Monday, August 22, 2011
Big Ten scrimmage roundup
By Adam Rittenberg
The 2011 season is rapidly approaching, and with camps entering the home stretch around the Big Ten, several teams took to the field this weekend for scrimmages.
Four teams had media at the scrimmages and/or published statistics.
Here are a few takeaways:
Recaps: here and here
Thoughts: Although freshman Braxton Miller flashed his potential Saturday with two touchdown passes, including a 58-yarder to Chris Fields, it seems likely that senior Joe Bauserman will start the season opener at quarterback. Bauserman unofficially completed 7 of 13 passes for 120 yards with a touchdown and an interception. ... Linebacker Andrew Sweat appears ready to take the next step after recording four tackles for loss, including a sack, and a pass breakup. ... Ohio State has plenty of opportunities at receiver, and freshmen Devin Smith and Evan Spencer both made nice catches in the scrimmage. ... Linebacker Etienne Sabino, a projected starter, broke a bone in his hand during the scrimmage but expects to be back for the opener Sept. 3.
Recaps: Here and here
Notes: The defense dominated the jersey scrimmage, as interception returns for touchdowns by cornerbacks Johnny Adams and Tony Lippett sparked the unit to a 78-44 win. Both Adams and Lippett stood out during spring practice, so it's a good sign they're continuing to make plays. ... It's not a huge concern, but quarterback Kirk Cousins hasn't been too sharp in scrimmages during the offseason. He had some struggles this spring and on Sunday completed just 11 of 25 passes with an interception. Backup Andrew Maxwell completed just 10 of 23 passes with two interceptions. ... While the quarterbacks had their issues on a windy day, Michigan State's rushing attack continued to look solid. Nick Hill had 85 rushing yards in the scrimmage, while Le'Veon Bell had 68 yards and Larry Caper had 66 yards. ... Linebackers Max Bullough (11 tackles) and TyQuan Hammock (nine tackles, INT) also stood out for the defense.
Recap: Here and here
Notes: Not surprisingly, the Wildcats held out most of their projected starters for Saturday's scrimmage. Among those watching were quarterback Dan Persa and Jacob Schmidt, who has surprised more than a few folks by moving into the No. 1 running back spot in camp. ... Sophomore Kain Colter has emerged as the No. 2 quarterback and led a scoring drive in the scrimmage in limited work. ... Northwestern is looking for defensive line depth and end Davon Custis might be ready to provide it. Custis, who played sparingly last season, recorded 6.5 tackles in the scrimmage. ... Sophomore receiver Venric Mark should be a playmaker this season, and he recorded a touchdown pass and 60 receiving yards on three catches during the scrimmage.
Recaps: Here and here
Notes: Illinois has been able to build much-needed wide receiver depth this month, and more evidence arrived during Saturday's scrimmage. Sophomore Darius Millines continues to draw praise from the coaches and should be a nice complement to A.J. Jenkins. ... Freshman tight end Jon Davis, who bowled over coach Ron Zook during Saturday's scrimmage, should see some field time early this season.