After cruising through its nonconference schedule, Big Ten favorite Northwestern will face its first test of the season when it takes on Michigan State Saturday.
The Wildcats defeated UNLV 37-28 three weeks ago and Duke 44-7 last week and its offense has shown no signs of slowing down.
The spread offense, instituted by the Wildcats in 1999 created one of the most potent offensive attacks in the country, despite facing defenses that know what is coming.
“(Offensive coordinator) Kevin (Wilson) convinced me that it was the right direction to go (with),” coach Randy Walker said.
The success that Northwestern has made running the spread has caused teams around the country to want a piece of the action. Several teams instituted the spread during the fall, but have had minimal success.
Perhaps most notably, Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez made a point to run a few series of the spread in the Badgers” bowl game. Wisconsin continues to experiment with the spread.
“I”m not sure it is for everybody,” Walker said. “In the situation we were in at quarterback and receivers and everything, it was a good fit for us.”
Done experimenting: After an ugly showing against North Carolina State three weeks ago, Indiana knew its Antwaan Randle El experiment was in trouble. Randle El was stuffed at each of the positions he played quarterback, receiver and running back.
So is the experiment over?
“Yes,” coach Cam Camerson said.
In response to the loss, he was moved back to quarterback against Utah, but the result was the same a 28-26 loss to the Utes.
Cameron doesn”t believe that the return to quarterback for Randle El was the difference for his team”s play.
“It was unforced errors that kept us from being successful in that first game, and you owe it to your football team to go in another direction,” Cameron said.
It now appears that Randle El will play quarterback for the Hoosiers for what appears to be the remainder of the season.
Introducing Charles Rogers: After sitting out last season due to academic ineligibility, highly-touted Michigan State receiver Charles Rogers introduced himself to the college world Saturday against Notre Dame on national television. Rogers caught four passes for 116 yards and the game winning touchdown. His performance earned him Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Rogers believes he has benefited from sitting out a year.
“Last year was a big year for me, talking to Plaxico Burress, Renaldo Hill, and Ivory McCoy people that have been in my situation before,” Rogers said. “They really helped me out, let me know what to expect.”