Big Ten Players to Watch Blog
Posted Sep 2, 2008

The Big Ten players to watch and to look out for in each week's games.

Big Ten Players Blog

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

By Cory Smith

Illinois …Senior RB Daniel Dufrene.  Dufrene had a nice game against Missouri rushing for 75 yards on 13 carries but wasn’t used much as Illinois spent much of the game playing catch up.  Look for Illinois to try to establish a ground attack against Eastern Illinois which will likely mean a big day for Dufrene. 

Indiana … Junior QB Kellen Lewis.  This years Indiana team will go as far as Lewis will take them.   He posted huge numbers Saturday vs. Western Kentucky with 144 yards passing and a whopping 185 yards rushing.  Murray St. will have to slow down Lewis to have any chance against Indiana on Saturday. 

Iowa …  Junior LB A.J. Edds.  Edds was a force on defense Saturday accounting for 7 tackles and 1 sack resulting in a safety.  Look for Edds to have another solid game this Saturday vs. Florida Intl as Iowa looks to continue their tradition of developing outstanding linebackers.

Michigan …  Sophomore LB Obi Ezeh.  With Michigan’s offense in a time of transition they will lean on the defense a great deal this year.  Obi Ezeh had a strong game against Utah including an interception.  He’s the best linebacker on the team with excellent closing speed and will be a force in the middle vs. Miami (OH).

Michigan St. … Sophomore WR Mark Dell     Dell is a stud in the making as a WR for the Spartans.  He had a huge game vs. Cal going for 202 yards on nine receptions and a touchdown.  He’s a big WR with excellent hands and Eastern Michigan will be hard pressed to find anyone to cover him this Saturday.

Minnesota …  Junior WR Eric Decker.  Decker teamed up with Week 1 player to watch TE Jack Simmons to lead the team in receiving yards.  Decker went for 89 yards and a touchdown while Simmons totaled 77 yards and a touchdown.  Decker will need another big day this Saturday as Minnesota faces a solid Bowling Green team that knocked off #25 Pittsburgh in week 1.  

Northwestern …  Senior DT John Gill.  The Northwestern Wildcats got a strong effort from their defense vs. Syracuse despite not having the services of their best d-lineman John Gill who was serving a one game suspension.  Gill will be counted on to have a strong effort vs. Duke as the Wildcats look to avenge last year’s disappointing loss to the Blue Devils.

Ohio St …  Senior LB James Laurinaitis.  Laurinaitis led a strong defensive showing by the Buckeyes vs. Youngstown St. holding them to 74 total yards and posting a shutout.  Look for more of the same this week as the Ohio Bobcats come to Columbus to face a defense that is loaded and anchored by Senior captain James Laurinaitis. 

Penn St. …  Senior QB Daryll Clark.  Penn St. will be dependant on Clark as the season progresses to run their spread HD offense that the fans are anticipating.  Clark had a nice debut game against Coastal Carolina but a much bigger test comes this week with Pac 10 foe Oregon St. on the schedule.  How he performs in this game could go a long way in shaping how the Penn St. offense is ran and performs this season. 

Purdue ...  Senior WR Greg Orton.  Purdue was off this past weekend and will open the season against Northern Colorado this Saturday.  Senior QB Curtis Painter has already been tabbed as a player to watch and look for him to get the ball to Senior WR Greg Orton early and often come Saturday. 

Wisconsin …  Senior QB Allan Evridge.  Wisconsin leaned on the run heavily in Week 1 vs. Akron as QB Allan Evridge only attempted 10 passes.  The schedule toughens up considerably after this week so look for the Badgers to look to become more comfortable with the passing game and see what they have in Evridge against Marshall.