If you watched closely, you could see the improvement in Illinois this spring. Good thing, because Tim Beckman needs to pad his win total as he embarks on this third season in Champaign. He is 6-18 overall and 1-15 in the Big Ten. And that one league win came vs. arguably the worst Purdue team in that school’s history. But, I digress. All eyes in Champaign this spring were on the quarterback derby and defense.
With all of the tackling, running, hitting and passing that went on across the Big Ten during spring football games last Saturday, the top story was about Bo Pelini carrying a cat onto the field. And so it went during a Nebraska spring game that often times was more carnival than game.
Big Ten football fans will love what Kyle Flood and Rutgers did for two young fans, both confined to wheelchairs due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), at the conclusion of practice Saturday. In a moment that will remind many of Jack Hoffman’s touchdown run, the Scarlet Knights had Danny Garofalo, 11, and Matt DeRiggi, 16, in the team huddle and drew up a trick play for them.
Sometimes, it’s the moments that have nothing to do with the game itself that highlight spring football. We saw proof of that Saturday, a day that featured plenty of memorable moments in eight games. Watch your team’s replay on BTN2Go. I decided to rank the top 5 moments from the busy day of spring football, and you can see the list in this post.
Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen inherited some good talent from Bret Bielema, riding that skill to a nine-win season in 2013 that would have culminated with a BCS bowl if not for that Senior Day loss to Penn State. But now, Andersen faces some big voids—especially on defense. That side of the ball was a major emphasis for the Badgers this spring. And, the unit showed some spark during last Saturday’s spring game.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller didn’t compete in the Scarlet and Gray Spring Game on Saturday, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t involved in the action. Miller sent out a tweet Sunday morning of a graphic that compared Ohio State and Michigan’s spring game attendance.
The Penn State spring game ushered in the James Franklin era amid much excitement and energy in front of over 72,000 fans, the most for any spring game this year. It couldn’t be any other way with a coach like the enthusiastic Franklin. The Blue squad took a resounding 37-0 win over the White squad.
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As far as dress rehearsals go, this one was a success … I guess. The final score said Gray 17, Scarlet 7. Not sure what it really means. But, it doesn’t really matter now, does it?
Nearly one month after Mike Peltz proposed to his girlfriend on senior night, former Nebraska offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles did the same at Saturday’s spring game. Sirles got on a knee during the team’s Punt, Pass and Kick part of the scrimmage. As he was about to punt the ball, he dropped it, reached into his left pocket, walked toward his girlfriend, and took a knee. Watch the proposal in this post.
It was just a year ago that Jack Hoffman, then 7, introduced himself to the world with his memorable and emotional touchdown run in Nebraska’s spring game. It’s been a whirlwind year since the brain cancer patient took the handoff from Taylor Martinez and sprinted to paydirt last April. Hoffman has met the President, had an Upper Deck card made and won an ESPY. We caught up with Jack and father Andy Hoffman at Saturday’s spring game.
Ohio State tailback Dontre Wilson is thought of by many to be the fastest player in the Big Ten… Not so fast! Urban Meyer invited OSU students to challenge several Buckeye football players in a race during halftime of Saturday’s Scarlet and Gray spring football game.
It’s a Saturday in April, so that means it’s time for spring football games. There was a total of eight games today, and we aired all of them live on BTN2Go. Here are the team’s in action today: Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Eight Big Ten football teams are holding their spring football game today, and BTN2Go is airing each and every one. Here’s the complete schedule, all times ET: Purdue (1), Ohio State (1:30), Penn State (1:30), Nebraska (3), Illinois (3), Indiana (3), Minnesota (3:30) & Wisconsin (4). Check out some of the best photos from the day’s action in this post.
Remember Jack Hoffman’s memorable spring football moment? Remember Sparty taking a handoff? With eight Big Ten football teams conducting spring games Saturday, BTN.com will monitor each one and post video highlights and special moments to Twitter, Facebook, and our instant highlights central page. Who’s playing? It’s Purdue (1 p.m. ET), Ohio State (1:30 p.m. ET), Penn State (1:30 p.m. ET), Nebraska (3 p.m. ET), Illinois (3 p.m. ET), Indiana (3 p.m. ET), Minnesota (3:30 p.m. ET), and Wisconsin (4 p.m. ET).
Adam Weber enjoyed a standout career during his time at Minnesota. The former Gopher signal caller holds school records for career passing yards with 10.917 and career touchdown passes with 72. Currently an NFL free agent, Weber will be taking on a new role and spending his time in the booth on Saturday to call the Gophers’ annual spring football game. I recently caught up with Weber and asked him about Jerry Kill, Big Ten expansion and a number of other fun-filled topics.
There will be a lot to watch at the Ohio State spring game this Saturday. How will the defense look? Is the offensive line coming together? Any good running backs with Carlos Hyde gone?
Coaches and players from the West and East Division football teams joined the Big Ten teleconference to take questions from the media. We’ve posted the audio for each coach on the call here. All of Saturday’s spring games can be seen live via BTN2Go.
If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten social media polls for our weekday show #BTNLive. On tonight’s episode of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET, our experts discuss this question: Which 2013 Big Ten divisional football champion has the best chance to repeat this season?
The new-look Penn State Nittany Lions will take the field on Saturday for their annual spring football game. Fans will get a first-look at new head coach James Franklin, who takes over a Penn State team coming off a 7-5 season and a 4-4 mark in Big Ten play.
This will be Michigan’s fourth season under Brady Hoke. And, make no mistake about it: It’s a crossroads campaign. No one in Ann Arbor was satisfied with the 7-6 record last season. And heads rolled, as offensive coordinator Al Borges was fired. Hoke looked to Alabama for a replacement, tabbing Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
BTN/BTN2Go aired Michigan’s spring practice Saturday afternoon, and we clipped all the top moments and interviews from Michigan Stadium. Relive all of the top highlights and all of our interviews in this post.
The way uniforms change nowadays, nothing is out of the question. Like, could adidas one day outfit the Michigan football team in an all-maize uniform? Possibly, although the school and company have not announced any such plans. For what it’s worth, Devin Gardner and the rest of the quarterbacks were in all-maize for Saturday’s annual spring game.
Northwestern is the lone Big Ten team that doesn’t play a spring game. Instead, the Wildcats just conduct a final practice. Hanging over the on-field goings-on on this day was the specter of NU players forming a union. The players will vote on April 25.
BTN/BTN2Go aired Northwestern’s spring practice Saturday morning, and we clipped all the top moments and interviews from the 90-minute session. If you’re a Northwestern fan, you’ll want to see Kyle Prater’s highlight-reel catch and hear Venric Mark’s bold prediction about the team’s 1-2 backfield punch. Watch all of the videos in this post.
BTN/BTN2Go will air the Michigan spring game at 2 p.m. ET Saturday, with a re-air at 8. The Wolverines are coming off a frustrating 7-6 season, one that started with many experts pegging them for the Big Ten title game. There’s a clear sense of urgency in Ann Arbor, as Michigan has gone from 11 to eight to seven wins in Brady Hoke’s first three seasons.