Big Ten: Trea Burgess
- RB Darius Willis, knee (out for season)
- OL Josh Hager, knee (out for season)
- S Chris Adkins, ankle
- OT James Brewer, ankle
- CB Richard Council, knee
- K Nick Freeland, hip
- S Lenyatta Kiles, groin
- RB Nick Turner, concussion
The two areas of concern are the secondary and the offensive line. Indiana's injuries in the secondary aren't new, but the Hoosiers have to find ways to limit big pass plays without Adkins, Council and Kiles on the field. An arguably bigger issue is offensive line depth, as protecting star quarterback Ben Chappell will be paramount in the final six games. Brewer's continued absence hurts, and Hager's season-ending injury means sophomore Marc Damisch gets the nod as the starting right tackle against a good Illinois defensive line. Turner's absence places a bigger burden on Trea Burgess as Indiana's featured running back.
- The Star Tribune has an extensive interview with Minnesota president Robert Bruininks about the coaching search and the program (good stuff, and here's the whole thing). A lot of Gophers fans want Marc Trestman, but the program might not be able to land him, Marcus Fuller writes in the (St. Paul) Pioneer Press.
- A National Guardsman used his uniform to sneak into the Michigan-Michigan State game, despite toting two unloaded M-16 rifles. Wow.
- The Big Ten Network's Dave Revsine goes inside the numbers for Week 8 in the Big Ten.
- Bowl projections from Rivals.com, including Iowa to Rose and Ohio State to Fiesta. Which Big Ten team pulls off the most upsets? AOL FanHouse's Brett McMurphy examines a very interesting topic.
- Power football is back in the Big Ten at the top of the league, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal.
- Michigan State's unity council has been a big part of the strong start, Drew Sharp writes in the Detroit Free Press. First-year assistant Brad Salem makes an immediate impact on the Spartans' run game, Chris Solari writes in the Lansing State Journal.
- The Iowa-Wisconsin series should resume in 2013, but with a cost elsewhere, Scott Dochterman writes in The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Former Iowa star Tim Dwight talks about DJK breaking his team receiving record, Pat Harty writes in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
- Wisconsin coaches challenged running back John Clay to get back to his 2008 form before last week's game, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Ryan Kerrigan becomes Purdue's superman on Saturdays, Bill Rabinowitz writes in The Columbus Dispatch. Boilers safety Logan Link, a Columbus native, knows all about Ohio State, Mike Carmin writes in The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier.
- Jay Paterno writes about Eric LeGrand and recalls the Adam Taliaferro situation at Penn State. The Lions aren't sure what to expect from wild-card Minnesota on Saturday, Cory Giger writes in The Altoona Mirror.
- Rich Rodriguez says don't rush to judgment on Michigan this year, Bob Wojnowski writes in The Detroit News.
- Illinois is certainly aware of Indiana's dangerous quarterback, Herb Gould writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Last year's Purdue loss marked a turning point for Terrelle Pryor, Ken Gordon writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
- Patience is paying off for Indiana running back Trea Burgess, Terry Hutchens writes in The Indianapolis Star.
- Northwestern has been fortunate on the injury front to this point, Colin Becht writes in The Daily Northwestern.
- Wisconsin starting linebacker Mike Taylor is expected to play Saturday at No. 15 Iowa after injuring his ankle and knee against Ohio State. Badgers coach Bret Bielema said Taylor underwent X-rays that showed no structural damage after he rolled his ankle and hyperextended his knee. Defensive tackle Jordan Kohout (foot) and tight end Lance Kendricks also should be fine for the trip to Iowa.
- Indiana expects running backs Trea Burgess, Nick Turner and Antonio Banks to be ready for this week's trip to Illinois, but the news along the offensive line isn't so good. Coach Bill Lynch said starting right tackle James Brewer (ankle) likely will miss another week, and reserve Josh Hager also likely is out, putting sophomore Marc Damisch in the starting role. Depth also could be an issue up front, as Dustin Dopirak writes. Defensive backs Richard Council and Chris Adkins remain out.
- Northwestern defensive end Vince Browne participated in Monday's practice and will play Saturday against No. 7 Michigan State, coach Pat Fitzgerald said.
- Michigan's bye week comes at a good time, as quarterback Denard Robinson (shoulder) and others have time to heal. Coach Rich Rodriguez said Robinson, who dealt with shoulder soreness last week in practice, "should be fine" for the Penn State game on Oct. 30. Center David Molk, defensive tackle Mike Martin and running back Michael Shaw also should be fine for Penn State.
