point halftime lead and wasted several scoring opportunities down the stretch and the visitors capitalized on it with a pair of strong showing third-quarter touchdowns to take the lead. True freshman tailback Mike Epstein found the end zone with just over two minutes left in the game and that was enough to give Illinois the win.

Illini quarterback Chayce Crouch threw for 145 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“We got a lot of young guys out on the field today,” Crouch said. “I think some of our inexperience showed at times. But they’ll learn from it.”

Wide receiver Mikey Dudek was one of the country’s top freshman wideouts in 2014 and made his much-anticipated Illini return on Saturday and hauled in two passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.

In the end as time was expiring, the Cardinals were attempting a 54-yard field goal by Morgan Hagee to send the game in the overtime, but Jamal Milan was able to get up blocked the kick with his right arm.

“I actually saw it and I heard it,” Milan said. “It was pretty low. At first I couldn’t believe that I hit it. But at the same time, I could feel it. It was as loud as it can be.”

The Illini offense could only manage 216 yards on the day. They know they have to do a lot better than that in order to be competitive in the league.

Up next for Illini, they will host Western Kentucky; Ball State will play UAB.

3  24 (FINAL)

1035 (FINAL)

0  52 (final)

51 41 (FINAL)

This game was straight out of arcade game… like vintage techmo bowl stuff!

Tom Herman’s debut did not go as planned for the Longhorn faithful as D.J. Durkin’s Terrapins put up half a hundred on a hapless Texas defense. Terps’ quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome ran and threw all over the Horns and Maryland was able to hold onto the lead despite losing the sophomore in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.

It’s difficult to describe exactly how bad the Longhorn defense looked after it took an interception to the house on the third play of the game. The Maryland offense pretty much did whatever it wanted in Austin.

The rushing attack averaged over six yards per carry and scored four times. Tailback Ty Johnson recorded 132 yards and a score on just 12 carries while Pigrome added 64 yards and a score of his own. After the Pigrome injury, true freshman quarterback Kasim Hill completed all three of his passes for 44 yards while adding 14 yards and a score on the ground.

The game literally ended with Texas fans taking out their frustrations by throwing debris onto the field. Not good, Tom.

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20 31

33 17

Florida basically suspended half of its team leading up to the opener against Michigan, and it was pretty obvious the Gators were missing something on Saturday. Truth be told, the offense has been missing something for years now, but the defense didn’t look like its usual self.

The Wolverines new uniforms were something to behold right? MAybe the uni’s gave them needed motivation especailly on D. The Gator offense put up just 192 yards, turned the ball over three times, and failed to find the end zone. Both of Florida’s touchdowns came on interception returns.

Wilton Speight finished the game completing 11 of 25 passes for 181 yards with one score and the two interceptions. The ground game got it done, though, tallying 215 yards and a touchdown. Surprisingly it was Ty Isaac – not Chris Evans – who led the way in the backfield. Isaac averaged over 10 yards per carry and totaled 114 yards on the day. Evans managed just 78 yards on 22 carries.

 

35 28

The Boilermakers nearly pulled off a major upset in Jeff Brohm’s debut as new head coach. Reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson put up some big-time numbers, but the Purdue defense prevented Louisville from firing on all cylinders.

Jackson totaled 485 yards of total offense and threw for a pair of touchdowns, but the Boilermakers forced three turnovers and limited the Louisville running game outside of its quarterback. Junior wideout Jaylen Smith had a big night with eight receptions for 117 yards.

Purdue split its snaps between two quarterbacks. Last season’s starter – junior David Blough – threw for 175 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Sophomore Elijah Sindelar added 118 yards, two scores, and an interception of his own. The running game never really got going as they rushed for just 51 yards on 21 carries. Jackson Anthrop caught seven passes for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Good showing Boilermakers!

36  43

Not a bad start for the Big Ten as the Maryland and Michigan victories were both big in terms of national perception (if you’re into that sort of thing), but the former was certainly the most surprising outcome of the weekend. Purdue looks like it may be on the right track under Jeff Brohm, and Rutgers wasn’t nearly as putrid as the world was expecting.

All in all, the Big Ten East continues to look like one of the best divisions in the country. From top to bottom—Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State (oh, and Rutgers)—each team is capable of making games extremely competitive.

This will be a fun season to follow.

