December 10, 2007

Wisconsin: Bowling Without Hill

For those who were looking for a reason other than Erik Ainge to watch the first bowl game of the new year, Jan. 1's Outback bowl between Tennessee and Wisconsin, they may have just lost all motivation. It looks like Wisconsin's explosive sophomore running back P.J. Hill will not be suiting up for the bowl game, as his bruised left leg has kept him mostly off the field since the end of October, and he has yet to take part in bowl-prep practices.

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November 18, 2007

The Week Of The Broken QB

Week 12 was the week of the broken quarterback. After Oregon's Dennis Dixon went down with a torn ACL on Thursday night, Hawai'i's Colt Brennan lasted only two snaps before leaving his game on Friday to nurse the concussion that took him out of the last few minutes of the previous week's win. Then on Saturday, the barrage continued, as Michigan's Chad Henne was in and out of his team's loss to Ohio State with a shoulder injury and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford was knocked out of his team's loss to Texas Tech with a first-quarter concussion.

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November 13, 2007

Wisconsin: Back On Track

Wisconsin was pretty banged up when they beat up on Michigan last weekend. Starting tailback P.J. Hill played only sparingly and starting quarterback Tyler Donovan left the game midway through the fourth quarter after a helmet hit the back of his throwing hand so hard it left some Wolverine-colored paint marks. But head coach Bret Bielema is optimistic that the Badgers will get back on track in time for this weekend's game, their last of the regular season, and at 8-3, will be in good shape for whatever bowl game they are anointed to attend.

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October 31, 2007

Wisconsin: On Second Thought, Maybe Not

When Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill came out of last week's game in the first quarter with a bruised foot, head coach Bret Bielema said he should be fine to play this week when the Badgers take on No. 1 Ohio State. What he should have said was, 'I'm not a doctor.' At this point, Bielema may be eating his words, as Hill's injury looks more serious than the coach made it out to be, and the Badgers' biggest offensive threat is suddenly questionable for the team's biggest game of the season.

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October 28, 2007

Wisconsin: Hill Will Be Back

Week 9 in the Big Ten turned out the be the stars' week off. Michigan's Chad Henne and Mike Hart both sat out nurshing injuries and Wisconsin's star running back, P.J. Hill, played only one quarter before a bruised left foot kicked him off the field, as well. Head coach Bret Bielema said Hill has a bruise on the top of his foot, and although the halftime X-rays were negative, Bielema thought sitting Hill for the second half would be more prudent than putting him in, considering the Badgers' next opponent - Ohio State.

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October 18, 2007

Ohio State: Russell To Return

Ohio State safety Anderson Russell was carried off the field a week ago, spent the day on crutches days ago, and practiced close to full health 24 hours ago. The 6-foot, 205-pound sophomore sprained his right ankle during last week's game against Kent State, leaving the field on crutches. But the Buckeyes are certainly not counting him out of this Saturday's game against Michigan State.

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October 13, 2007

Michigan: Hart Out, Again

Mike Hart has not had an easy year. The Michigan running back has watched his team get off to an abysmal start, guaranted a win that seemed to jumpstart the team, and has succeeded for the past few weeks in carrying the Wolverines on his very capable back. Unfortunately, that back appears to be breaking. After being hampered by a hamstring injury in the early weeks of the season, Hart is back on the injury list after injuring his right ankle in the first half of Saturday's win over Purdue, and was out of uniform for the entire second half.

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October 12, 2007

Ohio State: Running All Over The Place

Ohio State's running backs are running all over the place - some for better, some for worse and some just for running's sake. Brandon Saine appears to be back on track after sitting out two games following arthroscopic knee surgery, Beanie Wells' tender ankle may keep him off the field for much of Saturday and Maurice Wells is balancing them both out by filling the role of the only steady runner on the roster.

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October 08, 2007

Illinois: Out Of Juice

Illinois got off to a hot start in the team's sound pounding of Wisconsin, but wide receiver Arrelious Benn and starting quarterback Juice Williams watched the finish from the sidelines. Late in the third quarter, Benn aggrivated the injury to his right shoulder that he sustained during training camp while trying to stiff-arm a Badger defender. Williams joined him a few minutes later when, halfway through the fourth quarter, he hyperextended his left knee. Head coach Ron Zook said both players could have returned if the team really needed them, but the Illini backups were doing just fine against the Badgers.

