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Dave Thurman (9:11 am) @Dthurman7

Important Data:

Mascot: Wolverines
Stadium: Michigan Stadium (109,901)
2011 Record: 11-2
2012 Record: 8-3
Head Coach: Brady Hoke  (2nd year at Michigan, 19-5; 66-55 overall)
Letterman Returning: (50; lost - 24)
Returning Starters: Offense -  6; Defense - 7; Specialists - 2
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace (3 Wide Receivers)

Notable Alumni: 

Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States
Charlie Gehringer, Baseball Hall of Famer
Tony Fadell, Inventor of the iPod
Lucy Liu, Actress
Tom Brady, NFL quarterback (two time Super Bowl MVP)
Desmond Howard, Heisman Trophy Winner; sporstcaster
James Earl Jones, Actor
William Mayo, Cofounder of the Mayo Clinic

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters:
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#12 Quarterback, Devin Gardner

Gardner was a wide receiver for most of the season, and was pretty good (16, 266, 4), but after Robinson was injured and Russell Bellomy was clearly in over his head, Devin came to the rescue and played so well that he should start at quarterback Saturday.  He is hitting 65.7% of his passes, with 7 TD's and 3 INT's.  Gardener is a threat to run and has rushed for 6 TD's.

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#16 Quarterback/Running Back, Denard Robinson

"Shoelace" has had trouble staying healthy but is an amazing runner, going over 1000 yards rushing for the third straight season, totaling 1044 yards so far at 7.3 ypc.  Passing has never been his strong suit, and this year he has as many interceptions (9) as touchdowns.  Look for him to line up in the backfield with Gardener a good deal of the time on Saturday.  

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#10 Wide Receiver, Jeremy Gallon

The diminutive (5'8") Gallon doesn't get talked about as much as Roy Roundtree but has better numbers this year, with 34 catches, 617 yards and 2 TD's.  The fleet footed receiver is also the Wolverine's main punt returner, and has rushed 11 times for 67 yards, so the coaching staff looks for multiple ways to get him the ball.

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#47 Linebacker, Jake Ryan

One wonders if Ryan is trying to look like Clay Matthews, and while his game isn't at that level he is pretty good, leading Michigan with 75 tackles, with 13 for loss including 3.5 sacks.  Jake has also broken up 3 passes and forced 3 fumbles, and will be a key to slowing down Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller in the running game.   

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#11 Safety, Jordan Kovacs

A fifth-year senior from Curtice, Ohio, Kovacs has played a lot of minutes in his UM career, having started over 40 games.  In 2010 he led Michigan with 110 tackles, and though his role has changed he is still active, and has totaled 59 stops so far this year with 5 for loss, 2 sacks and an interception.  He is better defensing the run than the pass, something OSU may try to take advantage of.  

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Head Coach, Brady Hoke

Yes, he does look like Fred Flintstone and it is enjoyable to make fun of the big guy, but he has done a very good job of digging Michigan out of the hole RichRod dug for them.  A former UM assistant coach, Hoke was the head man at Ball State and San Diego before coming to Ann Arbor a year ago, leading them to 11 wins and a Sugar Bowl victory in his initial season.  


 
 
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Dave Thurman (0:00 am) @Dthurman7

Important Data:

Mascot: Badgers
Stadium: Camp Randall (80,321)
2011 Record: 11-3
2012 Record: 7-3
Head Coach: Bert Bielema (7th year at Wisconsin, 67-22)
Letterman Returning: (41; lost - 16)
Returning Starters: Offense -  5; Defense - 6; Specialists - 0
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Power-I and Ace (2 Tight Ends)

Notable Alumni: 

Mike Webster - NFL Hall of Famer
Steve Miller - Musician (Steve Miller Band)
Charles Lindbergh - Aviator
Elroy Hirsch - Pro Football Hall of Famer
Frank Lloyd Wright - Architect
John Wilce - Former Buckeye football coach (in College Football Hall of Fame)
Greta Van Susteren - Television broadcaster
Bud Selig - MLB commissioner

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters:
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#10 Quarterback, Curt Phillips

Who saw this coming?  A year after the Russell Wilson transfer worked so well, Badger fans thought another transfer, Danny O'Brien would be the man in 2012.  When he disappointed the coaches turned to redshirt frosh Joel Stave.  When he got hurt they tapped the little used redshirt senior Phillips, who has battle injuries throughout his career.  He looked good against Indiana and now gets OSU!

