Between games every week, we’ll get you caught up on what’s happening in the Big Ten. Here are five storylines from across the conference to keep an eye on heading into Saturday’s contests.
Nebraska (0-2, 0-0 Big Ten):
Quarterback Adrian Martinez participated in practice Monday and his status for Saturday’s game against Michigan is still up in the air. The true freshman went through warmups but did not play in last week’s loss to Troy. Coach Scott Frost told the Omaha World-Herald that Martinez will likely be a game-time decision. If he is ruled out, walk-on Andrew Bunch would make a second straight start in his place.
Minnesota (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten)/Maryland (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten):
When P.J. Fleck’s Gophers face Matt Canada’s Terrapins on Saturday, it will be a reunion almost 20 years in the making for the two coaches. Canada, who was named Maryland’s interim coach on Aug. 11, served as Northern Illinois’ offensive coordinator while Fleck was a receiver there from 1999-2003. Andy Greder of twincities.com wrote a story this week about their relationship and the respect they have for each other.
Iowa (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten):
The Hawkeyes have not forgotten what happened when they faced Wisconsin last season. Coming off their 55-24 win over Ohio State, Iowa managed only 66 yards of total offense and lost to the Badgers, 38-14. This time, Wisconsin comes to Iowa City for a game that could determine the winner of the Big Ten west. Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen columnist Chad Leistikow discussed what the Hawkeyes learned from last season’s debacle and what’s at skate when these two teams square off on Saturday.
Rutgers (1-2, 0-1 Big Ten):
The Scarlet Knights’ 55-14 loss to Kansas created a firestorm of criticism from members of the media who cover the team. The Kansas City Star’s Pete Grathoff compiled journalists’ reactions to the performance against the Jayhawks, widely considered to be the worst Power 5 team heading into last week’s game. Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger claimed it might be the most humiliating loss in the modern history of Rutgers football.
Michigan State (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten):
Mark Dantonio and his coaching staff spent their bye week reevaluating the Spartans’ rushing attack, which currently ranks 114th in the country at 114 yards per game. In their week-two loss at Arizona State, Michigan State only rushed for 63 yards, their lowest total since October 15, 2016, when Northwestern held them to 51. Stephen Brooks of 247sports.com also reported that running back L.J. Scott, who left the Arizona State game with an undisclosed injury, is listed as a starter for Saturday’s matchup with Indiana.