Mason quashes nine-year-old rumor

Matt Anderson

Heard the one about Minnesota football coach Glen Mason being offered the Purdue head coaching job in 1997?

Well, according to him, you can put that one to bed.

“(That’s) not accurate,” Mason said. “I talked to Morgan Burke about it when I was at Kansas, but we just talked.”

Both the Purdue and Minnesota jobs were open after the 1996 season. Purdue hired Joe Tiller away from Wyoming and Minnesota hired Glen Mason, then at Kansas.

Cradle of quarterbacks anymore?

Last week, Purdue – the team responsible for coining the term, “basketball on grass” – ran the ball 45 times. And on top of that, the team scored all four of its touchdowns on the ground in the 31-24 win at Arizona.

Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller said that although a lot of last week’s emphasized run attack was because of the Arizona defensive scheme, some of it was because of a change in his personnel.

“We will lean a little more heavily on the run than we did certainly when we first arrived at Purdue,” he said. “And the reason we’ll do that is because of our quarterback position, where (Brandon Kirsch) is a little bit more of a runner than Drew Brees was or Kyle Orton was.”

But Tiller assured fans of the throw-it-around offensive philosophy that there won’t be a drastic change in West Lafayette.

“We’re still a one-back spread offense and we spend an awful lot of time on the practice field practicing the pass,” Tiller said. “And I assume it’ll show up on the game field here, one of these days.”

Young helps diversify Hawkeyes’ attack

In last season’s co-Big Ten championship campaign, Iowa’s offense leaned heavily on quarterback Drew Tate. Injuries decimated the Hawkeyes at running back and Tate shouldered the burden, as Iowa’s pass to run ratio in conference play was almost 2-to-1.

But this season the return of former New Jersey prep star Albert Young, a redshirt sophomore who missed all but two games last year with a knee injury, has meant a return of balance to the Iowa offense.

Through three games, Young has 298 rushing yards, an average of 8.3 yards per carry and three rushing scores.

“It’s just exciting to have him out there on the field,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, said. “All it does is enable us a better chance to be a little bit more balanced. We certainly weren’t able to get that done last year.”

The 21st-ranked Hawkeyes play at No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday in the weekend’s only Big Ten matchup featuring two ranked teams.

Day of reckoning at Camp Randall

Saturday will feature another marquee Big Ten matchup when undefeated Wisconsin hosts No. 14 Michigan.

For a relatively untested Badgers team that’s replacing three first team All-Big Ten performers on defense, the game against the Wolverines should be a measuring stick.

“They can hurt you in so many different ways on offense,” Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. “They can spread the field; they throw the ball down the field. So they’re going to test you in a lot of different ways. When the game’s over, we’re going to have a pretty good reading of where we are.”

Receivers coach has no comment

When asked for comment about Minnesota wide receiver Mark Jundt leaving the program, wide receivers coach Luke Tressel said he could only talk about players currently with the team.

Jundt, a junior, said Tressel promised him playing time. Jundt said he left the program after he didn’t get any time.