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2017 BIG Ten Forecast

Posted on August 28, 2017. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sporting News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What’s in store for the BIG TEN?

August 2017

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

A year ago at this time, 32 out of 39 Big Ten Conference media members in a Cleveland.com poll predicted that Iowa would win the league’s West Division. Hhhhm…. wonder how they feel about that now?

Then in the East Division, 31 of 39 picked Ohio State to rule the roost. Whoops!

Well, here comes our predictions. So if we misfire with our world-famous pick of Ohio State over Minnesota in the championship, don’t laugh (until December 3).

In all seriousness, Wisconsin is the odds-on favorite to beat out the likes of Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern and Minnesota. Now in the East, I’m hesitating to go against conventional wisdom and beloved Buckeyes. There’s some left over for Penn State, last year’s surprising league champion that brings just about everyone back. In the end, when all of the smoke clears, I’m going with the BIG Blue… as they will snap a five-game losing streak in the Ohio State series, winning an East tiebreaker for a berth in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.

By the end of the season, the inexperienced Wolverines should be peaking. And they’ll win a rematch of their Nov. 18 game against Wisconsin at Lucas Oil Stadium and represent the Big Ten in the College Football Playoff.

EAST DIVISION
1. Michigan
2. Ohio State
3. Penn State
4. Indiana
5. Michigan State
6. Maryland
7. Rutgers

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WEST DIVISION
1. Wisconsin
2. Northwestern
3. Iowa
4. Minnesota
5. Nebraska
6. Purdue
7. Illinois

Should be a fun, entertaining season…. we are only a few hours away from kickoff BIG TEN style… Who do you have winning it all?

 

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2016-17 BIG Ten Preview

Posted on November 7, 2016. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG TEN Basketball Preview…

November 7, 2016

PrezRo
compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

We are predicting that the Big Ten will experience a “changing of the guard” in 2016-17.

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The crispness of the fall air, the time change (fall back), and the squeak of basketball sneakers in gymnasiums across the country can only mean ONE thing – basketball is back! And the official start for the march to March Madness has started.

bigten-bball

Here’s our look at the Big Ten:

As of right now, Wisconsin seems to have the greatest advantage. The Badgers return every key player from a team that regrouped under new coach Greg Gard to go 12–6 in Big Ten play. Meanwhile, teams like Michigan State, Indiana and Purdue will look for role players and secondary scorers to take the next step.

1. Wisconsin

Five starters return, including Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig — key players with Final Four experience.

 

2. MichiganState

Tom Izzo has rarely relied on freshmen, but he will do so this season with Miles Bridges and Joshua Langford heading his best recruiting class.

3. indianabb-logo

If Pitt transfer Josh Newkirk delivers at point guard and OG Anunoby takes the next step, the Hoosiers could win the Big Ten title again.

4. purduebb-logo

Getting Vince Edwards and Caleb Swanigan to return was critical, but Matt Painter’s team won’t contend unless it finds a high-caliber point guard.

5. Michigan

Keeping Derrick Walton healthy for the entire season is critical for the Wolverines, who have a nice first five but little experienced depth.

6. marylandbb-logo

Melo Trimble is back for his third tour at Maryland. He will have to play like the league’s best point guard as the Terps try to replace four starters.

7. OhioState

Transfers wiped out most of Thad Matta’s sophomore class, so depth and the maturity of point guard JaQuan Lyle are the primary issues.

8. pennstate-bb

With the addition of Pat Chambers’ best freshman class, the Nittany Lions will be able to win with talent as well as grit.

9. Iowa
The loss of four starters plus memories of the Hawkeyes’ struggles down the stretch last season make Iowa the Big Ten’s biggest mystery.

10. northwesternbb

Chris Collins has upgraded the talent every year, and he has the point guard (Bryant McIntosh) to compete.

11. illinois-bball

Losing 19 games and facing a string of off-the-court issues have Illini fans wondering if John Groce can regain momentum.

12. minnesotabb
Richard Pitino has failed to make the NCAA Tournament for three seasons and needs to impress a new athletic director.

13. nebraska2

Losing Andrew White in late June was major setback that coach Tim Miles did not expect.

14. rutgersbb

The Scarlet Knights have hit the reset button — again. It’s Steve Pikiell’s turn.  Big Ten Superlatives

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Player of the Year: Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin

Best Defensive Player: Ethan Happ, Wisconsin

Most Underrated Player: Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State

Top Newcomer: Miles Bridges, Michigan State

 

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Big Ten Week 5 Recap

Posted on October 2, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Conference play time… time to make a move!

