It’s not going to be a regular spring game Saturday for UMass, and for obvious reasons. With all the terrible events that have transpired the last week in Boston and its surrounding areas, the game was going to feature plenty of emotion. They’ll be even more now as a result of the school’s terrific decision to go all out in honoring the Boston Marathon victims.
Northwestern senior Drew Crawford will remain at Northwestern for his final year of eligibility during the 2013-14 season. Crawford averaged 13.5 points per game earlier this season before missing the rest of it after shoulder surgery. He enters his final season of play ranked 10th in school history with 1,418 career points.
There’s a trio of Big Ten Spring Football games Saturday as BTN continues to cover all 12 school events. All three Saturday games air live on BTN/BTN2Go with Penn State at noon ET, Michigan State, at 2:30 p.m., and Wisconsin, at 5 p.m.. All of this is followed by a one-hour “Big Ten Football Report: Spring Football Edition” as Dave Revsine breaks down the day’s events with Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith.
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Time to reach into my Big Ten mail bag. With spring football winding down, gridiron is on the minds of many of you. So, let’s get started. Oh, and thanks for all of the terrific virtual cards and letters. Great stuff!
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.
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.
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.