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#28 Running Back, Montee Ball

The stud for the Badgers is senior Montee Ball who returned after rushing for 1923 yards and 33 TD's a year ago.  After a slow start, Ball is back in form and comes into this game with 1226 yards and 16 TD's.  There are bigger backs and faster runners in the nation, but nobody who runs tougher than Ball.  He actually shares time with  James White, giving the Badgers an incredible 1-2 punch.

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#4 Wide Receiver, Jared Abbredaris

The Badgers may be a running team but they have a big-time receiver in teh skinny Abbredaris.  Playing with Wilson in 2011 he snared 55 catches for 933 yards.  This year he has worked with three different quarterbacks but has still managed 38 catches for 698 yards and 5 TD's.  He has made a bunch of big plays and now plays a team that has been burned a number of times in 2012.

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#53 Linebacker, Mike Taylor

The unquestioned leader of the Badger D is 5th year senior Taylor, who registered an eye popping 150 tackles last year, and so far in 2012 has 95 stops including 12 for loss.  He is a hard-nosed prototypical linebacker, who pairs with Ohio native Chris Borland who has 82 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 6 passes defensed.  These guys will test Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde for sure.

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#10 Cornerback, Devin Smith

Another fifth year senior, Smith started way back in 2009 but came off the bench in 2010, and was hurt last year.  This season he has been their best defesnive back, and has totaled 48 sacks, with 13 passes defensed, including 3 interceptions.  He is solid against the run, and by far the best cover player on a team that has struggled to stop good passing attacks.  

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Head Coach Bert Bielema 

The surly Bielema is certainly not a Buckeye favorite, and seems to truly hate Ohio State.  Despite his crying over Urban Meyer stealing Kyle Dodson, the big guy has done a pretty good job at Wisconsin.  The UW fans were on his case after going 7-6 in his third season, but since then he has won 10,11 and 11 games coming into this year.  A former offensive lineman, he loves physical football.


 
 
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Dave Thurman (11:24 am) @Dthurman7

Important Data:

Mascot: Fighting Illini
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (60,670)
2011 Record: 7-6
2012 Record: 2-6
Head Coach: Tim Beckman (1st year at Illinois, 2-6; 23-22 overall)
Letterman Returning: (41; lost - 16)
Returning Starters: Offense -  7; Defense - 7; Specialists - 1
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers)

Notable Alumni:

Robert Ebert & Gene Shalit - Film Critics
Red Grange - Charter member of Pro Football Hall of Fame
Chief Illinwek (Before he got banned due to political correctness)
Gene Hackman - Academy Award winning actor
Dan Fogelberg - Singer, songwriter
Dick Butkus - NFL Hall of Fame linebacker
Donna Mills - Actress
Steve Stricker, PGA golfer

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters:
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#11 Quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase

Impressive as a freshman and sophomore, when he led the Illini to back-to-back bowl games, Scheelhaase has struggled this season with a new head coach.  He has also been banged up, and has shared time with Reilly O'Toole.  Despite his problems he can be dangerous, and is hitting 61.3% of his passes for 839 yards, and has rushed for 161 yards and 3 TD's despite often running for his life.

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#5 Running Back, Donovonn Young

Young got his feet wet last season when he rushed for 451 yards and 6 TD's as a true freshman, and the Illini had high hopes for a big year in 2012. Poor line play hasn't helped his cause, but Young does lead the team with 400 yards, and averages 4.2 yards per carry.  He has good size and isn't afraid to stick his head down and fight for tough yards.

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#12 Wide Receiver Ryan Lankford

One of the few pleasant surprises in Champaign this year, Lankford played only sparingly in 2011 and wound up with just 12 catches.  However he has emerged as their go to receiver this season, although he isn't going to make anyone forget A.J. Jenkins.  Still, Lankford has nice numbers through eight games (29, 413, 5), despite having to work with two quarterbacks.

