Big Ten Football Preview: Week 13

Nov. 23, 2011


(7-4, 4-3 Big Ten)

Legends Division Game
Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 • 11 a.m. CT • Lincoln, Neb. • Memorial Stadium (81,067)
ABC • Announcers:  Bob Wischusen, Bob Davie, Jeanine Edwards
Series: Nebraska leads 26-12-3 • Last Meeting: Sept. 23, 2000:  Nebraska 42, Iowa 13

(8-3, 4-3 Big Ten)

Iowa and Nebraska are set to square off the morning after Thanksgiving in a renewed rivalry contest that has been dubbed the Heroes Game.  The matchup with Iowa will mark the 22nd consecutive season Nebraska has played on the day after Thanksgiving, including six years against Oklahoma from 1990 to 1995, and 15 meetings with Colorado during Nebraska’s run in the Big 12 Conference.  The Cornhuskers enter the game with an 8-3 record, including a 4-3 record in league play, following a 45-17 loss at Michigan last week. The Hawkeyes come into the holiday break at 7-4 and 4-3 in the Big Ten, after a 31-21 victory at Purdue.  Friday’s game is the first meeting between the schools as conference foes, but the 42nd all-time matchup. Nebraska holds a 26-12-3 advantage, including a 13-2-1 record against the Hawkeyes in Lincoln. The Huskers have won three straight in the series dating back to 1982, scoring 42 points each time. In the most recent meeting, No. 1 Nebraska defeated Iowa in 2000, 42-13.

Iowa’s offense enters the weekend ranked third in the conference with 241.3 passing yards per game and fifth in total yards with 389.1 markers each time out.  All season long quarterback James Vandenberg has paced the Hawkeyes’ offense and has thrown for a Big Ten-best 238.5 yards each week.  He has completed more than 60 percent of his attempts and has passed for 2,624 yards. He also boasts an impressive 23 touchdown tosses to only five interceptions. Marvin McNutt, Jr. is first in the league with 112.7 receiving yards and second with 6.7 receptions per contest.  On the ground, Marcus Coker is the Big Ten’s second-leading rusher with 117.9 yards per game.  In last week’s win at Purdue, Vandenberg completed 22-of-32 passes for 273 yards and three scores, while McNutt tied his single-game high with nine receptions for 151 yards and Coker had 139 yards on 31 rushing attempts.  Nebraska’s defense is seventh in defending the pass (189.7) and in total yards allowed (358.0), as well as eighth in scoring (24.3) and against the rush (168.3).  In last week’s loss at Michigan, the Huskers allowed 418 yards of total offense, including 238 rushing yards.  Lavonte David, who is third in the conference with 10.4 tackles per game, recorded 17 stops against the Wolverines, including 2.5 tackles for loss, while Cameron Meredith added nine tackles.

Nebraska’s two-headed offense of quarterback Taylor Martinez and running back Rex Burkhead was relatively silenced last week as Burkhead gained just 36 rushing yards, while Martinez rushed for 49 yards and completed 9-of-23 passes for 122 yards.  Currently, Burkhead (100.7) and Martinez (74.3) are fourth and eighth, respectively, in conference rushing, while Martinez is sixth in league passing at 164.5 yards each time out.  As a team, Nebraska puts up 391.0 total yards per game, fourth-best in the conference, and records 224.1 of those yards on the ground, which ranks third.  Defensively, Iowa is allowing 234.0 passing yards and 153.8 rushing yards per game, while giving up an average of 23.6 points per outing.  In last week’s contest at Purdue, senior Mike Daniels led the Iowa defense with eight tackles, including six solo stops, four tackles for loss and two QB sacks.  DE Broderick Binns collected seven tackles and cornerback Tanner Miller had two interceptions. Kyle Steinbrecher blocked a Purdue punt and Anthony Hitchens added a fumble recovery in the win.  Linebacker James Morris is fifth in the conference with 9.2 stops per outing, while Christian Kirksey is seventh at 8.5.  Look for this contest to be determined in the red zone as the Huskers boast the 19th-best offense (89.1) inside the 20, while Iowa is ninth nationally in red zone defense (71.4).