- Middle linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (stinger) once again isn't listed on Iowa's depth chart. Troy Johnson is pegged to start against Wisconsin with James Morris backing him up.
Indiana swept its cushy nonconference slate with another high-scoring shootout win, rallying in the second half to beat Arkansas State 36-34 in Bloomington. Bill Lynch's squad now only needs two Big Ten wins to become bowl eligible.
Where would Indiana be without Ben Chappell? The senior quarterback rebounded from a rough day at Ohio State to pass for 382 yards and four touchdowns today.
He got a ton of help from talented receivers Damarlo Belcher and Tandon Doss, both of whom eclipsed 100 receiving yards. And perhaps the most encouraging sign for Indiana's offense was the play of running back Trea Burgess, who rushed for 96 yards on 19 carries in place of the injured Darius Willis. The big question is whether Burgess can be the answer against Big Ten defenses, and he faces a good one next week at Illinois.
Speaking of defense, Indiana's still worries me. Aside from two first-half interceptions, Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin threw the ball very well (33-for-44, 275 pass yards) against the Hoosiers. IU stopped the run well, but it's still too easy for teams to pass against its secondary.
I really think Indiana needs to win one of its next two contests, at Illinois and against Northwestern in Bloomington, to get to six wins. It likely needs to play a lot better on defense to do so.
We'll learn a lot about the Hoosiers before the end of the month.
Senior quarterback Ben Chappell appears headed for another 300-yard passing performance, as he has completed 22 of 36 passes for 267 yards and two scores. Senior wideout Terrance Turner has a touchdown grab, and Tandon Doss is having another big day.
The problem: Indiana's defense continues to struggle. Arkansas State just drove for a touchdown and trails by only two points with plenty of time left.
Ryan Aplin and the Red Wolves aren't going away.
The Hoosiers trailed the Red Wolves 14-12 at halftime, and the deficit would have been worse if not for an impressive 80-yard scoring drive at the end of the second quarter. After a slow start, IU quarterback Ben Chappell is picking up his play, completing 16 of 26 passes for 208 yards and a score.
Arkansas State's Ryan Aplin is the latest quarterback to take aim on Indiana's secondary. Aplin has completed 17 of 24 passes, but twice was picked off in the first half. The Red Wolves easily could have been up more than two points.
Some good news for Indiana as Trea Burgess has 44 rushing yards on eight carries. Indiana needs to spark his rushing attack in the wake of Darius Willis' season-ending injury.
The Hoosiers will play the rest of the season without top running back Darius Willis, who will undergo surgery Oct. 20 to repair a patellar tendon injury. Willis missed last week's game at Ohio State with a groin injury, according to the Indiana injury report, but coach Bill Lynch said this week that the sophomore also has been dealing with a nagging knee problem.
You have to feel for Willis, who just can't buy a break when it comes to injuries. Ankle issues have kept him sidelined on more than one occasion, and now he'll be out for some time following knee surgery.
Indiana has been trying to balance out its offense, which ranks 10th nationally in passing (306.8 ypg) but 106th in rushing (99.2 ypg). The team switched to the pistol offense two years ago with the hope of sparking its rush attack, but the results haven't been there yet.
Willis led Indiana with 278 rush yards and four touchdowns this fall.
The Hoosiers now turn to Trea Burgess, Nick Turner and others to spark their ground game.
I'll be watching all 11 preview shows and posting my thoughts right here.
Up first, Indiana and Ohio State.
- The Hoosiers practiced in shoulder pads and shorts, and head coach Bill Lynch is intentionally reducing the amount of hitting in this preseason (to keep his team fresher for the season), so the workout wasn't as revealing as most of the others should be.
- Wide receiver Damarlo Belcher is a huge target and made several routine catches in space. Indiana also seemed to be swinging the ball a lot to the running backs, including Trea Burgess and Zach Davis-Walker. "Against the nonconference opponents, they can win those games with this pass game," DiNardo said. Starting quarterback Ben Chappell was a bit shaky on some throws, but I'm not worried about him.
- The running backs didn't seem to have much room on the inside throughout the practice. A few backs did a nice job of bouncing to the outside. Freshman Matt Perez had a very nice run in team drills.
- Defensive tackle Tony Carter did a nice job of crowding the middle on one play, and linebacker Tyler Replogle had a nice hit against Darius Willis.
- I liked what I saw from Indiana's three junior college transfers on defense: linebacker Jeff Thomas and cornerbacks Andre Kates and Lenyatta Kiles. Kates has extremely fast feet, and Thomas brings good size to the table.
- Despite the losses of left tackle Rodger Saffold and veteran guard Pete Saxon, Griffith said Indiana's offensive line looked the best it has in years.