October 3, 2015

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With non-conference play done for the season, it’s finally time to test each other and figure out who is the best in the Big Ten this season. These are the real games where every win and loss will determine who will be making that trip to Indianapolis in December, and that first step begins this weekend.

Conference upsets? Mmmmmmm… Let’s take a look at how things transpired.

There are three pivotal games in the Big Ten this weekend.

28 michigan2014  maryland2014 0

Coach Harbough has these guys believing in each other as well as the system as them steamrolled Maryland and shut them out at home.

The Wolverines were solid on both sides of the ball and senior QB Jake Rudock controlled the tempo and finished the contest going 16 of 32 for 180 yards with one touchdown.

The Michigan defense forced three turnovers as the Terps’ quarterback situation continues to look disastrous. Junior Caleb Rowe was picked off three times before being benched for the second straight week. Rowe has now thrown 12 interceptions on the season.

0 minnesota2014  northwestern2014 27

The Wildcats pitched a shutout while only allowing just 173 yards to the Gophs’ offense. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner was held to just 72 yards passing and one interception on the day. Can you say defense?

The Wildcat offense was led by quarterback Clayton Thorson and tailback Justin Jackson. Thorson threw for 128 yards and added another 24 yards and two scores on the ground. Jackson rushed for 120 yards on twenty carries.

13 nebraska2014  illinois2014 14

Nebraska has had some major issues in the waning minutes of its games thus far, and that continued Saturday in Champaign. The Illini scored the game-winning touchdown with just seconds left on the clock; something that is becoming all too familiar to Husker fans. Talk about disappointment.

The Illini (4-1, 1-0 in Big Ten) defense stopped the Cornhuskers (2-3, 0-1) on a fourth-and-7 at their own 27-yard line with only 51 seconds to play to give Wes Lunt one last shot at winning the drive. At that point, on three straight plays, Lunt went to his favorite target, Geronimo Allison. Twice Allison caught the ball, only it was out of bounds. But the Nebraska secondary also interfered with Allison to move the ball to the 1.

Lunt finally hit Allison in bounds, low and just inside the end zone for the game winner with 10 seconds to play.

Lunt led the way for the Illini as the junior threw for 251 yards and a pair of scores, while Allison finished with eight passes for 91 yards and a score.

Tommy Armstrong struggled just about all day for Nebraska, completing just 10 of 31 passes for 105 yards and an interception. True freshman tailback Devine Ozigbo ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak in Big Ten openers, and was Illinois’ first victory against Nebraska since 1924.

Attendance: 40,138

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10 iowa2014    Wisc-helmet 6

Upset? Naw… just slow, sloppy game. The Badgers held Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard to just 77 yards passing but the Hawkeye defense forced four turnovers in leading the way to the victory.

Jordan Canzeri led the way again for the Iowa offense, rushing for 125 yards on 26 carries. The lone touchdown of the contest came just before halftime as Beathard connected with tight end George Kittle for a one-yard score. The Hawkeye offense managed just 221 yards on the day and failed to put up any points in the second half.

For the Badgers, senior quarterback Joel Stave did not have his finest day. He threw for 234 yards with two interceptions while also losing a pair of fumbles.

This lose snapped Wisconsin’s ten-game home winning streak.

21purdue2014  michiganstate201424

Moral victory or did the Spartans play down to the Boilermakers and took their feet off of the gas pedal?  State was up 21-0 halftime and Purdue’s running back Markell Jones caused all kinds of fits for the Spartans. The true freshman rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Quarterback David Blough added 136 yards and a score through the air. Late in the fourth quarter with a chance to pull off one of the season’s biggest upsets, but they failed to convert on fourth down, allowing the Spartans to remain among the unbeatens.

Connor Cook threw for a meager 138 yards and a touchdown, but the Michigan State running game continues to lead the way on offense. True freshman L.J. Scott had the best game of his young career, rushing for 146 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries. Madre London added 97 yards on the ground while Cook chipped in another 48 yards.

