Articles filed under Big Ten

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  • Imrem: 12 ways to help the student-ATHLETE Jan 12, 2015 9:53 PM
    Mike is opposed to the College Football Playoff until the sport adopts these proposals for reform. The more money at stake for schools — and the money is enormous now — the more that college players are forced to evolve from student-athletes to student-ATHletes to student-ATHLETES.

  • Mike North video: The college football playoff winner is ... Jan 12, 2015 10:41 AM
    Mike North makes his prediction for the big game tonight between Ohio State and Oregon.

  • Ohio State does not belong in this game Jan 7, 2015 8:49 PM
    If a Big Ten team like Ohio State can win the College Football Playoff tltle this season, the sport should revert to a two-team playoff.

  • Hill leads Illinois to upset over Maryland Jan 7, 2015 11:55 PM
    When leading scorer and rebounder Rayvonte Rice broke his left hand in practice this week, Illinois wondered from where those points, boards and leadership would come. On Wednesday night, at least, the answer was sophomore Malcolm Hill. Hill scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Illini (11-5, 1-2 Big Ten) to a 64-57 upset over No. 11 Maryland. Illini coach John Groce said the win, unexpected after the loss of Rice and two defeats to open the Big Ten season, was reason to celebrate.

  • Babcock McGraw: Top women’s sports stories Jan 2, 2015 4:01 PM
    Patricia Babcock McGraw takes a look back at the top women's sports stories of 2014 and offers her annual ranking.

  • Outback Bowl: Gordon leads Wisconsin past Auburn Jan 1, 2015 3:30 PM
    Melvin Gordon rushed for an Outback Bowl-record 251 and three touchdowns and Rafael Gaglianone kicked a 25-yard field goal in overtime to give No. 17 Wisconsin a 34-31 victory over No. 19 Auburn on Thursday. Gordon scored on runs of 25, 53 and 6 yards, bouncing back from a subpar performance in the Big Ten championship game to threaten Barry Sanders’ FBS single-season rushing record. The Badgers star finished with 2,587 yards in 14 games — second most in FBS history. Sanders gained 2,628 in 11 games in 1988, when the NCAA did not include bowl results in a player’s statistics. Nick Marshall threw for two touchdowns for Auburn, which also got a pair of TDs on the ground from Cameron Artis-Payne. The Tigers were unable to move the ball in overtime, though, and lost when Daniel Carlson’s 45-yard field goal hit the right upright and bounced away.

  • Sugar Bowl: Ohio State upsets Alabama Jan 2, 2015 12:08 AM
    Cardale Jones came through again at the Sugar Bowl. Ezekiel Elliott ran all over mighty Alabama. And Urban Meyer’s quest to turn Ohio State into SEC North is one victory away from a national championship. Jones turned in another savvy performance in his second college start and Elliott ran for 230 yards, leading the Buckeyes to a 42-35 upset of top-ranked Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal Thursday night. Rallying from a 21-6 deficit, the Buckeyes (13-1) advanced to play Oregon in the Jan. 12 national championship game at Arlington, Texas. The Ducks routed defending national champion Florida State 59-20 in the other semifinal at the Rose Bowl. Jones threw for 243 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown to Devin Smith that put the Buckeyes ahead for good early in the third quarter. He also ran for 43 yards and converted a crucial third-down play with a spinning, 1-yard dive and Ohio State clinging to a 34-28 lead. On the next play, Elliott took a handoff, broke one feeble attempt at a tackle, and was gone for an 85-yard touchdown that essentially clinched the victory with 3:24 remaining. Alabama (12-2) was denied a shot at its fourth national title in six years, though the Tide didn’t go down quietly. Blake Sims threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper with 1:59 remaining. The Buckeyes recovered the onside kick, but Alabama got it back one more time after some questionable clock management by Ohio State. The Tide’s final shot ended when Sims’ desperation heave into the end zone was intercepted as time ran out.

