Big Ten: Ray Ball
August, 26, 2011
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com
Use this weekend to test your grills, buy your face paint and design your signs. From here on out, football will fill the rest of your 2011 weekends.
- Defense will hold the key to success for Illinois this season. Safety Supo Sanni used basketball to help his rehab from an Achilles tendon injury.
- Indiana linebacker Chad Sherer might miss the season with a knee injury. Kevin Wilson is feeling upbeat about his team (subscription required).
- Iowa has found lots of talent in its own backyard. The Hawkeyes are getting a new, younger look at linebacker.
- Greg Mattison sees improvement in the Michigan defense, but it's not all the way there yet. Al Borges says the offense will be "gunning" more than any he's overseen in 24 years because of Denard Robinson. Physical play in practice has quite a few Wolverines banged up.
- Kirk Cousins is the face of Michigan State's program. Dan France is trying to clean up his mistakes and hold onto the starting left tackle job.
- Minnesota receiver Da'Jon McKnight puts his former hoops skills to good use on the football field. Linebackers Mike Rallis and Keanon Cooper should be ready to go for the Gophers' opener at USC.
- Nebraska backup quarterback Brion Carnes is waiting for his time to shine. Junior college transfer Joseph Carter is pushing for playing time at defensive end. True freshman Tyler Moore is battling for a starting job on the Huskers' offensive line.
- Former walk-on Jacob Schmidt has risen to the top of the depth chart at running back for Northwestern.
- Former blue-chip recruit Curtis Grant is experiencing some growing pains but wants to avoid a redshirt this year for Ohio State. Luke Fickell acknowledged a poorly-kept secret: Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller are his top two quarterbacks. Mike Vrabel appears to be making a successful transition to coaching.
- Joe Paterno is still getting it done in recruiting despite not going to high schools in person. Stephfon Green is back on the Nittany Lions -- at least according to him. Recruit Malik Golden is being ticketed for cornerback.
- Purdue quarterback Caleb TerBush is confident despite his lack of experience. Rick Schmeig is the anchor for the Boilers' offensive line.
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