Big Ten Weekly Football Release - Sept. 9
Sep 9, 2013
B1G MOMENTS IN ROSE BOWL HISTORY - Jan. 2, 1956 - MSU 17, UCLA 14: With the score tied 14-14 and seven seconds remaining in the game, Michigan State head coach Duffy Daugherty elected to send sophomore kicker Dave Kaiser onto the field for a 41-yard field goal attempt - despite Kaiser not having practiced for two months due to a leg injury. Regardless, Kaiser booted the game-winner, securing a 17-14 victory.
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Purdue's Drew Brees: Drew Brees ended his collegiate career holding numerous school and conference records en route to winning Big Ten Medal of Honor laurels in 2001. He was not only an All-American and a Maxwell Award winner on the field, but was named Academic All-America of the Year his senior season. He guided the Boilermakers to the Big Ten Championship in 2000 and their first Rose Bowl Game berth since 1967. Drafted in 2001, he played five seasons with San Diego before moving to New Orleans in 2006. He became one of the many faces of the New Orleans community following the Hurricane Katrina tragedy by establishing numerous charitable foundations to help the area in its recovery.
The Week in Review: The second week of the 2013 campaign saw 11 conference squads post victories, including 10 of those wins by 10 or more points. Eight Big Ten programs not only won by at least two possessions, but also scored 40 or more points in the process. Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin each won their second-week matchups by those standards. Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue also earned triumphs last Saturday.
Where We Rank: Eight different Big Ten teams are receiving votes in the latest Associated Press (AP) or USA Today coaches polls, including five teams among the top 20. Ohio State leads the conference at No. 4 in the AP poll and No. 3 in the coaches vote. Following a win over Notre Dame, Michigan moved up at least five spots in each poll to appear at No. 11 in the media vote and No. 12 in the coaches ranking. Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska also moved up in at least one poll, with the Wildcats ranked No. 17/16 (AP/USA Today), the Badgers rated No. 20/T18 and the Cornhuskers ranked No. 23/15. Michigan State and Penn State continued to receive votes in at least one poll, while Illinois received votes from both voting groups for the first time since Oct. 24, 2011.
Record Crowd in Ann Arbor: As college football's largest venue, Michigan Stadium occupies the top spots on the NCAA single-game attendance chart, but Saturday's contest against Notre Dame topped them all. Michigan Stadium welcomed an NCAA-record 115,109 fans last Saturday in the Wolverines' contest under the lights against the Irish, breaking the former stadium and national record of 114,804, which was set in the two teams' previous meeting in Ann Arbor on Sept. 10, 2011.
Two For Two: Through the first two weeks of the conference season, nine Big Ten teams carry perfect 2-0 marks. Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin were each victorious in their first two contests of the 2013 season, which has become a pattern in recent years for many of the aforementioned programs. Northwestern has posted a 2-0 mark to the new year for the seventh consecutive season, the longest active streak in the conference. Michigan State is off to a 2-0 start for the fourth straight season, Ohio State is officially 2-0 for the third straight season and Minnesota has won its first two games for the second consecutive season.
Let's Play 21: Following last week's cumulative mark of 11-1, Big Ten squads have combined for a 21-3 overall record through the first two weeks of the non-conference season. Good for a winning percentage of .875, Big Ten teams are off to their best start in at least the last 10 seasons. In the last decade, conference squads combined for matching 18-3 marks, or .857 winning percentages, in 2005 and 2008 and 18-4 ledgers, or .818 winning percentages, in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Offenses Getting It Done: Big Ten offenses have proven to be some of the most prolific in the nation through the first two weeks as eight conference squads rank among the nation's top 30 in scoring. Indiana leads all conference programs at 54.0 points per game, good for seventh nationally, while Michigan joins the Hoosiers in the top 10 at No. 10 with 50 points per contest. Minnesota ranks 15th at 47.5 points per game, while Wisconsin and Nebraska are tied for 16th at 46.5 points a game. Northwestern (22nd, 46.0 points per game), Illinois (27th, 43.5) and Ohio State (30th, 41.0) are also among the top 30 nationally in scoring offense.
