Who’s battling for the the left tackle spot at Iowa? How has Michigan’s Denard Robinson improved since last season? Can Purdue’s Ralph Bolden hold up? I found some great stuff from the beat writers in the Big Ten today, so come have a look. I’ll continue to track updates from around the Big Ten during this spring football season in my Football Fix posts.
Took a spin around the Internet and found a few solid pieces. With spring ball here, it’s time to rearrange the puzzle at Wisconsin; at Michigan, offensive coordinator Al Borges would like more depth on the Wolverines’ offensive line. Who will win the Penn State quarterback job? What’s new on the Iowa defense? And MarQueis Gray is the starting quarterback at Minnesota ‘right now.’
In Wednesday’s web links, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart sends you to some of the best Big Ten spring football stories and offers his perspective on each one. Among the topics: Kirk Ferentz and his offense in need of a fix, a pair of receivers who need to prove something and an update on Maryland transfer QB Danny O’Brien, among other things. See the links, plus Dienhart’s take, in this post.
Illinois is the midst of spring practice under first-year head coach Tim Beckman, who was hired from Toledo to take over for Ron Zook. Beckman’s goal: Lead the Fighting Illini to the Big Ten championship, which they haven’t won since 2001 under Ron Turner. Zook couldn’t do it, going 34-51 overall and 18-38 in the Big Ten with three bowl bids in seven seasons. He was dismissed after a bizarre 2011 that saw the Illini open 6-0, then lose six in a row before winning their bowl game.
Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis announced Tuesday that the Spartans have agreed in principle to a home-and-home football series with Pac-12 power Oregon. The two-game series will kick off Sept. 13, 2014, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., and conclude Sept. 12, 2015, at Spartan Stadium.
Minnesota kicks off spring practice Thursday. As part of our daily spring “Football Fix” feature, I caught up with MarQueis Gray, the Golden Gophers quarterback who is trying to build on a breakout 2011 season and lead Minnesota to a bowl. Gray started 10 games last season after splitting time between quarterback and receiver earlier in his career. The focus on quarterback benefited Gray, who hit 108-of-203 passes (50.7 percent) for 1,495 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Read the Q&A in this post.
Tuesday night on Big Ten Football Report, Rick Pizzo, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith looked in on Michigan State’s pro day, discussed the difficulty of putting together a good non-conference schedule and broke down the conference’s wide receivers. Also, Griffith sat down with Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Watch the full interview now.