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Friday, August 15, 2014

Big Ten football's physicality remains, just in different places

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

The Big Ten that Norries Wilson observed as an offensive lineman at Minnesota in the mid-80s little resembles the one Rutgers officially enters in less than a month.

Sure, the physicality  the league's hallmark — is comparable, but its location is often on the field's fringes, not at the epicenter of the line of scrimmage.

"Everybody ran the same plays," Wilson, Rutgers' running backs coach, said at the team's media day. "Everybody ran power, counter, toss, iso. Seeing some of the good quarterbacks that played, like Jeff George who’s at Purdue and two years later he’s at Illinois. You see Chuck Long play and you see (Jim) Harbaugh play." 

Wilson started two years for the Gophers. A decade later, offensive line coach Mitch Browning began his 10-year stint at Minnesota.

“I remember some of the most physical games were Northwestern and Indiana, (who) people would say at that time were teams at the bottom of the league," Wilson said. "It’s going to be physical, downhill football. People are going to run the ball at you and see if you can stop the run.”

More from Rutgers' coaches with Big Ten ties:

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