Sept. 28, 2008
[ONE // first week of conference football action in the books]
What a first week of Big Ten football! Many critics felt heading into the weekend that the conference game of the week would be between No. 12 Penn State and No. 22 Illinois. Few believed it would have actually been the Michigan/Wisconsin matchup that created headlines nationwide. Rich Rodriguez earned his first major win with the Maize and Blue in a 27-25 upset win over No. 9 Wisconsin. The Wolverines rallied from 19 points down to record a win in the 500th game played in Michigan Stadium. Penn State defended its home turf with a 38-24 win over the Illini, while No. 14 Ohio State gave Minnesota its first loss of the season with a 34-21 defeat. Northwestern stayed perfect on the year with a 22-17 outcome over Iowa and Michigan State ran over Indiana by a score of 42-29. Purdue was the lone league school competing out of conference on Saturday and fell 38-21 at rival Notre Dame.
[TWO // news and notes from the gridiron]
We mentioned Michigan’s impressive comeback from a 19-0 deficit, but Northwestern also had to fly from behind as well. The Wildcats rallied from 14 points down to beat the Hawkeyes for their first Big Ten opener win since 2001 and their best start (5-0) since 1962. NU’s Rasheed Ward recorded career highs in both receptions (10) and yards (94), while Iowa running back Shonn Greene ran for a personal-best 159 yards in the loss. Michigan State’s Javon Ringer, the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Week over the past three weeks, put up another strong performance with 198 yards on the ground. Ohio State’s Chris “Beanie” Wells returned to the lineup after missing the last three games and rushed for 106 yards on 14 carries, while freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor ran for 97 yards and two scores and threw for another. Michigan's 19-point comeback marked the largest comeback in Michigan Stadium history, while Penn State’s Derrick Williams did something no other player has done under the watch of Joe Paterno. Williams scored a touchdown by way of the ground, air, and kick return Saturday for a career-high 241 all-purpose yards (33 rushing, 75 receiving and 133 on kick returns).
[THREE // olympian phelps back home in ann arbor]
Last week we mentioned how former Northwestern swimmer and current U.S. Olympian Matt Grevers was honored at Wrigley Field prior to the start of a Chicago Cubs’ game. This past weekend another U.S. Olympic swimmer – albeit perhaps the greatest in the sport’s history – was honored for his efforts in Beijing. Michael Phelps, who served as Michigan’s volunteer assistant swim coach and recently won an Olympic record eight gold medals, was honored at halftime of the Michigan/Wisconsin game this past weekend. Phelps donned a Michigan football jersey with his name and No. 8 on the back. Phelps has lived and trained in Ann Arbor since the conclusion of the 2004 Summer Games in Athens and has also been working toward a sports marketing degree at U-M as well.
[FOUR // mason returns to ohio state and minnesota]
Speaking of being honored at football games, former Ohio State player/assistant and Minnesota head coach Glen Mason was recognized prior to the start of the Buckeyes/Golden Gophers’ contest in Columbus on Saturday. Mason, who was there as a color analyst for the Big Ten Network, participated in the coin toss at midfield and was lauded for his days as an OSU guard from 1969-72 and as an assistant under the legendary Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce. Current Buckeye head coach Jim Tressel worked with Mason for three seasons as Ohio State quarterbacks and receivers coach from 1983-85.
[FIVE // ohio state’s pryor an army all-american]
Staying with the Buckeyes, congratulations to OSU freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor on being named “U.S. Army All-American College Player of the Week” for his performance during the 28-10 win over Troy two weeks ago. Pryor, who was MVP of the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, threw for four touchdowns and also ran 14 times for 66 yards in the win against Troy and was honored by the U.S. Army this past Monday.
[SIX // wildcats’ lenahan earns 200th win]
Northwestern head men's soccer coach Tim Lenahan reached a major milestone this past Saturday evening as a 1-0 win over 16th-ranked Ohio State gave the Wildcats’ coach his 200th career win. The lone goal came from the foot of sophomore Matt Eliason, who scored his Big Ten-leading eighth goal in the 19th minute of play. The victory, captured before a Lakeside Field-record crowd of 1,552 fans, moved NU to 8-0-1 on the season – its best start in school history – and improved Lenahan's career record to 200-126-35 in 18 years as a head coach.
[SEVEN // michigan’s fruzetti earns national accolade]
Elsewhere in the soccer world, Michigan junior Mauro Fuzetti was named last Monday to TopDrawerSoccer.com's College Team of the Week. Fuzetti was honored for his three goals in the Wolverines’ 5-1 blowout at Detroit, which marked the first hat trick for a Michigan player since 2003. Congratulations to Mauro!
[EIGHT // a state of hat tricks]
While we are on the topic of hat tricks and the state of Michigan, two Big Ten players with Michigan ties had three-goal games in their respective sports this past week. Playing on the road at Penn State Sunday, Michigan State senior soccer standout Doug DeMartin recorded a hat trick in the Spartans’ 4-3 win over the Nittany Lions – their first victory in State College since 2002. DeMartin's three goal performance was the second of his career and he now has 30 career goals, good for seventh all-time in school history. In field hockey, Michigan sophomore Meredith Way claimed all three goals in the Wolverines’ 3-0 win over Northwestern on Saturday. Way, who now has nine goals on the season, scored all three of her markers on penalty-corner conversions, including two on the direct shot.
[NINE // a state of shock]
And yet there is even more news surrounding Michigan and Michigan State! This time it comes on the volleyball court where the Michigan State squad gave a school-record 5,335 fans a 3-1 upset victory over No. 21 Michigan Saturday in the Breslin Center. The win was the Spartans’ 10th straight and their second consecutive Big Ten victory, which marked the first time MSU started the conference season 2-0 since 1996. In addition, the attendance figure broke the previous record which was set back in 1996 against Texas A&M. For the Wolverines, the 25-19, 15-25, 25-21, 25-15 loss was the first of the season and brought their record to 13-1 and 1-1 in Big Ten play entering this week.
[TEN // gophers host another great griak]
The Minnesota men’s and women’s cross country teams played host to the 23rd Annual Roy Griak Invitational this past Saturday, which is annually one of the largest cross country meets in the nation. More than 350 teams competed and over 4,000 student-athletes were entered in the Griak’s 10 races. On the men’s side, Minnesota (107 points) led all conference teams in fourth, followed by Iowa (255) and Ohio State (328) in ninth and 13th, respectively. Minnesota sophomore Hassan Mead paced all Big Ten runners with a second-place 8K time of 24:07. In the women’s 6K race, the Golden Gophers captured the title with 31 points, 15 more than runner-up Arizona State. Minnesota junior Megan Duwell (21:26.0) was second overall, followed by teammates Gabriele Anderson (21:32.0) and Jamie Cheever (21:35.4) in fourth and fifth.
[ELEVEN // honoring a hawkeye]
Finally this week, we learned of sad news out of Minnesota. Former Iowa standout and Minnesota Vikings linebacker Wally Hilgenberg passed away Tuesday after a battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 66. Hilgenberg co-captained the 1963 Iowa football squad and was named a third-team Al-American as well. He spent 16 seasons in the NFL, 12 of which were spent with the Vikings from 1968-79. He started 116 of the 157 games he played for Minnesota and helped guide the Vikings to four Super Bowl titles.