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#99 Defensive End, Michael Buchanan

Working opposite first round pick Whitney Mercilus, Buchanan had a fine 2011 season, winding up with 13.5 tackles for loss, including 7.5 sacks.  This year the going has been tougher as he is the guy getting double teamed, but Buchanan has still provided some pressure, and comes into the game with 32 stops, with 5 for loss, including 2.5 sacks. He also has an interception and a forced fumble.

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#45 Linebacker, Jonathan Brown

Moving from the middle to the outside of the Illini defense, Brown is a talented senior who led the team a season ago with 108 tackles with a whopping 19.5 tackles for loss.  While his numbers aren't quite as impressive this year, he is still a force, and leads the team with 55 tackles, with 8,5 for loss, including 2.5 sacks.  He is a prototypical big, physical B1G linebacker who can lay the wood.

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Head Coach Tim Beckman

A native of Berea, Ohio, Beckman coached the cornerbacks at OSU back in 2005-6, before moving onto Oklahoma State, and then to Toledo as the head cocah.  His Rocket teams were strong offensively, and won 8 games both of the past two seasons.  Most thought he would be a good fit at Illinois, where the offesne needed some help, but so far it has been tough sledding. 


 
 
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Dave Thurman (0:00 am) @Dthurman7

Important Data:

Mascot: Nittany Lions
Stadium: Beaver Stadium (107,282)
2011 Record: 9-4
2012 Record: 5-2
Head Coach: Bill O'Brien (1st year at PSU, 5-2)
Letterman Returning: (33; lost - 25)
Returning Starters: Offense -  2; Defense - 4; Specialists - 1
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers) & Power-I

Notable Alumni: 

Lisa Salters, ESPN reporter
Todd Blackledge, NFL quarterback; TV sports analyst
Adam McKay, Screenwriter and director of Anchorman and Talladega Nights
Tom Verducci, senior writer, Sports Illustrated
Mike Scioscia, MLB catcher and manager
Franco Harris, NFL Hall of Fame running back
David Morrell, author of First Blood (beginning of Rambo series)

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters:
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#11 Quarterback, Matt McGloin

This fifth year senior is actually a graduate student, known by Buckeye fans as the quarterback with "moxie"!  McGloin is tough, intelligent and competitive, and is having a whale of a senior season now that he has a coach who believes in him. Thus far he has hit 62.5% of his throws, leads the B1G with 255.4 ypg, and most impressively, has 14 TD's and only 2 INT's.

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#8 Wide Receiver, Allen Robinson

A year ago this sophomore caught all of 3 passes and this season was supposed to back up players like Devon Smith and Justin Brown who decided to transfer.  Now, Robinson is the star of the show, and has 47 catches, 563 yards and 8 TD's.  McGloin has other threats, but Robinson has become his favorite target, and he is a big one at 6'3", 201 lbs.

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#47, Defensive Tackle, Jordan Hill

Hill is a big guy at nearly 300 pounds, and is a rock in the middle of the line, pairing with the even bigger DeQuan Jones.  Jordan is the Lions fourth leading tackler with 37, which includes 4 for loss and 2.5 sacks.  He also has an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and will be a load for the OSU offensive line.  

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#42 Outside Linebacker, Michael Mauti

The best of an excellent set of Nittany Lion linebackers, Mauti is a senior who was hurt last year but has returned with a vengeance.  He showed this week that he has a big mouth but he also backs it up, leading the team with 65 tackles, with 3.5 for loss, including 2.5 sacks.  He has also picked off 3 passes, forced 2 fumbles and recovered one.  

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#97 Kicker, Sam Ficken

If you are looking for a weakness on the Penn State team you might look no further than their kicker.  Ficken, a sophomore from Indiana, has struggled, hitting just 4-11 FG's with a a long of 34.  He has also missed two extra points.  Now, he may look great this week, but so far it has been tough sledding, and his accuracy issues cost PSU the Virginia game.  