- Quarterback Edward Wright-Baker reportedly has fallen behind Dusty Kiel on the depth chart, but he looked good passing the ball in this practice.
- DiNardo brought up a good point about the need for Ohio State to have a dominant running back again, and how it will keep defenses guessing against quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
- Pryor definitely seemed different to me, both in his interview with the BTN crew and in the practice. He showed patience and footwork under pressure and fired a good pass to Dane Sanzenbacher in team drills. I also liked the way he yanked defensive lineman Garrett Goebel off the pile to help running back Dan Herron get out. Pryor seemed to be running hard during conditioning and talked about his new attitude toward meetings as he hopes to increase his leadership.
- Pryor had one big mistake, though, as safety Jermale Hines stepped in front of a pass to Jake Stoneburner and made the interception. Just a perfect read by Hines.
- Cameron Heyward just looks bigger than everyone else on the field (probably because he is). I particularly enjoyed watching Heyward go against All-Big Ten guard Justin Boren. Two All-America candidates right there. Everyone keeps calling Heyward a defensive end, but I saw him lining up inside several times during the practice. I'll keep going with the very vague "defensive lineman."
- The running backs and linebackers went against each other during a goal-line drill, and both sides had their moments. Herron absolutely trucked Dan Bain on one play, living up to his "Boom" nickname. Jaamal Berry scooted by his man, while Scott McVey made a nice stop against Carlos Hyde, who boasts good size and had mixed results in the drill.
- Running back Jordan Hall had some nice moments, including a burst up the middle in team drills.
- Some of the reserve wide receivers stood out. Sophomore James Jackson made a nice catch along the sideline, and senior Grant Schwartz showed the ability to create vertical separation.
- Defensive end Nathan Williams, currently sidelined with a knee injury, was in a stand-up position on one play, while the other three first-team linemen -- Heyward, John Simon and Dexter Larimore -- were down in a stance. You figure Ohio State will use Williams like it did Thaddeus Gibson in 2009.
- Berry had a good blitz pickup on one play, nearly leading to a big completion from Joe Bauserman to Taurian Washington.
- Linebackers Andrew Sweat and Dorian Bell showed good hitting and tackling skills.
The Hoosiers unveiled their new uniforms for the 2010 season. The new jerseys still will have "Hoosiers" on the front, but the stripes move from the pants to the shoulders of the jersey. The numbers will be in block narrow font, originating from Indiana's 1967 unis, worn when the team made its only Rose Bowl appearance.
The atmosphere at the spring game also appeared to be significantly upgraded, as new athletics director Fred Glass continues to enhance the experience of going to Memorial Stadium. The Indianapolis Star's Terry Hutchens has a good account of the event, which featured contests, prizes and music.
Back to the game, which the Crimson squad won 17-10 following Ben Chappell's 21-yard touchdown pass to Charles Love III. The Crimson defense stepped up with two interceptions, a forced fumble, six sacks and only 116 yards allowed. Neither team scored an offensive touchdown until Trea Burgess reached the end zone on a 6-yard run midway through the third quarter.
The defensive surge had to be encouraging for a team that has struggled to stop its opponents for more than a decade. Cornerback Lenyatta Kiles, a junior college transfer, recorded two interceptions, while safety John Connelly and safety Aaron Burks both recorded one pick. Defensive end Fred Jones had four tackles for loss and three sacks. Other defensive standouts included defensive end Adam Replogle (2 sacks), linebacker Jamie Lukaszewski (11 tackles, 1 TFL) and linebacker Chad Sherer (10 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack).
On the flip side, Indiana's run game continued to struggle. Starting running back Darius Willis sat out the game with an ankle injury, and the teams combined for minus-38 rushing yards in the opening half. There's little doubt that Indiana will have one of the Big Ten's top passing attacks in 2010, led by quarterback Ben Chappell and wide receiver Tandon Doss, but the Hoosiers need more balance in their offense.
- The game's first touchdown came on special teams, as redshirt freshman Jamonne Chester picked up a dropped snap on a punt and raced 38 yards to the end zone.
- Freshman Antonio Banks provided the only spark in the run game with a 30-yard burst. Banks, an early enrollee who had an impressive spring, finished with 49 rushing yards on 11 carries.
- Several players left the game with injuries, including right tackle James Brewer, wide receiver Duwyce Wilson and safety/return man Jerimy Finch.
- The competition at kicker should be interesting to watch this fall. Returning starter Nick Freeland went 1-for-2 on attempts Saturday, connecting from 45 yards out but missing a 32-yarder. Mitch Ewald converted his only attempt, from 44 yards out.
