football Edit

Big Ten Media Days: Day One Rundown

CHICAGO
- Seven of the league's 14 head coaches took the podium at Big Ten Media Days Thursday afternoon. While Mike Riley won't speak until Friday, here's the important information from the other coaches that made appearances.
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size="+2">BIG TEN MEDIA DAYS DAY ONE BREAKDOWN
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size="+1">Michigan State
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Coach:
Mark Dantonio
2014-2015:
11-2, 7-1 in Big Ten (second in East), won Cotton Bowl
Key question:
How have your communications with new co-defensive coordinators Mike Tressel and Harlon Barnett changed this year in terms of preparation for the season in terms of meetings?
Response:
"We really stayed the course with our defense. Those guys have been in that defense and working together for the last 12 years. (Defensive line coach) Ron Burton is the third guy... As far as those two guys, they have a tremendous amount of respect for both of them, the job that they've done. They've both had opportunities to leave and become coordinators or co-coordinators or go into the NFL and those type of things, and they've stayed the course. I think they deserve this opportunity."
Need to know:
Sophomore defensive tackle Malik McDowell is "just scratching the surface on how good he can be."
Quotable:
"Our defensive front is maybe as talented a group as we've had since I've been certainly at Michigan State these last nine years. And I would put it very much on par with the defensive line we had at Ohio State."
Noteworthy:
RJ Williamson is moving from strong safety to free safety... The Spartans will rotate eight players along the offensive line... Dantonio called the offensive line and tight ends as the strongest positions on the team.
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size="+1">Illinois
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Coach:
Tim Beckman
2014-2015:
6-7, 3-5 in Big Ten (t-5th in West), lost Heart of Dallas Bowl
Key question:
In the offseason, there were some allegations made about your coaching style or mistreatment of players. I'm just wondering how you respond to those allegations. And if you don't mind, secondly, have you been asked to change your approach? Or do you feel like you will change your approach in light of the investigation and these allegations?
Response:
"I've been around some great, great individuals throughout my career, from high school coaches on up to the college coaches that I've been able to play for and work for. You know, we're focused right now on a 2015 football team. We took off from last year after a great end of the year. And we've been focused since January on becoming a better football program. The philosophy that we continue to use is what these football players believe in football."
Need to know:
Beckman, who is entering the fourth year of his five-year contract, said he's not focused on signing an extension at this point.
Quotable:
"As any football coach, we always have pressure and we always understand that it's necessary to win. But our program has gotten better each and every year with wins in a classroom and socially."
Noteworthy:
Former quarterback Reilly O'Toole has joined the team as a graduate assistant... Injured offensive lineman Ted Karras is progressing well after tearing his ACL last November... Beckman said his medical evaluation of injured players has not changed over the years.
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size="+1">Wisconsin
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Coach:
Paul Chryst
2014-2015:
11-3, 7-1 in Big Ten (first in West), won Outback Bowl
Key question:
In the last four years or five years, you've transitioned into two new jobs as head coach. How do you ease that transition for the holdover players as opposed to whatever new players are coming in with you and will come in with you in years to come?
Response:
"I think the best way to help the players through any transition is to try to be as up front, let them know everything that you're doing and why you're doing it. I think it's helped me in coming back here that our seniors, guys that have just graduated, they knew not only myself but other members on the staff. I think there's a lot of continuity. You know, coach (Barry) Alvarez took over with this team for the bowl game and did it for those players. And I was fortunate enough to learn and, really, a lot of my philosophy came from Coach Alvarez and some other coaches that I've worked with. So I think that there was a little bit more -- they're a little bit more at ease."
Need to know:
Though Chryst ran mostly a 4-3 scheme as the head coach at Pittsburgh, he plans to stick mainly with a 3-4 look after retaining defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
Quotable:
"We've got players that have won a lot of games. You know, Wisconsin has played in three of the last four Big Ten Championship games. And you can't take that away from the guys that have done that."
Noteworthy:
Chryst is confident Corey Clement can be the next in Wisconsin's long list of great running backs... Chryst didn't follow quarterback Joel Stave or his struggles much last season, but is confident in the signal caller coming into this year.
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size="+1">Maryland
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Coach:
Randy Edsall
2014-2015:
7-6, 4-4 in Big Ten (third in East), lost Foster Farms Bowl
Key question:
What was the biggest thing you or your coaching staff took away from your first time through the Big Ten?
