Big Ten Saturday: Keep an eye on the QBs
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Greetings from central Ohio, where it's a bit on the gloomy side but shouldn't be at The Shoe, where I'll be heading in a bit. There could be multiple new quarterbacks today in the Big Ten. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. Let's take a look around the league, starting with the game I'll be watching:
- USC will be watching Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor today, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Trojans linebacker Rey Maualuga expects Pryor to run, so it might be important for Ohio State's coaches to let him test the arm. The Buckeyes' backfield depth will be tested, Ken Gordon writes in The Columbus Dispatch. Star left tackle Alex Boone is fine after being treated for an infection this week.
- Today's Big Ten slate could put many to sleep, Teddy Greenstein writes in the Chicago Tribune. The Big Ten Network's Dave Revsine expects the league to pick up some momentum heading into Week 3.
- Illinois has some nice new digs at Memorial Stadium, Terry Bannon writes in the Chicago Tribune.
- Don't expect Indiana to beef up its schedule any time soon, not with bowl games as the priority, Terry Hutchens writes in The Indianapolis Star. It doesn't look like IU is getting nailed with some of the high guarantee costs.
"This year, IU will pay $750,000 combined to its four visiting nonconference opponents. Murray State will receive the largest amount, $250,000. Last week, IU paid Western Kentucky $150,000. Later this season, Ball State will earn $150,000 and Central Michigan $200,000. With gate revenues exceeding $5 million for home games last year, IU sees it as a smart investment."
- Ricky Stanzi's improvement in recent weeks could prompt a change at quarterback for Iowa, Randy Peterson writes in The Des Moines Register. I've got to get Hawkeyes wideout Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, or DJK as he's known, on the phone. Entertaining kid.
- Michigan fans need to be patient with Rich Rodriguez and a transitioning team, Drew Sharp writes in the Detroit Free Press. Steven Threet gets the start at quarterback, but he'll need help from others in a work-in-progress offense, John Heuser writes in The Ann Arbor News.
- Michigan State safety Otis Wiley is getting back to top form after a rough patch, Joe Rexrode writes in the Lansing State Journal.
- Tim Brewster wants to know just how much Minnesota has improved, Kent Youngblood writes in the Star Tribune. He'll find out today against Bowling Green.
- Northwestern's defense gets a big piece back tonight with the return of tackle John Gill, Shannon Ryan writes in the Chicago Tribune.
- Penn State's depth and versatility will be vital today against Oregon State after the suspensions of two defensive starters, Ron Musselman writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Lions are hurting themselves with the off-field issues, Bob Flounders writes in The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News.
- Purdue linebacker Kevin Green draws inspiration from his (much) older brother, Stacy Clardie writes in The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
- Wisconsin's defensive line has bonded over personal tragedies, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal. Marshall provides a test for the Badgers' run game, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.