Big Ten lunchtime links
September, 23, 2013
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com
I've never wanted a book of poetry so badly before ... can I get a raise?
- Fork Union Military Academy helped mold Christian Hackenberg into the person he is today. Penn State's running game struggled to find an identity early last season but it's a different story with three talented runners this year.
- Ohio State destroyed Florida A&M 76-0, its largest blowout win in 78 years. So, Doug Lesmerises writes, why was this game played anyhow? After dealing with injuries, it might finally be time for OSU's starting quarterback to step up for some "Miller Time." (subscription required)
- Another inferior opponent, another struggle for Michigan. Nick Baumgardner writes that this victory was how to wake up from a nightmare -- the sequel. The win over Notre Dame might have been a fluke, but one thing's for sure now: Saturday wasn't an aberration.
- Northwestern won ugly against FCS school Maine but, as tailback Mike Trumpy said, "a win's a win." Trumpy, a hard-nosed running back, was a key cog in the victory.
- The Cornhuskers' defense has been pretty dreadful this season, so they could choose to blitz in Big Ten play quite a bit. Steven Sipple writes that Nebraska's defense simply lacks a "killer" mentality.
- With the pending conference realignment, Wisconsin's rivalry with Ohio State is about to be "reduced to a simmer," Tom Mulhern writes, which makes the matchup all the more intriguing. Melvin Gordon and the rest of the Badgers are already looking forward to the B1G test.
- Joe Rexrode writes that Michigan State's upcoming game against Iowa "will be among the biggest" of the Mark Dantonio era. MSU walk-on Matt Macksood made his presence felt Saturday with a punt block and said it's something he'll never forget.
- The Hoosiers have to look at themselves in the mirror after starting 2-2. Indiana lost to Missouri this past weekend, but it wasn't just the defense that disappointed.
- Brandon Birkhead takes a closer look at whether Illinois will make a bowl this season. The defense hasn't been all that disruptive so far, but a lot of that can be attributed to the defensive line.
- Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said his team needs to do some soul-searching, while DT Bruce Gaston said the Boilermakers were still searching for an identity. The student newspaper writes that the team needs to bounce back quickly after a blowout loss.
- Neither quarterback Philip Nelson nor tailback Donnell Kirkwood are expected to start in the Big Ten opener. Joe Christensen writes that, although the Gophers have the same record now as last year, they look to be improved.