Monday, September 3, 2012
Big Ten personnel notes entering Week 2
By Adam Rittenberg
Some key personnel nuggets around the league entering Week 2. More of these will come your way Tuesday.
- Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark will return to the field this week against Air Force after being suspended for the opener against Alabama. Both reinstated players should provide boosts in areas where Michigan struggled against the Tide. Toussaint is listed as the starter on this week's depth chart. Coach Brady Hoke said Clark, who is facing felony home invasion charges, has "paid a lot of consequences internally."
- Starting left tackle Taylor Lewan is fine, Hoke said, after leaving Saturday night's game with an apparent right leg injury. Aside from quarterback Denard Robinson, Lewan is the player Michigan most can't afford to lose, so Wolverines fans can breathe a little easier.
- Courtney Avery likely will start at cornerback in place of Blake Countess, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and will undergo surgery in the next week or so. Raymon Taylor also is in the mix there.
- Starting running back Rex Burkhead (knee) is listed as questionable for Saturday's game at UCLA, coach Bo Pelini said Monday. An MRI performed Sunday confirmed the initial diagnosis of a sprained MCL in Burkhead's left knee. Pelini said the injury won't require surgery and that for now, Burkhead is on Nebraska's travel roster. "[Burkhead] had a good day today," Pelini said. "He's questionable and day-to-day. We'll see how it goes." Don't expect the Huskers to take too many chances with Burkhead, as they have other good options in the backfield, namely Ameer Abdullah.
- Senior wide receiver Tim Marlowe is out until the end of October at the earliest after suffering a broken clavicle Saturday against Southern Miss. Pelini is hopeful Marlowe will return for the stretch run of Big Ten play. Tight end Ben Cotton (rib) should play against UCLA.
- Cornerback Mohammed Seisay missed the opener with a nagging ankle injury. Pelini is hopeful Seisay, a heralded junior college arrival, can play against the Bruins.
- Starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase practiced Sunday night but is "definitely not 100 percent," according to coach Tim Beckman, after suffering an ankle injury in the opener against Western Michigan. He will continue to be evaluated throughout the week but remains as the No. 1 signal caller on the team's depth chart for this week's game at Arizona State. Reilly O'Toole would be the next man in for the Illini, and the versatile Miles Osei also is in the mix.
- Top running back Jordan Hall isn't expected to play this week against Central Florida as he recovers from foot surgery.
- Defensive lineman Michael Bennett missed the opener after reinjuring his groin during pregame warmups, coach Urban Meyer said. He's listed as a backup defensive end on this week's depth chart.
- Defensive tackle Adam Bellamy, who started 10 games last season and left the team in August, will not return, Meyer said. Bellamy lost his love for the game, Meyer said.
- Defensive end Deonte Gibson, who left the opener against Syracuse with an elbow injury, is out this week against Vanderbilt. Decorated true freshman Ifeadi Odenigbo, a likely redshirt candidate entering the season, moves into Gibson's spot and "is going to play" against Vandy, according to coach Pat Fitzgerald.
- Although Trevor Siemian threw the game-winning touchdown strike against Syracuse, Kain Colter remains Northwestern's starting quarterback heading into the Vanderbilt game. Fitzgerald said Colter, who suffered a left shoulder injury against Syracuse, told offensive coordinator Mick McCall that Siemian would be the better option on the final drive. Colter should be fine for the Vanderbilt game.
- Robert Marve and Caleb TerBush are listed as co-starters at quarterback on the depth chart for Saturday's game at Notre Dame. TerBush was suspended for Purdue's opener but has been fully reinstated. He claimed the No. 1 quarterback job in camp, but his suspension and Marve's strong play Saturday against Eastern Kentucky create an interesting decision for the coaches heading into the showdown in South Bend.