Rutgers, which has won three of its last four games, will have depth at quarterback when it travels to State College this weekend.
Johnathan Lewis, the freshman quarterback who missed the last three games because of a high-ankle sprain, is now healthy for the Scarlet Knights (4-5, 3-3 Big Ten). However, whether Lewis will see any action against No. 14 Penn State (7-2, 4-2) in place of starter Giovanni Rescigno will be a game-time decision.
“It’s always a possibility, but it’s situational based on what our football team needs and what we feel we need to do to win a game,” coach Chris Ash said in a teleconference Tuesday. “In certain situations, if we feel like it’s the best thing to do, then we will. If it’s not, then we won’t.”
A homecoming, of sorts
Twenty-six players on Michigan State’s roster, including 10 starters, hail from Ohio, where the Spartans will play in the “Shoe” on Saturday.
“So there’s a little enthusiasm I would say just to have the opportunity to go back home and play,” coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday. “I think that’s normal.”
The No. 12 Spartans (7-2, 5-1) and No. 13 Ohio State (7-2, 5-1) each have one conference loss heading into the matchup.
“Everybody that we play in this conference is tough,” Dantonio said, “but you better have a sense of a rivalry with each particular team in your conference.
“It’s no different than when we play in this state against our rival here.”
Eighth-ranked Wisconsin (9-0, 6-0) will have a challenge on its hands when it hosts No. 20 Iowa at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Hawkeyes will likely be rolling with momentum after upsetting Ohio State last weekend.
The win didn’t surprise Badgers coach Paul Chryst. On Tuesday, he said that the Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-3) didn’t do anything they hadn’t been doing all season and that it verified how good they are.
“I’m not saying I knew what was going to happen in the game,” Chryst said, “but there’s nothing surprising.”
After No. 13 Ohio State suffered its first conference loss of the season, to then-unranked Iowa, coach Urban Meyer had a discussion with his staff. His advice was simple.
“You have to rebound and put that one behind you, which is hard,” Meyer said Tuesday, “but you have to move forward.”
Michigan’s Peters to start
Freshman Brandon Peters will be the third Michigan quarterback this season to start, behind Wilton Speight and John O’Korn. While it might not be a permanent role, as coach Jim Harbaugh said Speight is healing quickly and could return this season, Peters will start at Maryland (4-5, 2-4) on Saturday.
The freshman, who is 18 for 27 for 180 yards and two touchdowns over his last two games for the Wolverines (7-2, 4-2), said his understanding of the offense is improving, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“I’ve got a pretty good grasp on it,” Peters said, “and I feel like I can do pretty much anything coaches ask me to do.”
Riley: Fleck fits
Leading to the matchup between Nebraska (4-5, 3-3) and host Minnesota (4-5, 1-5) this weekend, Cornhuskers coach Mike Riley evaluated coach P.J. Fleck in his first year at the helm of the Golden Gophers.
Riley has watched a decent amount of film of Fleck’s team, dating to when Fleck coached at Western Michigan from 2013-16.
“I think what we’re seeing is a reflection of the kind of program he runs,” Riley said Tuesday. “The team plays hard and executes well. They do a nice job of recognizing abilities of players and utilizing them in good ways. It’s a well-coached team that plays hard.”