Phil Miller's Big Ten short takes

  • Updated: November 1, 2012 - 11:16 PM

• Penn State is expected to have difficulty recruiting players, especially at skill positions, while its four-year postseason ban is in place, but Bill O'Brien is showing one way he will cope: By using the tight ends. Four tight ends have caught passes for the Nittany Lions, led by sophomore Kyle Carter's 35 catches, and their combined totals of 61 receptions and seven touchdowns are the most in the nation. Even better: None of the four is a senior.

• Greg Davis was unpopular with Longhorns fans in his final season as Texas' offensive coordinator, and Hawkeyes fans are beginning to grumble about him in his first year in the job at Iowa. Coach Kirk Ferentz defended Davis this week, saying, "I'm excited to have him here. I'm glad he came," but Iowa ranks 10th in scoring and 11th in total offense in the Big Ten. Also notable: Davis only has a one-year contract.

• See, it's not only at Minnesota: Illinois junior Miles Osei has been the backup quarterback to Nathan Scheelhaase for three seasons and went 8-for-18 with two interceptions during the starter's injury earlier this year. But coach Tim Beckman wants Osei's athleticism on the field, so the quarterback is now a full-time receiver. Osei caught his first collegiate pass against Michigan last month; expect him to get many more.

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