Big Ten did you know?: Week 8

A few notes and nuggets to make you smarter as you head out to the (likely) rain-soaked stadiums on Saturday.

Thanks to the fine folks at ESPN Stats & Info for several of these:

  • Wisconsin's rushing attack has 50 rushes of 10 or more yards in 2010, which is tied for 11th most in the FBS. Iowa's stingy defense very rarely gives up the big running play, but the Hawkeyes will have their hands full with John Clay and James White. Iowa is tied for second nationally in fewest rushes of 10 or more yards allowed with 11. Boston College leads the nation with 10.

  • Penn State's Joe Paterno will coach in his 65th stadium on Saturday when the Nittany Lions visit TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. JoePa has coached 276 games in Beaver Stadium, and TCF Bank Stadium will become the 64th away or neutral site venue the Hall of Famer has coached in 257 contests.

  • Iowa's Ricky Stanzi and Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien both have been great inside the opponent's 20-yard line this season. Tolzien has thrown all seven of his touchdown passes from inside the red zone in 2010. Wisconsin is one of only two FBS teams that has not thrown a touchdown pass from outside of the red zone. Stanzi leads the nation in red zone pass efficiency (297.4 rating), while Tolzien is second (286 rating) and Indiana's Ben Chappell is third (264.4 rating).

  • Michigan State has recorded three interceptions in each of the past two games. The Spartans had six interceptions in 13 games last season. They are tied for third in FBS with 12 interceptions. They also rank in the top 10 nationally in both takeaways (seventh with 18) and turnover margin (9th).

  • Danny Hope has done his best coaching work in league play. In his seven seasons as a head coach, Hope has posted a 38-12 record (a .760 winning percentage) in 50 conference games at Eastern Kentucky and Purdue.

  • Illinois has faced the second-toughest schedule in the nation thus far according to the official NCAA schedule strength rankings. Illinois' opponents have a combined record of 26-7 this season vs. Division I opponents (not counting their game vs. Illinois). Only Iowa State has played a tougher slate so far (29-7 combined opponent record).

  • Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor needs 90 passing yards to become the ninth quarterback in team history to pass for 5,000 career yards. With 180 yards passing, he would move into eighth place on the school's all-time list.

  • Indiana's Bill Lynch and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz both are nearing the 100-victory mark for their coaching careers. Lynch improved to 99-92-3 with a win over Arkansas State last weekend and will look for his 100th victory on Saturday at Illinois. Lynch has compiled his 99 victories in 17-plus seasons at Butler, Ball State, DePauw and Indiana. Ferentz is now 98-77 in his career after a victory at Michigan last weekend. He's in his 15th season as a head coach after a previous stint at Maine.

  • Minnesota's Adam Weber could become just the fifth quarterback in Big Ten history to pass for more than 10,000 career yards this week. He needs just 100 yards to accomplish that feat. Weber would join Iowa's Chuck Long (10,461), Northwestern's Brett Basanez (10,580), Purdue's Curtis Painter (11,163) and Purdue's Drew Brees (11.792) in that exclusive club.

  • Northwestern has been strong coming out of the locker room in its first six games this season, outscoring opponents 98-28 in the first and third quarters combined. The Wildcats have been outscored by seven points in both the second and fourth quarters.

  • Michigan State is the highest ranked Big Ten team in the AP Poll for the 1st time since the final poll in the 1987 season. That Spartans team finished 9-2-1 and was ranked No. 8 after beating USC in the Rose Bowl.

  • Wisconsin's John Clay and James White form one of just two running back tandems in the FBS to both rush for at least 80 yards per game. Michigan State's Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell form the other pair.