Sports department for the student run radio station 90.3 WRST at UW-Oshkosh
We’ll start off this week with the Wisconsin Badgers, who held their first spring game under new Head Coach Gary Andersen last Saturday.
Man, this was a high-scoring affair at Camp Randall, with the Cardinal team toppling the White team 61-47 in front of a crowd of 12,050 fans. The high score can be attributed to an interesting scoring system, where the defense got three points for forcing a three and out among other things. A number of players on both sides of the ball were held out for various reasons, so it is hard to gage where the team is at full strength.
Quarterback Joel Stave performed exceptionally well, tossing for 161 yards on 15 of 20 passing and a score. Stave and Curt Phillips are believed to be the top two QB’s to compete for the starting job going into fall camp. Sophomore Melvin Gordon took the bulk of the carries in the game, rushing for 74 yards and a TD.
Highlights from the Badgers’ Spring Game can be found here, courtesy of BTN.
Penn State Nittany Lions
The annual Blue & White game was held last Saturday in Happy Valley, and featured another modified scoring system that resulted in a 67-47 victory for the Blue team and the defense.
In the game, PSU fans got to witness a firsthand look at the battle for quarterback between Steven Bench and Tyler Ferguson. Both had identical passing lines, completing 9 of 15 passes, although Ferguson tossed two TD’s, with Bench only throwing one. Redshirt Freshman RB Akeel Lynch had a solid game as well, rushing for 83 yards on 13 carries and a score.
Despite the positives from the offense, the defense stole the show, controlling the line of scrimmage, getting consistent pressure on the quarterbacks and having a good showing in the secondary. Defensive Coordinator John Butler said of his squad, “Everyone on defense is light years ahead of where we were last year at this time just because of the familiarity,”
Highlights of Penn State’s spring game can be found here.
Michigan State Spartans
Our final spring game peek for this week comes to us from East Lansing, where the Green and the White teams battled to a 24-17 finish in favor of the offense (White Team).
Déjà-Vu? The Spartans offense was shaky, while the defense was strong. Seems like a repeat of last year, doesn’t it? MSU’s QB Competition was on center stage on Saturday, with incumbent Andrew Maxwell tossing for 110 yards on 9 of 20 passing and a score. His main competition, Connor Cook threw for 217 yards, but wasn’t much more accurate, only hitting on 10 of his 26 pass attempts.
On the defensive side, the Spartans had a pick-six and a fumble return for a TD in the game, plus held the white team to 91 rushing yards. Michigan State’s D is going to be tough to face this year, that’s for sure.
Highlights from the Green & White game can be found here.
Is expansion coming to a halt? With the ACC granting media rights for their league through 2026-27, this could mean the Big Ten is stuck at 14 teams for quite a while. This grant of media rights essentially makes it impossible financially for a team to leave the ACC. Through this deal, for 14 years, the school’s media rights and home game revenue belongs to the ACC, regardless of what conference they’re in. This move was made to solidify the conference and prevent other schools from jumping ship to other conferences. The Big Ten will be adding former ACC member Maryland next season.
Also from last week, the Big Ten is set to realign their divisions into more common “East” and “West” divisions in 2014. Here’s the breakdown that is being proposed.
EAST: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
WEST: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin
With these new divisions, natural rivalries will come back into play especially in the west, with Iowa/Wisconsin and Iowa/Illinois plus Wisconsin/Nebraska happening each year. That can only be good for the conference.
That’s all she wrote for this edition. Thanks again for reading and have a great week!
Spencer Wagen, WRST-FM Station Manager and Sports Broadcaster