34ohiostate2014  indiana-helmet 27

Army 14,  Penn State 20

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It was a bit of an ugly week for the conference as Ohio State and Michigan State both struggled but they snagged the ‘W’ – no one will care how they won in November. Northwestern and Iowa continue put together some impressive performances and the Hawkeyes should find themselves ranked this week. And Michigan’s defense continues to look like one of the top units in the country as Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines on the up and up.

Next week we’ll all be watching as the Buckeyes host Maryland amidst all the homecoming festivities. Indiana travels to Happy Valley for what could be an intriguing matchup. The game of the week will take place in Ann Arbor where Michigan will take on Northwestern.

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BIG Ten Week 1 Recap

Posted on September 8, 2015. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten week 1… improvements!

September 6, 2015

The Big Ten football season kicked off this weekend, and there were a lot of improvements, but it’s difficult to ignore the conference’s struggles from the 2014 campaign. While a 7-5 record may not sound especially awful, you have to consider the quality of the opponents. Let’s take a look at how things transpired…

UTAH 24, MICHIGAN 17

Things got started Thursday in Salt Lake City as head coach Jim Harbaugh made his highly-anticipated Michigan coaching debut on FoxSports1. As expected this was going to be a tough test for the Wolverines but despite the final score, they were able to keep it reasonable. Now on the other side of the ball, UM’s D was pretty tough as they held running back Devontae Booker to just 69 yards on 22 carries.

ALABAMA 35, WISCONSIN 17

The Badgers were able to hang around early against the Crimson Tide, but the Bama was just too much especially on the ground. Derrick Henry ran for 147 yards and three scores while averaging over eleven yards per carry. Kenyan Drake added another 77 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own. Robert Foster led the way for the Bama receivers, hauling in four passes for 50 yards and a score.

Joel Stave was a bright spot for Wisconsin as he threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and a late-game interception. The biggest issue for the Badgers was their lack of a running game.

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NORTHWESTERN 16, STANFORD 6

Upset? Sure according to the analysis but the Wildcats are forreal. And their defense came to play on Saturday, holding the Cardinal offense to 240 yards and forcing two turnovers. The Northwestern offense was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson and sophomore tailback Justin Jackson. While Thorson didn’t put up huge numbers – 105 yards passing and 68 rushing – he ran for a 42-yard touchdown in the second quarter and, most importantly, didn’t turn the ball over. Jackson added 134 yards on 28 carries.

TCU 23, MINNESOTA 17

The Gophers were looking to avenge last season’s loss to the Horned Frogs, but two costly first-half fumbles ruined that. Quarterback Mitch Leidner fumbled the ball on the Gophs’ second possession which would ultimately lead to a Trevone Boykin touchdown run. After a promising second-quarter drive, Minnesota running back Rodrick Williams Jr. fumbled at the TCU one-yard line; the Horned Frogs recovered in the endzone for a touchback.

BYU 33, NEBRASKA 28

The most heartbreaking loss of week one undoubtedly took place in Lincoln as Mike Riley’s Nebraska debut was spoiled by a BYU hail mary.

MICHIGAN STATE 37, WESTERN MICHIGAN 24

statefarm1

 

 

IOWA 31, ILLINOIS STATE 14

The Hawkeyes kicked things off against a highly ranked FCS team and defending runner-up Illinois State Redbirds. Iowa’s defense shut down the Redbirds’ rushing attack, allowing a mere 35 yards on the ground. The Hawkeye offense was led by quarterback CJ Beathard and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. Beathard threw for 211 yards and one score while also adding two touchdowns on the ground. Daniels Jr., a Warren, OH native, rushed for 123 yards.

ILLINOIS 52, KENT STATE 3

After Friday night’s scheduled showdown was postponed due to lightning, the Illini faithful had to wait a day to dominated the Golden Flashes. The start of the Bill Cubit era featured a much-improved, opportunistic defense that forced four turnovers while holding the Kent State offense to just 59 yards rushing.

On the other side of the ball, Junior quarterback Wes Lunt tossed four touchdown passes and senior tailback Josh Ferguson rushed for 76 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. When the game got out of hand and some of the younger players began to see the field, true freshman running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn added 43 yards on the ground and a touchdown of his own.

INDIANA 48, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 47

After suspending nine players for the season opener, the Hoosiers were barely able to fend off the Salukis of Southern Illinois – surviving only after a failed two-point conversion attempt. The Indiana defense gave up a whopping 659 yards as the Hoosiers found themselves down 32-21 at the half.

