Sept. 13, 2009
[ONE // big ten football finishes week two at 8-3]
Big Ten teams posted an 8-3 record in Saturday's games, including Michigan's 38-34 upset of Notre Dame. Illinois routed Illinois State, 45-17, Indiana outlasted Western Michigan by a score of 23-19, and Iowa blew out in-state rival Iowa State 35-3. Minnesota topped Air Force, 20-13, Northwestern held off Eastern Michigan, 27-24, while Penn State took out Syracuse, 28-7. Wisconsin also found the win column with a 34-31 double-overtime victory over Fresno State. Falling this past week was Michigan State (29-27, Central Michigan), Ohio State (18-15, USC) and Purdue (38-36, Oregon).
[TWO // news and notes from the gridiron]
Several top performances were turned in on the football field Saturday. Among those included the career-high 134 rushing yards from Indiana's Demetrius McCray, the career-high four touchdown passes by Iowa's Ricky Stanzi, and the overall career day by Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier. The Wolverine freshman turned in career highs in completions (23), attempts (33), passing yards (240), rushing attempts (13), rushing yards (70), and even one when his 50-yard punt stopped on the Notre Dame four-yard line in the third quarter. Illinois backup quarterback Eddie McGee showed up early for an injured Juice Williams and led the Illini to an easy victory, while Wisconsin's Philip Welch showed up late to kick the game-winning 22-yard field goal in a nail biter.
[THREE // minnesota's triplett honored nationally]
But among all the individual performances, perhaps none were more than impressive than Minnesota's Nate Triplett. In fact, the Golden Gophers' senior linebacker was already honored for his efforts on Sunday as he was named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Triplett recorded a career-high 17 tackles and returned a fumble 52 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as Minnesota defeated Air Force, 20-13. Triplett, who had 12 solo tackles, added a pass break up in the contest. Triplett's total tackles were the most for a Gopher since 2002 and the highest total for a Big Ten player so far this season.
[FOUR // the heart of the golden gopher football team]
Prior to the Big Ten Network's primetime game featuring Air Force and Minnesota, a touching feature was aired on Golden Gopher freshman linebacker Sam Maresh, who had heart surgery 14 months ago. Told that his football career was over, the heralded in-state recruit has battled back and was asked by Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster to lead the team out on the field Saturday night. Take some time and watch this amazing story from the Big Ten Network.
[FIVE // yesterday's big ten standouts, today's nfl stars]
With the start of the NFL season occurring this past Thursday and Sunday, the Big Ten once again was well represented by its former student-athletes in the professional ranks. This season, 233 former Big Ten standouts earned spots on one of the NFL's 32 professional teams. Each school had at least eight former student-athletes earn roster spots, while Ohio State led the conference with 39 players named to opening day lineups. For a complete breakdown of all 233 Big Ten players, click here!
[SIX // trio of volleyball squads win tournament crowns]
Three Big Ten volleyball teams earned tournament titles this past weekend as Illinois and Michigan both won on their own courts, while Indiana found victory on the road. Seventh-ranked Michigan topped Missouri, 25-19, 25-18, 25-22, to claim the Michigan Challenge, while three Wolverines -- Alex Hunt, Lexi Zimmerman and Juliana Paz - were named to the All-Tournament team, with Paz earning MVP honors. No. 14 Illinois earned a 3-1 victory (25-22, 25-14, 18-25, 25-23) over No. 16 Saint Louis to claim the State Farm Illini Classic title, led by four Illini players on the all-tournament team. In the championship match, tournament MVP Laura DeBruler notched 28 kills, while Michelle Bartsch and Kylie McCulley each posted double-digit kills and Hillary Haen tallied 47 assists. Indiana rallied back against Missouri State to capture a five-set win in the Hampton Inn Invitational by scores of 25-21, 20-25, 26-28, 27-25, 17-15. Caitlin Cox earned MVP honors and Mary Chaudoin nearly pulled off the triple-double with 61 assists, nine kills and nine digs against Missouri State.
