Penn State coach Joe Paterno is getting rid of his cane and says he’ll be on the sidelines this week. That’s just one of the tidbits you can hear in the audio from the weekly Big Ten Conference football coaches teleconference with reporters. Read the selected tweets from @B1Gfootball at the conference office, then listen to any of the 12 Big Ten football coaches now.
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Monday night, we interviewed two of Week 5’s biggest stars, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (151 yards, 4 TDs) and Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins (12 rec., 268 yards, 3 TDs). “The Big Ten Pulse” sat down with Ball, who’s scored at least two touchdowns in his last nine regular-season games and leads the nation with 14 touchdowns. What’s it like for Ball, not to mention sidekick James White, to run behind Wisconsin’s massive offensive line? “We feel really comfortable in the huddle, and once the play starts, we feel real comfortable behind those big guys,” Ball told our crew. Jenkins joined “Big Ten Breakdown,” and he appropriately broke down his 33-yard touchdown reception that helped spark Illinois’ rally against Northwestern. Watch the interview in this post.
There’s one week of conference games in the books and our Chris Martin (@BTN_Cmart16) and Howard Griffith (@HowardGriffith) are ready to go through it all on Big Ten Breakdown tonight at 7 p.m. ET. How good is the Michigan defense compared to last year? You may be surprised to see what we found. We can stop asking about Wisconsin’s defense now – at least for this week. And Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins has 633 receiving yards in just five games, and he will join us to talk about his amazing game last Saturday. Watch our Web-only preview clip now.
Illinois head coach Ron Zook and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz each suspended a player for actions over the weekend. Illini linebacker Jonathan Brown was suspended one game for his unsportsmanlike behavior during his team’s victory over Northwestern, while Hawkeye backup quarterback A.J. Derby was handed a two-game penalty as a result of an incident over Iowa’s bye week.
The Big Ten office announced its players of the week Monday morning for the opening week of Big Ten action, which featured the conference’s first divisional games and Nebraska’s Big Ten debut. For the second time in a row, the conference went with Co-Offensive Players of the Week: A.J. Jenkins and Russell Wilson. Mike Taylor took home Defensive Player of the Week, Anthony Fera won Special Teams Player of the Week and Marcus Rush earned Freshman of the Week. Read the whole release at BigTen.org.
Every week during the football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 5 marked the opening of Big Ten play, and Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin all remained undefeated. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
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The votes are in, and Big Ten fans picked Illinois’ comeback win over instate rival Northwestern as the Big Ten Game of the Week. Watch the game again at 8 p.m. ET tonight on BTN. The Illini, thanks in large part to quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, scored 21 fourth-quarter points to rally from an 11-point deficit and knock off the Wildcats, 38-35. Scheelhaase, who threw for a career-high 391 yards and three touchdowns, scored on a one-yard run with 13 seconds left to help Illinois move to 5-0. Catch up on all the Week 5 Big Ten action on our Rapid Recap game stories and with Brent Yarina’s Week 5 Recap. Check out our video archive to relive all of Saturday’s best plays.