  • Imrem: Harbaugh’s hiring humbling for Illini Dec 30, 2014 6:05 PM
    Can a Fighting Illini sports fan be any more humbled than after the latest football and basketball events at Michigan?

  • Northwestern wins Big Ten opener, 51-47 Dec 30, 2014 2:36 PM
    Bryant McIntosh had 17 points and hit the game-sealing free throws as Northwestern hung on to defeat Rutgers in its Big Ten opener 51-47 on Tuesday. Tre Demps added 16 points for the Wildcats (10-4, 1-0 Big Ten), who won their fourth straight despite scoring just seven points in the final 10:45.

  • Penn State tops Boston College 31-30 (OT) in Pinstripe Bowl Dec 27, 2014 9:04 PM
    Christian Hackenberg hit Kyle Carter for a 10-yard touchdown pass in overtime and Penn State kicked the extra point that Boston College could not, lifting the Nittany Lions to a 31-30 win in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions (7-6) played in a bowl game for the first time since January 2012 after the NCAA lifted the most severe sanctions levied against the program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Penn State’s Sam Ficken used retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter’s locker and some of his clutch postseason play appeared to rub off on the kicker. He sent the game into OT with a 45-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in regulation and won it with his extra point. Tyler Murphy hit David Dudeck for a 21-yard touchdown past on Boston College’s drive. Mike Knoll shanked the extra point for the Eagles (7-6) and that was the opening Penn State needed to complete its comeback from a 21-7 deficit late in the third quarter. Penn State has played under the cloud of scandal and sanctions for the most of the last four years, tearing at the fabric of the community known as Happy Valley and tarnishing the legacy of Joe Paterno. Moments after Penn State hoisted the bowl trophy on the field, first-year coach James Franklin took the microphone and thanked the seniors “who stayed with this program when we needed them most.” He told the thousands of die-hards that packed the stadium, “You want to talk about closure? Look around! This is closure!” The Eagles left stunned after blowing the lead and missing their eighth extra point of the season. Knoll put the Eagles ahead 24-21 on a 20-yarder with 2:10 left in the fourth. Ficken, who won the opener in Dublin with a 36-yard field goal as time expired, bookended the season with his biggest kick yet. Captain to captain, Ficken had the honor of using the retired Jeter’s locker Saturday. Ficken is Penn State’s special teams captain. Hackenberg played more as he did freshman year, when he had NFL scouts raving about first-round potential rather than this season’s erratic sophomore effort. He set Penn State records for completions and yards passing (34 of 50, 371 yards) and earned MVP honors. He went over the middle and hit DaeSean Hamilton to make it 21-all with 6:48 left in the fourth. Hackenberg should have been eligible for a potential bowl game his senior season. But when the bowl ban was lifted this season, the Nittany Lions earned the chance to play in front of 49,012 fans at Yankee Stadium. Murphy and Jon Hilliman had run wild for the Eagles to build a lead. Murphy found Shakim Phillips in the corner end zone for a 19-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead early in the third. He then showed how he set the ACC’s single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,079 yards in 2014 with a 40-yard dash that put the Eagles ahead 21-7. Hilliman, who led the team with 12 rushing TDs, broke through early with a 44-yard run that gave him more yards on one carry than three teams had in a game this season against Penn State: Central Florida (24), Massachusetts (3) yards and Maryland (25). He averaged a whopping 19.2 yards-per-carry on just five attempts for 101 yards in the first half. He found a huge opening late in the first quarter for a 49-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 7. The Nittany Lions scored first on Hackenberg’s 72-yard TD pass to Chris Godwin down the right sideline with 5:22 left in the first. The score earned a booming “We are! Penn State!” chant from the Penn State fans that helped fill Yankee Stadium. The Nittany Lions turned the Bronx into a miniature Happy Valley, flooding the train from Philadelphia to New York on Saturday afternoon, then overtaking the subway lines. Once they emerged at the corner of 161st Street and River Avenue, Yankee Stadium may as well have been Beaver Stadium. Mark Holtzman, who runs non-baseball events for the New York Yankees, said tickets sold out in 36 hours, the fastest of the five Pinstripe Bowls so far.

