Big Ten: Michael Jenkins

Brian Bennett has been projecting the Big Ten's top statistical performers in 2013, including 3,000-yard passers, 1,000-yard rushers and 1,000-yard receivers.

Now it's your turn to forecast the Big Ten's top offensive triumvirate in 2013. Which Big Ten team has the best chance of producing a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver this season? Penn State was the only Big Ten squad to record the feat in 2012, as quarterback Matt McGloin led the league in pass yards (3,266), wide receiver Allen Robinson led in receiving yards (1,013) and running back Zach Zwinak finished with an even 1,000 rush yards.


Which of these Big Ten teams will have the best offensive triple threat in 2013?


Discuss (Total votes: 5,247)

Here are the candidates for the Big Ten's top offensive triple threat in 2013 ...

Indiana: The Hoosiers lose just one starter from an offense that finished second in the league and 34th nationally in yards. Indiana also has multiple candidates for the milestones, whether it's Cameron Coffman, Tre Roberson or Nate Sudfeld at quarterback; or Cody Latimer, Shane Wynn or Kofi Hughes at receiver. Coffman passed for 2,734 yards in 2012 after taking over for the injured Roberson, who is back from a broken leg. Latimer looks like a superstar after eclipsing 800 receiving yards as a sophomore. IU wants to be more explosive on the ground and Stephen Houston would be the best bet to reach 1,000 rush yards after finishing with 749 last season.

Michigan: Although the Wolverines lose a record-setting individual offensive performer in Denard Robinson, they could have a deeper arsenal of weapons this fall as they transition to a more traditional pro-style system. Devin Gardner averaged 243.8 pass yards as Michigan's starting quarterback for the final five games last season. If he keeps that up for an entire season, he could reach the 3,000-yard mark. The Wolverines receivers also benefited from Gardner's presence, and a guy like Jeremy Gallon could approach 1,000 receiving yards if things go well. The bigger question is running back and whether Fitzgerald Toussaint, coming off of a broken leg, or dynamic incoming freshman Derrick Green could approach 1,000 rush yards. Michigan hasn't hit all three statistical milestones in the same season since 2003.

Nebraska: Like Indiana, Nebraska returns familiar names from a powerful offense that led the Big Ten in yards and finished second in points last season. Senior quarterback Taylor Martinez enters his fourth year as the starter after making significant strides as a passer in 2012, when he passed for 2,871 yards. The Huskers also had two 1,000-yard rushers in Martinez (1,019) and Ameer Abdullah (1,137), who returns. Dynamic sophomore Imani Cross also is in the mix after averaging 5.9 yards per carry as a freshman. Nebraska never has had a 1,000-yard receiver, but Kenny Bell came fairly close in 2012 (863 yards) and Quincy Enunwa and Jamal Turner also return.

Ohio State: Quarterback Braxton Miller is the biggest name coming back for the Buckeyes, but he's also the biggest question mark in Ohio State's quest for these offensive milestones. Ohio State shouldn't have much trouble producing a 1,000-yard rusher with Miller (1,271 rush yards in 2012) and Carlos Hyde (970) back in the fold. But Miller has to upgrade his passing to get near 3,000 yards after completing just 58.3 percent of his attempts in 2012. The Buckeyes are building more depth at receiver as Corey Brown progresses alongside big-play threat Devin Smith. Ohio State has had just four 1,000-yard receiving seasons and none since Michael Jenkins in 2002.

Penn State: The good news is Penn State achieved the milestone in 2012 and returns two of the reasons why in Robinson and Zwinak. The Lions also have other options at running back in Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch, the redshirt freshman who stood out during the Blue-White Game, along with the Big Ten's best group of tight ends, led by Kyle Carter. The bad news is Penn State's quarterback will be taking his first snaps in an FBS game this season. Junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson passed for 2,650 yards and 26 touchdowns for College of the Sequoias in 2012, while decorated incoming freshman Christian Hackenberg threw for 2,144 yards and 24 touchdowns for Fork Union Military Academy. Whoever wins the job will have to ride the fast track to 3,000 pass yards, but Penn State's starter will be surrounded by one of the league's best pass-catching groups.

It's your turn to vote on the Big Ten's top offensive triple threat for 2013. Make yours count.
The Big Ten preseason player rankings, based on past performance and 2010 potential, continue with ...

No. 17: DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State, Jr., 6-2, 200

2009 numbers: Ranked sixth in the Big Ten in receptions per game (4.62) and seventh in receiving yards average (63.7 ypg) last season; hauled in eight touchdown catches, which ranked third among the league's top pass-catchers; had five or more receptions in seven games last season.

Most recent ranking: Unranked in the 2009 postseason player rankings.

Making the case for Posey: Posey had a nice season in 2009, but he should really soar this fall, especially if his quarterback and close friend Terrelle Pryor continues to make strides. The Buckeyes junior has all the talent and experience to be an All-Big Ten wide receiver in 2010. Like Pryor, Posey recorded one of his best performances in the Rose Bowl victory against Oregon, racking up eight receptions for 101 yards and an electrifying touchdown grab. He works well with fellow starting wideout Dane Sanzenbacher and can make big plays in the red zone. Ohio State has had only four receivers record 1,000-yard seasons in team history, most recently with Michael Jenkins (1,076) in 2002. Posey has a good chance to add his name to the list this fall.

