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Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Big Ten chat wrap: Nov. 2

By Adam Rittenberg

My Big Ten chat returned earlier today after a week off, and you guys were on your game.

In case you missed it, here's the full chat wrap-up.

And, as always, some highlights:
Bilal from Dallas: Hey Adam-Although we haven't gotten a chance to see too much of Braxton Miller yet, what are your thoughts of him as a quarterback so far and how would you compare him next to Pryor?
Adam Rittenberg: Bilal, I was really impressed with Miller on Saturday night. He handled a pressure-packed situation with tremendous poise. The guy obviously is a great athlete and might be even faster than Pryor. It's too soon to evaluate Miller as a passer, and I'd like to see Ohio State call more high-percentage passes for him. But like Pryor, Miller is a natural playmaker. When he's surrounded with good weapons, he's a dangerous player.
Rick M. from Louisville: Adam, I keep reading from the media how Nebraska needs to pass to win this game or that game. No offense, but that is a bunch of garbage. They need to shove it down the opposition's throat. We will wear them defense out by the end of the Third Quarter. You can see the outcome of the OSU and MSU games. We don't need to stinking pass the ball to win. Nebraska has always been a team that says we are going to run, try to stop us. Sometimes they do, but most times they don't
Adam Rittenberg: Rick, you might be right, but the Nebraska defense won the Michigan State game more than the run game (although Rex Burkhead was great). What I'm saying is that on the road against a great defense like Penn State, being one-dimensional and hoping to wear down the opponent is a questionable strategy. I don't think Nebraska needs to throw more than 20 times or anything, but you have to mix it up on the road. Penn State, in my view, is a little better in the defensive front seven than Michigan State, and PSU will be playing at home.
Mike from East Lansing, Mich.: As a Michigan Alum living in EL, it's been a tough couple of years. What's going on in A2 with the recent defections. Is it just normal turn-over with the coaching change or is something more concerning going on?
Adam Rittenberg: Mike, to a certain extent, it's normal. But at some point, you go from normal to questionable. The Carvin Johnson departure surprised a lot of people because he had been playing in every game, albeit in a reserve role. Michigan has has an inordinate number of defense backs leave in recent years. It'll be interesting if this trend will die down or if it continues. But it's definitely something to monitor.
Jon from New Jersey: Hey Adam! First of all, i think that penn state has a chance at winning their last 3 games. All three of those teams are similar to penn state, good defense and a good running game. Do you think psu can win out? Also, if psu doesnt make the Big 10 champ. game of loses in the champ. game, do you think they could still make a bcs bowl game? We are...
Adam Rittenberg: Jon, of course Penn State has a chance in the last three, but I don't see the Lions winning in Madison. It's a very tough place to win and Penn State hasn't been overly impressive on the road. Just a bad matchup there. But Penn State could win the next two and the Wisconsin game won't matter. If Penn State doesn't make it to Indy, it still would be in the mix for a BCS at-large spot if it only loses once more (10-2 overall record). Can't discount a huge fan base and the Joe Paterno factor.

As always, thanks for the questions. Apologies to those I didn't get to, but you have another chance next week!