Big Ten Notebook: Burbridge breaks out big time

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Michigan State wide receiver Aaron Burbridge made a big splash last weekend.

By Jordan Hansen
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Senior Michigan State wide receiver Aaron Burbridge was quietly having a very good start to the season.

He’d already had two games of more than 100 yards receiving, and the buzz was starting to build.

Then, last week, he exploded with 8 receptions for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns against Air Force. He also had one of the best catches of the year and took home the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor to boot.

“Everybody had a reaction to that catch when they see it,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference. “It was a great football play … I definitely had a ‘Wow’ moment when I was on the field.”

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Burbridge was a four-star recruit coming out of high school but was overshadowed by the talent ahead of him on the depth chart.

His rise has been tremendous and especially impressive for a player who has his career high in receiving yards after just three games

“People expected to be ‘that guy’ his sophomore year,” Dantonio said. “But, we had a lot of different guys in there — three of them are in the NFL right now — and he’s getting an opportunity.”

Ohio State QB controversy update

In what’s become one of thhottest debates of the young college football season, the search for Ohio State’s first-string quarterback took another twist on Tuesday.

Head coach Urban Meyer has not been happy with starter Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett but said during the Tuesday teleconference he has an idea of who he wants to start against Western Michigan on Saturday.

“Yes,” Meyer said. “But I’m going to wait to let you know.”

The plot only thickens from there.

Jones changed his Twitter bio after the Buckeye’s win over Northern Illinois to read “3rd string quarterback @ The Ohio State University Oh Wait, 2nd string.”

Jones then changed his bio several more times (it now reads “Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy) and also tweeted that he wanted people to stop tweet watching.

Ohio State is a team playing with fire and unless it comes up with a permanent starter soon, it seems like things could quickly slide off the rails.

“I did have a very clear starter, the guy that starts. In the first three games, we have had one,” Meyer said. “The first game worked out very good, the second game not so good, and the third game was not good at all. We did have a very clear starter, and we’re going to have a very clear starter again this week.”

Fitzgerald talks early season success

One of the biggest surprises this season has been Northwestern’s early success.

The Wildcats are 3-0, with wins over No. 21 Stanford, Eastern Illinois, and Duke. The win over the Cardinal took on an even greater meaning when Stanford beat USC last weekend.

Owners of a terrific defense, the Wildcats have allowed just 16 points this season. The offense, however, ranks near the bottom of the conference.

“We haven’t played clean in all three phases in any of our first three games,” Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “There’s a ton of room for improvement, and that’s really what we’re focusing in on.”

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