Sept. 9, 2012
[ONE // big ten football concludes week two]
Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Ohio State all picked up wins in the second week of the 2012 football season on Saturday. Of the six wins, several quarterbacks made headlines with their impressive efforts. Braxton Miller became the first Ohio State quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in 34 years and he passed for another score to lead the 14th-ranked Buckeyes to a 31-16 victory over Central Florida, Andrew Maxwell threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a 41-7 win over Central Michigan, Denard Robinson ran for 218 yards, threw for 208, and scored four times to help No. 19 Michigan hold off Air Force for a 31-25 win, while Minnesota’s MarQueis Gray scored four touchdowns in a 44-7 rout of New Hampshire.
[TWO // gopher honored nationally for defense]
Minnesota safety Derrick Wells was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week this past Tuesday for games of the weekend of Sept. 1. Wells made the most of his first career start with two critical interceptions to boost the Golden Gophers to a 30-27 triple overtime victory at UNLV. With the honor, Wells will be added to the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. Five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be announced by the Football Writers Association of America on Nov. 15. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 3. Bottom of Form
[THREE // handful of others honored for week one efforts]
Four other Big Ten football standouts were honored this past week for their efforts in week one. Northwestern's Venric Mark was one of four players named to the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll, which honors versatile, single-game performances around the nation. The Paul Hornung Award is granted annually to the most versatile player in major college football. Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Ohio State's Braxton Miller were two of nine quarterbacks named "Stars of the Week" by the Manning Award, which is granted to the nation's top signal caller and the only quarterback award that includes bowl performances in its balloting. Also, Iowa's Mike Meyer was one of five kickers named a "Star of the Week" by the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award.
[FOUR // big ten standouts on the big stage]
The Big Ten was heavily represented this past weekend with the 2012 National Football League (NFL) season kicking off, as 242 players appeared on the 53-man active rosters of the 32 NFL teams. Former student-athletes from all 12 Big Ten programs appear on an NFL roster, led by 37 players from Ohio State. The Buckeyes are one of six college football programs to boast at least 37 players on the NFL's 53-man rosters. In all, eight Big Ten teams feature at least 20 former players on NFL rosters, including Ohio State, Iowa (30), Penn State (27), Michigan (26), Nebraska (26), Wisconsin (24), Illinois (21) and Purdue (20). The Big Ten and SEC are the only conferences to feature eight schools with 20 or more players on the 53-man rosters. The Big Ten is one of three conferences to feature 240 or more players opening the NFL season.
[FIVE // volleyball trio still undefeated]
Three Big Ten volleyball teams remain undefeated on the season, with Michigan State standing 9-0, while Nebraska and Northwestern each sit at 8-0. The Spartans captured a 3-2 thriller over IPFW on Friday and a 3-0 result of Albany on Saturday to stay perfect. Top-ranked Nebraska shut out Oklahoma on Thursday and Duquesne on Friday before stopping No. 19 Kentucky 3-1 on Saturday. As for Northwestern, the Wildcats blanked Brown on Friday and defeated Villanova on Saturday. Among the other notables in the league this past week, No. 14 Minnesota upset No. 4 Texas 3-1 on Thursday, No. 23 Michigan stopped No. 25 Northern Iowa on Saturday, while Indiana head coach Sherry Dunbar earned her 200th career win.
[SIX // northwestern pacing field hockey teams]
Northwestern sits atop the Big Ten field hockey standings with a 6-1 record overall. Indiana, which sits at 4-1 on the year, ranks second in the non-conference standings, while Penn State (5-2), Iowa (3-2), Michigan (3-3), Michigan State (3-3) and Ohio State (2-3) round out the Big Ten contingent. Three of the four conference contests on Friday featured overtime action, with the Big Ten going 2-1 in those games. No. 15 Michigan topped No. 21 Albany 2-1 in extra sessions, while Indiana dropped Louisville 3-2 in overtime. No. 20 Michigan State fell 2-1 in extra time to No. 6 Virginia. On Sunday, The 11th-ranked Wildcats headlined the slate with a 4-2 victory over No. 9 Duke.
