How the Big Ten fared in Super Bowl XLV

Several of you have asked for me to recap how the Big Ten players performed in Super Bowl XLV, so let's get to it.

Eight former Big Ten players and five former Big Ten coaches were part of the Green Bay Packers squad that won the championship 31-25 Sunday night.

Six players were on the Packers' active roster: former Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson, former Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga, former Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless, former Ohio State defensive lineman Ryan Pickett, and former Ohio State linebackers A.J. Hawk and Matt Wilhelm. Former Purdue defensive end Mike Neal and former Wisconsin offensive tackle Mark Tauscher both were on the Packers' injured reserve list.

Here's how they fared:

  • Hawk had five tackles and one pass defended.

  • Woodson had three tackles before leaving the game with a broken collarbone in the second quarter.

  • Pickett had two tackles.

  • Wilhelm had one tackle.

  • Quarless had one reception for five yards.

Five Packers assistant coaches had ties to Big Ten schools: offensive coordinator Joe Philbin (former Iowa assistant), defensive coordinator Dom Capers (former Ohio State assistant), tight ends coach Ben McAdoo (assistant at Michigan State), safeties coach Darren Perry (played at Penn State) and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac (played and served as assistant coach at Michigan).

Former Nebraska running back Brandon Jackson had a 14-yard reception for the Packers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had 10 former Big Ten players on their roster: former Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall, former Indiana wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, former Michigan linebackers Larry Foote and LaMarr Woodley, former Michigan free safety Ryan Mundy, former Michigan State offensive tackle Flozell Adams, former Minnesota tight end Matt Spaeth, former Northwestern offensive lineman Trai Essex, former Ohio State safety Will Allen, and former Penn State punter Jeremy Kapinos.

Here's how they fared:

  • Mendenhall led the Steelers with 63 rush yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, but also had a second-half fumble that led to a Packers touchdown.

  • Randle El caught two passes for 50 yards and scored a two-point conversion.

  • Woodley recorded three tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits.

  • Kapinos averaged 51 yards on three punts with one touchback and a long of 56 yards.

  • Mundy had a tackle.

Other Big Ten connections in Super Bowl XLV included Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau (played at Ohio State) and three other Pittsburgh assistants. Packers president Mark Murphy, the first man to receive the Lombardi Trophy after the game, previously served as athletic director at Northwestern.