Saturday, August 30, 2008
Fast start for Big Ten teams
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- I've arrived at the Big House and it's an absolutely perfect day. I'll bet Appalachian State wishes it were back here rather than Baton Rouge (ouch). The construction beams tower above the east and west sides of the stadium, and some Michigan cheerleaders are practicing on the big M at midfield. I'm going to check out this new Victors Walk in a bit.
It's been a good day so far for Big Ten teams, except Northwestern.
- Ohio State running back Beanie Wells already has a 43-yard touchdown run through an enormous hole against Youngstown State, nearly matching his game rushing total (46) against the Penguins from last year. Expect big things from Beanie this year.
- Wisconsin must have been ticked off by my prediction of a fairly close game early on against Akron. The Badgers scored two touchdowns in the first eight minutes, including a 3-yard strike from new starting quarterback Allan Evridge to backup tight end Garrett Graham. But the big story is P.J. Hill -- he already more than 100 rushing yards. Starting tight end Travis Beckum likely will sit out the game with a hamstring injury.
- Penn State jumped all over Coastal Carolina, as Evan Royster has two rushing touchdowns. New starting quarterback Daryll Clark completed his first four pass attempts, and Derrick Williams just returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
- Iowa also looks strong on offense against Maine, as running back Shonn Greene and embattled quarterback Jake Christensen accounted for touchdowns.
- Indiana is up 10-0 on Western Kentucky.
- Northwestern fell behind 3-0 to Syracuse and appears to be getting back in pass-happy habits. If new offensive coordinator Mick McCall starts feeding Tyrell Sutton, he'll likely get some better results, especially in the red zone. The Wildcats don't look sharp on offense, but the defense just forced a safety.