Welcome back, Ron Swanson. Braxton Miller will “probably start” for Ohio State after missing the last two games and almost all of a third. Bradley Roby took some exception to all the praise about Wisconsin as Big Ten royalty. The absence of Bret Bielema has softened some of the hatred in a competitive series, Kyle Rowland writes.
Chris Borland is looking to make an impression in his home state. Badgers defensive coordinator Dave Aranda sought out some help to prepare for the Buckeyes. Wisconsin is trying to find a role for Tanner McEvoy, and it might just come on defense this week at Ohio State.
Penn State players are pleased about the positive developments for the future of the program, but right now the focus is on the present. So, how long will Bill O’Brien stick around with the program now, Bob Flounders asks.
Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson is improving, but his status is still uncertain for the team’s Big Ten opener against Iowa. Ben Lauer has grown two more inches since the Gophers started recruiting the left tackle, but it still might be hard to believe he was ever overlooked at his size.
Iowa is finding big plays in a variety of different areas, sparking a much more entertaining start to the season. Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes can relate to what Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is going through.
An American board the International Space Station played football at Illinois and finished his career as a captain. The Monheim family is tough to miss at Illinois games, and Mason Monheim is making an impression on the field as well.
Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter weighs in on the “All Players United” movement, and Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t appear to be a fan. Taking stock of the Wildcats during the bye week.
Michigan is going to give Fitzgerald Toussaint some rest this week and work in a few younger backs to the rotation during the bye. Brady Hoke is stressing the need for Devin Gardner to stop trying to be “Superman.”
Connor Cook has a chance to prove he can be resilient at quarterback for Michigan State. After no shortage of success with quarterbacks, how did the Spartans get in their current situation?
Most of the Purdue coaching staff is familiar with Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois after taking him on last season at Kent State
When Minnesota’s quarterback needed to be replaced in the first half, the Gophers plugged in the backup and kept on moving. That approach was also needed on the sidelines, when the Gophers had to fill the void on the coaching staff after another health scare for head coach Jerry Kill.
Kill suffered a seizure late in the first half of Saturday’s game and was sent to the hospital. Minnesota’s players and coaching staff are familiar with with Kill’s epilepsy and know the drill when Kill must leave a game early. But simply being aware that something might happen and actually dealing with it are two different things, and with a different coach in charge on the sideline and a new quarterback on the field, the Gophers proved they could handle some adversity in a 29-12 victory over Western Illinois. “We keep our normal routine,” defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said. “That is how we were trained. That is what Kill would want.
“The team knows what they have to do and nothing changes.”
A few responsibilities shift among the coaches, though. Claeys becomes the acting head coach up in the booth and defensive backs coach Jay Sawvel handles the field-level responsibilities.
But aside from that shuffling of the personnel, the Gophers proceeded as if nothing was wrong. After the offense struggled in the first half, Minnesota appeared to get stronger in the second half and pulled away.
Backup quarterback Mitch Leidner was instrumental in that surge after taking over in the first half when Philip Nelson suffered a leg injury. He was dangerous both as a rusher and a passer in an efficient outing that might establish a case for an expanded role at quarterback.
But even if Leidner stays on the bench, the Gophers are fully aware of how important it is to be prepared for anything and are ready to put the backup plan in action — from the players to the coaching staff to the medical staff that was called in to help Kill during a game for the third time since he took over the program before the 2011 season.
“Kill was attended to by medical personnel on the field and was then driven to a local hospital as a precaution to ensure proper medication levels,” Minnesota senior associate athletic director Chris Werle said in a statement. “He is resting comfortably.
“Coach Kill’s staff, which is the most tenured in the nation, and his team are well acquainted with his condition and are prepared if a situation like this arises.”
Having a plan is one thing. Executing it while facing adversity is another, and the Gophers pulled it off without a hitch.
If you believe head coaches on national signing day, nobody ever makes a mistake and everybody gets everything they wanted. You’ve got to take it all with a grain of salt, writes ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy. Read the whole story here.
In case you missed them, check out Nos. 48-35 …