Offensively, the Hoosiers looked to be in mid-season form. Senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 351 yards and a score. Running back Jordan Howard, a transfer from UAB, rushed for 145 yards and three scores in his Hoosier debut. While the suspensions definitely played a part in their performance, head coach Kevin Wilson has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.

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TEMPLE 27, PENN STATE 10

MARYLAND 50, RICHMOND 21

RUTGERS 63, NORFOLK STATE 13

Bottom line? The Big Ten needs to perform better, especially in its more prominent non-conference matchups. There is still a lot of football left – things worked out pretty well after last season’s rough start, wouldn’t you say?

 

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BIG TEN / ACC Challenge

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2013 BIG TEN / ACC Challenge

BIGTEN-ACC-Challenge-2013

DECEMBER 2, 2013

This years’ Big Ten/ACC Challenge promises to be two of the most exciting days of the college basketball season, as 24 teams from two powerhouse conferences collide on the hardwood.

The Commissioner’s Cup remains with the Big Ten after a tie in this event last year, although the ACC boasts a 10-3-1 record over its rival conference. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if the ACC can pick up its first win since 2008, especially with so many talented squads in the field.

Here is this years’ schedule and our predictions (in BOLD)…

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NOTE: Three ACC teams were excluded this year: Clemson, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Tuesday, Dec. 3 (all times ET)
7:15 – Indiana at Syracuse (ESPN)
7:15 – Illinois at Georgia Tech (ESPN2)
7:30 – Penn State at Pittsburgh (ESPNU)
9:15 – Michigan at Duke (ESPN)
9:15 – Notre Dame at Iowa (ESPN2)
9:30 – Florida State at Minnesota (ESPNU)

Wednesday, Dec. 4 (all times ET)
7:00 – Maryland at Ohio State (ESPN or ESPN2)
7:00 – Wisconsin at Virginia (ESPN or ESPN2)
7:30 – Northwestern at NC State (ESPNU)
9:00 – North Carolina at Michigan State (ESPN)
9:00 – Boston College at Purdue (ESPN2)
9:30 – Miami at Nebraska (ESPNU)

This is going to be a great tournament and a single game could be the difference between a win or loss—and possibly another tie—in the challenge.

I have it all tied again, but putting pride into the equation could change everything. So, don’t be surprised if the outcome of this challenge comes down to the final minutes of the final game being played on Wednesday night. These two conferences are that evenly matched and it could truly go either way.

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Here are a few fun notes about the Challenge…

•Seven of the 12 games will mark first-time Challenge matchups: Michigan-Duke, Maryland-Ohio State, Miami-Nebraska and Boston College-Purdue, plus the debut of the three new ACC members Syracuse (vs. Indiana), Notre Dame (at Iowa) and Pitt (vs. Penn State).

•In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Nebraska holds a 3-1 record against Miami; Purdue won both previous meetings against BC; Ohio State and Maryland last played in 1985 with OSU three out of the five all-time games; and Notre Dame will play Iowa for the first time since 1990 and holds a 8-5 series record.

•Old Pennsylvania rivals Pitt and Penn State will meet for the first time since 2005. The Panthers have won the past five contests.

•Illinois/Georgia Tech and Wisconsin/Virginia will follow their first-time Challenge meetings in 2012 with a rematch in the 2013 event. The Illini and Cavaliers won last year’s matchups.

•Best Three Out of Five: North Carolina/Michigan State and Minnesota/Florida State will meet in the Challenge for the fifth time. Both series are 2-2.

•Rubber Match: Northwestern and NC State will square off in the Challenge for the third time. Northwestern won in 2009 and NC State in 2002.

•Syracuse and Indiana have met five previous times in non-Challenge games, with the Orange winning the past four, including last season’s Sweet 16 matchup.

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BIG Ten Goes East and West

Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No more Legends and Leaders… 

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AP) — No more “Legends.” And no more “Leaders.”

The Big Ten is giving them the boot and following a more conventional route for its division names.

The conference is going with “East” and “West” instead and switching to a nine-game scheduling format after presidents and chancellors approved the moves on Sunday.

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The new division alignments will begin in 2014 when Rutgers and Maryland join the conference, meaning “Legends” and “Leaders” will be a thing of the past. That will probably come as good news for fans who have criticized those names ever since the league unveiled them in 2010. To many, they were confusing and didn’t help identify where teams play, but that won’t be an issue any more.

