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Last week, I posted an article on the top 5 defensive trios in the Big Ten. The list consisted of the top DL-LB-DB trio in the conference, and was highlighted by Ohio State.
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A look at the special teams units in the Big Ten West begins in Lincoln, where the Cornhuskers boast a boffo punter (Sam Foltz), a deadly return man (De’Mornay Pierson-El) and an emerging kicker (Drew Brown).
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There’s offense, defense … and special teams, the often overlooked aspect of football. But, special teams can be the narrow difference between winning and losing. Here’s a look at the Big Ten East units.
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The Big Ten West is home to some fine secondaries. And it all begins with a loaded Minnesota defensive backfield that teems with talent and experience.
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This is the last line of defense, the one remaining obstacle between an offense and paydirt, and the Big Ten East figures to feature some very talented defensive backfields.
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There is no linebacking corps in the Big Ten East that can match Ohio State’s unit in the East. But there is a lot to like about some of the linebacking units in the Big Ten West.
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The linebacking corps in the Big Ten East are measured by Ohio State’s unit, which teems with athletic ability and talent. Is young Buckeye Darron Lee the top linebacker in the Big Ten? Maybe.
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Big Ten West can’t match the star power and proven ability of its East Division counterpart. But there still is plenty of talent—and potential. And it all begins with a monster tackle tandem at Nebraska.
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The Big Ten East has some strong defensive lines. And none is stronger than Michigan State’s front, led by end Shilique Calhoun. Ohio State has perhaps the Big Ten’s best player on its line in end Joey Bosa.
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Quarterback questions loom at Northwestern and Purdue. And the jury is out on Iowa’s C.J. Beathard and Illinois’ Wes Lunt Still, there is a lot to like about some of the backfields in the Big Ten West.
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The Big Ten East is home to two of the conference’s top backfields at Ohio State and Michigan State. In fact, the Buckeye backfield may be the best in the nation. Quarterback issues loom at Michigan, Rutgers and Maryland, while Penn State, Indiana, Michigan and MSU need to solidify their running back spots.
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Yesterday, we took a look at the Big Ten East receivers and tight ends. Now, we’ll check out the Big Ten West, where the jury remains out on several corps.
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The Big Ten East lost some very nice wide receiver and tight end talent to the NFL, but plenty of talented pass-catchers return. Check out Tom Dienhart’s full ranking.
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The unit rankings continue with a look at the offensive lines in the Big Ten West. And it all begins with Minnesota—yes, Minnesota.
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It all begins up front. Any coach will tell you that. If your school doesn’t have a good offensive line, it has little chance for consistent success—no matter how good the skill-position talent is.
Our BTN tour bus stopped in Madison, Wis., Friday to take in Wisconsin camp. While watching practice, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart sent out the following tweet about Wisconsin’s talented running back duo.
He’s often one of the most popular men on campus. Fans often clamor to see him buckle his chinstrap and trot onto the field: He’s the backup quarterback. When an offense is struggling, the No. 2 signal-caller is a favorite. Who is your school’s backup quarterback? How confident should you be in him? Get my ranking in this post.
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Specials teams are often the overlooked area of teams, but they’re the essential third component that can make or break a game or a season. That big return, booming punt that flips the field or clutch last-second field goal often looms large in any game. Here’s a look at the Big Ten special teams units.
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Few schools have played defense as well as Michigan State in recent years. And a big reason for the success has been the secondary, a unit known for its aggressive, press-man coverage. MSU will have another talented secondary in 2014. In fact, it will be the best in the conference. Here’s a look at Big Ten defensive backfields.
Linebackers are the heart and soul of any good defense. Speed, strength, athletic ability, toughness … they must embody all of it. And no Big Ten team has a better collection of linebackers than Nebraska.
The Big Ten unit rankings continue with a look at the defensive lines. And, there are three standout fronts in the league, paced by Ohio State. In fact, the Buckeyes may have the best d-line in the nation.
I continue my Big Ten unit rankings with a look at the receiving/tight end corps. There is no shortage of good targets, with Big Ten newcomer Maryland featuring a monster collection of pass-catchers.
Ask any coach, and he’ll tell you games are won in the trenches. So, that means teams ranked highly on this list should be in store for good seasons, right?
The dog days of summer are settling in. That means two things: The Cubs’ season is officially over, and it’s time to look at the Big Ten units. I’ll begin with a look at the offensive backfields. And, as you’ll see, there is a lot of talent at running back—as well as some top-flight quarterbacks.
Often, the most popular player on campus is the backup quarterback. The guy holding the clipboard and wearing a baseball cap typically is perceived as being the answer to every struggling offense. On that note, here’s my ranking of the Big Ten backup quarterback situations.