Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 20, 2015

There was a lot of spring game action across the Big Ten over the weekend.

[ MORE: See our favorite moments/plays from Saturday's spring games ]

Illinois, Indiana, reigning national champ Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue all hosted spring games Saturday, leaving four Big Ten teams still in action.

Rutgers hosts its spring game Friday night, while Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin close out the spring Saturday afternoon.

Here are some things I learned from the goings-on Saturday.

Illinois. Injuries were the name of the game for much of this spring, unfortunately for Tim Beckman and Co. The biggest setback was a knee injury to rising star wideout Mikey Dudek. On Saturday at the spring game, the staff had to be pleased with QB Wes Lunt, who has had his own injury issues. He hit 17-of-26 passes for 236 yards and two TDs. And could Henry Enyenihi be a good complement to RB Josh Ferguson? Maybe, as the big JC transfer ripped off a 43-yard scoring jaunt.

[ MORE: Watch replay of the Illinois spring game on BTN2Go ]


Indiana. The Hoosiers struggled on offense after QB Nate Sudfeld got hurt last year. Well, he looked good on Saturday, hitting 17-of-24 passes for 187 yards with a TD and pick. How did the running game look without Tevin Coleman , who is off to the NFL? Ricky Brookins ran for 107 yards, while UAB transfer Jordan Howard continues to be sidelined with an elbow injury. A much maligned defense showed life with 10 sacks and 13 TFLs. And how about those linebackers? They continue to develop led by Tegray Scales, Clyde Newton and Robert McCray III. If this Hoosier defense can just develop into a ?solid? unit, IU may go bowl for the first time since 2007. Kevin Wilson has to be pleased with how his fifth Hoosier squad is shaping up.

[ MORE: Watch replay of the Indiana spring game on BTN2Go ]


Ohio State. Not much went on, to be honest, with players like J.T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott, Braxton Miller and Dontre Wilson not dressed. The defense should be very good. And it looks like Tyquan Lewis-who dealt with a shoulder injury–will start at end opposite Joey Bosa. Redshirt freshman DE Sam Hubbard turned some heads. Safety Erick Smith also looked good on Saturday. The offense is looking for a deep threat to replace Devin Smith. There are options, including Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall and Corey Smith, who caught two long TD passes on Saturday. Curtis Samuel could become a playmaker at h-back. Guard Billy Price looks ready to emerge as a key player on the o-line.

[ MORE: Watch replay of the Ohio State spring game on BTN2Go ]


Penn State. This program is now operating on all cylinders with NCAA probation in the rear-view mirror. Yes, James Franklin still has a relatively young roster, but there is talent. Hard not to be impressed with the tight ends. Mike Gesicki turned heads with his added size. This will continue to be a position of strength even without Jesse James. And PSU may have found a kicker in Joey Julius, who is battling Tyler Davis to take over for Sam Ficken. Julius has a strong leg. Looking for a sleeper? It may be DE Carl Nassib, who coordinator John Shoop described as a ?beast.? He is a 6-7, 270-pound fifth-year senior.

[ MORE: Watch replay of the Penn State spring game on BTN2Go ]


Purdue. The Boilermakers continued to make progress in Darrell Hazell?s third spring drills. He had to be pleased with RB D.J. Knox, who ran for 41 yards and had a 30-yard catch. Purdue needs a back with Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert gone. Keyante Green and Markell Jones will push him. The quarterback question continues to nag, as no decision has been made among Austin Appleby, Danny Etling and David Blough. Keep an eye on Blough, a redshirt freshman who was 16-of-22 passing for 173 with two TDs and a pick and also rushed for 39 yards. The linebackers look good, as Ja?Whaun Bentley continues to impress. The defensive ends? Not so good. The situation is so dire a tight end was used for a bit on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch replay of the Purdue spring game on BTN2Go ]

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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