Besides the new division alignment, teams will go from playing eight conference games to nine in 2016.

“Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of East/West geography,” commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “The directors of athletics also relied on the results of a fan survey commissioned by BTN last December to arrive at their recommendation, which is consistent with the public sentiment expressed in the poll.”

Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers will be in the East division. The West will consist of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.

Schools will play six division games plus two against teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, they’ll play three cross-division games.

Indiana and Purdue will meet on an annual basis. But Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said each school had to make compromises.

“Fourteen athletic directors came to the table with different objectives and our goal was to compromise to the point that we could move together with one plan,” he said. “Each of us had things that were extremely important and things on our wish list. I wanted us to play Michigan State and Ohio State every year and for the Michigan-Ohio State game to be the last one ever year. I’m pleased we’re going to be able to do those three things.

“But it’s not a perfect setup because no school got everything they wanted.”

East division teams will host five conference games during even-numbered years starting in 2016, with West teams hosting five in odd-numbered seasons. Under that format, teams will be guaranteed to play each other at least once every four years, and in a statement, Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman called that “an important feature.”

He also praised the changes, saying they are “the best option” and “will serve us well.”

Brandon said a 10-game format was “carefully considered to even out the home-and-away problem,” but that would have hindered nonconference scheduling.

“If you take away another nonconference game, it would have a detrimental impact financially for everybody in the conference, and we would’ve taken the biggest hit because we have the largest stadium,” he said.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini praised the division alignment and the nine-game format.

“Geography seems to be a logical way to determine the divisions, and it should allow for easier travel for our fans,” he said in a statement. “The nine-game conference schedule will help improve the strength of schedules across the board in the Big Ten, and I think everyone anticipates strength of schedule being a key component for choosing teams to participate in the new playoff system.”

Delany said athletic directors met in person or talked on conference calls six times from December to March to discuss the changes.

“The level of cooperation and collaboration was reflective of what we’ve come to expect from this group of administrators who have worked extremely well together on a number of complex matters over the past several years,” he said. “We are all looking forward to ushering in this new era of Big Ten football.”

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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2012-13 USBWA Women’s All-America Team

Posted on April 10, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

USBWA Announces 2012-13 Women’s All-America Team

April 3, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch, 314-795-6821

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Baylor senior center sensation Brittney Griner became the ninth three-time honoree and was joined by four other repeat selections on the 2012-13 U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women’s All-America Team from last season.

Also selected as repeat All-Americans were Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas, and Baylor’s Odyssey Sims.

Additionally, a first-time sister act has occurred with Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike, whose sibling Nnemkadi, now with the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, was a three-time honoree. Texas A&M’s Kelsey Bone is the school’s second player to earn All-America honors.

Former Oklahoma star Courtney Paris and former UConn great Maya Moore are the only four-time honorees since the All-America women’s team gained USBWA status in 1996-97.

Because of the upsets in the Sweet 16, only Notre Dame’s Diggins and Connecticut honorees Stefanie Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who meet for the fourth time this season in the national semifinals, will be the only honorees participating in the Women’s Final Four at the New Orleans Arena in Louisiana this weekend.

Three seniors, Griner, Delle Donne, and Diggins, expected to be the first three players selected in the WNBA draft on April 15, headline a squad that also has six juniors and one sophomore.

Diggins and UConn teammates Dolson and Mosqueda-Lewis give the Big East three representatives on the squad while Baylor teammates Griner and Sims, who are also past USBWA freshman of the year honorees, give the Big 12 two representatives.

The Atlantic Coast, Pac-12, Southeastern, Big Ten and Colonial Athletic Association each have one representative with Delle Donne being the only honoree from a mid-major school.

Diggins, Griner, Ogwumike, and Lucas were also conference players of the year, respectively in the Big East, Big 12, Pac-12, and Big Ten.

The USBWA Women’s All-America Team is the nation’s best ten players, regardless of position, as selected by the USBWA membership based on regular-season performance. These ten standouts are finalists for the USBWA’s Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as national player of the year, which will be announced Sunday at the New Orleans Sports Arena prior to the start of the NCAA semifinals.