  • Kessler leads USC to 45-42 win over Huskers Dec 27, 2014 11:49 PM
    Adoree’ Jackson scored on a 98-yard kickoff return and a 71-yard pass from Cody Kessler, and No. 24 Southern California blew most of an 18-point, third-quarter lead before beating No. 25 Nebraska 45-42 in the Holiday Bowl on Saturday night. Kessler completed 23 of 39 yards for 321 yards and three touchdowns for USC (9-4), which was playing Nebraska (9-4) in a bowl game for the first time. The Trojans took a 45-27 lead after Kessler threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Bryce Dixon with 2:03 left in the third quarter. Armstrong brought the Huskers back with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Westerkamp with 24 seconds left in the third quarter and then a 15-yard keeper with 6:52 left in the game. His 2-point conversion pass to Kenny Bell pulled Nebraska to 45-42. USC held De’Mornay Pierson to a 1-yard gain on a pass from Armstrong on fourth-and-3 from the USC 31 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Armstrong completed 32 of 51 passes for 381 yards and three TDs, with one interception. USC had 515 yards of total offense and Nebraska finished with 525. Kessler tied the USC single-season record of 39 touchdown passes set by Matt Barkley in 2011. Barney Cotton coached Nebraska, which fired Bo Pelini on Nov. 30. New coach Mike Riley watched from a skybox. USC’s Javorius Allen gained 152 yards on 26 carries and scored on runs of 2 and 44 yards. After Nebraska’s Drew Brown kicked a 34-yard field goal early in the first quarter, Jackson caught the kickoff at the 2 and ran it up the right sideline for the longest kickoff return in Holiday Bowl history. His 71-yard TD on a catch-and-run came on the first play from scrimmage after Nebraska punted on its first possession of the second half. He caught a short pass from Kessler and weaved through defenders to give USC a 31-17 lead.

  • La. Tech beats Illinois in Heart of Dallas Bowl Dec 26, 2014 10:54 PM
    Kenneth Dixon scored one of his two touchdowns on an 80-yard reception and Xavier Woods scored on a 69-yard interception return to help Louisiana Tech beat Illinois 35-18 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Friday. The Illini (6-7) struggled early with penalties and missed field goals, but they got within three points on David Reisner’s 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

  • Illini to open Big Ten bowl slate Friday Dec 25, 2014 6:26 PM
    Illinois (6-6) and Louisiana Tech (8-5) will meet Friday in the Heart of Dallas Bowl that is played at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. It’s the first of 10 bowl games involving a Big Ten team, and the last of five for Conference USA. “You want to go into your winter workouts with success and you want your seniors to leave with success,” third-year Illinois coach Tim Beckman said.

  • Rutgers to face UNC in Detroit’s 1st Quick Lane Bowl Dec 25, 2014 6:28 PM
    Newcomer Rutgers is representing the Big Ten in the inaugural Quick Lane Bowl on Friday against one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s anchor schools, North Carolina.

  • Wisconsin hopes program is back on steady ground Dec 25, 2014 9:00 PM
    The Wisconsin Badgers have received a crash course in just how much of a business college sports can be. The hiring of new coach Paul Chryst has them hoping the program is back on solid footing — again.

  • Nebraska beats Ohio 71-58 for 5th place Dec 25, 2014 6:22 PM
    Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields each scored 22 points as Nebraska beat Ohio 72-58 on Thursday to claim fifth place in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.

