Big Ten Weekly Football Release - Sept. 2
Sep 2, 2013
B1G Moments in Rose Bowl History - Jan. 1, 1947 - Illinois 45 UCLA 14: The 1947 Rose Bowl Game marked the first of 55 consecutive meetings between Big Ten and Pac-12 programs in Pasadena. Julius Rykovich and Claude "Buddy" Young combined for 206 yards rushing and three touchdowns in sharing player of the game accolades, helping Illinois to the first of its three straight Rose Bowl wins.
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Wisconsin's Pat Richter: A three-sport standout in football, basketball and baseball, Pat Richter earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1963. He was a consensus All-American in 1962, leading Wisconsin to the Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl Game. Also that season, he was an Academic All-American and was part of the Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of 1995. He played for the Washington Redskins from 1963-70 after being selected in the first round in 1963. Richter later assumed the role of director of athletics at Wisconsin, serving from 1989-2004. His name appears on the Big Ten's Richter-Howard Wide Receiver of the Year trophy.
The Week That Was: For the third consecutive season, Big Ten squads combined for 10 victories during the opening weekend of play, winning two games outside of conference venues and eight in campus stadiums. It marks the eighth time in the last nine seasons the conference has opened the new year with 10 or more triumphs. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin each were victorious in their home debuts, Northwestern went on the road to defeat California and Penn State knocked off Syracuse in a neutral site matchup at MetLife Stadium.
Where We Rank, Find Out Tuesday: With the opening weekend of the 2013 college football season surrounding the Labor Day holiday, the second installment of the Associated Press (AP) and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls will be revealed on Tuesday. In the preseason rankings, five conference teams appeared in the top 25 with two other squads receiving votes.
Making A Habit of Opening Day Wins: Eight programs have won consecutive season openers, including Nebraska, which has won a national-leading 28 straight season debuts. Wisconsin's win last Saturday was its 16th straight season-opening victory, which is the third-longest streak nationally. Northwestern has won nine consecutive openers, followed by Michigan State (five), Illinois and Ohio State (three) and Indiana and Minnesota (two).
You Can Put it on the Board: Big Ten offenses had no problems working through the rust of Week 1, averaging 39.5 points per game. Indiana's 73 points were the most scored by any team in the nation during the opening weekend and the second-most in program history, three points behind a 76-point outing against Franklin in 1901. It is also the most points scored by a conference team since Nebraska also posted 73 points against Idaho State a year ago. In addition, six other teams scored 40 or more points last weekend, including Michigan (59 points), Minnesota (51), Wisconsin (45), Northwestern (44), Illinois (42) and Ohio State (40).
By Any Means Necessary: Throughout the opening weekend, Big Ten defenses and special teams impacted the scoreboard in their respective games. In total, 11 touchdowns were scored by units other than the offense, including three by Minnesota and two each by Michigan State and Northwestern. In addition, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan also had their defenses or special teams account for touchdowns in their respective contests. A breakdown of defensive and special teams scores can be found below.
Player, School - Touchdown Return
Winning His Debut: Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen opened his tenure in impressive fashion last Saturday, guiding the Badgers to a 45-0 victory over Massachusetts, their first shutout since blanking Oregon State in 2011. Three Badgers rushed for over 100 yards, while Joel Stave threw for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
A Landmark Win: Nebraska's season-opening triumph against Wyoming was a landmark one for coach Bo Pelini, who notched his 50th career victory. Through his first five full seasons at the Huskers' helm, Pelini averaged nearly 10 triumphs a season. He is the fourth conference coach to reach 50 or more triumphs at their respective schools, all of which compete in the Legends Division. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz has 100 wins in Iowa City, Mark Dantonio has 52 wins at Michigan State and Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald carries 51 victories as the Wildcats' coach. In addition, each coach within the Legends Division now has at least 50 triumphs in their coaching careers. A full breakdown of coaching records can be found at the bottom of Page 2.