[SEVEN // pair of soccer teams earn titles as well]
On the soccer pitch, Indiana and Northwestern each earned tournament titles this past week. At Notre Dame's Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, the No. 12/16 Hoosiers captured a 3-2 win over New Mexico and a 2-0 decision over Seattle to take the crown. Will Bruin, Eric Alexander, Lee Hagedorn and Rich Balchan were named to the All-Tournament team, while Balchan took home devensive MVP honors and Luis Soffner was named the goalkeeper MVP. As for Northwestern, the No. 22 Wildcats earned a 3-2 overtime victory over No. 21 Tulsa on Sunday to claim the adidas/Maguson Inn and Suites Invitational hosted by Northern Illinois. Matt Eliason scored two of the three goals in the win and scored both of NU's goals in Friday's 2-1 victory over Oakland. Eliason's four goals earned him the tournament MVP honor and raised his season total to a Big Ten-leading seven in just four matches.
[EIGHT // spartans earn women's golf title on home golf course]
In a field featuring seven conference women's golf teams, Michigan State successfully defended its home course this past weekend by winning the Mary Fossum Invitational title. The Spartans (289-293-293) rallied from six strokes back and held off seventh-ranked Purdue (291-288-299) by three shots, 875 to 878, to win the 26th annual event. Indiana (294-293-305--892) and Northwestern (297-294-309--900) finished third and fourth, respectively, while Michigan 315-304-297--916) and Minnesota (310-305-303--918) were sixth and seventh. Iowa (317-322-325--964) placed 15th in the 17-team field. Individually, Michigan's Ashley Bauer (74-68-73--215) finished one shot off the lead in second, while Spartan teammates Lindsey Solberg (74-70-72--216) and Shannon Warner (72-73-71--216) tied for third.
[NINE // illinois men's golf hungry like the wolf]
Staying on the links, the Illinois men's golf team captured the Wolf Run Intercollegiate crown in a 17-team field, which included five conference squads. The Fighting Illini totaled a 5-under 847 (281-282-284), while host Indiana (298-288-285--871) and Michigan (293-294-287--874) finished third and fourth, respectively. Penn State (292-292-298--882) was eighth and Purdue (305-293-297--895) was 12th. In the individual race, Illinois' Scott Langley (68-66-69--203) finished runner-up, while Michigan's Matt Thompson (69-69-67--205) and Indiana's David Erdy (74-71-65--210) were third and fourth.
[TEN // a boilermaker world champion]
A great story came out of Taiwan this past Saturday as Purdue junior Josh Hembrough captured the men's 110-meter hurdles world title at the 21st annual Deaflympics. Hembrough set a world and Deaflympic record time in victory, crossing the line in 14.16. That time beat the previous world-record time of 14:30, which had been held by Slovenia's Vyacheslav Skomorokhov since 1969. Hembrough has already established himself as one of the top hurdlers all-time at Purdue, notching the second-fastest 110-meter hurdles time in school history at 13.58, while ranking third all-time in the 60-meter hurdles at 7.77. In collegiate competition, his list of accomplishments include 2008 Indoor All-America honors, three Big Ten Championships and two NCAA Outdoor Championship appearances.
[ELEVEN // saluting stringer]
Finally this week, congratulations to former University of Iowa head women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, who was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Friday at Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass. Stringer joined NBA legends Michael Jordan, David Robinson, John Stockton and Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan in the Class of 2009. Stringer is the first coach, male or female, to take three different teams to the Final Four. She led Cheyney State to a Final Four in 1982, Iowa in 1993 and Rutgers in both 2000 and 2007. She currently ranks third in career victories (825) in Division I women's basketball history. Stringer served as Iowa's head coach from 1983-95, and collected an impressive 269-84 record (.762). She also led the Hawkeyes to nine NCAA Tournament appearances in her 12 seasons, including a berth in the 1993 Final Four. She was named National Coach of the Year twice while in Iowa City (1988, 1993). She also earned NCAA District Coach of the Year honors in 1983, 1985 and 1988 and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1991.