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Head Coach Bill O'Brien

Talk about a guy who inherited a tough job, O'Brien not only followed PSU legend Joe Paterno, but had to endure an offseason of incredible turmoil, and the loss of some of his best players.  After starting the year with a couple of losses, he has steered the Lions to five straight wins, and showed some of the offensive expertise that he is known for from his days with the Patriots, guiding Tom Brady.


 
 
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Dave Thurman (11:34 am) @Dthurman7

Important Data:

Mascot:
 Boilermakers
Stadium: Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500)
2011 Record: 7-6
2012 Record: 3-3
Head Coach: Danny Hope (4th year at Purdue, 19-24)
Letterman Returning: (50; lost - 26)
Returning Starters: Offense -  8; Defense - 7; Specialists - 1
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers)

Notable Alumni: 

Bob Griese, Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback, sportscaster
Neil Armstrong, Astronaut, first man to walk on the moon
Charles Ellis, Designer of the Golden Gate Bridge
Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
George Peppard, Actor (Hannibal Smith of The A-Team)
John Wooden, College basketball Hall of Famer as player and coach
Orville Redenbacher, Entrepreneur of popcorn fame

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters:
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#19 Quarterback, Caleb TerBush

The big 5th year senior starts for the Boilers but doesn't necessarily finish, as the team also uses Robert Marve and Rob Henry.  TerBush has thrown for 716 yards and 8 touchdowns, but has also been picked 6 times.  Meanwhile Marve has 50 yards passing and 4 TD's.  Neither is much of a threat running the ball, although if Rob Henry enters the game, he has some scrambling ability.

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#24 Running Back, Akeem Shavers

A year ago Shavers shared time with Ralph Bolden, who has been injured but could play some this week.  Akeem has solid size and has rushed for 324 yards (4.2 ypc) and 3 TD's thus far.  After playing decently last season (his first at Purdue after transferring from Tyler JC), Shavers exploded for 149 yards and was the MVP of the Little Caesar's Bowl, so he is capable.  

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#11 All-Purpose Back, Akeem Hunt

The diminutive (5'9", 180) sophomore is super quick and you have to figure Purdue will try and get him in space on Saturday.  He has rushed for 257 yards at a whopping 11.2 ypc which includes an 81 yard run.  Hunt has also caught 7 passes for 119 yards, with one catch going for 50 yards.  He returns kicks to boot, and while he hasn't taken one to the house yet, that is always a possibility.  

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#93 Defensive Tackle, Kawann Short

Rarely is a defensive tackle the star of the team but that is the case with this big guy.  Short (6'3". 315) really burst on the scene last year when he had 54 tackles, including 17 for loss.  In addition he blocked a kick against the Buckeyes that kept OSU from winning the game.  This season, despite constant double teaming, he has 20 tackles, with 9 for loss, including 4 sacks, plus 4 blocked kicks.  

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#45 Linebacker, Will Lucas

This outside linebacker was the thrid leading tackler on last year's squad when he finished with 82 stops.  So far in 2012, Lucas has upped his game and leads the team with 33 tackles, with 3.5 for loss.  He also has an interception, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery, so he is very active.  While Purdue's other linebackers are somewhat shaky, Lucas is a reliable veteran.

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Head Coach Danny Hope

It is hard to get a read on the mustached head man of the Boilermakers. After 5-7 and 4-8 seasons in 2009 & 10, he was on the hotseat but responded with a 7-6 record a season ago that included a victory in the Little Caesar's Bowl.  Most thought Purdue would challenge for the top spot in the Leader's Division this year, but they have lost both B1G games thus far, and not looked impressive in either.  


