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Big Ten buzz: Michigan, Nebraska start well in October

[ 0 ] October 9, 2013 |

Did Michigan and Nebraska regain a little swagger last weekend? Both were staggering in September, but kicked off October with solid wins. Both also have concerns at the quarterback position.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner has been largely inconsistent this season. (USA TODAY Sports photo)

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner has been largely inconsistent this season. (USA TODAY Sports photo)

The Wolverines routed Minnesota and improved to 5-0, thanks to a tidy performance by the previously unpredictable Devin Gardner, who has eight touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. Michigan ranks ninth among Big Ten teams in total offense, with 397 yards per game.

Meanwhile, Taylor Martinez has missed the Cornhuskers’ last two games with a sore toe. Coach Bo Pelini says Martinez is questionable for Saturday’s trip to Purdue.

QB ISSUES

The Big Ten isn’t doing much, statistically, to shed its image as an earth-bound conference. None of the league’s quarterbacks rank among the nation’s top 15 in passing yards. Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld is No. 19 with 1,467 yards on 104 of 162 passing. The Pac-12 has four of the top eight QBs.

OVER 100

Speaking of old-school power football, Iowa’s Mark Weisman rushed for just 9 yards before suffering an ankle injury against Michigan State, but is still averaging 104 yards per game.

BUCKEYES’ STOUT HOME BASE

Ohio State’s 18-game winning streak isn’t likely to end any time soon. Each of the Buckeyes’ next five opponents has at least two losses. The only ranked opponent on their schedule is No. 18 Michigan, which was barely beat by Akron and UConn. That may result in a glossy record, but it will also cause some to debate whether Ohio State is a worthy contender for the BCS title.

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KEEP YOUR EYES ON …

Is the quarterback controversy at Michigan State solved? We’ll find out when the Spartans host Indiana at 11 a.m. Saturday (ESPN2).

Sophomore starter Connor Cook turned in a career-best performance last week against Iowa (25-of-44 for 277 yards and two touchdowns), and seems to have the Spartan poised to make a run at the Legends Division title.

“I think right now we’re going to go with one quarterback, and that’s how I feel,” coach Mark Dantonio told reporters. “I feel Connor played well this last game. We’re asking our quarterbacks to create. I think he created. I thought he threw the ball very effectively.”

Michigan State played more than one quarterback in each of its first four games.

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Category: Big Ten

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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