Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: What to make of PSU QB situation?

Steven Bench

Brent Wilkerson Touchdown

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State took its next steps forward in Year Two under Bill O’Brien. In the spring game, there were signs of many things to build on going forward, including a strong offensive line, nice collection of skill players on offense and a veteran secondary. Here are some observations from today’s spring game.

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Spring Preview: First look at Wisconsin

Melvin Gordon

Gary Andersen Feature

Wisconsin begins a new era after Gary Andersen was hired from Utah State as the Badgers program’s third coach since 1990. Andersen inherited a full cupboard after Bret Bielema bolted for Arkansas, so the new coach’s task is a bit easier as he pursues the program’s fourth Big Ten title in a row. But issues must be settled, beginning with the quarterback and secondary. Some work was accomplished this spring, but more remains.

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Today's links: Big Ten football & hoops notes

Much was made last year about Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez working with quarterback guru Steve Calhoun in southern California. But, the results were good. Well, Martinez will be back at it in May, looking to further hone his technique for a big senior season send-off.

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Q&A: What Bill Cubit sees in Illinois

The Illinois offense was broken in 2012. How bad was it? The Fighting Illini ranked 11th in the Big Ten in rushing (127.8 ypg); 11th in passing (168.8 ypg); last overall (296.7 ypg); last in scoring (16.7 ppg) during a 2-10 debut season for Tim Beckman that saw the Illini finish 0-8 in the Big Ten.

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Spring Preview: Spartans looking to bounce back

Andrew Maxwell

Looking Ahead to Michigan State Spring Game

Any way you slice it, the 2012 season was a disappointment for Michigan State. The Spartans were coming off back-to-back 11-win seasons—with a trip to the Big Ten title game in 2011—and were thinking big entering last season. Alas, MSU flopped to a 7-6 mark that saw the Spartans lose five home games (0-4 in Big Ten) and come up short in myriad close games. In fact, MSU lost five games by a combined 13 points. An erratic offense was at the root of the Spartans’ woes. As a result, Mark Dantonio shook up his staff.

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Dienhart: Harris' decision to stay a good one

Gary Harris

Harris Drives In Aggressively For a Layup

Gary Harris announced today that he was returning for his sophomore season at Michigan State. And he did it without a press conference, too. At 6-4, Harris would be a short off-guard by NBA standards and his ability to create his own shot also remains a work in progress.

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Today's links: Quick hits on latest Big Ten news

Pay attention, class. And sit up and sharpen your pencils: The great Bob Flounders of the Harrisburg Patriot-News offers some Penn State Numerology 101. Among the key numbers is 3, or the number of true freshmen who are competing at the nose tackle spot next to DaQuan Jones. They are Austin Johnson, Derek Dowrey and Brian Gaia. Jones figures to be a stud. The others? More PSU: The Nittany Lions will play their spring game this Saturday. Here are six second-year players to watch.

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Spring Preview: Challenges ahead for Nittany Lions

Bill O'Brien

Looking Ahead to Penn State Spring Game

By just about every measuring stick, the 2012 Penn State season was a success—and that’s saying a lot, considering the tumult and unknowns with which the program began the season. But perhaps the scariest moment occurred after the air had been taken out of the football when rumors swirled that Bill O’Brien may bolt to the NFL. It all proved to be unfounded and O’Brien pledged his allegiance to Penn State, and that’s good because the next few seasons could be very challenging for the program as it begins to deal with the throes of severe NCAA sanctions that have trimmed scholarships from 85 to 65.

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Today's links: Can Badgers improve passing game?

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Wisconsin will play its spring game this Saturday. And new Badgers coach Gary Andersen would like to see the passing game improve. In fact, Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Andersen saw in the Rose Bowl last season that Wisconsin’s passing game needs to improve. The Badgers completed 10 of 17 passes for 83 yards in the 20-14 loss to Stanford.

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Will Michigan offense be better without Denard?

Devin Gardner

Back to Back Michigan Touchdowns

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It might be crazy to consider, but will the Michigan offense be better this season sans Denard Robinson? You know, the same Robinson who set numerous records with his ability to rack up eye-popping statistical days? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina discuss the topic in this post, and their answers may surprise some.

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Dienhart: Purdue continues to forge change

Akeem Hunt

Purdue Spring Game Highlights

Purdue has turned the page for the second time since Joe Tiller stepped aside after the 2008 season, as the wraps are taken off the Darrell Hazell era. One of the top goals this spring was to change attitudes, revise expectations and get tough. Schemes were installed, as well, as Hazell and his staff got familiar with their personnel and what those players can do.

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Today's links: Quick spin around Big Ten headlines

Fitzgerald Toussaint

Michigan Spring Game Highlights

Despite being limited in spring drills as he recovers from a broken leg suffered last season, Fitz Toussaint still is on track to be Michigan’s top running back. Why not? He was a 1,000-yard rusher in 2011, showing he’s capable of carrying a big load for a team’s that needs much better production from its tailbacks this fall.

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Dienhart: Indiana is a program on the rise

Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Shane Wynn (1) prior to a game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Shane Wynn Touchdown

Kevin Wilson continues to put his stamp on the Indiana program as he enters his third season in Bloomington. The Hoosiers are looking for their first bowl trip since 2007. The team almost turned the corner last season, going from 1-11 overall and 0-8 in the Big Ten to 4-8 and 2-6. This is a program with some momentum that’s on the rise. Here are some observations from Saturday’s spring game.

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Debate it: Will Ohio State have B1G's best offense?

Devin Smith

Devin Smith Touchdown

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Give Braxton Miller and the Ohio State offense another year under Urban Meyer, and the results should improve. Heck, in Year One with Meyer, the Buckeyes averaged a Big Ten-best 37.2 points per game. With Miller and a host of his best weapons back, including Carlos Hyde, Corey Brown and Devin Smith, among others, will Ohio State have the Big Ten’s best offense in 2013? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina discuss it in this post.

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Dienhart: Wildcats offense clicks

NU spring thumbnail

Northwestern Spring Game Highlights

Hope is floating at a high level in Evanston for what may be Pat Fitzgerald’s best Northwestern team yet. In fact, it may be the school’s best team since the 1995 squad that marched to the Rose Bowl. The Wildcats have some swagger as they put the wraps on spring practice, as Fitz prepares for—can you believe this?—his eighth season leading Northwestern. And, it could be special. Very special.

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Links: Buckeyes impress as spring ball continues

Tyvis Powell & Kato Mitchell

Ohio State Spring Game Highlights

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Count Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Bill Livingston among those who are an Ohio State believer after watching the spring game. Who can blame Livingston? There is a lot to like about this edition of Ohio State. No doubt, the Buckeyes’ second spring game impressed even Urban Meyer.

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Dienhart: Michigan d-line looked real good

Alex Swieca

Devin Funchess Big Catch and Thomas Rawls Touchdown

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan hopes it took the first few steps toward the school’s first Big Ten championship since 2004 Saturday in the spring game. Brady Hoke’s third team has a lot of potential after coming close to winning the Legends Division in 2012. But it’s also a program in transition on the offensive side of the ball with iconic Denard Robinson no longer around.

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