The Big Ten was well represented on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District teams, presented today by the College Sports Information Directors of America (COSIDA). It's especially nice to see several of the league's star players succeeding in the classroom.
Here's the breakdown by school of who made the teams, as well as their GPAs and majors:
- G Jon Asamoah, 3.82, community health
- G Julian Vandervelde, 3.47, religious studies/English
- QB Ben Chappell, 3.7, accounting
- RB Trea Burgess, 3.47, telecommunications
- LS Brandon Bugg, 3.62, Master's of business administration
- P Zoltan Mesko, 3.65, business administration (marketing & finance)
- WR Jon Conover, 3.54, political science
- WR Blair White, 3.89, human biology
- RB Andrew Hawken, 3.44, supply chain management
- LB Adam Decker, 3.62, finance
- WR Eric Decker, 3.41, business and marketing education
- C Jeff Tow-Arnett, 3.79, business and marketing education
- WR Zeke Markshausen, 3.46, mechanical engineering and design & innovation
- G Doug Bartels, 3.45, anthropology (pre-med)
- K Stefan Demos, 3.49, communication studies
- RB Marcus Williams, 3.86, physical therapy
- OL Bryant Browning, 3.33, marketing
- OL Andrew Moses, 3.86, political science
- DT Todd Denlinger, 3.3, construction systems management
- OL Andrew Pitz, 3.93, journalism/telecommunications
- LB Josh Hull, 3.56, environmental systems engineering
- C Stefen Wisniewski, 3.89, secondary education
- P Jeremy Boone, 3.33, elementary education
- LB Joe Holland, 4.0, movement & sports science
- DE Ryan Kerrigan, 3.38, math education
- P Brad Nortman, 3.64, finance
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Indiana has issued its official injury report for Saturday's game against Illinois (Big Ten Network, 7 p.m. ET).
- DE Darius Johnson, shoulder
- DE Fred Jones, foot
- LB Leon Beckum, ankle
- DT Jarrod Smith, back
- CB Chris Adkins, elbow
- RB Zach Davis-Walker, foot
- RB Darius Willis, ankle
- OL Pete Saxon, ankle
The defense is a bit more banged up than last week, as both Adkins and Smith will miss the Illinois game. Adkins has appeared in all six games and recorded 14 tackles and an interception. His absence thins the Hoosiers' depth at cornerback. Willis missed last week's game and has dealt with ankle injuries since the preseason. It will also be interesting to see how the defense responds after several key contributors had the flu last week. Saxon, the team's starting right guard, didn't practice Monday. Junior Cody Faulkner would step in for Saxon at right guard. Willis is listed as the starter on this week's depth chart and would be replaced by Demetrius McCray and Trea Burgess.
Indiana has issued its official injury report for Saturday's game at Virginia (ESPN360.com, 3:30 p.m. ET).
- DE Darius Johnson, shoulder
- DE Fred Jones, foot
- LB Leon Beckum, ankle
- RB Darius Willis, ankle
- OL Justin Pagan, ankle
- OL James Brewer, ankle
Willis is the big name on the report. He struggled with ankle problems during camp and the early part of the season, but exploded for 152 yards and two touchdowns on Sept. 26 at Michigan. Ohio State held the redshirt freshman in check last week, as Willis rushed for only 23 yards on 11 carries. The ankle appears to be a lingering injury, though Hoosiers head coach Bill Lynch said Tuesday that he expects Willis to play Saturday. Willis leads Indiana with 244 rush yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries this fall. If he can't go, Trea Burgess and Demetrius McCray likely will share the carries load against Virginia.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Thumbs up, Michigan State's defense -- All three areas of the defense contributed in a potential season-saving win against Michigan. The front seven held the Big Ten's top rushing attack to just 28 yards, while defensive backs Danny Fortener and Chris L. Rucker teamed up for an interception in overtime.
Thumbs down, Mike Schultz -- The first-year Illinois offensive coordinator is off to a very rough start. An offense that led the Big Ten passing and ranked third in scoring last season has put up just 26 points against three FBS defenses. Illinois' vertical passing attack is virtually nonexistent despite a deep group of wide receivers led by Arrelious Benn. The unit's struggles have cost quarterback Juice Williams his job.
Thumbs up, Anderson Russell -- After losing his starting job to Jermale Hines earlier this season, Russell stepped up big for the suspended Kurt Coleman against Indiana. The senior safety tied for the team lead in tackles with six and recorded an interception and a fumble recovery in the victory.
