Tuesday’s roundup: Big Ten teams making changes
Halfway through the season, the Big Ten’s quarterback carrousel is still spinning.
Nearly half the teams in the conference have already made quarterback changes for a variety of reasons — injuries, poor play or a coach just looking to shake things up. So far, the results have been mixed.
Just days after four coaches went with first-time starters, Rutgers coach Chris Ash joined the bandwagon by naming Gio Rescigno as his new quarterback Saturday against Minnesota.
“I thought he went out and led the offense, executed the calls, made good decisions,” Ash said Tuesday. “He still needs to be more consistent.
“I like his personality, his energy and the leadership he brings to the offense.”
Perhaps the move by should have been expected after losing four consecutive and being outscored 174-14.
Other coaches, with fewer problems, have made similar decisions.
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst benched fifth-year senior Bart Houston in favor of redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook less than a month ago. Hornibrook has lost two straight — to No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan — since winning at Michigan State and the Badgers are still ranked No. 10.
Minnesota got its first conference victory behind former walk-on Conor Rhoda, who was 7-for-15 for 82 yards against Maryland filling in for injured starter Mitch Leidner (concussion). Leidner could miss Saturday’s game against Rutgers, too. The Terrapins lost with Tyrrell Pigrome, who replaced Perry Hills (shoulder). It’s not clear if Hill will return this weekend.
At Illinois, first-time starter Chayce Crouch replaced Wes Lunt (back) and helped new Illinois coach Lovie Smith celebrate his first conference win by beating Rutgers.
Big 12 officials say nobody is leaving the conference after the decision was made Monday not to expand by two schools.
“No one’s looking to walk away from this conference,” said Oklahoma president David Boren, chairman of the Big 12’s board of directors. “Any feelings to the contrary is just mistaken. They don’t understand the strong commitment that we all have to it.”
... Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey might be back in the lineup against Colorado on Saturday.
McCaffrey has been sidelined since suffering an undisclosed injury in the first half against Washington State on Oct. 8.
... Tennessee linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin had season-ending shoulder surgery and defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie also will miss the rest of the year with a torn pectoral muscle.
... Louisiana Tech running back Jaqwis Dancy has been sidelined for the rest of the 2016 season after being diagnosed with cancer.