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October 05, 2007

Ohio State: In Saine

After much confusion regarding the status of runing back Brandon Saine, head coach Jim Tressel has announced that the freshman will play on Saturday when the No. 4 Buckeyes take on No. 23 Purdue. Saine, who is Ohio State's third-leading rusher even having sat out two games, has missed the last two weeks while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. He will certainly not be 100 percent, according to Tressel, but should get 10-20 plays in on the field.

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October 03, 2007

Ohio State: Buckeye Confusion

Team doctors are having a hard time agreeing on the status of Ohio State running back Brandon Saine. Last week, head coach Jim Tressel said that the freshman had a 50 percent chance of playing against Purdue this week. On Monday, Tressel amended his earlier statement to say that Saine would definitely not be ready by Saturday. On Tuesday, the freshman was upgraded to questionable, but no one is exactly sure where he is in the rehabilitation process, or how that will translate into Saturday's lineup.

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September 30, 2007

Michigan: Wolverines Rally, Need Repair

Michigan went into Saturday's conference game against Northwestern battling a host of injuries, and the Wolverines left Evanston in significantly worse shape. The team came from behind to earn a 38-16 decision and Chad Henne did play, but tight end Mike Massey, right guard Tim McAvoy and linebacker Chris Graham were all banged up in the effort, putting them in the same boat as five other players whose injuries forced them to watch the game from the sidelines.

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September 26, 2007

Michigan: Henne Can Play, But Will He?

Michigan quarterback and (former) Heisman trophy candidate Chad Henne has received medical clearance to return to the field as the 2-2 Wolverines' signal-caller. According to medical personnel, the senior has recovered enough from the right knee sprain he suffered in a Week 2 loss to Oregon to play this week at Michigan. But just because he can play does not mean that he will play.

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September 23, 2007

Ohio State: Beanie Says No Problem

Chris "Beanie" Wells has a simple message for anyone who might be worried about the state of his ankle after the tailback limped out of Saturday's win over Northwestern: "I'm fine." The sophomore said after the game that had the Buckeyes needed him (which they happily did not in a 58-7 steamrolling of the Wildcats), he could have returned to the game. Wells did plenty of damage before rolling his left ankle at the end of a six-yard gain on his first carry of the third quarter, as he tallied 100 yards rushing for the third-straight week in just one half of football.

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September 21, 2007

Ohio State: "He Got Whacked"

Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel certainly has a way with words. Although the coach would not explain what exactly the injury is that is keeping Dane Sanzenbacher, the Buckeyes' No. 3 receiver, on the sidelines for Saturday's game against Northwestern, he succinctly told the media that during last week's game against Washington, the freshman "got whacked."

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September 18, 2007

Michigan: Henne Healing, Slowly

Michigan may have brought itself about a half-crawl closer to the door of the doghouse by pummeling Notre Dame on Saturday, but the Wolverines should be prepared to get right back inside after Penn State comes to town this weekend, especially since Chad Henne may not be ready to play by the time Saturday rolls around. Henne watched last week's game from the comfort of the press box with a brace protecting the right knee he sprained two weeks ago against Oregon, and head coach Lloyd Carr is in no hurry to rush a still-healing Henne back to the field.

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September 14, 2007

Michigan: Henne To Miss 2-3 Weeks

It became official this week: Heisman Trophy candidate Chad Henne is no longer a Heisman Trophy candidate. The Michigan quaterback's injured left knee will keep him out for 2-3 weeks, giving him far less time to improve his 31-for-60 completion rate and 2:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The senior should should return to the gridiron at some point this season, but for the time being, the Wolverines will look to freshman Ryan Mallett to lead them past Notre Dame and away from the dreaded 0-3 start.

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September 09, 2007

Wisconsin: Hubbard Hobbling

Wisconsin eeked out the win on Saturday night in the Vegas heat against UNLV, but senior wide receiver Paul Hubbard did not leave Sin City in a winning mood. The fifth-year senior limped off the field after injuring his right knee in the first play of the second half, blocking on a run by P.J. Hill. He spent the second half on crutches on the sideline, while freshman Kyle Jefferson took the field in his place.

