|Anybody got Penn State-Purdue tickets?|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 01 October 2008 12:22|
The Nittany Lions' senior DE and captain hails from Fort Wayne, Ind., about a 2 1/2-hour drive from the Purdue campus in West Lafayette. It's a much shorter trip than the one to Beaver Stadium, two states away.
Gaines said 81 family members and friends attended the Nittany Lions' game last year at Indiana, which was an hour farther from Fort Wayne, so he's expecting a bigger turnout this weekend at Purdue.
The tougher job will be impressing them when he gets on the field. Penn State needs to get pressure on QB Curtis Painter to disrupt the pass-happy Boilermakers.
``You can't give him a lot of time. He's a lethal guy,'' said Gaines, who has five sacks.
NOT ON THE SCHEDULE: So who's got the biggest advantage in the Big Ten's rotating schedule, with each team playing only eight of the other 10 teams?
Michigan State (this Saturday), Ohio State and Illinois - three more bullies - all at home.
MIDTERM EXAM: Michigan State has plowed its way to a 4-1 record, but now the true test begins for the Spartans. They have often faded once October rolls around and the Big Ten season hits full stride.
From 2005 through this season, Michigan State is 15-4 in games played before October. But in games played on or after Oct. 1, the Spartans are just 5-17.
MACIEJOWSKI'S MOMENT: Minnesota sent fifth-year senior Mike Maciejowski in at QB toward the end of its 34-21 loss at Ohio State last week to complete a 2-point conversion pass. He has only attempted two passes in his college career, but he's maintained a good attitude as a backup to first Bryan Cupito and now Adam Weber.
Getting to play, albeit briefly, at Columbus was a special treat for Maciejowski because his father, Ron, was a star on Ohio State's 1968 national championship team and later played in the NFL for the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals.
``That's a memory that will serve him well the rest of his life,'' coach Tim Brewster said.
GOING GREENE: Michigan State's game with Iowa will feature the top two backs in the Big Ten - and possibly the country.
owa's Shonn Greene has emerged from a one-year absence to rank sixth in the country at 133 yards per game, and he's doing so on 6.7 yards per attempt, while carrying an Iowa team that took five games to settle on Ricky Stanzi as its QB.
``He's legit,'' Iowa LB A.J. Edds said of Greene. ``Before Chris Wells got hurt, everybody was talking about Ohio State and how he was the tailback of the conference. But I think Ringer is as good as anybody in the conference right now. Outside of the conference, obviously he's as good as anybody in the nation.''
Iowa got a scare when Greene was knocked out during the fourth quarter of last week's loss to Northwestern, but coach Kirk Ferentz said his star is fine.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Michigan wore its famed winged helmets for the first time 70 years ago Wednesday - Oct. 1, 1938 - in a 14-0 win at home against Michigan State.
The design was stitched onto cowhide helmets, which were painted maize and blue for the first time under Fritz Crisler, because the coach wanted to help his quarterbacks locate receivers.
``There was a tendency to use different colored helmets just for receivers in those days,'' Crisler recalled, according to the school. ``But I always thought that would be as helpful for the defense as for the offense.''
MR. VERSATILITY: Good luck finding Kellen Lewis, Big Ten defenses.
st season, opened Saturday's game at his familiar spot, then played as a WR, an RB and even punted out of the shotgun. In his place at QB, the Hoosiers used Ben Chappell, who nearly beat out Lewis for the starting job in August.
Both lined up in the backfield, at times, against Michigan State, and future opponents can expect to see more of that as the Hoosiers refine their new no-huddle offense.
``I think what he (Lewis) can create when he's outside is different,'' coach Bill Lynch said. ``It's not like he'll go sit on the bench a while and watch while this guy plays. When they're both out there, I think it certainly creates something for the defense.''
SEEKING A SURGE: Illinois' last win against Michigan - one of just five in the past 50 years - came in 1999 at Ann Arbor, and it transformed what had been a very average 3-3 team. Illinois finished 8-4 and 24th in the country after a win over Virginia in the Micronpc.com Bowl.
Illinois LB Brit Miller thinks Saturday's game at Ann Arbor could do the same for the 2-2 Illini.
``Right now it seems kind of like this is that game for us,'' Miller said. ``This could definitely propel us to another bowl season.''
hree sacks against Wisconsin, which hadn't given up a sack previously this season. ... Northwestern QB C.J. Bacher was the offensive honoree and Penn State KR/WR Derrick Williams won on special teams. ... Daniel Dufrene, Illinois' leading rusher with 396 yards on 59 carries, is expected to start after spraining a joint in one of his shoulders. ... Ohio State DB Chimdi Chekwa on the matchup with Wisconsin: ``Our mindset going into this is this is the Big Ten championship.''
AP Sports Writers Larry Lage, Luke Meredith, Dave Campbell and Michael Marot, and Associated Press Writers David Mercer, Tim Martin and Genaro Armas contributed to this report.