(9-2, 6-1 Big Ten)

Legends Division Game
Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 • 11 a.m. CT • Evanston, Ill. • Ryan Field (47,130)
BTN • Announcers: Eric Collins, Chris Martin, Dionne Miller
Series: Michigan State leads 35-16 • Last Meeting: Oct. 23, 2010:  Michigan State 35, Northwestern 27

(6-5, 3-4 Big Ten)

Saturday’s game marks the 52nd meeting between Michigan State and Northwestern, with the Spartans owning a 35-16 advantage in the all-time series, including a 17-10 record in games played in Evanston. MSU has won three in a row and four of the last five meetings against NU, and have also recorded victories in four of their last five trips to Ryan Field.  Northwestern’s last win in the series came in 2007 with a 48-41 shootout in overtime.  On the heels of a 55-3 win over Indiana last week, Michigan State clinched the Big Ten Legends Division title and will soon compete for the Big Ten Football Championship in Indianapolis.  Northwestern enters the week bowl eligible and on a four-game win streak, following a 28-13 victory over Minnesota last Saturday.  The Wildcats are eager to send off their 25 seniors in the same fashion they have in each season during the Pat Fitzgerald era.  The NU mentor owns a 5-0 record in Senior Day games at Ryan Field. That ledger includes three wins over Illinois and upsets of No. 17 Wisconsin (2009) and No. 13 Iowa (2010).
Michigan State has recorded more than 400 yards of total offense in three straight games (402 vs. Minnesota; 443 vs. Iowa; 470 vs. Indiana). During MSU’s current three-game winning streak, the Spartans are averaging 41.0 points and 438.3 total yards per game. In addition, quarterback Kirk Cousins has completed 57-of-88 throws (.648) for 828 yards (276.0), eight TDs and no interceptions during that span.  Cousins has helped the Spartans be a strong first-half team as MSU has outscored its opponents, 208-85 in the first 30 minutes, including 132-26 in the second quarter alone.  Cousins enters the game one touchdown pass shy of the school record, and hoping to catch that pass Saturday will be B.J. Cunningham.  The senior wideout recorded his sixth 100-yard receiving game of the season and eighth of his career last week, with six receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns against Indiana.  Keshawn Martin accounted for a season-high 182 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including eight catches for 99 yards.  Le’Veon Bell has carried 131 times for 708 yards and nine scores on the year.  Northwestern is 10th in the conference in scoring (26.9), rushing (187.2), passing (222.9) and total defense (410.1).  Last week against Minnesota, Brian Peters had 11 tackles, including one for a loss of four yards, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception, while Bryce McNaul also had 11 tackles for the Wildcats.  Peters, who is 13th in the conference with 7.2 stops per game, has totaled 11 interceptions for his career, which places him third in school history.  Freshman Ibraheim Campbell is 10th in the league with 7.4 hits each time out, while David Nwabuisi is 17th at 6.9.

It will be an emotional Senior Day for the Northwestern offense, as the Wildcats say goodbye to quarterback Dan Persa and star wideouts Jeremy Ebert and Drake Dunsmore.  Persa enters his final home game seventh in school history with 5,483 total yards and fifth overall with 32 touchdown passes.  With 14 receiving yards against Michigan State, Ebert will become the first Northwestern pass-catcher to reach 1,000 yards for a season since D'Wayne Bates put up a school-record 1,245 in 1998. This season, Ebert quickly climbed NU's all-time lists for single-season receiving yards (fourth, 986) and catches (ninth, 64) and ranks third in career yards (2,326) and seventh in career receptions (162).  Dunsmore has 42 catches and six touchdowns on the year.  Kain Coulter has 34 catches and three touchdowns on the campaign, with 31 of those catches coming in the last six games.  Michigan State is third nationally in total defense (257.3), fourth in pass defense (156.1), fifth in pass efficiency defense (99.7) and scoring defense (15.3), 10th in rushing defense (101.2), and 16th in sacks per game (2.8).  MSU also leads the Big Ten and is tied for ninth in the FBS with 16 interceptions. In addition, the Spartans have netted five fumble recoveries, and 32 sacks for a plus-9 turnover margin. Max Bullough has 72 tackles on the year, Isaiah Lewis has 64 tackles and four interceptions, and Denicos Allen has six sacks over the 2011 campaign.


