When you think of Michigan State, you think defense. And, there is no better player on the Spartan “D” than cornerback Darqueze Dennard. The 5-11, 197-pound senior from Dry Branch, Ga., is in his third season as a starter and has 136 tackles and 25 passes defended (eight interceptions, 17 pass break-ups) in 37 career games, including 33 starts (22 consecutive).
The early returns are in, and the new penalty for targeting is having an impact. According to Big Ten officials coordinator Bill Carollo, there have been 54 targeting calls in 534 FBS games in 2013. Fifteen were subsequently overturned upon replay review, putting the number of disqualifications through 534 games and nine weeks of action at 39.
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The exhibition basketball season is upon us (view our streaming schedule). Soon enough, the games will start to count. With that in mind, I thought I’d offer up my All-Big Ten Underrated Team. See my five guys in this post. Who did I miss? Tweet it my way, @BTNBrentYarina.
On Wednesday’s episode of “The Journey: Big Ten Football 2013,” presented by Best Buy, our crew spends time with Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to learn what it’s like to be the starting quarterback and a husband at the same time. Also, come meet Iowa linebacker James Morris and Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman and learn about their family backgrounds. This week’s show also features the usual lush highlights from the Iowa’s OT thriller against Northwestern and Minnesota’s upset over Nebraska.
Through 10 matches of the Big Ten season, the nation’s deepest and most decorated conference has lived up to its billing. Upsets have been plentiful, top 15 matchups are the norm and contenders have emerged from the pack. The standings have rarely looked the same on any given week, and early-season surprises have struggled to endure the grind of the league.
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Which unit will have the biggest impact on the Michigan-Michigan State game? The choices: Michigan’s offense, Michigan’s defense, Michigan State’s Offense, or Michigan State’s defense.?