Thumbs down, Minnesota's team discipline -- The Gophers can only blame themselves for Saturday's loss to Wisconsin after being flagged nine times for 75 yards. Minnesota's offense consistently hurt itself with holding and false start penalties in the first half, preventing more scoring opportunities.
Thumbs up, Brad Phillips -- His missed tackle led to a 67-yard Aaron Valentin touchdown in the first quarter, but Phillips rebounded to have his best game of the season. The Northwestern senior safety recorded two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as an opportunistic defense helped the Wildcats rally to a road win.
Thumbs down, Indiana's running backs -- Ohio State poses a challenge for any offense, but this group has been too inconsistent this season. Darius Willis, Trea Burgess, Bryan Payton and Demetrius McCray combined for only 40 rush yards on 18 carries.
Thumbs up, Marvin McNutt -- The converted quarterback is looking more and more like Iowa's top big-play threat at wide receiver. McNutt recorded his first two career touchdown catches against Arkansas State, making grabs of 41 and 43 yards. He finished with 121 receiving yards on four receptions.
Thumbs down, Purdue's ball-carriers -- It's no mystery why the Boilers can't win close games. They can't hold onto the football. Purdue committed six turnovers on its home field and squandered a ton of early momentum to fall against Northwestern.
Thumbs up, Daryll Clark -- The Penn State senior quarterback bounced back nicely from a rough night against Iowa, racking up 175 pass yards to go along with 83 rush yards and two touchdowns against Illinois. His 51-yard run on third-and-7 set up Penn State's first touchdown of the second half.
Thumbs down, Wisconsin's inability to finish -- The Badgers are one of the Big Ten's surprise teams this year, but they continue to struggle to close out games. Wisconsin has seen big fourth-quarter leads shrink against Northern Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota. Before long, the trend could cost Bret Bielema's team a win.
Indiana released its injury report for Saturday's home game against Western Michigan.
- Tackle Alex Perry (ACL)
- Defensive end Kyle Kozak (shoulder)
- Defensive end Fred Jones (foot)
- Running back Zach Davis-Walker (shoulder)
- Running back Darius Willis (ankle)
- Cornerback Aaron Burks (ankle)
- Kicker Nick Ford (hamstring)
- Cornerback Donnell Jones (hamstring)
- Guard Justin Pagan (ankle)
The big news here is Willis' injury, which adds more uncertainty to a Hoosiers' rushing attack that produced only 73 yards against Eastern Kentucky. Willis struggled in his collegiate debut, fumbling on his first carry and gaining just three yards on three rushes. Still, Indiana maintains high hopes for the redshirt freshman but will now turn to starter Demetrius McCray and reserves Bryan Payton and Trea Burgess to carry the rushing attack.
Getting Pagan on the field again certainly helps the offensive line, and freshman kicker Mitch Ewald is also off the injury report after missing much of preseason camp with an oblique injury.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The depth charts continue to roll in, as Indiana unveils its two-deep. One caveat: Head coach Bill Lynch still plans to release another depth chart before Thursday's season opener against Eastern Kentucky, so this is hardly set in stone.
A few notes:
- Fifth-year senior Demetrius McCray is listed as the starter at running back, ahead of talented redshirt freshman Darius Willis. Junior Trea Burgess is third, and senior Bryan Payton surprisingly comes in fourth. Lynch expects all four backs to play against Eastern Kentucky, but he acknowledged that McCray turned in a solid camp. I think Willis will be the starter before long, though McCray can be effective if he stays healthy.
- Lynch is weighing whether or not to redshirt quarterback Edward Wright-Baker, who has performed well in camp. Redshirt freshman Adam Follett is listed as Ben Chappell's backup at quarterback, but Wright-Baker might end up filling that role.
"If Ed is going to jump to being No. 2, which we've run him at two quite a bit the past couple of days, then you've got to decide at which point you're going to play him," Lynch said today. "Over the course of the last two or three practices, we've run Edward at No. 2 more than Adam. We listed Adam at number two now because I know Adam can go in a game. We've got to decide if that is what we're willing to do."
- Sophomore Justin Pagan is listed as the starter at left guard, though he's questionable for the game with an ankle injury. Redshirt freshman Marc Damisch would step in if Pagan can't play. Cornerback Donnell Jones is also questionable with a hamstring injury, opening the door for Adrian Burks or Richard Council.
- Defensive tackle Adam Replogle is one of several true freshmen who should see the field this fall. Lynch also said wideout Duwyce Wilson, linebacker Damon Sims and offensive lineman Aaron Price could play. "We know right now that Adam is going to be running out onto the field early," he said.
- Indiana will select captains for each game this year. The team's official captains for 2009 will be voted on at the end of the season.