Oct. 26, 2008
[ONE // what a week of football]
No. 3 Penn State won at 10th-ranked Ohio State for the first time since 1978, while Michigan State defeated arch-rival Michigan in a busy week of football this week. The Nittany Lions moved to 9-0 on the season with a 13-6 victory over the Buckeyes, and MSU took home the Paul Bunyan Trophy with a 35-21 outcome in Ann Arbor. Indiana earned its first Big Ten win of the season with a 21-19 upset over No. 22 Northwestern, while Wisconsin also posted its first conference victory with a 27-17 win over Illinois. For the third time in the past five games, Minnesota held its opponent to single digits with a 17-6 victory over Purdue.
[TWO // news and notes from the gridiron]
Among the news and notes from this past weekend’s football contests, Penn State’s Pat Devlin made sure the Nittany Lions remained in the hunt for the BCS National Championship. Devlin scored the go-ahead touchdown for PSU after replacing starting quarterback Daryll Clark, who left with an injury in the fourth quarter. Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell once again filled in for an injured Kellen Lewis and threw for 219 yards and scored twice to help IU snap its longest winless streak since 2005. Another Big Ten QB stepping up big on Saturday was Wisconsin’s Dustin Sherer. Earning just his second start of the season, Sherer was 12-of-22 for 174 yards and scored three times on the day to break Wisconsin’s longest losing streak in 12 years. In the loss to Minnesota, Purdue’s Kory Sheets totaled 73 yards to become the third player in school history to run for more than 3,000 yards in a career. In that same game, Minnesota improved on its nation’s-best turnover margin by adding four more takeaways to its season total. One of the top all-around offensive performances Saturday came from Michigan State. Javon Ringer had 194 rushing yards on 37 carries, while Brian Hoyer was 17-of-29 for 282 yards and 3 TDs. Receiver Blair White finished the day with 143 yards on just four catches to help MSU earn its first victory in the Big House since 1990.
[THREE // camp rubin]
Congratulations to Penn State safety Mark Rubin on being named the Walter Camp Football Foundation Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday. Rubin made a career-high 11 tackles in Saturday’s win at Ohio State and helped limit the Buckeyes to 61 rushing yards on 31 carries – 121 yards below its season average. In addition, Rubin forced a Terrelle Pryor fumble in the fourth quarter while PSU was trailing, which ultimately led to the Nittany Lions’ game-winning drive. The Penn State defense limited Ohio State to its lowest point total in Ohio Stadium since a 6-0 loss to Wisconsin in 1982.
[FOUR // purdue and hummel take top men’s basketball honors]
Last week we talked about the madness surrounding the upcoming basketball season and this week it is all about the honors. At Big Ten Basketball Media Day on Sunday, Purdue’s Robbie Hummel was named the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year by a 22-member media panel. The Boilermakers were tabbed as the preseason favorite for the 2008-09 men's basketball season by the media panel, followed by Michigan State and Wisconsin. The Preseason All-Conference team was also announced at the event and can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here.
[FIVE // boilermakers and buckeyes share preseason women’s honors]
Ohio State sophomore Jantel Lavender was selected as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year by the conference coaches and a panel of media members, the conference office announced Sunday. Last year Lavender became the first player in Big Ten men's or women's basketball history to be named conference Player of the Year as a freshman when she was given the nod by the league coaches. Her Buckeyes were selected to finish first in conference by the media, while the coaches voted Purdue at the top of the preseason rankings. In addition to each of the 11 league squads being ranked by the coaches and media, two Preseason All-Conference teams were announced and can be viewed by clicking here.
[SIX // penn state earns big ten field hockey title]
Congratulations to the ninth-ranked Penn State field hockey team, as it won its fifth Big Ten regular season title with a 3-0 win over Michigan Sunday. It is the first conference championship for head coach Charlene Morett's squad since 2005. Jen Beaumont made nine saves in goal for her sixth and the team's ninth shutout of the season. Offensively, Allison Scola and Daneen Zug each supplied three points -- one goal and one assist -- in the victory over the Wolverines. Fittingly, members of the 1997 and 1998 Penn State conference championship teams were on hand Sunday and honored at halftime.
[SEVEN // nittany lion soccer clinches conference crown]
Speaking of Penn State and Big Ten titles, rack up another league crown for the Nittany Lions’ women’s soccer team. With a 2-0 blanking over Purdue on Sunday, Penn State clinched at least a share of its 11th-straight crown. The Nittany Lions are now second all-time in consecutive Big Ten titles behind Michigan women's swimming and diving with 12.
[EIGHT // michigan stuns northwestern men’s soccer]
Staying on the soccer pitch, the Big Ten saw quite the upset Saturday night at Lakeside Field in Evanston. The 21st-ranked Michigan men’s soccer team earned a 3-1 upset win over second-ranked and previously unbeaten Northwestern. U-M junior Mauro Fuzetti scored a pair of goals in the victory. Michigan's three goals equaled the total number of scores allowed by Northwestern all season.
[NINE // ranked on the mat]
We are just weeks away from the start of another Big Ten wrestling campaign, which also marks the beginning of another run for the national championship. In the preseason poll released Thursday by Intermat/National Wrestling Coaches Association/National Wrestling Media Association, nine of the 11 conference teams are ranked in the top 16, including defending national champion Iowa at No. 1. Ohio State ranks fourth, followed by Penn State which is tied for seventh. Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota and Wisconsin rank ninth through 13th, respectively, while Indiana rounds out the contingent in 16th. For a complete look at the national poll, including the poll for each weight class, click here.
[TEN // big-time big ten sponsor]
The Big Ten announced Sunday that Infiniti will become the exclusive automotive sponsor of the conference for the upcoming 2008-09 basketball season. “This partnership is a great opportunity for Infiniti,” Ben Poore, vice president of Infiniti marketing, said in a release. “At Infiniti, we strive to provide our consumers an emotionally moving experience at every turn. One way to deliver that experience is through our support of the Big Ten and NCAA basketball. Sponsorship of the Big Ten gives us the opportunity to reach passionate, affluent consumers in an exhilarating environment.” View the complete release here.
[ELEVEN // five more years for delany]
Finally this week, the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors announced last Thursday that conference commissioner Jim Delany has agreed to a contract extension through June 30, 2013. Only the Big Ten’s fifth commissioner since its founding in 1896, Delany is in his 20th year in that role which started in July of 1989. Over the past two decades, he has worked with the presidents and chancellors to set high academic, athletic and ethical standards to assure a positive role for student-athletes at each institution.