Big Ten notebook: Penn State jumps in AP Poll, Purdue’s Bell in concussion protocol

Ahead of Week 4 of the college football season, The Daily Iowan examines the latest Big Ten football storylines.


Jerod Ringwald

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost talks with Big Ten Network football analyst Gerry DiNardo during day one of Big Ten Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Thursday, July 22.

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor

Penn State football jumped in the AP Poll Top 25 following a home-field victory against then-No. 22 Auburn. 

The Nittany Lions posted a one-possession victory, 28-20, over the Tigers during a whiteout game in Happy Valley. It was Penn State’s second victory over a ranked team this season, as the Nittany Lions opened the season with a victory over then-No. 18 Wisconsin.

In the Week 3 poll, Penn State jumped from No. 10 to No. 6, one spot behind No. 5 Iowa. 

The Hawkeyes are currently the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten. 

Ohio State is entering its second week outside of the top 5, as the Buckeyes dropped one spot in the Week 3 poll to No. 10 following a 41-20 win against Tulsa last week.

There are six total Big Ten teams in the AP Top 25, as 1-1 Wisconsin comes in at No. 18, 3-0 Michigan advances from No. 25 to No. 20, and 3-0 Michigan State enters the AP Poll at No. 21.

Purdue’s David Bell enters concussion protocol

Purdue junior wide receiver David Bell entered concussion protocol after he took a hard hit in the fourth quarter of the Boilermakers’ 27-13 loss to Notre Dame last Saturday.

Bell was hit in the back by Fighting Irish safety Kyle Hamilton, and fell face first into the ground. His head bounced off the field, and Bell laid motionless on the field for several minutes with his mouth bleeding, before he sat up. Bell got up on his own, but was carted to the locker room.

The next day, Bell took to Twitter to say he was healthy following the hit. But it is still unclear if the wide receiver will return to the field for Purdue’s Big Ten opener against Illinois Saturday.

“He’s the type of player that doesn’t have to practice a whole lot at all, other than making sure he’s feeling right and feeling good and in good condition, in good shape,” Boilermaker head coach Jeff Brohm said. “So, I think we’ll monitor that obviously extremely closely this week and hope to get him out there whenever he can go.”

The 2-1 Boilermakers will take on 1-3 Illinois in West Lafayette, Indiana, Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Nebraska running back Gabe Ervin out indefinitely

Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held announced freshman Gabe Ervin is out for the season Tuesday after he suffered an injury to the patellar tendon in his right knee in the Huskers’ loss to Oklahoma.

Ervin fell to the ground in a non-contact injury in the third quarter Saturday in the 23-16 loss.

The freshman underwent surgery to repair the tendon Tuesday morning. 

“Gabe had surgery today,” Held said Tuesday. “He’ll be out for the year. He’ll start rehab as soon as tomorrow or maybe this afternoon. He’s in really good spirits.I thought he had a really good start to his freshman year. I think he’s gonna have a bright future here.”

Ervin is eligible to utilize his redshirt season for 2021, only appearing in four games.

The freshman started in Nebraska’s season opener against Illinois as well as the Huskers’ Week 2 matchup against Fordham. Throughout four games, Ervin accumulated 37 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

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