 
 
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Dave Thurman (12:23 pm)

Important Data:

Mascot:
 Hoosiers
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (52,692)
2011 Record: 1-11
2012 Record: 2-3
Head Coach: Kevin Wilson (2nd year at Indiana, 3-14)
Letterman Returning: (50; lost - 22)
Returning Starters: Offense -  8; Defense - 7; Specialists - 1
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers)

Notable Alumni: 

Dick Enberg - Award-winning Sportscaster
Lee Majors - Actor (The Six Million Dollar Man)
Mark Spitz - Swimmer (won 7 gold medals in '72 Olympics)
Jane Pauley - Award-winning TV journalist
Jeff Sagarin - Creator of Sagarin rating system for college sports
Isaiah Thomas - NBA Hall of Fame player, coach, and general manager 
Mark Cuban - Entrepreneur; owner of Dallas Mavericks 

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters:
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#2 Quarterback, Cameron Coffman...Western Gunslinger

The IU field general is in first year in Bloomington, coming to the Hoosiers after one season at Arizona Western Community College.  When Tre Robertson was lost for the season he stepped in and it might have been the best thing that happened to IU.  Although he isn't big (6'2", 191) or as athletic as Robertson, Coffman is extremely accurate, completing 67.2% of his passes, with 6 TD's and only 1 INT.

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#12 Tailback, Stephen Houston...Typical B1G Back

Houston burst onto the scene last year after playing a season at Independence Community College in Kansas, rushing for 802 yards and 8 TD's.  He is a load at 222 pounds, but so far in 2012 he isn't carrying it quite as much, sharing time with Tevin Coleman, but is IU's leading ground gainer with 277 yards (5.3 ypc) and 4 TD's.  He also has 14 receptions and a touchdown, and is a threat in the passing game.  

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#13 Wide Receiver, Kofi Hughes...Buckeye Nemesis 

Last season this physical receiver riddled OSU's secondary, finishing with 8 catches for 147 yards and a TD.  So far in 2012 he has missed some time due to injuries but has still hauled in 16 passes for 248 yards and 2 TD's.  A season ago he ran the ball 27 times for 162 yards, but has not been used at all in the rushing attack so far this year.  That might be something to look for on Saturday.  

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#98 Defensive Tackle, Adam Replogle...Big "Elk" from Centerville

This Centerville, OH, native is one of three brothers who has played at Indiana, and is the best player on defense so far in 2012.  A season ago he finished with 49 tackles, including 4 sacks.  To date he has made 36 tackles (tied for the team lead), with 4.5 for loss, including 2.5 sacks.  Adam is big (6'3", 298), strong and physical, and will try and clog the middle and keep Carlos Hyde at bay.  

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#42 Linebacker, David Cooper...Another from the JC Pipleline

Yet another JC transfer, Cooper came to IU from Coffeyville (Kan) CC, and is a sophomore.  He isn't that big for a middle linebacker (6'1", 225), but he has good speed, and instincts.  A year ago at Coffeyville he finished with 102 tackles, and so far in 2012 is tied with Adam Replogle for the team lead with 36 stops, with 4 of them coming for loss.  He is another key cog in slowing down the OSU rushing attack.  

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Head Coach Kevin Wilson...Offensive Genius 

Success has yet to come Wilson's way at IU, at least in terms of wins, but it is obvious that he has the Hoosiers headed in the right direction.  He came to Bloomington after spending three seasons at Oklahoma as offensive line coach, and offensive coordinator. He is considered a passing game guru, and it is no mistake that IU leads the B1G, averaging 305.2 yards per game through the air.  


 
 
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Drew Thurman (11:38 am) @osusilverbullet

The Buckeyes head to Bloomington on a high, coming off of two emotional victories over B1G powers Michigan State and Nebraska. Bloomington has been a kind place to Buckeyes over the last two decades, and in fact, has become known as Columbus West among those in Buckeye Nation. Typically, around 40-50 percent of the crowd in decked out in Ohio State apparel, and the Hoosiers notoriously use this game for their fly over shot of the stadium (since it is full of fans in red for once). 

Still, there is a quiet concern that this Saturday has all the makings of a trap game. After those two aforementioned victories, one has to wonder if this team is emotionally and physically spent. Indiana proved last weekend that they have a lethal offense, and gave Michigan State all they could handle. If the Buckeyes come out flat Saturday night, the Hoosiers could jump out early again as they did against the Spartans. Urban Meyer was asked about the possibility of this happening this week at his press conference, and shared these concerns.  

Q. I wanted to know if seeing what Indiana did against Michigan State at home this week and making it a close game and Michigan State having to come back. What do you do with your team to make sure you don't have a slow start and have to come back and fight it out at the end?

