Hawkeyes eager to get quarterback Tate back on field

Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis graduated from Wayzata High School in 2004.

by Mark Remme

Michigan State senior and wide receiver Matt Trannon took home Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after hauling in a school record 14 receptions for 151 yards and two receiving touchdowns in the Spartans’ 52-20 win over Eastern Michigan.

Trannon also completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to running back A.J. Jimmerson in the victory.

Trannon said he looks to become more of an impact player in 2006.

“Coming in being the high-profile player that I am, I was expected to do a lot more than I did in the previous years,” he said. “Now I’m giving myself the opportunity to showcase my abilities.”

Ohio State had a pair of players who received Big Ten honors, as sophomore linebacker James Laurinaitis and sophomore punter A.J. Trapasso took home Defensive and Special Teams player of the week awards, respectively.

Laurinaitis had 13 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception to bolster a Buckeyes defense that gave up only seven points to a powerful Texas offense.

Coach Jim Tressel said Laurinaitis is coming into his own after playing just his fourth full game at the college level.

“He’s a bright young man,” Tressel said. “He studies the film hard. He has a lot of desire to uphold that tradition of excellent linebackers in Ohio State history.”

Jimmerson took home special teams honors after averaging 50.8 yards per punt and landing two kicks inside the 20-yard line.

Tate hopeful for Cy-Hawk
No. 16 Iowa escaped with a thrilling 20-13 double-overtime victory at Syracuse on Saturday, and they did it without standout junior quarterback Drew Tate.

Tate, who has led the Hawkeyes to two straight January bowl games since becoming the starter as a true freshman in 2004, was a late scratch against the Orange because of an oblique injury he suffered during practice last week.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz hopes Tate will be suited up for Iowa’s annual intra-state rivalry with Iowa State this Saturday.

“I can only assure you this: We’re every bit as anxious, probably even more anxious, to find out how he’ll look this week,” Ferentz said.

The yearly matchup, whose winner receives the Cy-Hawk trophy as a measure of state supremacy for the season, is a much anticipated game for Hawkeyes fans.

“It’s a little bit unique,” Ferentz said. “It’s a huge game for both teams and a huge game for everyone in our state.”

South Bend showdown
Michigan faces its first test of the season as the 10th-ranked Wolverines travel to No. 2 Notre Dame this Saturday.

The rivalry boasts the two winningest programs in college football history. It is the 33rd game between the two storied programs. Michigan leads the overall series 18-14-1.

Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr expressed eagerness in facing a high-powered Irish team on their home field.

“We’re excited – looking forward to traveling to South Bend for the renewal of a great traditional game with Notre Dame,” Carr said.

Big win in Austin
No. 1 Ohio State avenged last year’s early season loss to Texas by beating the second-ranked Longhorns 24-7 Saturday.

The win marks the first time the top-two ranked teams played each other in a regular season matchup since No. 2 Florida State defeated No. 1 Florida in 1996.

“It was a heck of a ballgame down there in Austin, Texas,” coach Jim Tressel said. “Our kids went down and really did the things we needed to win the game.”

Last year, No. 2 Texas marched into Columbus and defeated No. 4 Ohio State 25-22 en route to their first national championship since 1970.

The win solidifies Ohio State’s position at No. 1, while Texas fell to No. 8.