(6-5, 3-4 Big Ten)

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 • Noon ET • Ann Arbor, Mich. • Michigan Stadium (109,901)
ABC • Announcers: Dave Pasch, Urban Meyer, Chris Spielman, Quint Kessenich
Series: Michigan leads, 57-44-6 • Last Meeting: Nov. 21, 2009: Ohio State 21, Michigan 10

(9-2, 5-2 Big Ten)

Ohio State and Michigan will meet for the 108th time Saturday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, with the Buckeyes owning the past six meetings and eight of the last nine against the Wolverines.  Prior to this Ohio State edge, Michigan had won 13 of the previous 18 games in the series with one tie, dating back to the 1983 season.  OSU is 6-5 overall and 3-4 in the conference action, while Michigan, which owns a 57-43-6 advantage in the all-time series, enters the regular-season finale 9-2 overall and 5-2 in league play.  In last week’s action, Michigan routed Nebraska 45-17 and Ohio State fell for the second-straight week with a 20-14 home loss to Penn State.

The Buckeyes’ offense is simply looking to run all over rival Michigan Saturday as Dan "Boom" Herron has rushed for 358 yards and three scores in three career games against the Wolverines. In last season’s win, Herron rushed for 175 yards on 22 carries and a score, including an 89-yard run. Braxton Miller will also look to contribute to the ground game as the dual-threat QB has topped 100 yards rushing in two of the last three games, tying his personal best last week with 105 yards off 18 carries.  He now leads the Buckeye rushers with 595 yards on the season, followed by Herron (559) and Carlos Hyde (549).  As a team, 201.0 of Ohio State’s 315.0 total yards come from the ground game.  That’s not to say OSU doesn’t have aerial threats as well.  In fact, last week marked the return of DeVier Posey, who totaled four grabs for 66 yards and three first downs.  The Scarlet and Gray will need to get out of the gates and finish strong Saturday.  Against Penn State, the Buckeyes fell back 10-0 in the first quarter for the third straight game and failed to score a point in the second half.  Michigan is giving up 312.6 total yards, fifth-best in the league, including 128.4 yards on the ground, which ranks fourth.  Last week U-M's defense held Nebraska to 17 points, nearly 16 points below its season average, and 260 total yards of offense, 144 yards beneath its average output.  Kenny Demens is 15th in the league with 7.1 tackles per game, while Ryan VanBergen is 11th with 4.5 sacks on the season.

Michigan is second in the conference in scoring (33.6) and rushing (231.9), third in total offense (421.2), and eighth in passing (189.3).  Junior quarterback Denard Robinson has impressed all year long and is coming off an effort against Nebraska that earned him Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Week. Robinson accumulated 263 total yards -- 180 passing and 83 rushing --  and scored two rushing touchdowns and passed for a pair of scores for his 12th career game with four-plus touchdowns.  Robinson is fifth in conference passing (171.7) and rushing (90.3), but is quickly being caught on the ground by teammate Fitzgerald Toussaint, who is sixth at 89.1 rushing yards per game. Toussaint averaged 4.8 yards a carry and finished with 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns last week and has totaled 891 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the year.  In the passing game, senior Junior Hemingway enters his final game in the Big House rank 10th in the conference at 53.7 receiving yards per game.  Ohio State enters the biggest game of its season with the 10th-youngest team in the country, having had seven different true freshmen make starts while 14 have played in at least one game.  One freshman that made the most of his firs start last week was newcomer linebacker Ryan Shazier, who earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.  Shazier totaled 15 tackles against Penn State, filling in for the injured Andrew Sweat, who is still questionable for “The Game.”  Shazier recorded seven solo tackles and had a large role in Ohio State's goal line stand in the third quarter.  Sweat, a senior, hopes to earn his “gold pants” by playing Saturday with his 6.8 tackles-per-game average.  In the trenches, John Simon is third in the league with 6.0 sacks on the year.