[SEVEN // wildcats sit atop men’s soccer standings]
Speaking of Northwestern, the Wildcats’ men’s soccer program remains unbeaten on the year with a 3-0-2 mark that leads the Big Ten in non-conference play. Indiana follows with a 4-1-1 record, while Penn State sits third-best at 3-1-1. Among the highlights this past week, Northwestern topped Drake 2-1 in overtime on Friday and then defeated Rhode Island 3-2 on Sunday. No. 10 Indiana was a 3-2 victor over Oregon State on Sunday, while Wisconsin tied No. 13 Georgetown 1-1 in double-overtime.
[EIGHT // iowa women’s soccer undefeated in non-conference play]
The Iowa women’s soccer team is the lone Big Ten squad undefeated in non-conference action. The Hawkeyes have opened their season 8-0, and currently pace Wisconsin (5-1) and Michigan State (5-1-1) in the non-conference standings. Iowa defeated Army 2-1 on Friday and then closed the week with a 4-0 blanking of LIU-Brooklyn. The Badgers topped Illinois State in double-overtime, 3-2, while the Spartans bested Eastern Michigan by a 2-0 result on Sunday.
[NINE // hoosiers open fall schedule with win]
The Big Ten men's golf season officially began this past weekend with six of the 12 conference teams hitting the course for the first competition of the fall. On Saturday and Sunday, Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue competed at the Northern Intercollegiate in Sugar Grove, Ill. The Hoosiers claimed the title with a 54-hole score of 888 (308-291-289), while Purdue (310-304-294—908) and Michigan State (307-322-300—929) placed fourth and eighth, respectively, in the 11-team field. Iowa and Penn State will join host Minnesota on Monday to wrap up the Gopher Invitational in Wayzata, Minn. Nebraska and Ohio State will compete in tournaments on Monday and Tuesday to begin the season. The Huskers host the Fairway Club Invitational in Nebraska City, Neb., while the Buckeyes travel to Huntington, W.Va., for the Marshall Invitational. Illinois, Michigan State and Wisconsin begin the year at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate in Zionsville, Ind., on Sept. 15-16, while Purdue hosts the Purdue/Midwest Shootout on Sept. 16.
[TEN // watch out for these guys]
The Big Ten announced its 2012-13 Men’s Golfers to Watch List this past Tuesday, with three student-athletes from each conference team decorating the list. On the men’s side, five returning All-Big Ten selections from last season highlight the list, including NCAA Individual Champion Thomas Pieters of Illinois. Pieters is joined by Indiana’s David Mills from last year’s first team, while the Illini’s Mason Jacobs, Iowa’s Stephen Ihm and Minnesota’s Erik Van Rooyen received second-team recognition.
[ELEVEN // indiana golf wins fall opener]
All 12 Big Ten women’s golf squads take to the course in September, and Indiana, Penn State and Wisconsin were the first teams to the tee. The Hoosiers captured the IU Fall Classic on Sunday with a score of 14-over 590 over 36 holes. The Nittany Lions and Badgers are in Charleston, S.C., and wrap up the Cougar Classic on Tuesday. Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska open their fall slates on Monday. The Illini travel to Fort Collins, Colo., for the Ptarmigan Ram Classic, while the Huskers welcome the Hawkeyes to Lincoln, Neb., for the Chip-N-Club Invitational. The remaining conference squads open play the following weekend. Michigan State hosts Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue on Sept. 15-16 at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. Northwestern and Ohio State begin play on Sept. 17-18 at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.
[TWELVE // ladies on the lookout]
Finally this week, the Big Ten also announced a 2012-13 Women’s Golfers to Watch list on Tuesday. The women’s list features nine returning All-Big Ten honorees from last season, including five of the six first-team honorees, Caroline Powers of Michigan State, Ohio State’s Amy Meier and Rachel Rohanna and Purdue’s Laura Gonzalez-Escallon and Paula Reto. Michigan’s Yugene Lee, Michigan’s State’s Liz Nagel, Minnesota’s Banchalee Theinthong and Ohio State’s Susana Benevides received second-team honors last season.