Two Gophers eligible for postseason accolades

by David La

Minnesota’s Tyrone Carter and Ben Hamilton are both on the “watch list” for their respective positions’ awards.
Carter — the Gophers strong safety who is gunning for the NCAA career mark in tackles by a defensive back — was announced Monday as a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award. The award is given to the best defensive player in college football. Carter is no one-trick pony. He’s also 10th in the nation in punt return yardage with an average of 16.06 yards per return.
Hamilton is anchoring the Gophers offensive line for the third-straight season from his center position. Hamilton is one of the 16 players who will be considered for the Outland Trophy. The trophy is given to the best interior offensive or defensive lineman in college football. The junior was redshirted at practice Tuesday and may play against Northwestern, Oct. 2.
Dayne runs to Big Ten record
Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne broke the 24-year-old Big Ten career rushing record during the Badgers’ 17-12 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday.
Dayne ran for 231 yards, and along the way surpassed former Ohio State Heisman Trophy-winner Archie Griffin’s total of 5,589. With 5,615 yards to his credit, Dayne now needs another 1,193 yards to best Ricky Williams’ NCAA mark.
Dayne also won a share of the Big Ten offensive player of the week honor, along with Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner. Kittner threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns in Illinois’ win over Louisville.
Alvarez ailing
Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez is unlikely to be on the sidelines when his team hosts Michigan on Saturday because of a knee injury. Alvarez, who said he “heard something pop” while walking down a ramp at Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 4., has been told by doctors to stay off his right knee and keep it immobilized to reduce swelling.
“I’d like to try and continue coaching from the field, but it appears likely that I’ll have to go to the booth,” Alvarez said in a written statement.
Assistant coach John Palermo said that despite the pain, Alvarez has been, “Very business-like. He’s been here at all times, he’s been involved in everything that we do. But I think he’s losing a little bit of sleep because of the pain.”
Alvarez’s knee woes date back to his days as a linebacker at Nebraska.
Catching on, and on, and …
Purdue wide receiver Chris Daniels has been catching more passes than an intern at a White House wet T-shirt contest.
Daniels leads the Big Ten with 30 receptions for 337 yards and is on pace to set a Purdue team record for catches in one season. Rodney Carter is the current record holder with 98 receptions in 1985.
“Daniels has certainly become a real consistent guy we can count on,” coach Joe Tiller said.
With gunslinger Drew Brees at quarterback, Daniels will likely have all the opportunities he can ask for this season to catch the football.
Big at”Ten”tion
The Big Ten Conference has six teams in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings this week, more than any other conference in the nation.
Penn State (No.2), Michigan (4), Ohio State (12), Purdue (13), Michigan State (19) and Wisconsin (20) make up the ranked squads from the conference. Both Illinois and Minnesota are receiving votes for the first time this year.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

David LaVaque covers football and welcomes comments at [email protected]