(6-5, 2-5 Big Ten)

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 • 2:30 p.m. CT • Minneapolis, Minn. • TCF Bank Stadium (50,805)
BTN • Announcers: Tom Hart, Derek Rackley, Lisa Byington
Series:  Minnesota leads 33-28-3 • Last Meeting: Nov. 13, 2010: Minnesota 38, Illinois 34

(2-9, 1-6 Big Ten)

Minnesota faces Illinois for the 64th time Saturday in a series the Gophers lead all-time by a 32-28-3 count.  Minnesota has won eight of the last 11 against the Fighting Illini, but hasn’t defeated the Orange and Blue in Minneapolis since 2004.  Still, the Gophers own a 19-12-2 edge when playing at home.  In this series, the road team has won the last four games, as the Illini took home road victories in 2007 and 2009, while the Gophers won in Champaign in both 2008 and 2010.  Minnesota is coming off a 28-13 defeat at Northwestern and boast a 2-9 record overall, including 1-6 in Big Ten play. Illinois enters Saturday’s game with a 6-5 overall mark and a 2-5 record in the conference.

Illinois’ offense enters the weekend ranked sixth in the conference in rushing (179.3) and passing (196.9), seventh in total yards (376.2) and eighth in scoring (24.3).  The Illini actually outgained Wisconsin 301-285, but faltered with three interceptions and a fumble in the loss last week.  Nathan Scheelhasse threw just one of those picks and was 15-of-19 passing for 99 yards.  On the year he has completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  The Illini’s top target is A.J. Jenkins, who needs 113 yards to break David Williams' UI single-season receiving yardage record of 1,278. Jenkins has five 100-yard receiving games this season and paces the league with 106.0 receiving yards per game. He has performed well against the Gophers, hauling in nine catches for 254 yards and three TDs in two games against Minnesota. He had six catches for a then career-high 137 receiving yards last year against the Gophers and in 2008 as a true freshman, Jenkins caught three passes for 117 yards and two TDs.  On the ground, Jason Ford has recorded 557 yards and seven scores, while Scheelhasse follows with 543 yards and six touchdowns.  Minnesota allows 425.2 total yards each time out, including 195.9 yards on the ground, both of which rank 11th in the conference.  The Gophers have seen a great deal of improvement in their pass rush from a year ago, recording 14 sacks on the season compared to just nine in 2010.  Kim Royston is coming off a 17-tackle performance, including two for a loss and an interception as well.  Mike Rallis also turned in a double-digit day last week with 13 total tackles, marking his third outing with 10 or more stops this season.  Gary Tinsley has also contributed on defense this season, posting 81 tackles, which ranks him 10th in the conference.

Minnesota will look to test a tough Illini rush defense that ranks second in the conference with just 122.2 yards per game.  Despite ranking 10th in the league with 152.0 rushing yards each time out, the Gophers are coming off an effort last week that saw them boast two 100-yard rushers in tailback Duane Bennett and quarterback MarQeis Gray.  Bennett rushed for 127 yards to eclipse 2,000 yards for his career, while Gray recorded his third 100-yard game of the season with 147 yards rushing in the loss. With Gray and Bennett each reaching the 100-yard mark, it was the first time two Gophers topped the century mark since 2006.  In the air, Gray has completed 50.8 percent of his passes for 1,410 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.  DaJon McKnight is the Gophers leading receiver with 47 catches for 714 yards and four touchdowns. The Illinois defense has continued to climb the national rankings as the Illini rank ninth nationally in total defense, allowing just 288.0 yards per game. They rank seventh in pass defense (165.8), 16th in scoring (19.5), 23rd in rushing (122.2) and 27th in pass efficiency defense (117.6).  Illinois also leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth nationally in both sacks (3.1) and TFLs (8.0) per game.  The last time the two teams met in Minneapolis, the Illini defense dominated the line of scrimmage, racking up seven sacks and eight tackles for loss while holding the Gophers to just 50 rushing yards on 36 carries. Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist Whitney Mercilus continues to lead the nation in sacks (13.5), sacks per game (1.23) and forced fumbles (8), while linebacker Jonathan Brown has totaled 58 tackles, 12.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, two PBUs, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and two hurries in his last five games. He ranks third in the nation in TFLs per game (1.85).


