Latest Tom Dienhart News

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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Dienhart: Ohio State spring game thoughts

Ohio State Celebration

Braxton Miller Touchdown

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer put the wraps on his second Ohio State spring practice Saturday afternoon. And optimism remains high heading into Year Two coming off a 12-0 season. The offense showed flashes of why it could be one of the Big Ten’s best. And a rebuilt defensive front seven looked good—and only figures to improve. Yes, the Buckeyes may be the Big Ten’s top team—again.

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Dienhart: New wrinkles in Illini offense

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An Interview with 1965 All-American Jim Grabowski

Here are my observations from Friday night’s Illinois spring game, as Tim Beckman moves toward his second season leading the Fighting Illini coming off a 2-10 season. There were 40 players going through their first spring game, showing the youth of this squad.

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Hazell Q&A: It's time to climb to the top

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Darrell Hazell-Gerry DiNardo Conversation

Danny Hope guided Purdue to back-to-back bowl games the past two seasons, but there was little momentum behind the program. That’s why Hope was shown the door after going 22-27 overall and 13-19 in the Big Ten in four seasons in West Lafayette and Darrell Hazell was brought in.

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Spring Preview: Illini have work to do

Nathan Scheelhaase

2013 Signing Day - Illinois

Year One under Tim Beckman was difficult. A lack of depth was a major issue in the transition from the Ron Zook era. But, Beckman didn’t stand pat, making wholesale staff changes that include a new offensive coordinator along with new offensive and defensive line coaches. This spring has been about developing chemistry, improving horrid special teams and developing a winning attitude—among other things–as Beckman continues to put his stamp on the team.

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Spring Preview: Wildcats packed with talent

Kain Colter

2013 Signing Day - Northwestern

Hopes are high in Evanston. Northwestern is coming off its first bowl victory since toppling Cal in the Rose Bowl after the 1948 season, winning 10 games for just the third time in school annals and first since the 1995 Rose Bowl squad. Now, the possibilities seem endless for what could be Pat Fitzgerald’s most talented team yet at his alma mater. NU has been to a bowl each of the last five seasons and has a legit chance to win the Legends Division if the defense continues to make strides this spring.

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Spring Preview: Purdue QB battle will heat up

November 24, 2012; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Rob Henry (15) runs past Indiana Hoosiers cornerback Brian Williams (7) during the game at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-US PRESSWIRE

2013 Signing Day - Purdue

Sandra Dukes-US PRESSWIRE

There is a sense of renewed optimism in West Lafayette with the dawn of the Darrell Hazell era. The former Kent State coach and long-time Ohio State assistant has built a strong staff and brought a winning attitude to Purdue. How quickly can he develop an offensive identity? That will be key in trying to get the Boilermakers to a third bowl in a row. Keep an eye on the quarterback battle and offensive line, the two biggest keys for 2013.

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Debate it: Will Bill Cubit fix Illinois' offense?

To put it mildly, the Illinois offense struggled last season under co-coordinators Chris Beatty and Billy Gonzales. It’s Bill Cubit’s unit now, and the veteran coach has had success on various stops across the nation. Will it continue in Champaign, and as soon as this season? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina address the Illini offense in this post, and they’ll continue to do so throughout the spring football season. All of our spring football coverage is here, and the 2013 Spring Football Schedule is here.

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Spring Preview: All about defense for Indiana

NCAA Football: Indiana at Illinois

2013 Signing Day - Indiana

Indiana is a program on the rise as it enters its third season under Kevin Wilson. It also is a young program that’s still developing and lacking a strong senior core. Still, there is some excitement for a program searching for its first bowl since 2007. To take that next step, the Indiana defense needs to improve—a lot. Hope floats for a program that may be on the verge of turning the corner.