Response:
"I think that we found out that it was really a lineman league. That you had to be able to win in
the trenches if you were going to be successful, week in, week out, year in, and year out... And I don't mean that there's not skilled people in the Big Ten. But there, you better be able to control the line of scrimmage if you're going to give yourself a chance to win.
Need to know:
Maryland learned two days ago that Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman will be eligible this season and will compete with Caleb Rowe and Perry Hills for the starting quarterback job.
Quotable:
"And the one thing at our quarterback position, we basically had three guys in Caleb, Daxx, and Perry who have won games in a power five conference. So at least we have experience, and it's going to be neat to see the competition unfold here in the preseason."
Noteworthy: Edsall said the exposure the Terrapins have received since coming to the Big Ten has given a big boost to their recruiting... Maryland is switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense this year in part to take advantage of Yannick Ngakoue's skills.
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size="+1">Indiana
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Kevin Wilson
2014-2015:
4-8, 1-7 in Big Ten (seventh in East)
Key question:
What are you expecting as far as the impact of your two transfers from UAB, especially running back Jordan Howard?
Response:
"It is tough to replace Tevin Coleman. He'll be a different back. But the consistency of last year's running game when we didn't have a passing attack the last six weeks and the year before when our offense was one of one or two best in the league, those running backs will have a very good offensive line. So I think Jordan and our running backs will do well because I think we have a chance to have a very, very good team up front. They'll be in the mix playing. Haven't seen enough I can guarantee that they're going to be full-time starters and all that just yet."
Need to know:
Wilson acknowledged that while Indiana has greatly improved its gameday experience, he understands that the fan culture surrounding the program won't really change until the team starts winning more consistently.
Quotable:
"We'll have some glitches. We're not a perfect football team. But we're kind of back to where we were, and we're ready to roll this year."
Noteworthy:
Howard, who ran for 1,587 yards at UAB last year, hyperextended an elbow during the spring but didn't require surgery... Due to all the graduations in the secondary, Wilson hasn't ruled out moving some offensive players to defense... Safety Antonio Allen was dismissed from the team in June following a drug arrest.
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size="+1">Iowa
style="padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(246, 246, 248); font-size: 8.5pt; line-height: 150%;">Coach:
Kirk Ferentz
2014-2015:
7-6, 4-4 in Big Ten (fourth in West), lost in TaxSlayer Bowl
Key question:
With (former quarterback) Jake Rudock transferring to Michigan, was that something that had your blessing? Did that upset you? Somewhere in between?
Response:
"It's like any player in our program. I think any coach wants what's best for the individual. That was Jake's decision all the way. And, certainly, we did all we could to cooperate and help him with whatever path he chose to take."
Need to know:
Iowa has already announced that C.J. Beathard will be the starting quarterback next season, and Ferentz has been pleased with how his signal caller has taken control of the position.
Quotable:
"Really, since our first two years, 2000 and '99, we're a little bumpy for sure. But ever since then, for the most part, not every year, but for the most part, we felt like we had a chance to compete for Big Ten titles. That's been our goal since we started 16-plus years ago."
Noteworthy:
Linebacker Bo Bower has moved to the inside after playing outside last season... Tight end Jake Duzey suffered an injury during spring practice but the Hawkeyes are hopeful to have him back by September... Ferentz said the punting job is wide open.
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size="+1">Ohio State
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Urban Meyer
2014-2015:
14-1, 8-0 in Big Ten (first in East), won College Football Playoff
Key question:
How do you avoid complacency? How do you avoid all the pitfalls of being the defending champion?
Response:
"Every coach is concerned about that. There's no perfect team. There's no perfect program. And everyone deals with stuff. You know, when you're Ohio State or some of these other big-time programs, stuff becomes a major deal. And this is.
However, the indicators that you look for first are academics. In academics, we had the highest graduation rate in the history of Ohio State football. I don't want to just buzz right over that. That's one indicator that our guys are locked in.
Second thing is the weight room. I have the best strength coach in America. We evaluate everything."
Need to know:
Four Buckeyes, including defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Jalin Marshall, have been suspended for OSU's season opener against Virginia Tech.
Quotable:
"(Braxton Miller) is one of the best athletes I've ever coached. He's got an incredible first step. Above all else, you say it's time to win or lose time, and he's not going to lose. He wasn't a big fan of just lifting weights because we tell you to lift weights, but now he is. So I -- to answer your question, my expectation is he's an impact player."
Noteworthy:
Meyer, who briefly retired from Florida after winning the national title due to health concerns, said he's been watching himself very closely and feels great... the quarterback competition between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett appears to be far from decided.
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