The Big Ten is down to its final week of 2018 spring games and just three teams in the conference have scrimmages remaining: Iowa, Nebraska and Penn State. The Hawkeyes will hold an open practice on Friday night, while the Huskers and Nittany Lions will both have their spring games on Saturday.
Find the remaining Big Ten spring game schedule, dates, times, TV channels and more below.
Big Ten spring game schedule 2018: Dates, times, TV channels
Friday, April 20
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Saturday, April 21
Big Ten spring game schedule 2018: Previews, questions
Quarterback Sean Clifford will be getting more reps in the 2018 Blue-White Game with usual backup Tommy Stevens out this spring with an injury. From Landof10’s Audrey Snyder:
Franklin said the situation is a bit of a “blessing in disguise” as Stevens is forced to take mental reps and the young quarterback works as Trace McSorley’s backup. It’s a move that in all likelihood won’t pay dividends this fall, but next spring when Stevens is slated to be the quarterback and Clifford likely elevated to the top backup spot, this spring will certainly help.
Prior to the spring game, Penn State named its trio of 2018 team captains: Quarterback Trace McSorley, safety Nick Scott and punter Blake Gillikin.
“Trace and Nick have earned the respect of their teammates after being selected by their peers as captain for a second-straight year,” coach James Franklin said in a statement. “Blake has been outstanding for our very young special teams unit and has been killing it in the classroom with a perfect GPA. These three have been leaders for us in the locker room, on the field and in the classroom. This team will continue to make great strides under their leadership.”
New coach Scott Frost is going to dominate offseason headlines, both in the Big Ten and also around the country. Frost led UCF to an undefeated season and now returns to the Huskers. The former quarterback led Nebraska to a split national championship in 1997.
Part of the change at Nebraska with Frost is a new defensive approach with DC Erik Chinander.
“I think it’s more see ball, get ball mentality, and not just running downhill,” senior linebacker Dedrick Young said. “You know, with the two-gap and the guard all of the time, so it’s shuffling and reading the ball to get to it.”
The Hawkeyes are hoping to contend for a Big Ten West title in 2018, and the offense is making strides with second-year starter Nate Stanley at quarterback. Still, Iowa has some questions remaining during the final week of spring practice, Land of 10’s Bobby La Gesse points out. One of those questions is just how much has the offense grown during the spring.
For offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, the most important question is if he is seeing improvement in an offense that was inconsistent last season. Essentially, that means if he’s seeing the necessary growth from the skill positions.
Wide receiver was a major problem holding back the offense the last two seasons. Growth there is a must. Running back is inexperienced, full of potential and must replace two-time 1,000-yard rusher Akrum Wadley.
Saying Iowa’s offense will go as its skill position players go is oversimplifying things. Finding interior offensive line replacements for center James Daniels and guard Sean Welsh is important.
But the play of the wide receivers limited the ability of the offense in recent seasons. Iowa can’t afford the skill positions to do it for a third one.