Unfortunately, the overriding storlyine for Big Ten spring games this weekend was Mother Nature. Specifically, inclement weather that forced the cancellation of three of the seven scheduled games involving members of that conference — Nebraska, Indiana and Purdue.
The four other Big Ten spring games went ahead as scheduled, including Michigan’s and which was touched upon in a separate post.
The other three? For your convenience, we’ve touched on the highlights for Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern below.
Illinois — Behind a 150-yard effort by freshman running back Josh Ferguson, the Blue team picked up a 13-12 win over the Orange team in the annual Blue & Orange Game. Thanks to a light rain — there’s that weather storyline again — the defense got the best of the offense on the day, with Ferguson’s effort accounting for nearly a third of the yards gained in the game by both teams combined. To illustrate the defense’s dominance, starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase attempted 26 passes but completed just 11 for 65 yards.
Iowa — ( The Hawkeyes — as of this posting and when the game commenced at noon local time — weren’t inclined to offer up any kind of synopsis or recap or anything of its “Spring Scrimmage Presented by Coke Zero” either via a release or update on its official website, so I’m not inclined to offer up any type of meaningful/meaningless drivel. Very certain, though, that the title sponsor is extremely happy with how its dollars were maximized.)
Northwestern — When a fat guy touchdown dominates the postgame discussion, you have a significant clue as to the importance of these contests. Be that as it may, the Wildcats put the finishing touches on its 15 spring sessions, with the defense dominating the offense in a 47-43 win. While the score, which utilized a system that rewarded big plays, doesn’t scream domination, at least one member of the winning team saw it as just that.
“We’ve actually created a mentality the last couple weeks. We’ve really come together and really dominated the offense,” defensive end Tyler Scott said. “That’s saying a lot. But I personally like to say that. Give them a little tough time.”
The offense’s response? “They might have gotten the best of us today,” starting quarterback Kain Colter allowed.