This Week in the Big Ten

Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun was named Sunday as the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week.

Sep 8, 2013

[ONE // big ten football near perfect in week two]
Big Ten football teams posted an 11-1 mark on the second Saturday of the 2013 season, topped off by a 41-30 Michigan win over Notre Dame.  Jeremy Gallon caught eight passes for 184 yards as the Wolverines defeated their non-conference rival under the lights in the Big House.  Illinois routed Cincinnati 45-17 behind 312 yards from quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, Iowa doubled-up Missouri State 28-14, Michigan State dropped South Florida 21-6, Minnesota ousted New Mexico State 44-21, and Nebraska handled Southern Miss, 56-13.  Elsewhere in the conference, Northwestern impressed in a 48-27 victory over Syracuse, Ohio State defeated San Diego State 42-7, Penn State blitzed Eastern Michigan 45-7, Purdue gave head coach Darrell Hazell his first win as a Boiler with a 20-14 win over Indiana State, and Wisconsin blanked Tennessee Tech, 48-0.

[TWO // spartans’ calhoun ready for camp]
Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun was named Sunday as the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week for games ending September 7. Calhoun had a big day as the Spartans (2-0) defeated South Florida, 21-6.  Calhoun posted three tackles, two for losses, and two quarterback hurries.  He also scored two defensive touchdowns - returning a fumble four yards for a score; and recording his first career interception which he returned 56 yards for a touchdown.  For the game, Michigan State's defense allowed just 155 yards of total offense. This is the 10th year that the Walter Camp Football Foundation will honor one offensive and one defensive player as its national Football Bowl Subdivision player of the week during the regular season. Recipients are selected by a panel of national media members and administered by the Foundation.

[THREE // northwestern’s ellis earns national honors]
Northwestern's Collin Ellis was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the, the Football Writers Association of America announced this past Tuesday.  Also named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Ellis returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the second half of Northwestern's 44-30 victory over California in week one.  He is just the sixth linebacker in Football Bowl Subdivision history to achieve the feat. His first interception came in the third quarter, returning it 56 yards to give the Wildcats a 24-20 lead. His second pick-six came midway through the fourth quarter on a 40-yard return, cementing the Northwestern win.  Click here for the complete release from the FWAA.

[FOUR // six gridiron standouts honored for class]
Six Big Ten student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected this past week as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate football. The Big Ten's six candidates are Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase, Indiana's Greg Heban, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Ohio State's Jack Mewhort, Penn State's John Urschel and Wisconsin's Chris Borland. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The Buckeyes' James Laurinaitis was named the inaugural football winner of the Senior CLASS Award in 2008.  The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot.

[FIVE // big ten coaches heads up on youth concussions]
On August 19, the Big Ten and USA Football announced a partnership to advance player safety through USA Football's Heads Up Football program. The Big Ten and USA Football produced public service announcements (PSAs) featuring each of the conference's head football coaches to voice the importance of Heads Up Football participation, which were posted this past week on  Video messages will appear throughout the 2013 football on BTN, stadium video boards, conference and member institutions' athletic web sites and Links to each of the head coach PSAs can be found by clicking here.

[SIX // big ten players prepared for nfl season]
The Big Ten was heavily represented this past week as the 2013 National Football League (NFL) season kicked off Thursday night with 221 players appearing on rosters of the 32 NFL teams. Former student-athletes from all 12 Big Ten programs appear on an NFL roster, led by 30 players from Ohio State. The Buckeyes are one of 10 college football programs to boast at least 30 players on the NFL's 53-man rosters. In all, nine Big Ten teams feature at least 16 former players on NFL rosters, including Ohio State, Penn State (26), Iowa (24), Wisconsin (24), Illinois (23), Michigan (23), Nebraska (22), Purdue (18) and Michigan State (16)

[SEVEN // four volleyball teams remain undefeated]
Four Big Ten volleyball teams remain undefeated on the season after another full week of competition.  Minnesota is 7-0 overall, while Ohio State and Wisconsin are 6-0, and Michigan is 5-0.  Among the highlights this week, No. 20 Michigan State upset No. 12 Oregon, and No. 23 Ohio State dropped No. 15 Florida State and No. 16 Western Kentucky on Friday, Wisconsin knocked off No. 17 Louisville on Saturday, and No. 18 Illinois blanked No. 11 Iowa State on Sunday.

[EIGHT // big ten soccer boasts five unbeaten teams]
Iowa and Minnesota have remained perfect on the women’s soccer season with a 6-0-0 record, while Michigan is 5-0-0 and Indiana is 5-0-1.  Big Ten women’s teams closed the week going 6-1-2 on Sunday as four teams recorded shutouts and two teams battled to double-overtime ties.  On the men’s side, Wisconsin holds the lead in the conference standings with an overall record of 2-0-1, followed closely behind by Michigan State and Northwestern at 2-1-0 each.

[NINE // big ten field hockey notches pair of top-20 wins]
Iowa and Northwestern sit atop the Big Ten field hockey standings with identical 3-1 records overall, while Indiana and Ohio State sit one game back at 2-2.  The week’s action was highlighted by a pair of top-20 wins, including No. 11 Northwestern over No. 16 Boston University (4-1) and No. 13 Iowa over No. 18 Wake Forest (2-0).  In addition, Indiana impressed with an 11-0 shutout over Saint Louis on Friday.

[TEN // fore!  watch for these golfers]
The Big Ten announced its 2013-14 Men’s and Women's Golfers to Watch Lists this past Wednesday, with three student-athletes from each conference team decorating the list. Twenty-seven golfers were named to the preseason watch list for the second consecutive season, with 15 student-athletes having previously earned All-Big Ten honors.  The Men’s Golfers to Watch List features 11 players who garnered recognition last year, while 16 women’s golfers are repeat selections to the Watch List.  In addition, the 2013-14 Big Ten men’s and women's golf seasons officially began this weekend, with five men’s and women’s squads taking to the course for the first time. 

[ELEVEN // nine golf teams earn preseason recognition]
Nine Big Ten golf teams have earned preseason recognition in the GolfWorld/Nike Golf Division I Preseason Coaches' Poll.  Three Big Ten men's golf squads are ranked, led by defending Big Ten Champion Illinois in 14th, while Northwestern and Iowa are receiving votes.  For the complete poll, click here.  On the women’s side, six team started the season among the nation’s best.  Purdue leads the way for ranked conference squads, coming in at No. 13. Michigan State checks in at No. 21, while Northwestern follows tied for the No. 22 spot. Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State all received votes. For the complete ranking, click here.

[TWELVE // two teams set to play for kay]
Finally this week, the Wisconsin at Penn State women's basketball contest on Sunday, Feb. 16 will be part of ESPN2's Play 4Kay Initiative, in support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. In partnership with the Jimmy V Foundation and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, the network will air seven games that day, including the Badgers-Lady Lions contest at 1 p.m. ET. In its eighth year, Play 4Kay is in memory of former NC State head coach Kay Yow, who lost her long, courageous battle with breast cancer. The conference's complete television lineup will be announced at a later date. For more information on the Play 4Kay event, click here.