Saturday, September 3, 2011
Halftime updates from around Big Ten
By Adam Rittenberg
Bennett is covering all the proceedings in Columbus, so let's check out what's happening at the half around the league.
Northwestern 10, Boston College 10: After showing his inexperience by throwing an interception to BC star linebacker Luke Kuechly, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter settled down nicely late in the half. He directed a very impressive 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that he capped on a 3-yard run with 38 seconds left. The sophomore seemed to be limping after the score, which could be a concern with Dan Persa out, but he definitely brings the mobility Northwestern needs from its signal-caller. Both teams are piling up yards -- 222 for Northwestern, 238 for Boston College -- but both have squandered chances in the red zone. Colter isn't getting much help from the running backs, a chronic problem for Northwestern, but if he limits mistakes this should go down to the wire.
Iowa 27, Tennessee Tech 0: Other than two fumbles from top running back Marcus Coker, Iowa had a strong first half, thanks to the big play. Quarterback James Vandenberg and receiver Marvin McNutt already have hooked up five times for 121 yards and an 88-yard touchdown strike. That helps my fantasy team. Cornerback Shaun Prater started his season with a bang, returning an interception 89 yards to the end zone just before halftime. Iowa's new-look defense has done a good job against the run. Other than getting Coker going in the second half, Iowa is in good shape.
Penn State 28, Indiana State 0: As Joe Paterno watches from the press box, Matt McGloin looks like Penn State's top option at quarterback. Silas Redd undoubtedly is the Lions' best bet with the ball in his hands. Redd already has 94 rush yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries so far against overmatched Indiana State. The Lions have piled up 174 yards on the ground, while McGloin is 5-of-7 passing in relief of Bolden, who misfired on three of five attempts. It will be interesting to see if the Lions go back to Bolden in the second half. Penn State looks very strong on defense and special teams, as it should against this team.
Middle Tennessee 14, Purdue 10: The Boilers are on upset alert against Middle Tennessee, which answered a long Purdue scoring drive with one of its own to take the lead at halftime. Purdue must find a way to start harassing Blue Raiders quarterback Logan Kilgore, who has two touchdown passes and has looked very strong. Boilers signal-caller Caleb TerBush hit on only 9 of 19 pass attempts in the half, so he'll need to find his rhythm.