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Continued: Big Ten spring football:  Offseason of change welcomes two more

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 23, 2014 - 12:30 PM

Spring news: Franklin, the form­er Van­der­bilt coach, has cre­at­ed quite a buzz since tak­ing over for Bill O’Brien, who bolt­ed af­ter two years for the Houston Tex­ans.

Sched­ule notes: The Nit­ta­ny Lions open with Fi­es­ta Bowl win­ner Central Flori­da in Dub­lin, Ire­land. The cross­o­ver games are against Northwestern and Il­li­nois.

Football fe­ver tem­per­a­ture: 75. The spring game drew 72,000 fans, but this squad still must play with 10 fewer schol­ar­ships than oth­er teams this fall. Of­fen­sive line depth is a big con­cern, and WR Allen Robinson left a year early for the NFL.

MICH­I­GAN

Coach: Brady Hoke (fourth year).

2013: 7-6, 3-5. Bowl game: Lost to Kan­sas State 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Start­ers re­turn­ing: Offense 7, defense 9.

Top re­turn­ees: QB De­vin Gard­ner (21 TD pass­es, 11 inter­cep­tions), TE De­vin Funchess (748 re­ceiv­ing yards).

Spring news: Gard­ner threw two more inter­cep­tions in the spring game. WR Freddy Can­teen en­rolled early and had an elec­tri­fy­ing camp.

Sched­ule notes: Mich­i­gan plays Ap­pa­la­chi­an State, Notre Dame, Mi­am­i (O­hi­o) and Utah in non­con­fer­ence play, and Minnesota and Northwestern from the Big Ten West.

Football fe­ver tem­per­a­ture: 70. Hoke, whose teams have gone back­ward since 2011, hired of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Doug Nussmeier away from Al­a­bam­a. The Wol­ver­ines’ big­gest ques­tions are on the of­fen­sive line, with Taylor Lew­an head­ed to the NFL.

O­HI­O STATE

Coach: Urban Meyer (third year).

2013: 12-2, 8-0.

Bowl game: Lost to Clem­son 40-35 in the Or­ange Bowl.

Start­ers re­turn­ing: Offense 5, defense 8.

Top re­turn­ees: QB Brax­ton Miller (24 TD pass­es, seven inter­cep­tions), DL Noah Spence (eight sacks).

Spring news: O­hi­o State must re­place RB Carlos Hyde and four start­ers on the of­fen­sive line.

  • related content

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  • Tommy Armstrong Jr. takes over for Taylor Martinez at quarterback for Nebraska.

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