Game Changer: Northwestern linebacker Collin Ellis left his mark in the Wildcats' season opening victory over California last Saturday. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the second half, the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) player to do that since Sept. 15, 2012, helping Northwestern to a 44-30 road victory. With Northwestern trailing 24-20, Ellis' first interception came with just under five minutes to play in the third, returning it 56 yards and allowing the Wildcats to regain the lead. Then halfway through the fourth quarter, Ellis corralled a dropped pass and returned it 40 yards to give Northwestern a 37-27 advantage. He is the first Wildcat, the first Big Ten player since at least 1996 and just the sixth linebacker in FBS history to accomplish the feat.
Eclipsing 2,000: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller rushed for 77 yards on Saturday, which put him over the 2,000-yard rushing mark in his career. He becomes the eighth Big Ten quarterback to rush for more than 2,000 career yards. Now with 2,063 yards, Miller ranks eighth all-time and is joined by Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase among the conference's career leaders in rushing yards by a quarterback. Martinez is third with 2,938 yards, needing just 62 yards to become only the third Big Ten quarterback with 3,000 rushing yards, and Scheelhaase is ninth at 1,768 yards.
Throwing it Around the Yard: Five Big Ten signal-callers finished Week 1 with more than 200 yards passing, including a career-best 416 yards by Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase. His effort ranks 10th all-time in school history and is the most passing yards by a Big Ten quarterback since Indiana's Cam Coffman threw for 454 yards against Penn State a season ago. Other 200-yard passers last week were Penn State's Christian Hackenberg (278 yards), Northwestern's Trevor Siemian (276 yards), Iowa's Jake Rudock (256 yards) and Indiana's Nate Sudfeld (219 yards).
Rushing to 100: Nine Big Ten rushers recorded 100 or more yards on the ground, including three Wisconsin players and two Nebraska runners. Indiana's Tevin Coleman led all Big Ten rushers with 169 yards and two touchdowns on only 14 attempts, good for 12.1 yards per attempt in a win over Indiana State. Other Big Ten players to surpass the century mark were Ohio State's Jordan Hall (159 yards, two TDs), the Wisconsin trio of Melvin Gordon (144 yards, one TD), James White (143 yards, one TD) and Corey Clement (101 yards, one TD), Northwestern's Treyvon Green (129 yards, two TDs), the Nebraska duo of Ameer Abdullah (114 yards) and Imani Cross (105 yards, two TDs) and Iowa's Mark Weisman (100 yards).
Catching On: Seven Big Ten players caught seven or more passes or totaled 100 or more receiving yards. Iowa's Kevonte Martin-Manley led all players with nine catches for 79 yards against Northern Illinois while Penn State's Allen Robinson hauled in seven passes for a conference-best 133 yards and one touchdown against Syracuse. Nebraska's Kenny Bell collected seven catches for 57 yards. Other 100-yard receivers were Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis (122 yards, two TDs), the Illinois pair of Ryan Lankford (115 yards) and Josh Ferguson (103 yards, one TD) and Northwestern's Dan Vitale (101 yards).
Behind the Line: Nine Big Ten defenders recorded multiple tackles for loss (TFLs), led by Penn State's DaQuan Jones with three TFLs, including one sack. Michigan's Cameron Gordon (2.5 TFLs) and Michigan State's Marcus Rush (two TFLs) led the conference with two sacks each. Other players with two or more TFLs were Michigan State's Max Bullough (2.5 TFLs), the Iowa pair of James Morris (2.0 TFLs) and Dominic Alvis (2.0 TFLs), Michigan's Brennen Beyer (2.0 TFLs), Minnesota's Alex Keith (2.0 TFLs) and Ohio State's Noah Spence (2.0 TFLs).
Repeat Opponents: Three Big Ten non-conference opponents will face their second Big Ten squad in as many weeks on Saturday. Illinois will host Cincinnati, Northwestern welcomes Syracuse and Purdue takes on Indiana State on Saturday, a week after those opponents began the season against Big Ten competition. The Bearcats opened the season against Purdue in Cincinnati, the Orange faced Penn State at MetLife Stadium and the Sycamores traveled to face Indiana.