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Big Ten Notebook: Pelini’s upset again

BY DANNY PAYNE | OCTOBER 08, 2014 5:00 AM

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In Nebraska’s 27-22 loss to Michigan State last weekend, center Mark Pelini and quarterbacks Tommy Armstrong Jr., and Ryker Fyfe had trouble executing snaps on several occasions.

Cornhusker head coach Bo Pelini — Mark’s uncle — said the Spartans had a part in the miscommunication.

“There were a couple times when the opposing team clapped, and our center heard a clap, so he snapped the football,” Bo Pelini said. “It’s something I’ll talk to the league office about.”

The head coach said Michigan State isn’t the first team to employ the tactic, and it’s not the first time something like this has happened, but he still would like the referees to catch the clapping.

However, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio disagreed with his Nebraska counterpart, saying his defenders weren’t clapping to distract their opponents.

“We have different ways that we have to move our front,” Dantonio said. “Some of that is in clapping, all kinds of hand signals for us. I think what happened was [Pelini] heard a clap and their center wasn’t looking at their quarterback when he snapped the ball.”

Ferentz wants some things private

It’s no secret Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t allow too much information about the Hawkeyes. Ferentz doesn’t offer a lot as to what is going on in the injury department and doesn’t let his players to use Twitter, among other things.

On Tuesday, Ferentz made his stance clear in regards to cameras in his team’s locker room.

“The locker room and the bathroom are two places I try not to have exposed to the public at this point. To me there are certain things that ought to be left to some level of privacy. I know it’s not the way the world is going right now.”

The head coach went on to explain his meaning behind the manner, offering a reason why he does things the way he does.

“Not everything in life has to be public,” he said. “That is probably one of the reasons I don’t tweet or whatever else they do.”

When asked about halftime interviews Tuesday, the dean of Big Ten coaches went on to say he thinks they’re pointless.

“I think it’s really silly, typically,” Ferentz said. “I would imagine [coaches not linking halftime interviews is] probably unanimous. It’s probably people agreeing about grandkids being great. Everyone votes for that one too.”

Barrett settling in

When Heisman Trophy contender Braxton Miller went down in the preseason with a shoulder injury, some wrote off Ohio State. Now heading into their bye week with a 4-1 record, the Buckeyes are in good shape.

This is largely because of quarterback J.T. Barrett. The freshman owns the conference’s highest quarterback rating at 168.34 and is behind only Iowa’s Jake Rudock for the conference lead in completion percentage with a 66.2-percent clip.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer admitted he is a tad surprised by Barrett’s performance this season and expects him to keep progressing.

Part of his success, Meyer said, can be attributed to his improved arm strength. He noted that Barrett doesn’t throw the ball on Fridays before a game or on Sundays following games.

“The offensive line is really protecting him much better,” Meyer said. “… When he’s fresh, he’s doing very well for us.”

Follow @dannyapayne on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa football team.


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