Monday night on BTN, we interviewed the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Illinois’ Jonathan Brown, and the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, Minnesota’s Duane Bennett. Brown met with “The Big Ten Pulse” to discuss the Illini’s big night against Arizona State and quarterback Brock Osweiler. The Illini sacked Osweiler six times, five more times than he went down in the first two games combined. How did Illinois do it? “It’s kind of hard to miss him when the guy’s 6-8, with those long legs. He can’t really go anywhere,” Brown said. Watch our interview with Brown now and click inside to see the Bennett interview.
On Monday morning, the Big Ten Conference announced its players of the week for Week 3. The honorees include four first-time winners, highlighted by Iowa’s James Vandenberg, the Offensive Player of the Week. Vandenberg threw for 162 of his 399 passing yards and for all three of his touchdown passes in a remarkable fourth quarter to help Iowa tally its largest comeback in school history. The junior quarterback also added a rushing score, for good measure, as the Hawkeyes rallied from a 21-point deficit against Pittsburgh.
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 3 saw the Big Ten go 9-3, including Illinois’ 17-14 victory over No. 18 Arizona State. 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.
Find out more about: Power Rankings
Every week during the fall, BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina recaps the week that was in Big Ten football. Each recap includes Brent’s superlative winners and the best stats, quotes and tweets, among other things, from around the Big Ten that particular week. Have a worthy stat, quote or tweet that you think should make the recap? Tweet it to @BTNBrentYarina. Watch BTN’s interview with Purdue basketball standout Robbie Hummel now.
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(AP) Illinois sacked Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler six times and turned one into a touchdown in a 17-14 win over the No. 22 Sun Devils on Saturday night. With Illinois trailing 14-10 in the fourth quarter, defensive end Whitney Mercilus hit Osweiler in the back and knocked the ball loose to linebacker Ian Thomas. Four plays later, Nathan Scheelhaase hit A.J. Jenkins for a 16-yard touchdown that gave Illinois (3-0) the win. Scheelhaase was 11 of 15 for 135 yards. He threw one interception but also ran for 67 yards. Jenkins had six catches for 103 yards. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score and see our Big Ten scoreboard.
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Last week on Step Into My Office, our Mike Hall sat down with Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. At 10 p.m. ET Thursday on BTN, Hall takes you behind the scenes with Illinois head coach Ron Zook. Hall, who can be found on Twitter, @BTNMikeHall, filed a couple bonus Web-only video clips from his visit to Champaign. He also wrote a little about what it was like to hang with Zook, whose 2-0 Illini team hosts No. 18 Arizona State at 7 p.m. Saturday on BTN.
Find out more about: Ron Zook
I wouldn’t necessarily have thought this going into the season, but the game that excites me the most on the Big Ten slate this weekend is Illinois’ game with Arizona State. Obviously, Ohio State–Miami and Michigan State–Notre Dame are generating more national buzz. But Gerry, Howard and I thought the Illini were a legitimate contender in the Leaders Division when we watched them in the pre-season and this is our first opportunity to see if we’re right.