Not a Misprint: A closer look at the conference's individual scoring leaders will show one particular standout. Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun, a defensive lineman, is tied for sixth with three touchdowns on the season. Against Western Michigan in Week 1, Calhoun returned a fumble for a touchdown for his first career score. Last Saturday against South Florida, Calhoun not only returned a fumble for a score, but also had a pick-six in Michigan State's 21-6 victory. It marks the second time in as many weeks a Big Ten defensive player has scored two touchdowns in the same game as Northwestern's Collin Ellis recorded two interception returns for touchdowns in the Wildcats opening-weekend win over California.
Back in the Act: A week after 11 touchdowns were scored by Big Ten defensive and special teams units, the squads combined for seven more touchdowns during the second week of the season. The Michigan State defense had two touchdowns and Minnesota's defense and special teams units each had one score, Nebraska had two interception returns for touchdowns and Purdue returned its opening kickoff to the end zone. Through two weekends, Big Ten defenses and special teams units have scored 18 touchdowns.
Four Tops: After finishing with 87 rushing yards against Syracuse on Saturday, Northwestern's Kain Colter climbed into the Big Ten's top 10 list for career rushing yards by a quarterback. Now with 1,784 career rushing yards, Colter ranks 10th in conference history. He is now the fourth active Big Ten signal caller to appear among the top 10 quarterback rushers in conference history. Nebraska's Taylor Martinez is the Big Ten's active leader among rushing yards by a quarterback, now with 2,961 yards, which ranks third all-time. Ohio State's Braxton Miller is eighth all-time with 2,068 yards and Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase is ninth in history with 1,792 rushing yards.
Zeroes on the Scoreboard: While its offense has gotten off to a prolific start to the 2013 season, the Wisconsin defense has posted an equally impressive number through two games - zero. The Badgers haven't allowed a single point through two games, shutting out both Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech to start the season. They become the first conference team to open the season with consecutive shutout efforts since Ohio State did so in 1963. The Buckeyes are also the last defense to record consecutive shutouts at any point of the season, achieving the feat in 2009. In its first two games, Wisconsin has allowed a total of 325 yards of total offense, an average of 162.5 per contest.
Heads of the CLASS: Six Big Ten student-athletes who excel both on and off the field have been selected as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate football. The Big Ten's six candidates are Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase, Indiana's Greg Heban, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Ohio State's Jack Mewhort, Penn State's John Urschel and Wisconsin's Chris Borland. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The Buckeyes' James Laurinaitis was named the inaugural football winner of the Senior CLASS Award in 2008. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
A Look at Last Week's Stat Leaders: Last weekend's games saw numerous Big Ten standouts record impressive stat lines on the offensive and defensive ends. Offensively, nine conference rushers recorded 100 or more yards on the ground, including three Wisconsin players for the second straight week and two runners each from Minnesota and Penn State. Iowa's Mark Weisman led all Big Ten rushers with 180 yards and two touchdowns against Missouri State. In the passing game, five signal callers threw for more than 250 yards, led by a 363-yard performance with four touchdown strikes from Indiana's Nate Sudfeld against Navy. On the receiving end, six players caught seven or more passes or totaled 100 or more receiving yards, with Northwestern's Tony Jones leading all players with nine catches for 185 yards and one touchdown against Syracuse. Defensively, six Big Ten standouts finished with 10 or more tackles, with Illinois' Jonathan Brown totaling 14 stops, while nine defenders recorded two tackles for loss, paced by two-sack efforts from Purdue's Bruce Gaston and Jalani Phillips. A recap of some of the Big Ten's Week 2 statistical leaders can be found online on the Big Ten football blog on bigten.org.
Another Year of Trophy Games: The first rivalry trophies of the 2013 season will be on the line this weekend when Iowa travels to Iowa State and Purdue hosts Notre Dame. Since 1977, the Hawkeyes and Cyclones face off with the Cy-Hawk at stake, with Iowa owning a 23-13 series edge. The Boilermakers and Irish will be battling for the Shillelagh, which was first awarded in 1958. The Irish hold a 37-19 advantage with the trophy at stake.