Following is the complete 2012-13 USBWA Women’s All-America Team:

Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M, C, 6-4, Jr., Houston, Texas
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware, G/F, 6-5, Sr., Wilmington, Del.
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame, G, 5-9, Sr., South Bend, Ind.
Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut, C, 6-5, Jr., Port Jervis, N.Y.
Brittney Griner, Baylor, C, 6-8, Sr., Houston, Texas
Maggie Lucas, Penn State, G, 5-10, Jr., Narberth, Pa.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut, F, 6-0, So., Anaheim Hills, Calif.
Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford, F, 6-3, Jr., Cypress, Texas
Odyssey Sims, Baylor, G, 5-9, Jr., Irving, Texas
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland, F, 6-2, Jr., Harrisburg, Pa.

By conference:
Big East (3); Big 12 (2); ACC (1);
Big Ten (1); CAA (1); Pac-12 (1); SEC (1).

By class:
Seniors (3); Juniors (6); Sophomores (1); Freshmen (0).

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association, formed in 1956, has named a women’s All-America team since the 1996-97 season. The association has also named a national player of the year since 1987-88 and a national coach of the year since 1989-90. In 2002-03, the USBWA initiated an award for the nation’s top freshman.

For more information about the USBWA and its award programs, contact Executive Director Joe Mitch in the Missouri Valley Conference office at 314-795-6821.

Related link: * All-time USBWA women’s honors

 

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2013 McDonald’s All-American Game

Posted on April 7, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Girls and Boys… East meets West for braggin rights!!!

April 3, 2013

mcdonalds2013

Playing in the 36th annual McDonald’s HS All American Game (McDAAG) is almost a golden ticket to super-stardom on the collegiate or professional level. Since 1977, legendary players like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and more have all gotten their initial national exposure from playing in the McDonald’s Game.

PoweradeJAMFEST

There is no such thing as a sure thing in sports, but that hardly has us putting down our crystal balls in the form of amateur tournaments and all-star exhibitions. The McDAAG is no different, and has always been a chance to see the special young stars of today and daydreaming of where they will land just a few years from now.

The McDAAG is always about looking into the future, to see what these kids will do when they become men. In the case of Taya Reimer and Jabari Parker, Players of the Year, it’s safe to say that it will be all good things.

Indiana standout Taya Reimer, and Four-time Illinois state champion Jabari Parker hold up their McDonald's All American jerseys accompanied by Joe Wootten, left, the son of Morgan Wootten, and Douglas Freeland, right, Director of McDonalds All American Games after being picked as the national prep basketball players of the year Monday, March 18, 2013, in Chicago. The award, named for legendary Maryland high school coach Morgan Wootten, is awarded annually to the top male and female McDonald's All-American players. (caption provided by AP)

Indiana standout Taya Reimer, and Four-time Illinois state champion Jabari Parker hold up their McDonald’s All American jerseys accompanied by Joe Wootten, left, the son of Morgan Wootten, and Douglas Freeland, right, Director of McDonalds All American Games after being picked as the national prep basketball players of the year Monday, March 18, 2013, in Chicago. The award, named for legendary Maryland high school coach Morgan Wootten, is awarded annually to the top male and female McDonald’s All-American players. (caption provided by AP)[/caption]

GIRLS: West 74, East 55

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Final high school game…. what a way to end this chapter, and prepare for the next…. Senior guard Linnae Harper stood in the middle of a huddle of McDonald’s Americans at the United Center and initiated the celebratory cry.

“Whose side? West Side!” as the West defeated the East 92-64 in the girls McDonald’s All-American game.

Harper, a Kentucky-recruit, did a lot for the players visiting Chicago, including giving a tour of the city and recommending places to eat, but on Wednesday night, she pushed the pace of the game and helped her team snag a big victory adding eight points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals.

“Usually when I start the games, my first goal is to get a steal,” Harper said. “That brings intensity and energy to the game, and eventually that affected the team. We were just on a roll.”

At the half, the West led 45-35 and didn’t relinquish the comfortable lead. Harper directed a 7-0 second-half spurt in which she had a steal, two assists and a long jumper.

Also at halftime, Harper was given a different award, the Jack Daly Sportsmanship award, which she shared with Erica McCall and Kelsey Plum. It was a tribute, she said, to her desire to make sure her teammates enjoyed her city.

“I’m going around and showing them the best of Chicago because I would hope if I went to their state, they would give me the best of where they live at,” Harper said. “It’s all about giving back.”