  • Illini QB O’Toole learned from his mistakes Dec 24, 2014 4:52 PM
    You might think the Nebraska game back in late September is a memory Illinois quarterback Reilly O’Toole would like to forget. The Illini lost 45-14. O’Toole, starting for the injured Wes Lunt, finished with 3 interceptions. But as O’Toole, a former star quarterback at Wheaton Warrenville South, gets ready to lead Illinois (6-6) at the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl on Friday, he says there was a moment in that lopsided loss that made the team’s 3-2 finish — most of it with O’Toole under center — possible. Tied at 7-7 in the first quarter of a game they believed they would have to score a lot to stay in, the Illini had a third-and-goal at the Nebraska 4. O’Toole tried to force the ball to a receiver in the end zone but found Cornhuskers cornerback Daniel Davie instead. The interception swung momentum Nebraska’s way, for good. “I was trying to do too much,” O’Toole said. “We got to the red zone and you can’t turn the ball over down there — be OK with a field goal.” “I hadn’t played a full game in a really long time,” he added, “so I think that helped a lot.” After playing in 10 games his freshman season, O’Toole’s time at Illinois looked promising. Sure, he had well-respected sophomore Nathan Scheelhaase ahead of him on the depth chart. But the mobile O’Toole figured to sub a good bit for Scheelhaase when injuries happened while he waited for a senior season that would be his. It didn’t work out that way. O’Toole played seven times as a sophomore, six as a junior and, this season found himself behind Wes Lunt. Few thought O’Toole would see much playing time behind the transfer from Oklahoma State, a player whose arm has NFL potential. “I think he was just kind of content,” offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said of O’Toole. “I think there were some confidence issues.” O’Toole came to Illinois with a handful of state player-of-the-year awards from newspapers, fresh off two state championships at WWS. But at a Big Ten program, even a middle-of-the-pack school like Illinois, just about everyone who sees the field was all-this or all-that — accustomed to winning. So O’Toole played and practiced mostly in the shadows. A great teammate and great guy, his coaches and the other Illini say. “He’s just a likable (guy),” Illinois coach Tim Beckman said — just not the guy. But Lunt’s injuries, including a broken leg, opened the door for O’Toole. Like a good relief pitcher, four years of playing regularly off the bench has taught him to always be ready, he said. “You owe it to your teammates,” O’Toole said. “You’re one play away from playing.” And even after Lunt returned late in the season, the team found that O’Toole’s ability to run — something Lunt lacks — kept defenses honest and gave the Illini a spark they’d been missing. O’Toole ran and passed for just enough to get Illinois past Minnesota when the season looked like it was about to implode. Then he led the Illini past Penn State and Northwestern to get to 6 wins and bowl eligibility. The last two were high-pressure games for O’Toole, freshman receiver Mike Dudek said. “(He) knew that if he didn’t win, his career, his season, would be over,” said Dudek, a Neuqua Valley High School grad. Illinois faces Louisiana Tech (8-5) on Friday (11 a.m., ESPN), a team O’Toole has played before. It was in 2012, in the mop-up role he knows too well. He relieved Scheelhaase in a 52-24 loss that started a nine-game losing streak for the Illini. This time he will be the starter, the kind of career finish that a football coach finds hard to resist. “I think he deserves it,” Cubit said. “I think it’s kind of what college football is all about.”

  • Williams has 18, No. 21 Ohio St rolls over Miami U Dec 22, 2014 10:48 PM
    Reserve guard Kam Williams scored 18 points and No. 21 Ohio State went on a 26-3 run in the first half to beat Miami (Ohio) 93-55 on Monday night.

  • No. 6 Wisconsin beats California 68-56 Dec 22, 2014 10:50 PM
    Nigel Hayes had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 6 Wisconsin returned from a nine-day break to beat California 68-56 on Monday night.

  • Illinois to get $1.6M for Heart of Dallas Bowl Dec 21, 2014 12:55 PM
    The University of Illinois will receive $1.6 million for playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Friday against Louisiana Tech, bowl spokesman Brant Ringler said. Attendance is estimated to be between 25,000 and 30,000 for the game. So far, Illini fans have bought about 3,000 of the school's allotment of 4,000 tickets.

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