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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

Start­ers re­turn­ing: Offense 9, defense 9.

Top re­turn­ees: QB C.J. Brown (13 TD pass­es, seven inter­cep­tions), WR Stefon Diggs (587 re­ceiv­ing yards in seven games).

Spring news: Mar­y­land of­fi­cial­ly moves into the Big Ten on July 1, af­ter 61 years in the ACC.

Sched­ule notes: Af­ter non­con­fer­ence games against West Virginia and Syracuse, Mar­y­land plays its first Big Ten game at In­di­an­a on Sept. 27. The Terra­pins play cross­o­ver games against I­o­wa and Wis­con­sin.

Football fe­ver tem­per­a­ture: 55. The Terra­pins have some good skill play­ers in Brown, Diggs and a sta­ble of run­ning backs that should at least make their move into the rough-and-tum­ble Big Ten East in­ter­est­ing.

MICH­I­GAN STATE

Coach: Mark Dantonio (eighth year).

2013: 13-1, 8-0. Bowl game: De­feat­ed Stan­ford 24-20 in the Rose Bowl.

Start­ers re­turn­ing: Offense 7, defense 5.

Top re­turn­ees: QB Connor Cook (22 TD pass­es, six inter­cep­tions), RB Jer­e­my Lang­ford (19 touch­downs).

Spring news: The Spar­tans must re­place three of­fen­sive line­men, in­clud­ing Blake Tread­well, and sev­er­al key de­fen­sive play­ers, in­clud­ing CB Darqueze Dennard, LB Denicos Allen, LB Max Bullough and S Isiah Lewis.

Sched­ule notes: The Spar­tans play at Or­e­gon (Sept. 6) and face Ne­bras­ka and Pur­due from the Big Ten West. Their re­match against O­hi­o State comes Nov. 8.

Football fe­ver tem­per­a­ture: 85. Af­ter win­ning its first Rose Bowl in 26 years, Mich­i­gan State should be a top-10 team in most preseason polls.

PENN STATE

Coach: James Franklin (first year).

2013: 7-5, 4-4. Bowl game: In­eli­gible.

Start­ers re­turn­ing: Offense 7, defense 7.

Top re­turn­ees: QB Chris­tian Hackenberg (134.0 ef­fi­cien­cy rat­ing), RB Zach Zwinak (989 rush­ing yards).

  • related content

  • Quarterback Mitch Leidner advanced the ball on a keeper during the Gophers' spring game.

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

  • Quarterback Connor Cook and Michigan State will try to make it back-to-back Big Ten titles.

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