The rundown

  • No. 25: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt
  • No. 24: Illinois RB Mikel LeShoure
  • No. 23: Iowa DT Karl Klug
  • No. 22: Northwestern LB Quentin Davie
  • No. 21: Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins
  • No. 20: Ohio State LB Brian Rolle
  • No. 19: Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien
  • No. 18: Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi

Big Ten moments of the decade

January, 19, 2010
The last decade brought us many memorable moments in the Big Ten. From coaching milestones to individual awards to a national championship to the possibility of expansion, the Big Ten had it all in the aughts.

Here's a look back at 10 moments that stand out:

1. The Game pits No 1. vs. No. 2 -- Nov. 18, 2006: The Big Ten had the national stage all to itself as its premier rivalry pitted college football's top two teams, No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan, at Ohio Stadium. A day after the death of coaching legend Bo Schembechler, the Buckeyes and Wolverines met in the most anticipated regular-season game ever. Ohio State won, 42-39 and earned the right to play in the BCS National Championship Game.

2. The Flag -- Jan. 3, 2003: It was the most famous -- or infamous -- call of the decade, a pass interference penalty on Miami's Glenn Sharpe that gave Ohio State new life in overtime at the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes went on to tie the game and win in the second overtime for the Big Ten's only national championship in the aughts.

3. JoePa passes The Bear -- Oct. 27, 2001: Joe Paterno became college football's all-time winningest coach as Penn State rallied from a 27-9 deficit to beat Ohio State 29-27 at Beaver Stadium. Paterno's 324th career win pushed him past Paul "Bear" Bryant for the record.

4. Iowa wins bowl on final play -- Jan. 1, 2005: In one of the most exciting bowl game finishes ever, Iowa's Drew Tate found Warren Halloway for a 56-yard touchdown with no time remaining as the Hawkeyes stunned LSU 30-25 in the Capital One Bowl. LSU had taken a 25-24 lead with 46 seconds left before Tate's heroics.

5. Big Ten announces expansion plans -- Dec. 16, 2009: For the first time, the Big Ten publicly announced it would explore the possibility of expansion. More football coaches and athletic directors were behind the movement than ever before, and the league felt that the "time is right" to seriously look into a hot-button issue.

6. Starks' fumble return against Purdue -- Oct. 16, 2004: Purdue entered the game ranked No. 5 nationally and boasted the Heisman Trophy frontrunner in quarterback Kyle Orton. The Boilers led 17-14 late in the fourth quarter when Orton, running for a key first down, lost the ball. Wisconsin's Scott Starks recovered and raced 40 yards for a touchdown. Purdue never recovered that season.

7. Spartans win in Clockgate -- Nov. 3, 2001: Michigan State beat archrival Michigan 26-24 as Jeff Smoker found T.J. Duckett in the end zone with no time remaining. Many believe the Spartans shouldn't have had a chance to run the final play, as the clock could have expired before Smoker spiked the ball on third down.

8. Deaths of Walker and Hoeppner -- June 29, 2006 and June 19, 2007: The Big Ten tragically lost head coaches Randy Walker (Northwestern) and Terry Hoeppner (Indiana). Walker died suddenly of a heart attack weeks before training camp, while Hoeppner lost a battle with brain cancer almost exactly one year later.

9. Michigan beats Penn State on final play -- Oct. 15, 2005: Penn State's quest for a perfect season and a national championship ended on the final play at Michigan Stadium. Chad Henne found Mario Manningham for a 10-yard score as Michigan handed Penn State its only loss.

10. Krenzel to Jenkins on fourth down, Nov. 9, 2002: Ohio State's national title hopes teetered as the offense faced fourth-and-1 with less than two minutes left against Purdue. On a call that surprised everyone, Craig Krenzel threw to Michael Jenkins for a 37-yard touchdown as the Buckeyes rallied for a 10-6 win and went on to the championship.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

What moment defines a championship season? Colleagues Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach take a look in an excellent series detailing the magic moments for each national champion from the last 25 years

Who can forget Ohio State's dramatic fourth-down touchdown pass from Craig Krenzel to Michael Jenkins against Purdue in 2002? 

The Buckeyes trailed Purdue 6-3 and faced fourth-and-1 at the Boilermakers' 37-yard line with less than two minutes to play. Purdue gambled that Ohio State would stick with its conservative play calling and blitzed several players to try to stop a short run. But Buckeyes quarterback Craig Krenzel stood in the pocket and lofted a pass to Michael Jenkins, who beat Antwaun Rogers for a 37-yard touchdown in the 10-6 victory. The Buckeyes beat Illinois and Michigan and then stunned Miami 31-24 in double overtime in the Fiesta Bowl to win a national title. 

Other key moments included Brian Griese's touchdown pass to Jerame Tuman for Michigan at Iowa in 1997 and Pete Giftopoulos' interception for Penn State against Miami's Vinny Testaverde in 1986. Penn State wasn't in the Big Ten yet, but this is still worth remembering.