Big Ten Weekly Football Release - Sept. 1
Sept. 1, 2008
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
KYLE ADAMS, purdue junior tight end
BIG TEN. BIG NEWS.
Happy Birthday for Big Ten Network: The Big Ten Network celebrated its first birthday in style on Saturday, August 30, by launching the network on expanded basic cable on Charter, Cox, Mediacom and Time Warner after adding Comcast on August 15. The Big Ten Network is now available on every major cable and satellite carrier in the eight-state Big Ten region. The Big Ten Network debuted on August 30 of 2007 and became the first new network in cable or satellite history to reach 30 million households within its first 30 days on the air. For more information regarding the Big Ten Network, visit www.BigTenNetwork.com.
Paterno Equals Bowden for All-Time Wins Record: Penn State's Joe Paterno recorded his 373rd career victory on Saturday against Coastal Carolina to match Florida State's Bobby Bowden for the all-time record among Football Bowl Subdivision coaches. Paterno has now been on the sidelines for 501 games in his career, one of only two mentors in NCAA history to crack that barrier along with former Big Ten coach Amos Alonzo Stagg (548 games from 1890-1946 with Springfield, Chicago and Pacific). Paterno will aim for win number 374 on Saturday against Oregon State while Bowden and the Seminoles open their 2008 season that same day.
Purdue Joins the Fun: After taking a bye in week one, Purdue will open the season on Saturday at home against Northern Colorado. The 2008 campaign will be the 12th and final season for head coach Joe Tiller, who needs just two victories to become the school's all-time winningest coach. Tiller owns an 83-54 record in 11 seasons in West Lafayette, trailing only Jack Mollenkopf (84 wins from 1956-69).
Rushing Back to the Field: In the opening week of play, the conference's rushing attacks took center stage as five student-athletes posted efforts of 100 yards or more, including breakout efforts from two previous Big Ten Freshman of the Year honorees. Wisconsin's P.J. Hill, the 2006 Freshman of the Year, led the way by cracking the 200-yard mark for the second time in his career, averaging 8.1 yards per carry to amass 210 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns against Akron. The Badgers led the conference in week one with 404 rushing yards in that game. Northwestern's Tyrell Sutton, the 2005 honoree, broke loose for 144 yards on 21 carries against Syracuse. Indiana quarterback Kellen Lewis may have been even more impressive, averaging 20.6 yards on nine attempts to rack up 185 yards versus Western Kentucky, including two scoring runs of over 60 yards. Big Ten Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Chris "Beanie" Wells of Ohio State posted 111 yards, including a 43-yard scoring burst, against Youngstown State before leaving the game in the third quarter. The Iowa rushing attack featured Shonn Greene with 109 yards and a touchdown against Maine, while freshman Jewel Hampton scored two more touchdowns and added 68 yards. Penn State piled up 334 rushing yards against Coastal Carolina, with sophomore Evan Royster and freshman Stephfon Green both averaging over eight yards a pop. Royster tallied 64 yards and three touchdowns while Green added 89 yards and two more scores. Michigan State's Javon Ringer and Minnesota's Duane Bennett both scored a pair of touchdowns in their first game of the year.
Pitch and Catch: While some teams were running wild, the Big Ten also posted some impressive passing and receiving numbers on the first college football Saturday. Illinois quarterback Juice Williams set career highs with 451 passing yards and five touchdowns against nationally-ranked Missouri as wideout Will Judson posted 177 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. Michigan State signal caller Brian Hoyer accounted for 321 passing yards at California, including a career-best 202 yards for wide receiver Mark Dell, the fifth-best single-game effort in school history and the first 200-yard outing since 2001. Minnesota's Adam Weber posted 298 passing yards and wideout Eric Decker led all Big Ten players with 10 receptions in a win over Northern Illinois. Among other quarterbacks, Northwestern's C.J. Bachér tossed three touchdowns against Syracuse, while Ohio State's Todd Boeckman and Penn State's Daryll Clark both completed better than 73 percent of their passes.
Stopping the Run: On the defensive side of the ball, seven Big Ten teams held their opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground. Ohio State led the way by limiting Youngstown State to a negative-11 yards on 21 carries. Michigan held the high-powered Utah attack to 0.8 yards per attempt for a total of 36 rushing yards on 43 carries. Other teams getting defensive on the run were Penn State (52 yards for Coastal Carolina), Indiana (63 yards for Western Kentucky), Wisconsin (70 yards for Akron) and Minnesota (72 yards for Northern Illinois).
799 and Counting: Ohio State moved one step closer to becoming the fifth school in college football history to crack the 800-win barrier by knocking off Youngstown State on Saturday for victory number 799. Michigan holds the national record with 869 triumphs all-time and is joined by Notre Dame (824 wins), Texas (821) and Nebraska (809) in the current 800-plus victory club. The Buckeyes will look for their 800th triumph on Saturday against Ohio. Penn State follows OSU in sixth-place with 790 all-time victories, including 373 triumphs by Paterno alone.
PSU's Kelly Cracks Top 10 in Big Ten Scoring: Penn State kicker Kevin Kelly opened the 2008 season by connecting on his lone field goal attempt and all seven extra points against Coastal Carolina to set the school's career scoring record by a kicker and break into the top 10 in the Big Ten records book in that category. Kelly increased his career numbers to 307 points to pass Michigan's Mike Gillette (301 points from 1985-88) and previous PSU record-holder Brett Conway (302 from 1993-96) for ninth on the Big Ten's career list. Kelly is only one point behind Michigan State's John Langeloh, who collected 308 points from 1987-90 to stand eighth overall. The PSU senior is just outside the top 10 in career points for all Big Ten players, as Michigan running back Anthony Thomas currently stands 10th overall with 336 points. Kelly also hit his 59th career field goal to move into a tie for ninth-place on the conference career charts with Ohio State's Dan Stultz (1997-2000).
Dantonio Hits Big 5-0: Two Big Ten coaches stand on the verge of coaching landmarks. Michigan State's Mark Dantonio will serve as a head coach in his 50th game on Saturday against Eastern Michigan and has built a mark of 25-24 overall. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz is scheduled to coach his 150th game on Oct. 11 at Indiana. Ferentz has built a mark of 74-70 in 12-plus seasons with the Hawkeyes and Maine, after knocking off his former school last Saturday.
Paterno Moves Up in Big Ten Century Club: Penn State's Joe Paterno improved to 126-58 since PSU joined the conference in 1993 to continue climbing on the list of 12 mentors to collect 100 or more wins while at a Big Ten school. Paterno posted nine triumphs last season to move into eighth place past current Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, who wrapped up his 16-year coaching tenure in Madison following the 2005 campaign with a record of 118-73-4. Paterno is now five wins wins shy of Illinois' Robert Zuppke (131-81-13) for seventh place. Among other active Big Ten coaches, Purdue's Joe Tiller boasts 83 wins in 11 years in West Lafayette while Ohio State's Jim Tressel has racked up 74 victories in seven seasons with the Buckeyes.
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