COACH MEYER: Very concerned. We've had two very emotional wins. Two very physical wins. There were a lot of sore bodies out there last night at practice. Very, very concerned about that, so I'm still working through that. I don't know to answer your question. I have some ideas, but I want to evaluate where they show up tomorrow because they're off today, obviously.

That's a big concern. How we handle I think the couple questions how do we handle the beat up bodies and still develop young players and also make sure this team understands. The best thing that happened was they played well against Michigan State. Every player right now has already seen that game on their iPads and all that stuff. So they've already seen that. That is the best thing that could happen.

You go in there and face a team that didn't play well. The good thing is they are getting better. Indiana's got a lot of talent in certain positions, and they've played an offense that you better have every T crossed or I dotted or they're going to pop one on you. So the film doesn't lie and that is the best thing that happened.


 
 
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Dave Thurman (12:35 pm)

Important Data:

Mascot:
 Cornhuskers
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (81,091)
2011 Record: 9-4
2012 Record: 4-1
Head Coach: Bo Pelini (5th year at Nebraska, 43-17)
Letterman Returning: (56; lost - 28)
Returning Starters: Offense - 7 ; Defense - 7; Specialists - 1
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace & Power I

Notable Alumni: 

Johnny Carson, TV personality
Tom Osborune - Football coach; winner of 3 National Championships
Warren Buffet - Investor and philanthropist
Johnny Rogers - Pro football player; Heisman Trophy winner
John Pershing - Famous U.S. Army general
Ndamukong Suh - Pro football player; winner of multiple college awards

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters
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#3 Quarterback, Taylor Martinez

The junior from California has always been able to run the ball and has over 1900 yards rushing and 24 TD's in his career. This year he sprinted to a 92 yard touchdown against UCLA.  Passing has been the issue with Taylor in the past but he has greatly improved and is throwing for 211.8 ypg this season, hitting 67.8% of his passes with 11 TD's and only 1 interception in 2012.

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#22 Running Back, Rex Burkhead

A 210 pound senior from Plano, Texas, Burkhead hurt Ohio State last year and brings toughness and surprising speed to the Cornhusker backfield.  After rushing for over 1400 yards in 2011, Burkhead missed some action this season, but is back healthy again, and is averaging 9.4 yards per carry thus far in 2012.  The Silver Bullets need to be ready to tackle in space against him on Saturday night.  

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#8 All Purpose Back, Ameer Abdullah

A super quick sophomore from Alabama, Ameer can hurt an opponent in numerous ways. So far this season he has rushed for 486 yards and 5 TD's, caught 9 passes for 100 yards and another touchdown, averaged 28.4 yards on kickoff returns, and returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown.  Needless to say it is imperative that both the defense and special teams keep track of Abdullah the entire game.  

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#51 Linebacker, Will Compton

This tough 230 pound fifth-year senior was Nebraska's leading returning tackler, finishing 2011 with 82 stops including 7 for loss.  Thus far this year Compton has 44 tackles, with 6 for loss and 3 sacks.  He has also broken up a couple of passes and recovered a fumble.  There is no doubt he will be active in the middle and will attempt to slow down Braxton Miller and the OSU running game.  

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#3 Safety, Daimion Stafford 

Stafford is a senior safety who came to Nebraska a year ago from junior college and jumped right into the starting lineup.  He possesses nice size at 6'1", 205, and seems to have a nose for the ball.  A year ago he had 80 tackles and 10 pbus, and thus far in 2012 Daimion has 32 tackles, a sack, 4 passes broken up and a fumble recovery.  He will be vital in both defending the run and the pass against the Buckeyes.  

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Head Coach Bo Pelini

Once again this week a native Buckeye with OSU ties makes their way to the sideline.  Pelini is a Youngstown Cardinal Mooney grad who played 4 seasons at safety in Columbus, graduating in 1990, after serving as one of the team captains.  He is in his fifth year at Nebraska and is 43-17.  Considered a defensive guru, it is surprising that the Cornhuskers are stronger on offense than defense again this year.  


