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Big Ten buzz: Michigan State punter's record day

[ 0 ] October 16, 2013 |
Mike Sadler, shown earlier this season in a game against Western Michigan set a Big Ten record last Saturday against (USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Sadler, shown earlier this season in a game against Western Michigan, set a Big Ten record last Saturday against  Indiana by averaging 59.3 yards per punt.(USA TODAY Sports)

Michigan State’s Mike Sadler set a Big Ten Conference record by averaging 59.3 yards per punt in the Spartans’ 42-28 victory against Indiana Saturday. Sadler punted four times, including a season-long 69-yarder. His other punts went 44, 56 and 68 yards. The old Big Ten mark had been 57.3 yards by Fred Morrison of Ohio State in 1949.

— Penn State’s 43-40 four-overtime victory over Michigan was the longest game in conference history, but not the highest scoring. Michigan beat Illinois in three overtimes in 2010, 67-65.

— Five Big Ten teams rank in the Top 10 nationally in rushing defense: Michigan State is first, allowing 58 yards, followed by No. 6 Ohio State (86.2), No. 8 Iowa (88.5), No. 9 Michigan (89.5) and No. 10 Wisconsin (90.2).

— Big Ten teams are averaging 34.7 points a game, more than five points higher than a season ago.

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Keep your eyes on …

Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1) at Illinois (3-2, 0-1), 7 p.m., Big Ten Network – The Badgers’ Melvin Gordon, the Big Ten’s top rusher, needs just 130 yards to crack 1,000 for the season. And he’s going against an Illinois defense that ranks 11th in the Big Ten against the rush at 195.4 yards per game. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is having a good senior season (1,297 passing yards, 12 touchdowns), but he’ll have to find a way to crack a Wisconsin defense that grounded Northwestern last week. Badgers quarterback Joel Stave has passed for exactly the same number of yards as Scheelhaase, with 11 touchdowns. If his ace receiver, Jared Abbrederis ,is still sidelined, look for Stave to give the ball to Gordon early and often.

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Category: Big Ten

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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