A look around the Big Ten

Originally Published: November 3, 2004
By Teddy Greenstein | Special to
Is Iowa's Drew Tate the second-coming of Drew Brees? Which Minnesota team will show up this week? Did Wisconsin's Jim Leonhard actually get confused for a student-manager? Our Big Ten notebook answers these questions and more.

Another disappointing loss has put even more attention on coach Ron Turner, who is expected to be fired after the season. The 2-7 Illini continue to support their coach with their words, if not their actions. Said running back E.B. Halsey: "'When things go right, when we go out and execute, everybody says coach Turner's a genius. When you've got guys fumbling or throwing interceptions, coach Turner's the worst coach in college football. It's not coach Turner. It's the guys on this team that are not making the plays. We're not helping the situation at all.''

  • Playing by the rules has not helped the Illini, who have committed the fewest penalties -- 33 in nine games -- of any Big Ten team. Turner still takes pride in the stat: "To me it's a sign of focus. We've had very few penalties, especially unforced penalties like (illegal) procedure or offsides." Turner aired out freshman defensive tackle Chris Norwell after he was called for a late hit Saturday.