 
 
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Dave Thurman (12:12 pm)

Important Data:

Mascot:
 Spartans
Stadium: Spartan Stadium (75,005)
2011 Record: 11-3
2012 Record: 3-1
Head Coach: Mark Dantonio (6th year at MSU, 47-23; 65-40 overall)
Letterman Returning: (50; lost - 20)
Returning Starters: Offense - 5; Defense - 8; Specialists - 2
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace & Power I

Notable Alumni: 

Herb Adderley, Former NFL player and Hall of Famer
James Caan, Motion Picture Actor
Robin Roberts, former MLB player and Hall of Famer
Robert Urich, TV Actor
Richard Ford, Novelist, author of Independence Day
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, former NBA player and Hall of Famer
Susan Packard, Founder of HGTV

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

Cast of Characters:
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#24 Tailback Le'Veon Bell...The "Bell" Cow

The MSU offense starts and stops with Bell, an Ohioan who was not heavily recruited by the Buckeyes.  At 244 pounds, Bell is a load who some have compared to former Wisconsin star Ron Dayne.  However, he seems to possess more speed and agility than Dayne, and will be a handful for the Silver Bullets, having already tallied 610 rushing yards this season. 

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#80 Dion Sims, Tight End...A Tackle with Soft Hands

An enormous target (6'5". 285) for quarterback Andrew Maxwell, Sims was recruited by the Buckeyes but chose to attend MSU.  His first three years he caught 23 passes all total, but already has grabbed 22 this season, and is the go to player for Maxwell, a quarterback who has struggled at times thus far in 2012.  Sims is a mismatch due to his size, and will be a load for the OSU linebackers and secondary on Saturday. 

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#2 William Gholston, Defensive End...The Smile is Deceiving

One of the fiercest, most talented (and some would say dirtiest) players in the B1G, Gholston is a massive end at 6'7", 278.  The cousin of former Buckeye star Vernon Gholston, William can play the run or pass equally well.  Last year he finished with 70 tackles, including 16 for loss, and thus far in 2012 has registered 14 tackles, with 3 coming for loss.  He will test the OSU tackles, big time.

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#40 Max Bullough, Middle Linebacker...A Throwback Player

In a day and age of smaller, faster linebackers, Bullough reminds you of many old-fashioned Buckeye middle linebackers - big, strong and instinctive.  At 6'3", 252 he is imposing, and is the leading tackler on a tremendous Michigan State defense, with 26 stops, including 3.5 for loss.  A year ago he had 89 tackles, and this fourth year junior will make inside running tough this week.

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#28 Denicos Allen, Outside Linebacker...A Sack Machine

This Hamilton, Ohio, product, is one of several from the Buckeye State on the MSU roster.  He may not be the biggest player on the field, but Allen has a nose for the ball and makes big plays.  Last year he had 83 tackles including a team leading 11 sacks, and so far in 2012 has 17 stops, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.  He just beat our CB Johnny Adams for this fifth and final highlight spot. 

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Head Coach Mark Dantonio...In Tress he Trusts

A Zanesville, Ohio native, Dantonio is familiar to Buckeye fans because he was the defensive coordinator in Columbus for three seasons, including the memorable 2002 National Championship team.  From there, Dantonio headed to Cincinnati, serving as the head coach for three seasons, before moving up to East Lansing.  Now in his sixth season, this Tressel disciple has won 11 games each of the past two years. 


 
 
Drew Thurman (6:01 pm)

Well, a week ago I posed some pretty solid questions (#humblebrag), and pretty much everything  I asked was answered on the field.

This time around though, the questions are going to be a bit bigger. The Buckeyes head into B1G play for the first time ever under Urban Meyer, and find themselves on the road in East Lansing against B1G preseason favorites Michigan State. Both teams have underwhelmed at this point, and are coming off very mediocre performances against some NCAA bottom feeders.

Still, ESPN's College GameDay will be in town to build up some more hype around what could be one of the most important games in the conference this season. The B1G is begging to find a favorite for the conference to stand behind, and Saturday's game will likely produce the "best team in the conference."

So let's take a look a deeper look into the game.