2007 Big 10 Preview – Big 10 Conference – Purdue Boilermakers ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|2007 Big 10 ConferencePreview
by Scott Burgess
It’s time once again for College Footballto get underway. Here is a preview of this year’s Big 10Conference.
The Purdue Boilermakers are looking like thesurprise team this year in the Big 10. They’ll have 20 startersreturning that will make up this incredible team. Last year’soffense was NFL quality; their QB threw for 4000 yards and had22 TDs. With a QB like that the receivers can’t help butto be on fire. They have two monster running backs battling forstarting position; both are expected to plow down the field. Theirdefense gained valuable experience after a mediocre year in ‘06.Their first string defense will have three starters returningand the secondary will have three starters back.
The Wisconsin Badgers made great strides in theirfootball program in ‘06. They went on to be Capital OneBowl Champs and are now rated within the Top 10. The Badgers haveone of the top running backs in the league who threw up huge numbers.The receivers had an average year but gained some quality experienceto take into this season. Their defense will have seven startersback and last year’s juniors made excellent progress thatwill be valuable to the team’s success.
The Michigan Wolverines will have a legitimatechance at the National Championship this year due to the returnof senior players. Their offense will excel in the ground gameand in the air. They have one of the top rated QBs, a tank ofa running back and receivers that can play all over the field.As for defense, they lost seven starters to the NFL but the newstarters look ready to take over full-time roles.
The Illinois Fighting Illini will have veteranplayers back this year along with some very athletic rookies.Their defense returns nine starters, one of them being among thenation’s top 10 tacklers, and they have three top 100 recruits.As for their offense, the Fighting Illini had the worst pass percentagelast year. There’s a new freshman that’s going toplay multiple roles to try and confuse their opponent’sdefense.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are in for a stellaryear this year, with 15 starters returning and a senior QB whohad a great season in ‘06. They’ve lost their bestrunning back but they have faith in their new RB. Word is thatthey’ll have three of the best receivers Penn State hasever seen. Their defense has only one returning starter but asolid secondary should make up for it.
The Indiana Hoosiers are hoping their second-yearstarting QB can get it done this year. They have receivers whocan go deep and they have faith in their running back this season,who’s chosen to stay with his team instead of going to theNFL. The Hoosiers will need to step up their defense if they wantto compete, they gave up a league-worst 32 points a game.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have a lot of talent in theirwide receivers and running backs this year, which should helprelieve some pressure on the QB. The defense will be returningsix of their seven starters but the big issue here will be thesecondary, which doesn’t have much depth or experiencedsafeties.
The Michigan State Spartans havea new coach this year who demands a strong defense. They willhave two starters back for the first string and two returningsecondary players. This is going to be a tough job for the newcoach. As for offense, they’ll have a junior QB but willhave two capable running backs to help ease some pressure.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have a new coachwith NFL and college coaching experience. They will opt for aspread-style offense this year and are hoping that their new juniorQB will be able to adapt to this style. They have a heavy, fastand talented running back to help drive the ball. Defense-wisethey need to work on the secondary; whenever the secondary wason the field last season their opponents threw up big numbers,allowing 26 points a game.
The Northwestern Wildcats have a skilled runningback, despite the worst scoring and total yards per game. Theyhave a QB will great skills who put up good numbers in ‘06,but needs to cut down on interceptions if they want to go anywherein the Big 10. As for defense, the Wildcats should be alright.Most of last year’s starters will be returning and theirsecondary’s looking good.
The Ohio State Buckeyes will have a revampedoffense this year. They’ll have a junior QB as a starter.They have one of the top running backs returning along with astrong offensive line to help create holes for the backs. As fordefense they only have one returning starter but a lot of thenew players got a lot of experience last year and should be capableof holding down the fort. Expectations are too high in Ohio thisyear, but an easy home schedule might help them out.