Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa appeared atop the Wildcats’ depth chart when it was released late last week. But two days before the opener at Boston College, the school’s pregame injury report lists the star as questionable. In other words, Persa might not be physically ready to play in Week 1 as a result of last year’s season-ending Achilles’ injury. Persa and head coach Pat Fitzgerald spent much of the offseason saying the Achilles was good and that Persa would be ready to start the season. That could be the case, although this report indicates he could use another week, if not more.
Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 51-17 win over UNLV on Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium.
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First impressions are everything. That said, Wisconsin fans must be loving Russell Wilson right now. The former North Carolina State star and much-talked-about player led Wisconsin on a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive — capped by a touchdown pass to Montee Ball — on its first possession tonight against UNLV. That was just the beginning, though, as the Badgers also scored TDs on their next five drives. It should come as no surprise, considering the opponent and the fact Wilson accounted for 93 TDs in his three years at North Carolina State. Track the UNLV-Wisconsin game.
Three more Buckeyes have been suspended for Saturday’s season opener against Akron. As part of its continued work with the NCAA to resolve any remaining football compliance issues, the Ohio State athletic department self-reported violations Thursday involving Jordan Hall, Corey Brown and Travis Howard. The three players received impermissible benefits of $300 or less each in total at a charity event they attended earlier in the year — an offense that yields a one-game suspension, per NCAA rules. Watch our Ohio State Football Preview now.
Week 1 kicks off tonight, with reigning co-Big Ten champ Wisconsin hosting UNLV, so it’s time to get you some stats before you watch all the action. The following 12 stats are some of the latest tweets from my twitter account, @BTNStatsGuy. Check me out on Twitter to get all of my Big Ten stats and come back here every week for this feature. Enjoy!
The Big Ten underwent numerous changes since the 2010 season came to a close. There was the addition of Nebraska, of course, which paved the way for the conference to create two divisions, Legends and Leaders, and a championship game. A little more under the radar, however, was the addition of 18 new trophies, two for the championship game, two for postgraduate awards and 14 for annual awards. Every trophy is named after two Big Ten historical figures (Nagurski-Woodson Award, Defensive Player of the Year). Watch now as the BTN crew offers its 2011 Legends Division trophy contenders.
One thing’s certain: the addition of Nebraska makes the Big Ten football schedule even more entertaining. “You add a team [Nebraska], but you add an incredibly high-profile team,” BTN host Dave Revsine said. “You look at every single weekend — suddenly it takes on a heightened importance with loads of good games.” No joke. The Huskers open Big Ten play Oct. 1 at Wisconsin and host their first Big Ten game the following weekend against Ohio State, which will welcome back their suspended players that week. Watch now as Revsine breaks down all of the best Legends Division games.