Thursday, October 17, 2013
Big Ten lunchtime links
By Austin Ward
I assume I'm an alternate for the selection committee.
- Braxton Miller had a couple things to work on during the bye week, starting with getting his knee fully healthy and shoring up his ball security as the Ohio State quarterback prepared for Iowa.
- The thrilling win Christian Hackenberg helped Penn State pull off last weekend might be an early chapter in his book, but it's one that won't be skimmed over down the line.
- Iowa offensive lineman Andrew Donnal, born a fan of the Buckeyes, has had to do some redecorating in the family home and is looking to make a successful return to the Horseshoe.
- Just like his mother, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi can still see room for his elite defense to improve.
- Michigan is designing mismatches for Devin Funchess in a new wide receiver/tight end hybrid role, and it has paid off with three touchdowns in the last two weeks.
- Nebraska picked up a couple of impressive wins between its bye weeks, and suddenly things are starting to look more optimistic for its beleaguered defense.
- After struggling to find much consistency on the ground over the last couple of games, Minnesota is expecting a bit more breathing room for its rushing attack against Northwestern.
- The Illinois secondary is largely coming up empty in the interception department, and the defensive line isn't generating many sacks. Both units rank last in the country in those statistical categories and are trying to climb out of the cellar.
- Now 60 years in the past, Purdue's memorable upset of top-ranked Michigan State still remains clear in the minds of a few who witnessed it.
- Wisconsin right tackle Rob Havenstein can pop in film of his play last season for reminders of how far he has come as a blocker. The next step is becoming a "dominant force."