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Dienhart: Cody Zeller makes 'wise' choice

Cody Zell;er

Cody Zeller Future Plans Analysis

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Oladipo turned pro on Tuesday. It was Cody Zeller’s turn Wednesday. And, like Oladipo, Zeller made a wise choice. Zeller has accomplished a lot in two scant years in Bloomington, helping revive the Indiana program by leading it to its first outright Big Ten title in 20 seasons.

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Spring Preview: Ohio State's big expectations

Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

The debut for Urban Meyer was smashing, as he led the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record in 2012. If not for being on NCAA probation, Ohio State would have been in the thick of the national championship race. The shackles are off this season—and expectations are sky high for a team that should have a terrific offense. How will the defense develop? That will be the key for a Buckeyes team that has legit national championship aspirations.

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Spring Preview: Talented Michigan eyes Big Ten title

Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Taylor Lewan (77) on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Gardner Buys Time, Hits Dileo in the Endzone

Michigan came close to breaking through to the Big Ten title game last season in Year Two under Brady Hoke. But, alas, it didn’t happen—as a loss at Nebraska in which Denard Robinson got hurt proved to be detrimental. So, the program still is searching for its first Big Ten championship since 2004. It could come this season, if among other things, Devin Gardner proves to be the real deal and the defensive line develops. Yes, this is still a relatively young team, but it has lots of talent, potential and hunger as it begins life without Robinson, a Michigan icon.

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Today's links: What next for Michigan?

Trey Burke

John Beilein Talks NCAA Championship Loss

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s run for the national championship game up short. But the Wolverines have no shame in falling 82-76 to No. 1 overall seed Louisville. Have to start daily links right there. Michigan’s improbable march to the national championship game is evidence that the program is back among the nation’s elite—and it’s not going anywhere.

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7-year-old's magical TD scamper stays popular

Jack Hoffman

Seven-Year-Old Jack Hoffman Runs For Touchdown

Little Jack Hoffman has captured the attention of fans nation-wide. The 7-year-old Nebraska fan who is battling brain cancer got to run a play in the Husker spring game on Saturday, bolting around right end for a 69-yard touchdown run. It was the highlight of the day—not just in Lincoln, but across the nation. In case you missed it, check it out.

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Dienhart: 'Paint this season a success'

Trey Burke

Trey Burke Talks NCAA Championship Loss

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s trip to the national championship game was further validation of the Big Ten’s greatness this season. But, without this journey to the summit of college basketball, I don’t think that would have been true.

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Quick Hit: Michigan denied first title since 1989

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

With Trey Burke saddled with foul trouble, Michigan was fueled in the first half by none other than Spike Albrecht, who had 17 points. Yes, 17 points. That helped the Wolverines hold a 38-37 halftime cushion, although it could have been more as they led by as many as 12 points. But Louisville turned up the heat in the second half, outscoring Michigan, 45-38, and holding Albrecht scoreless to win its third national championship (1980 and 1986).

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Dienhart: 9 keys to a Michigan victory tonight

John Beilein

Trey Burke Gearing Up for Championship

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan will take on Louisville tonight, looking for the school’s first national title since the Wolverines knocked off Seton Hall in overtime in 1989. I’ve watched every Michigan game this tournament pretty closely, and plenty more during the regular season. Here are my nine keys to victory for No. 4 seed Michigan tonight vs. No. 1 seed Louisville.

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Today's links: All eyes on the Wolverines

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Seven-Year-Old Jack Hoffman Runs For Touchdown

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s the night when Michigan aims to win its first national championship since Glen Rice shot the Wolverines to the top in 1989. Gotta start daily link there. It has been 24 years since “interim” head coach Steve Fisher led Michigan to the Promised Land. Since then, the school has been through four coaches, one scandal and some bad basketball.

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Quick Hit: McGary continues amazing breakout

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Burke scored just seven points, but Michigan used a balanced attack to dispatch Syracuse on Saturday night and advance to Monday’s national title game vs. Louisville. Tim Hardaway Jr. (13 points), Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III (10 points) carried the offensive load as Michigan helped John Beilein record his first victory over Jim Boeheim in 10 tries.

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