Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 28, 2015

Well, this isn?t ideal. Iowa?s C.J. Beathard still isn?t 100 percent as Maryland comes to Iowa City.

Chad Leistikow of says Beathard led now-No. 10 Iowa to a 40-10 win at Northwestern on Oct. 17 despite an injury to his right groin that limited his mobility. On his last snap in that win, early in the fourth quarter, Beathard was knocked to the ground by Northwestern safety Godwin Igwebuike and was very slow to get up and return to the Iowa sideline.

?I think I?m a lot healthier. It was hurting after the Northwestern game,? Beathard said. ?Luckily, we were up where I didn?t have to finish the game. The bye week was nice to get some rehab, get treatment all that stuff. It was nice to get off your feet and kind of rest it. By Saturday, it should be pretty good.?

Beathard is 8-0 as Iowa's starting quarterback, including 7-0 this year thanks in large part to his mobility. If he gets hurt or is unavailable, the Hawkeyes are sunk.


Speaking of banged up players ? James Franklin expects a healthier Saquon Barkley for the Illinois game. And, that?s not good news for the Fighting Illini. The freshman had 65 yards on 20 carries vs. Maryland last week.

"I think he's going to be closer this week than he's probably been in the last couple weeks to 100 percent (healthy)," said Franklin, whose 6-2 team draws 4-3 Illinois at home Saturday.
"I think that will be helpful as well."

Barkley suffered an injury to his right ankle-foot area in PSU's win over San Diego State on Sept. 26 and missed more than half of that game plus the Army and Indiana contests.


Michigan State? Overrated? ESPN?s Todd McShay thinks so.

McShay said in an article that MSU is well-coached and has an elite quarterback in Connor Cook, with a good receiver corps. But he said the Spartans "might be slightly overrated at sixth in the AP Top 25." He pointed out that the Spartans didn't put Indiana away until the fourth quarter of last Saturday's 52-26 victory.

Hey, McShay may have a point.


Minnesota also has a talented freshman: QB Demry Croft. And the staff is looking for more opportunities to play him.

Croft could be used in the same way this staff employed QB Jordan Lynch as a freshman at Northern Illinois, playing him a few plays in almost every game.

"One of the things that we're working on this week is having some things where we can get them revolved," offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. "If Mitch continues, it's hard. It's hard to pull a guy out when you feel like there are things that are going right. But we've got to make sure that we have the plan in place and feel comfortable doing that when the time basically presents itself."


The other day it was machine guns and worms. Next, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was advising kids to have two Halloween costumes.

"I've been trying to advise (my kids) to get two costumes, to be go-getters," Harbaugh told WXYZ's Brad Galli on Monday's "Inside the Huddle" segment. "Hit the neighborhood in one costume. Better to jog or run from house to house then you can get more candy than anybody else.

"Then come home and make a quick change into a second costume and hit those same houses again."


Time and again, I have had coaches tell me the most difficult spot to find good players on defense is at tackle. Ohio State does as good a job as any school. takes a look at how the Buckeyes do it.

"That's a premium," Urban Meyer said. "Like a quarterback, that's a premium position."

Most of the other positions you'll find in football – quarterback, cornerback, the pass-rushing defensive end – are out in the open and easy to find. Defensive tackles are hybrids who must fight through the dirty work in the trenches and pop out the other side in the quarteback's face like any other playmaker on the field.


Illinois coach Bill Cubit is looking for playmakers.

Matt Daniels notes that Illinois heads to Penn State ranked 119th in red-zone offense, scoring only 13 touchdowns in 26 trips, with seven field goals resulting on these drives, too. There is just little explosive ability on this offense without RB Josh Ferguson.


While Purdue waits on the NCAA to make a decision on the eligibility of Caleb Swanigan, Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier answers some questions about the subject.

I will be stunned if Swanigan isn?t cleared at some point soon.


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