“She did a great job coming out, anticipating, getting steals and buckets for us,” said West coach Anthony Smith, of Bolingbrook. “That’s the type of kid and player she is. It was great to see.”

Tennessee recruit, Mercedes Russell (Springfield, OR), was named the game’s MVP after finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for the West.

North Carolina recruit Diamond DeShields led the East with 15 points and five rebounds, while Harper’s future Kentucky teammate, Makayla Epps, added 13 points.

High School Player of the Year Notre Dame recruits Taya Reimer (2 points, 3 blocks) and Lindsay Allen (4 points, 6 rebounds) teamed up for the losing side with Northwestern recruit Nia Coffey (2 points, 6 rebounds).

“I could have done a lot better personally, but it’s really not about individual stuff,” Allen said. “It’s playing together, having fun.”

NOTABLE PERFORMERS: West — Tyler Scaife, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists; Jordan Reynolds, 10 points, 11 rebounds. East — Diamond DeShields, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals; Makayla Epps, 13 points.

Harper’s, now famous pre-game meal of the chicken skin mixed with ranch and french dressing, continues to help her basketball performances now for the Lady Wildcats.

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BOYS: West 110, East 99 Game

Talk about a stellar high school basketball career for Duke-recruit, Jabari Parker, from Chicago Simeon. And on Wednesday night, helped his All-American Squad (West), to a 110-99 victory over the East in front of his base-fans in Chicago at the United Center.

“It was the best experience so far,” Parker said. “Getting a chance to play in front of a lot of family. I saw a lot of my coaches out there, having Coach Mike coach me. A lot of people don’t know I was about to go to Mount Carmel if I didn’t go to Simeon.”

Matched against the number 1 ranked, undecided player, Andrew Wiggins, Parker immediately made his presence felt defensively. He had two quick blocked shots, including Wiggins’ first attempt from the perimeter. He managed to stay in front of Wiggins more often than not, but did commit five fouls in the process.

“It went pretty good,” Parker said. “He is super athletic so I had to over-commit on the drive, but he can shoot so it was kind of difficult. He is a great player.”

Parker didn’t have a problem getting his shot off on the other end, but getting the ball to drop was another matter. He was 4-for-13 shooting from the field and 2 of 2 from the line. Wiggins, on the other hand, was 6 of 10 and 7 of 8 for 19 points.

“Going against Jabari is the best going against the best,” Wiggins said. “I look forward to doing it in the future.”

Parker was asked if the evening was bittersweet because it was his final high school game. Parker replied “I think I have another game,” Parker said. “It is on the D.L. (down low) right now. It will surprise a lot of people.”

Parker finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Arizona-bound forward Aaron Gordon, California’s Mr. Basketball, had 24 points and eight rebounds to claim MVP honors.

Attendance: 15,818 at the United Center.

FUN NOTE: Record number of fans who attended the 2011 game at the United Center in Chicago. Last year’s attendance, also at the United Center, was 16,308. The attendance for the 2013 game was 15,818.

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Another successful McDonald’s All-American event and this clearly means the future of college hoops is in good hands!

JABARI PARKER CAREER

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2010 National Freshman of the Year (ESPN HS)
2011 National Sophomore of the Year (ESPN HS)
2012 National Junior of the Year (ESPN HS & MaxPreps.com )
2011 USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year
2012 National Player of the Year (Gatorade)
2012 Statewide Player of the Year (Gatorade, Illinois Mr. Basketball)
2012 First team All-American (ESPN HS, SLAM, USA Today)
2013 All-American (Jordan, McD’s)
2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 IHSA state champion
2013 National Player of the Year (McD’s/Wootten)
2013 Statewide Player of the Year (Gatorade, Illinois Mr. Basketball)

****McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME****

RonaldMcDonald

The McDonald’s All-American Game consist of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed skills competition. The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition. The boys’ game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.

The McDonald’s All-American designation began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an all-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington, D.C. area. The following year, the McDonald’s game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.

The McDonald’s All-American Team is the best-known of the American high-school basketball All-American teams. Having the designation of McDonald’s All-American instantly brands a player as one of the top high-school players in the United States or Canada.

The teams are sponsored by McDonald’s, the fast-food chain. Proceeds from the annual games go to local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and their Ronald McDonald House programs.

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