A look around the Big Ten

Originally Published: September 29, 2004
By Teddy Greenstein | Special to
How will Illinois prepare for Wisconsin's front four? Did Gerry DiNardo get too conservative against Michigan State? Our Big Ten notebook addresses those questions, along with looks at Ohio State's "mediocre" offense, Penn State's injury woes and more.

Illinois' game against Purdue could not have started any worse. Receiver Ade Adeyemo fumbled a handoff on a failed reverse and broke his left leg on the play. Adeyemo is expected to miss at least six weeks, and the injury leaves the Illini searching for a No. 2 receiver. They will turn to sophomore Lonnie Hurst, who caught 27 passes last season before breaking his leg against Minnesota.

If that loss won't make it harder against Wisconsin on Saturday, this will: The Badgers' front four has been dominating the opposition. Defensive end Erasmus James knocked out Penn State's top two quarterbacks last weekend, and tackle Anttaj (cq) Hawthorne is viewed as equally fearsome. Said Illini coach Ron Turner: "When I watched the tape, I thought I was watching an NFL defensive line in terms of their strength and speed and how they come off the ball. If one doesn't get you, the other will."