2008 Spring Game Reviews - Big Ten
Iowa RB Paki O'Meara
Iowa RB Paki O'Meara
Posted May 5, 2008

What actually happened in all the spring games? John Harris reviews and recaps all the final scrimmages for all the teams. Which players came through? Did anything happen of any significance? In case you missed them, here's what you need to know.

Spring Preview 2008

Big Ten Spring Game Reviews

Spring Game Reviews

- ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Ind.
- MAC | M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC

By John Harris


Even without former star running back Rashard Mendenhall in the fold, the offense still came out on top in the annual spring game scrimmage 38-31.  Without his former backfield mate to take some of the pressure off of him in the running game, quarterback Juice Williams threw the ball 31 times, completing 17 of them, for 210 yards, while backup Eddie McGee hit on eight of 14 throws, including the only passing touchdown on the day.  Expectedly, the run game wasn’t as successful as the Illini defense racked up 15 tackles for a loss.


The annual Cream and Crimson spring game scrimmage had a little controversy at the end as the Cream (offense) was given one final play from the ten-yard line down by a point.  Quarterback Ben Chappell threw a touchdown to Collin Taylor for the 36-33 win over the Crimson (defense).  The Crimson picked off four passes on the day, turning in a solid effort that should’ve resulted in a win.  Chappell got the most work under center, completing 24 of 38 for 169 yards and the aforementioned touchdown throw to Taylor (two picks as well).


A little rain never hurt anybody, right?  The annual Coca-Cola Football Spring Game had its share of drizzle throughout, but it didn’t get in the way of the Hawkeyes getting some work done in the final spring scrimmage of the season.  Although quarterback Jake Christensen played well, Hawkeye fans got a chance to see tight end Tony Moeaki and receiver Andy Brodell healthy – a welcome sight for the black and yellow.  Christensen completed ten of 17, including a touchdown to Trey Stross, the only Hawkeye to hit paydirt.


If a spring game happens and no one’s there, did it really happen? It was a closed scrimmage.

Michigan State 

The Green defeated the White 23-21 in the annual spring game behind the great play of the “new Devin Thomases” – Mark Dell and B.J Cunningham.  The two unknown receivers, well for the time being anyway, combined for 12 receptions, 217 yards and a touchdown to help the Green to the two point win.  But, Chris D. Rucker isn’t about to let those two have all the fun.  He caught three passes and two of them went for six – a 55- and 29-yard reception.


Year two just has to be better than year one, right?  RIGHT?!?  Well, if this spring is any indication, Tim Brewster’s second year should be a bit better.  The Gopher offense beat the defense 14-0 behind the leadership and versatility of quarterback Adam Weber.  All he did was complete ten of 14 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for a touchdown as well.  Kevin Mannion and Harold Howell recorded interceptions in a losing effort for the defense.


Tailback Omar Conteh had the chance to tote the mail and made it worth his while. All he did was rush for 111 yards on 16 carries, including a 41-yard touchdown run.   As starting quarterback C.J. Bacher resting much of the game, backup quarterback Mike Kafka filled in admirably, in particular in the first half.  He completed seven of 13 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown.  The defense played better in the second half, holding the offense without a visit to the end zone.

Ohio State

Over 76,000 people packed the ‘Shoe to watch the Scarlet beat the Gray 20-7 in the annual spring game.  All-Big Ten candidate Brian Hartline was the offensive star for the Scarlet team, catching six passes for 82 yards, half of quarterback Todd Boeckman’s 12 completions.  A 48-yard toss from Boeckman to Hartline put the Scarlet offense in the position for the first touchdown of the day.  Dan Herron hit paydirt on a three-yard touchdown run to seal the deal for the Scarlet team on the rain filled day in Columbus.

Penn State  

73,000 filled Beaver Stadium for the annual Blue and White spring game, setting a record for spring game attendance.  The Blue team left with a 27-14 victory, led by quarterbacks Darryl Clark and Pat Devlin.  The quarterback battle manifested itself this spring as Clark’s versatility and Devlin’s confidence were on full display.  The two combined to go 13 of 21 for 166 yards and three touchdowns.  The White jumped to a quick 7-0 lead after running back Stephfon Green took one 57 yards to the house, but the Blue rode the play of Clark and Devlin to a spring game win.


The Gold won the fourth quarter and, in so doing, won the annual Black and Gold game at Ross-Ade 28-14 over the Black.  Quarterbacks Joey Elliott and Justin Siller accounted for two touchdowns each to lead the Gold to the win.  Elliott outshone his All-Big Ten counterpart Curtis Painter, completing 21 of his 27 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns.  Painter completed eleven of 19 passes for 102 yards in spot play.  Siller’s two touchdowns capped the scoring for the Gold in the fourth, including a 12-yard toss to running back Dan Dierking, who also had 88 yards rushing on the day.


With most of the starters playing for the Cardinal team, the outcome of the annual Cardinal and White game was predictable – a Cardinal 28-3 win.  Quarterback Allan Evridge finally has a starting job and finished the game seven of 12 for 137 yards, but with one interception.  Running back Lance Smith ran for just under 100 yards, but split time with both Cardinal and White throughout the game. Head coach Bret Bielema was happy with a thin defensive unit that only gave up two touchdowns on the day.