(9-2, 6-1 Big Ten)

Leaders Division Game
Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 • 2:30 p.m. CT • Madison, Wis. • Camp Randall Stadium (80,321)
ESPN • Announcers: Sean McDonough, Matt Millen, Heather Cox
Series:  Wisconsin leads 8-6 • Last Meeting: Oct. 11, 2008:  Penn State 48, Wisconsin 7

(9-2, 5-2 Big Ten)

Penn State and Wisconsin meet in Madison on Saturday for a matchup that will determine the Leaders Division title and the representative that will face Michigan State in the Big Ten Football Championship Game in Indianapolis on Dec. 3.  This will be the 15th meeting between the Badgers and Nittany Lions, with UW owning the all-time series 8-6, including a 5-3 advantage in Madison.  The series is tied 6-6 since Penn State entered the Big Ten.  Saturday’s contest marks the first meeting between the schools since a 48-7 PSU win at Camp Randall Stadium in 2008.  After losing four of the previous five outings in the series, Penn State has won three of the last four.  The Badgers, however, are poised to stop that momentum as they have captured 15 consecutive victories at Camp Randall, including nine straight against Big Ten teams, a span in which they outscored their opponents 476-149.  Recent history suggests a close one though as all seven of Penn State's Big Ten games have been decided by 10 points or less.

Penn State’s offense ranks seventh in the conference in rushing (169.7), ninth in passing (185.9), 10th in total yards (355.6), and 11th in scoring (20.9), but put up quite a performance on the road last week in Columbus.  The Nittany Lions rushed for 239 yards, which included three runs of 38 yards or more, and scored on its first three possessions for the first time this season.  Perhaps more impressive was the fact that Penn State's first two touchdowns drives were 80-plus yards in distance (80, 81) and each took 2:33 or less (2:20, 2:33).  Silas Redd moved to third in the conference rushing ranks and enters the weekend with an average of 102.0 yards per game.  Last week against the Buckeyes, Redd rushed for 63 yards on eight attempts, while Stephfon Green paced the ground game with 93 yards on 16 carries.  QB Matt McGloin completed 10-of-18 passes for 88 yards with one interception. Wisconsin owns the Big Ten’s second-best total defense, allowing an average of 282.3 yards per game. Linebackers Mike Taylor (121) and Chris Borland (118) rank 1-2 in the conference in tackles, while safety Aaron Henry and cornerback Antonio Fenelus have combined for seven interceptions in 2011.  Redshirt senior defensive end Louis Nzegwu has a team-best 4.5 sacks, but he could have his work cut out for him, as the Nittany Lions did not allow a sack last week and lead the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed with just 12 in 11 games.

The Wisconsin offense, which averages a Big Ten-best 44.8 points per game, is led by quarterback Russell Wilson, who has thrown for 2,506 yards, completing 73.6 percent of his passes, with 26 touchdowns and only three interceptions.  He has also rushed for 289 yards and five touchdowns.  The Badgers have been quite successful on the ground, averaging a conference-leading 245.1 yards per game.  Montee Ball, who went for 224 yards and two scores last week, is the Big Ten’s top ground gainer, running for 1,466 yards and 25 touchdowns. With five receiving scores in 2011, Ball is just the fifth player in FBS history with 30 touchdowns in a season.  Wilson’s has three main targets in the passing game – wide receivers Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis and tight end Jacob Pedersen. Toon has a team-high 47 receptions and 746 yards with eight touchdowns while Abbrederis leads the Badgers with a 16.0 yards per catch average. Pedersen (27-323-8), a John Mackey Award semifinalist, is UW’s top red zone threat.  And what better way to end the regular season than matching one of the nation’s top offenses with one of the nation’s top defenses. Penn State’s defense is third nationally in scoring (13.0), fourth in pass efficiency rating (96.33), sixth in passing yards (160.0) and eighth in total yards (287.4).  The Nittany Lions have held all but two of their 11 opponents to 18 points or less this season. Penn State standout senior DT Devon Still is a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Outland Trophy.  He is tied for first in the Big Ten in solo TFL (15.0) and is tied for third in the conference in overall TFL (16.5).  He has also recorded 4.0 sacks to rank among the conference leaders. Still has made 53 tackles on the year, with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.  In last week’s win, DE Jack Crawford set a career single game high with two sacks to give him 5.5 for the season, while linebacker Glenn Carson tied his career-high with 11 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble.


