Time to answer some mail! How good are the Minnesota linebackers? Will Michigan topple a rival this season? Is David Blough the answer to Purdue’s QB ills? I look at those questions and more. I have been impressed by Minnesota’s linebackers and think they will be among the best in the Big Ten. What do you think? – Bill White I like the Gopher linebackers when I watched the team scrimmage last Saturday. Jack Lynn has All-Big Ten potential, and Cody Poock is a tough player who excels vs. the run. Jonathan Celestin rounds out the unit. He’s a nice
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota has its most talented team—and perhaps its best–since Tracy Claeys arrived in Dinkytown in 2011. [ MORE: Dienhart: Here’s what I learned at Minnesota practice ] Yes, this roster still lacks top-end depth across the board. But there is plenty of speed and athleticism, along with size. It was on display on Saturday in a tough, hard-hitting scrimmage in TCF Bank Stadium. Get my fun takes from Minneapolis below. Most impressive player: LB Jack Lynn is a physical force who covers a lot of ground. He may end up being an All-Big Ten player. Also have to
The BTN bus tour hit Minneapolis on Saturday, and our crew was able to take in the Golden Gophers' scrimmage at TCF Bank Stadium. See what BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart learned inside.
The Minnesota program is on solid footing, having been to a bowl each of the last four seasons as Tracy Claeys assumes command. But the staff has been altered. Still, there is momentum coming off a bowl win that capped a disappointing 6-7 season. Claeys let go offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Matt Limegrover and quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski. Jay Johnson was hired from Louisiana-Lafayette to run the offense and coach quarterbacks, while Bart Miller was tabbed to coach the line. Here is what I’ll be watching at Minnesota practice. 1. Is the offense clicking? More run-pass balance is needed for
Our annual summer football tour is headed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to catch Tracy Claeys' first training camp.
The countdown to the official kickoff of Big Ten football is at 22 days. Fans have become accustomed to hearing names like J.T. Barrett, Desmond King and Jabrill Peppers. How about some young, upcoming stars that Big Ten fans should expect to hear a lot about in this upcoming season? I chatted with several players and coaches, as well as media members at this year’s Big Ten Media Days, asking them about the freshmen that have stood out in practice. I asked about true freshmen just arriving on campus and early enrollees who could be poised to make a big
Going through my Big Ten Mailbag on a hot Friday afternoon. And what do I find? Questions about the 2016 records for Michigan State and Minnesota, among others. And is C.J. Beathard a Heisman contender?
Every coach looks at a schedule, scanning the list of games. Which ones figure to be tough ones? Even more vital: Which stretch of games figures to be the most daunting, a potential make-or-break run of contests? [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Best chance to be upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] I have identified the toughest stretch of games on each Big Ten schedule. Illinois. The last four games are daunting. The season-ending run begins with a visit from Michigan State on Nov. 5 followed by a trip to Wisconsin, a visit
No coach wants to lose a game that experts think he’s supposed to win. Upsets can set a season on its ear and prove ruinous. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] There are potholes on every schedule. And I have picked the one game on your school’s schedule in which it has its best chance to be—gulp–upset. Illinois. The visit from Western Michigan on Sept. 17 is dangerous. P.J. Fleck is an up-and-coming coaching fireball who played at Northern Illinois and is a native of the state. You know the
With the addition of a ninth Big Ten game, there will be three crossover games, compared to two previously, and all Big Ten East teams play two of them at home; the Big Ten West will get two home crossovers in 2017. Here's a breakdown of the 2016 crossovers.