Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Defense missing through first month of Big Ten play

What ever happened to typical Big Ten football? What ever happened to 10-7, 14-13 football games?

In a conference notoriously known for conservative offenses and strong physical defenses, the opposite has been seen in the early stages of the Big Ten season. Offenses are looking more toward spread formations and three-receiver sets as opposed to double tight ends and a two-man backfield.

“You’re seeing more teams use the fullback as receivers,” Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said. “Defenses are bringing players up to play the run and forcing offenses to throw.”


The offensive production in the Big Ten is up nearly four points per game from last year, with teams averaging over 30 points per game for the first time since 1990. Constant running and tailbacks getting 30 carries a game have seemingly disappeared from the offensive game plans of Big Ten coaches.

Officiating continues to be disappointing

The topic of officiating has grown more and more controversial as the Big Ten season continues to unfold.

Coaches have filed letters to the Big Ten offices regarding their anger and displeasure over the officiating to date. Many of the coaches were asked about instant replay following this weekend’s games, and it appears coaches are more in favor of it now then ever before.

“The NFL has the best referees in the world, and they instituted instant replay,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr stated. “You see numerous plays reversed in the NFL, which shows referees at the highest level make mistakes, so it’s expected that mistakes will be made as they are in any field. The question becomes, ‘What is the cost of instant replay and is it affordable?’ and that can only be decided by the Big Ten offices.”

Iowa continues to impress

Iowa City is buzzing with excitement following their blowout win over Michigan State Saturday. Undefeated in conference play, the Hawkeyes find themselves in unfamiliar territory at the top of the Big Ten.

A win next week against a much-improved Indiana team will give the Hawkeyes four conference wins, equaling its total of a year ago and making it bowl-eligible. Much of Iowa’s remarkable turnaround can be credited to its first-year starting quarterback, senior Brad Banks.

Banks has anchored an offense that has improved drastically on all fronts.

“He is the kind of quarterback that concerns coaches because of his multi-dimensional ability,” Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo said. “He is very dangerous outside of the pocket with his legs and inside the pocket with his strong arm.”

The Hawkeyes will depend heavily on the arm and leadership of Banks if they are to make a serious run at the Big Ten title.

Clarett breaks OSU records

The Buckeyes were again led by freshman sensation Maurice Clarett in their 50-7 trouncing of San Jose State in Columbus.

Just nine months removed from high school and 18 years old, Clarett’s credentials just seven games into his Buckeye career are staggering.

He is a mere 153 yards away from the 1,000-yard mark and needs only 280 yards in his last seven games to surpass the freshman-rushing record at Ohio State, held by former Viking Robert Smith.

“He is a very special player who has a great career ahead of him at Ohio State,” Tressel said. “What he’s done as a freshman is extraordinary.”

If that isn’t impressive enough, Clarett waived goodbye to freshman all-time touchdown leader Joel Payton and Art Schlichter by surpassing them with his three-touchdown performance against the Spartans, bringing his season total to 15.

There have been whispers around the nation that Clarett is deserving of the Heisman trophy and should be considered in the balloting despite being a true freshman. Clearly his numbers back that notion, and his team’s 7-0 start only enhances the argument.

If the Buckeyes can stay perfect and Clarett continues to lead this team, it will be very difficult to deny him of the most prestigious college-football award in the nation.

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