Big Ten: michael sh
August, 24, 2011
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com
I am the one who knocks!
- Mark Dantonio left Michigan State to be with his father, who was undergoing a medical procedure. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi will run the Spartans until Dantonio returns. Steve Gardiner has been a surprising factor at linebacker and may start. Travis Jackson and Blake Treadwell are battling for the starting center spot.
- Will Dan Persa be ready for the opener? Pat Fitzgerald now says Kain Colter is all but pulled even with Persa at quarterback.
- Brady Hoke says Michigan needs to become better finishers. Michael Shaw has emerged as the top running back for the Wolverines. Al Borges is pushing his receivers hard.
- Nebraska's wide receiver race is still wide open and could go down to the wire. The Huskers want to be more aggressive and attacking on offense. Andrew Rodriguez probably should have redshirted last year, but now he'll likely be counted on to start at left guard.
- Purdue's Robert Marve declined to talk about the Miami scandal in which he was named. Ralph Bolden is free of doubt about his comeback from knee injury.
- Wisconsin needs a dominant defensive interior, and so far Patrick Butrym is showing signs of being a disruptive force in there. Louis Nzegwu is learning how to take more "calculated risks" in his pass rush. Jon Budmayr is still unable to throw and is to see a nerve specialist Thursday.
- Ohio State is working to make its special teams special again. Dick Tressel believes his younger brother will coach again.
- This is the last chance for Indiana's Fred Jones (subscription required). Damarlo Belcher and the Hoosier receivers must be ready to go as soon as they line up.
- Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens are forming an either/or situation at weakside linebacker for Iowa. A closer look at the Hawkeyes' linebackers. Shed no tears for the new and now defunct Cy-Hawk Trophy.
- Penn State's Chima Okoli is growing into his role as starting right tackle. The Nittany Lions' defensive line is seeking redemption after a poor 2010.
- Minnesota's new president talks about his views on athletics. Freshman quarterback Max Shortell continues to improve for the Gophers.
- A few Illinois tidbits.
- Athlon calls Jim Delany the most powerful man in college sports.