Published Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm / Updated at 11:39 pm
Notes: Big Ten coaches say finding 'safe place' to vent is rare

In light of the leaked audio tape of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's profane rant after the 2011 Ohio State game, some Big Ten coaches were asked if there is a “safe place” to vent feelings.

“I don't believe there is anymore,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “In the positions we are in, that's just the way it is.”

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said the key is making sure you are around people you trust.

“Referring to Bo Pelini, I have a lot of respect for Bo,” O'Brien said. “I think he's a hell of a football coach. ... These are all scrutinized positions. We're all just football coaches trying to do the best job we can for our players.”

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said “it's an interesting world right now.”

“I guess the moral to the story,” he said, “is you better wait until you get home and then hope your wife is on your side. And that's probably a 50-50 shot on a good day.”

Kill returns to work

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, who Saturday suffered his fourth epileptic seizure in three seasons, sounded strong on Tuesday's coaches' teleconference and praised his team's mental toughness for carrying on after Kill's departure at halftime.

“You talk about things in football all the time,” he said. “There are things you can't control but have to respond to.

“I'm very proud of our players and coaching staff for the job they did the second half. Through good preparation, they continue to do well.”

Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague went public Monday with his “100 percent” backing of Kill.

“I appreciate that support,” Kill said. “That gives me a lot more time to concentrate on what's more important, and that's the players.”

Players of the week

» Offense: Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton. The senior from Houston accounted for 368 total yards and four touchdowns in his first career start, a win over California.

» Defense: Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. The junior from Plantation, Fla., had 12 tackles, forced a fumble and recorded a sack.

» Special teams: Illinois punter Justin DuVernois. The junior from Plantation, Fla., averaged 45.2 yards a punt and landed three inside the 15-yard line in a loss to Washington.

» Freshman: Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg. The Palmyra, Va., product completed 21 of 28 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Central Florida.

Quote of the week

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, on getting left on the sideline awaiting an explanation for why officials let the clock run out at the end of the loss to Arizona State:

“To me, it's the game that never ended.”

Bits and pieces

» Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (sprained MCL) was “feeling much better” Tuesday, coach Urban Meyer said, and was scheduled to try to practice.

» Buckeyes tailback Carlos Hyde will return Saturday against Florida A&M after a three-game suspension.

» Sophomore Connor Cook will start at quarterback again for Michigan State, which plays at Notre Dame, while true freshman Damion Terry becomes a more likely redshirt candidate by the day.

» Michigan All-America offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has been wearing a protective boot on his sore foot.

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.



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