Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Minnesota defensive back KiAnte Hardin (3) intercepts a pass intended for Iowa wide receiver Jerminic Smith (9) during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Associated Press

Restraining orders will keep three more Gophers from playing Saturday

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An ongoing situation at Minnesota has ensnared three more Gopher football players.

Thursday, a report surfaced that two Gopher players, freshman defensive end Tamarion Johnson and sophomore running back Carlton Djam, had a temporary restraining order filed against them by a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted back in September.  Friday, the attorney for those two, Lee Hutton, confirmed to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that three other clients, cornerbacks KiAnte Hardin and Ray Buford and safety Dior Johnson, have been served the same restraining order in connection to the same allegations.

Because the woman who received the order is a student who works at TCF Bank Stadium on football game days, none of the five players will be permitted to play in Saturday’s homecoming game against Rutgers or even be in the stadium. The Star Tribune writes that the stadium’s “address is listed as one of two restricted addresses in the restraining orders.”

In mid-September, Hardin, Buford and both Johnsons were suspended in the midst of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault earlier in the month.  Citing insufficient evidence in the case, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced in early October that no charges would be filed and the players were reinstated.

Djam’s connection to the alleged incident is unknown.

According to Hutton, there is a hearing scheduled for next Tuesday morning in which he hopes to have all five orders overturned.

“What we are going to do is aggressively defend this action,” Hutton told the paper. “We are going to go on the offensive to show she only used the courts to destroy my clients’ lives.”

“It would not be appropriate for the University to comment on this matter to the extent it relates to University students,” a Thursday statement from the school on the restraining orders began. “The University reaffirms, however, that it will honor and comply with court orders.”

Hardin, a true sophomore, played in 13 games last season.  This season, he started the opener and, after sitting three games because of the suspension, had started the last two.  He’s also listed as the team’s starting kick returner.

None of the other four players are listed on the team’s most recent two-deep chart.

Buford has played in two games this season after taking a redshirt for his true freshman season last year.  The sophomore Djam has run for 33 yards on nine carries this season. A freshman, Tamarion Johnson was a likely candidate for a redshirt.

Jim Harbaugh compares Jabrill Peppers to Jim Thorpe, says he’s a future Heisman Trophy winner

PISCATAWAY, NJ - OCTOBER 08:  Jabrill Peppers #5 of the Michigan Wolverines rushes for a touchdown during the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Michigan dismantled Rutgers 78-0 on Saturday in a game that was only surprising when it came to the lopsidedness of the final box score.

After the game, head coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about the play of all-everything athlete Jabrill Peppers, who was playing back in his native New Jersey for the first time. Not surprisingly Harbaugh lauded a ton of praise on the linebacker and brought up an interesting comparison for his ability to play all over the field.

“To be able to coach a guy like Jabrill Peppers is a real joy. There’s so much more. There’s nothing he can’t do. It’s the darndest thing I’ve ever seen. My humble opinion is we are looking for a Heisman Trophy winner, candidate,” Harbaugh said. “Jim Thorpe, it just came to me. Only player I can think of comparing Jabrill to.”

Peppers stuffed the stat sheet against the Scarlet Knights on Saturday despite playing only in the first half. He rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns on offense while adding two tackles on defense. He also scored a third time on a dazzling punt return but that play that was overturned because of a block in the back.

With numbers like those, you can understand why Peppers’ name is starting to appear on Heisman lists across the country. In terms of actually winning the award like fellow Michigan man Charles Woodson, there’s still going to be an uphill battle for him as a defensive player but maybe Harbaugh could be on to something by channeling Thorpe. The legendary athlete played running back, defensive back and kicker back in his college career so perhaps Peppers will be lining up to kick a field goal next week against Illinois to add to his resume this season.

Steak house in Michigan offering half-off steaks following dismantling of Rutgers

Steak potatoes

Promotions involving discounts on food and/or beverages depending on the result of a football game always have a way of backfiring from time to time. On Saturday, one promotion by a steak house in Michigan could have put a big dent in the coffers if not for a tiny bit of legal mumble jumble.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor was offering a discount on steak dinners on a sliding scale according to Michigan’s margin of victory against Rutgers Saturday night (the promotion runs through the end of the season as well). One percentage off the meal’s bill will be taken off for each point Michigan defeats their opponent by. For example, a 14-point victory would mean customers would get 14 percent off their next bill.

Michigan won 78-0 on Saturday night, but diners to be should not get too excited about a possible 78 percent off steak dinner. The promotion is capped at 50 percent. Regardless, that sounds like a pretty sweet and juicy deal to sink your teeth into.

Rutgers, K-State announce future home-and-home — for 2030-31

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 28:  Defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman #90 and linebacker Eric Foster #56 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights sack quarterback Josh Freeman #1 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the Texas Bowl on December 28, 2006 at Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas. Rutgers won 37-10.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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There’s planning ahead and then there’s, well, what Kansas State and Rutgers have gone and done.

The two football programs announced Thursday that they have reached an agreement on a future, to put it lightly, home-and-home series.  The first game will be played in Manhattan, the second in Piscataway.

The specific dates?  Sept. 14, 2030, for the former, Sept. 13, 2031, for the latter.  And, yes, there’s a distinct possibility that Bill Snyder, currently 76 years young, will still be the head football coach of the Wildcats for one or both of those non-conference matchups.

The two schools have met just one time previously, a 37-10 Scarlet Knights win in the 2006 Texas Bowl.  That win over the Wildcats marked the first bowl victory in the program’s history.

In addition to Rutgers, K-State also announced a three-game series with Tulane.  Two of those games will be played in Manhattan (2022, 2026) with the other being contested in New Orleans (2024).

No. 2 Ohio State thumps Rutgers, 58-0

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 1:  Quarterback J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes completes a pass in the second quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

No. 2 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) opened its Big Ten schedule without giving up a point. J.T. Barrett tossed four touchdowns to become the school’s all-time passing touchdown leader and Mike Weber rushed for 144 yards and a score in a 58-0 victory over Rutgers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) on Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

First year Rutgers head coach Chris Ash, a former Ohio State assistant, had the benefit of having some inside perspective on how Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer prepares his team. But Meyer had the benefit of having a stacked roster that could probably have gotten by with a fairly easy win if they juts used second and third-stringers against Rutgers. Rutgers did hang with Ohio State early on in the first quarter, including an interception of Barrett on Ohio State’s first offensive possession, but there was no matchup battle that wasn’t won by Ohio State the rest of the way.

At one point in the fourth quarter, Ohio State had 502 more yards of total offense than Rutgers. That included over 350 rushing yards. Ohio State also had 20 more first downs than Rutgers. It’s hard to pull an upset, or even sniff an upset, with that kind of box score.

There was a bit of a scare on the field for Rutgers this afternoon when linebacker Greg Jones was taken off the field on a stretcher and on a cart after apparently banging his helmet while attempting to make a tackle. He was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Early indications appear to suggest Jones should be OK, as he has been communicating and moving his extremities.

Did we really learn anything from this game? No, probably not much. Ohio State was a heavy favorite over Rutgers anyway, and there was never much expectation Rutgers would make a game of this one. For Ohio State, it was just another week to get in gear, and they are certainly in gear. There is no team in the Big Ten as good as Ohio State. This is Ohio State’s conference to lose.

Ohio State will continue Big Ten play at home next week against Indiana. The Hoosiers host Michigan State Saturday night and have a knack for giving Ohio State some trouble in recent years, at least on offense. Rutgers will return home to host Michigan in a primetime game next week. Ohio State one week and Michigan the next? That’s juts cruel.