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September 20, 2004

Monday Morning Quarterback: Big Ten Week 3

He's number one: Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards proved that he really deservers to wear the No. 1 jersey in Ann Arbor. He is now Michigan's all-time career leader with 181 catches, 2,562 yards and 28 touchdowns, passing Marquise Walker in the records books. Edwards has a way to go to reach the top of the conference record books, John Standeford leads the way with 3,788 yards for Purdue.

Buckeyes kicking it: Kicker Mike Nugent moved past Eddie George into sixth place in the Ohio State record books for scoring during the Buckeyes' 22-14 win over NC State. Nugent also tied a school record by kicking five field goals in the game and has been the emotional leader for the No. 7 ranked Buckeyes. The Ohio State offense gained only 137 yards against the Wolfpack, but a plus-four turnover margin kept the Buckeyes working with a short field all afternoon.

Badgers getting defensive: The Wisconsin Badgers may not get the notoriety of other teams in the conference, but Barry Alvarez's squad has allowed a grand total of 16 points this season. It ranks third in the nation in scoring defense, but only second in the conference, trailing a Purdue team that has only allowed 3.5 points per game. However the Badgers will be in for a tough battle next week, going against a Penn State offense that is averaging nearly 31 points a game.

In the hunt: Penn State running back Tony Hunt rushed for more than 100 yards for the second time this season in the Nittany Lions 37-13 win over Central Florida. Hunt is averaging eight yards per carry for Penn State and ranks third in conference in rushing yards, trailing the talented Minnesota running of Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney.

Strong start, stronger finish: Illinois got off to a quick start in its 30-27 win over Western Michigan with a 99-yard return of the opening kickoff by Pierre Thomas. The game would not be decided until the final minute though when E.B. Halsey ran it in from four yards out for the winning score. Western Michigan came out on the short end of the scoreboard but gained more yards than the Illini, 406-353.

Quote of the week: "We just didn't play up to what we did the last couple of weeks. We came out today looking for a bloodbath, and we didn't step up in either half." - Indiana linebacker Jake Powers on the Hoosiers 51-32 loss to Kentucky.

Board Bytes: A look at what Big Ten fans had to say on a football Saturday

"One thing I am thankful for is that this game didnt land at the end of the year. (a la USC game in '02) At least now we only have to wait 7 days instead of 7+ months to catch a glimpse of what this Iowa team can do when they have some fire in their spit." Dankey on Hawkeye Report following Iowa's 44-7 loss to Arizona State.

"I still believe MSU is capable finishing in the top four in the Big Ten. I know this puts me in the vast minority on this board, many of whom believe that we are bad, and that it's acceptable to take steps backward in order to advance. I refuse to accept that. If this team stays healthy, continues to display the intensity it showed last night, and the coaches consistently give them the opportunity to win, a bowl game should still be the goal." MSU1983 on SpartanMag following Michigan State's 31-24 loss to Notre Dame.


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