Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 1, 2013

Another week, another round of quarterback uncertainty for Nebraska. Taylor Martinez missed the Huskers? last game with a toe injury. They didn?t need him in an easy win over South Dakota State. Coming off a bye week, Martinez?s status is still balky for this Saturday?s visit from Illinois.

If Martinez isn't in top shape, the Huskers will play redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong, fifth-year senior Ron Kellogg III or both against the Illini. And, Nebraska should be just fine on offense. Now, about the Cornhusker defense ?


Could Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan be back for the Penn State game on Oct. 12? Hmmm. Maybe.

In place of Ryan, Brennen Beyer leads Michigan with four tackles for loss, including two sacks. Cam Gordon also has two sacks, as the pair has combined for 19 tackles in the Wolverines' four victories. But, none of them is Ryan.


I never get enough of Bob Flounder?s Numerology 101. In this edition, he looks at Penn State?s absolute dominance of Indiana. How bad has it been: The Nittany Lions are 16-0 all-time vs. the Hoosiers.


Minneapolis reportedly has bid on the 2017 national title game.

Why not? The new Vikings Stadium will be a beautiful edifice.


The Michigan State at Iowa series has been fun of late, with some wild games. This year?s meeting in Iowa City is full of intrigue, as the Hawkeyes are coming in high on a four-game winning streak. The Spartans? They are coming off a tough loss at Notre Dame and have an offense littered with questions.

If you like defense, you?ll like this Michigan State at Iowa game. The great Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette has some great stats to back it up.

Take a look at the top-five Kirk Ferentz-led wins over Michigan State in this photo gallery.


Someone who covers Northwestern thinks the upcoming visit from Ohio State will be the biggest game in modern school history.

OK. I agree.

When Ohio State plays at Northwestern on Saturday, it will have to make adjustments on defense in its preparation. It?s just what defenses have to do when facing this dynamic Wildcat attack.

No doubt, Ohio State will miss safety Christian Bryant, who is out with a broken ankle. Who will replace him? C?mon, he can?t be replaced. Pittsburgh Brown, Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell are the options. Good luck.

While the Buckeyes will be without Bryant, they want to get running back/slot man Jordan Hall more involved at Northwestern.

?Jordan Hall has got to be involved,? Urban Meyer said. ?That was a decision we kind of made. We thought and we knew it was going to be very hard to run in there the way they play their defensive line. Those are our top two backs, and we are working on that now.  So I want to make sure we get Jordan Hall involved.?

Said OC Tom Herman: ?We failed him a little bit. It certainly wasn?t by design.?


So, you wonder what?s going on with that much-discussed Michigan offensive line? Well, nothing has been resolved as Minnesota game week picks up steam.

Joey Burzynski is listed as Jack Miller?s backup at center on the depth chart, but Brady Hoke implied Graham Glasgow could move over from left guard to assume the pivot. And Hoke suggested Chris Bryant or Burzynski could move into Glasgow?s guard spot. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, Michigan is 111th in the nation in tackles for loss allowed.


Is Michigan State more of a football school than a basketball school? Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal thinks so. Really.

Here is what Couch says: At Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, etc., more fans care more deeply about hoops than football. Therefore, they are basketball schools.

At MSU, as with Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Florida - all very accomplished basketball programs - the interest is more widespread and intense with football. You can be an elite basketball program and be a football school.

Hmmm. It kinda makes sense.


Did you see Bret Bielema slip?


You knew this was coming, right? Here?s a comparison of the first five games of the Danny Hope era and the first five games of the Darrell Hazell era.

Oh, boy.


My take: This sounds about right.

My take: Interesting. What if ? Ah, forget it.

My take: A really big Fruit Loop.

My take: Holy moly!

My take: Yep.

My take: It?s only a matter of time before Narduzzi is a head coach. Can MSU afford to lose him?

My take: This made me laugh. And you should, too.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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