A look around the Big Ten

Is Iowa on the verge of getting upset? Are QB changes imminent at Michigan State and Ohio State? Our Big Ten notebook addresses those questions, along with looks at the fundamentally sound Illini, Penn State's new No. 1 receiver and much, much more.


All coaches talk about the fundamentals, but Illinois coach Ron Turner has taken it a step further. "We've spent more time on tackling than any other team in the country," he said. That hard work paid off Saturday against Division I-AA Florida A&M. The Illinois gave up minus-3 rushing yards on 10 first-half attempts, not bad for a team that allowed 278.6 rushing yards to Big Ten opponents last fall.

  • QB Jon Beutjer should be fired up to play UCLA after the Bruins picked him off three times in last year's 6-3 loss. Beutjer got off to a nearly flawless start Saturday, completing 16-of-18 passes for 228 yards as his team built a 52-0 lead.

  • The Illini's offensive line got a lot younger after fifth-year senior guard Bryan Koch was lost for the season with torn ligaments in his right knee. Redshirt freshman Martin O'Donnell, a Parade All-American from Downers Grove, Ill., will replace him.