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September 08, 2007

Michigan: Henne Out, Hart Hurting

What a day for Michigan. The Wolverines lose two straight at home to start the season 0-2, lose by their worst margin in decades and their top two players, both Heisman hopefuls, get banged up in the process. The worse casualty of the two was starting quarterback Chad Henne, who did not play in the second half of the 39-7 loss to Oregon because of an injury to his lower leg. Running back Mike Hart reaggrivated the hamstring injury that hampered him last week, so he spent his sideline time pedalling backwards on an exercise bike, but remained in the game.

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September 06, 2007

Illinois: Juice Is Flowing

Illinois starting quarterback Juice Williams was certainly roughed up last weekend, but in practice this week he has looked as good as ever, according to head coach Ron Zook. Perhaps the head-to-head collision with a Missouri defender that knocked him out of the second half of last Saturday's game improved his vision - the hit did come near his eye - but either way, Zook is sticking with his starter.

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September 03, 2007

Ohio State: Wilson Has Surgery

Ohio State defensive end Lawrence Wilson underwent surgery Sunday morning on his right leg after breaking it on Saturday in a 38-6 win over Youngstown state. Doctors estimated that the 6-foot-6, 276-pound junior would be sidelined for six to eight weeks, confirming head coach Jim Tressel's unofficial estimate.

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September 01, 2007

Illinois: No More Juice

Illinois quarterback Juice Williams probably didn't see this one coming. The sophomore ran to the right side of the field early in the second quarter of the Illini's season opener against Missouri, only to collide head-on with Tiger defensive back Hardy Ricks. The helmet-to-helmet hit left Williams on the turf for several minutes before leaving the game after, walking off the field only with help from his trainers. The hit looked clean, since Ricks was not penalized on the play. It also looked hard.

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Ohio State: Woe For Wilson

Ohio State's season got off to a painful start, as starting defensive end Lawrence Wilson broke his right leg to dampen the Buckeyes' 38-6 win over Youngstown State. The 6-foot-6, 276-pound Wilson was expected to be a force up front, following up a 17-tackle, three sack sophomore season, but all of that changed in the second quarter, when the junior lay writhing in pain following a Youngstown State completion.

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August 31, 2007

Missouri vs. Illinois: In and Out

When Missouri faces off against Illinois on Saturday in the season opener for both teams, the Tigers will welcome back a lost man while the Illini bemoan their bad luck. Missouri defensive back Hardy Ricks disloacted his left shoulder during the second week of preseason practice, but will be back hitting people this weekend in St. Louis. Meanwhile, Illinois was not so lucky, as starting wide receiver Chris James is lost for the season after injuring his ACL.

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August 28, 2007

In or Out?

The official kickoff of the 2007 season is a mere three days away and injured players are now forced to answer a key question - are you in, or are you out? Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed is in, despite what official school reports say, while teammate Billy Pittman must sit out. Wake Forest defensive end Matt Robinson is in, the elusive Florida cornerback Markihe Anderson is questionable, and Michigan State tackle Mike Gyetvai is out.

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August 22, 2007

Michigan: A Thin, Thin Line

Michigan is looking at a thinner line than expected after right guard Alex Mitchell was injured Monday morning, taking him out for at least the team's opening game against Appalachian State on Sept. 1. With Mitchell on the bench, three new starters will take the field to protect Heisman candidate Chad Henne, and that's far from an ideal situation.

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August 15, 2007

Bruised Backups

Losing a starter unquestionably derails any team's strategic planning for the short term at least (and long term at most), but losing a backup can be just as devastating. After a weekend of scrimmages around the nation, Auburn and Michigan are both feeling the effects of losing backups, and that's about as fun as a root canal.

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August 08, 2007

Minnesota: Detecting Concussions through the Helmet

The growing number of concussions sustained by football players is a hot topic everywhere these days, but in Minnesota, the facts are alarming to the point of action, reports the Pioneer Press. For the 2007 season, the University of Minneosta is one of nine NCAA teams that is providing its players with helmets designed to detect concussions. Sensors in the Riddell Sports helmets monitor and record impacts the player takes to the head during practices and games, eliminating the growing trend of players remaining in the huddle with head injuries.

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August 03, 2007

Purdue: Stuck in the Middle

Purdue is returning 20 starters, the most ever in head coach Joe Tiller's tenure, but the Boilermakers' concerns are mounting at middle linebacker. It's bad enough that touted juco recruit Brian Ellis failed to meet the academic requirements to suit up in West Lafayette, but now senior Dan Bick is not responding to treatment for a neck injury.

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