(5-6, 3-4 Big Ten)

Leaders Division Game
Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 • 3:30 p.m. ET • Bloomington, Ind. • Memorial Stadium (52,929)
BTN • Announcers: Matt Devlin, Glen Mason, Jon Jansen
Series: Purdue leads 70-37-6 • Last Meeting: Nov. 27, 2010:  Indiana 34, Purdue 31 (OT)

(1-10, 0-7 Big Ten)

It’s the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket on Saturday as Purdue looks for a sixth win and bowl eligibility, while Indiana hopes to retain the coveted rivalry trophy in Bloomington.  Last year the Hoosiers went on the road to West Lafayette and used a 26-yard field goal with nine seconds left in regulation and made a 31-yarder in overtime to rally past Purdue, 34-31.  Saturday marks the 114th all-time meeting between the two schools, with Purdue leading the overall series 70-37-6, including a 56-27-3 edge in Old Oaken Bucket games. The Hoosiers, who last won back-to-back Bucket games in 1993 and 1994, last downed Purdue in Bloomington in 2007 and the teams have split the last four meetings overall.  Ironically, Purdue has a better winning percentage against the Hoosiers in Bloomington (.667, 33-16-2) than it does in West Lafayette (.623, 36-21-4).

Purdue mustered just 310 total yards and 13 first downs in last year’s contest with the Hoosiers, but the Boilermakers are poised to rack up yards on an Indiana defense that is allowing 454.2 yards each game, including 239.3 yards on the ground.  Last week in East Lansing, Indiana allowed 470 yards and 55 points to Michigan State, while Purdue’s offense netted just 101 rushing and 282 total yards in the loss to Iowa.  Ralph Bolden averaged 5.1 yards per carry, rushing 14 times for 71 yards with a touchdown, while Caleb TerBush finished the contest 10-of-16 passing for 86 yards and a touchdown.  Antavian Edison extended his streak to 19 consecutive games with a reception after finishing with a career-high nine grabs for 97 yards. During the streak, Edison has caught 68 passes for 812 yards and six touchdowns, and averaging 11.9 yards per catch.  Indiana’s Jeff Thomas leads the Hoosiers with 7.1 tackles per game, followed by Mark Murphy with 5.7 hits each time out.  In last Saturday’s loss to the Spartans, sophomore cornerback Lawrence Barnett posted nine tackles with two pass breakups and a TFL.

Indiana has fielded a number of youngsters this year, including 16 true freshmen and 32 total freshmen, a total that ranks as the most in the country.  In fact, underclassmen have accounted for 100 percent of the team’s 15 rushing scores, 194 completions, 2,246 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, and all but six of the 3,971 total yards the Cream and Crimson have accumulated this season.  IU has certainly been pleased with the efforts of freshman quarterback Tre Roberson and sophomore tailback Stephen Houston. The Hoosiers have averaged 197.2 rushing yards and 367.8 total yards in Roberson's four starts.  In those four starts, Roberson has thrown for 632 yards with three touchdowns, rushed for 287 yards with one score, and is averaging 229.8 yards of total offense. Houston's 673 rushing yards are the most for a Hoosier RB since 2005, while his 582 Big Ten yards are the most for a Hoosier RB since 2003.  In the passing game, fifth-year senior Dre Muhammad will be playing in a very memorable final game. After redshirting the 2007 season at Purdue, Muhammad walked on at IU in 2008 and didn’t make his first start until this season. On the year, Muhammad is tied for second on the team with 25 catches for 234 yards, which is third on the Hoosiers, and enters the Bucket Game on the heels of setting career highs in receptions (9) and yards (73) last week at Michigan State.  Purdue’s defense is eighth in the conference in defending the pass (207.9), and ninth in scoring (26.5), total yards (391.6), and rushing (183.7).  The Boilers allowed 408 total yards to Iowa last week and allowed the Hawkeyes possession of the pigskin for nearly 34 minutes. Dwayne Beckford finished with 11 tackles, marking his third straight game with double-digit tackles and his fifth in the last six games. Joe Holland, who will be playing in his 48th career game on Saturday, averages 6.9 stops per game.  Kawann Short is second in the conference in sacks (6.5) and third in TFLs (16.5) this season.