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While No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan are among the nations top five scoring teams, the Big Ten Conference is just as gd on defense.After the first month of the season, the league has seven of the nations top 25 defensive teams in terms of scoring defense, led by No. 8 Wisconsin. The Badgers are seventh, giving up an average of 11.8 points.Ohio State (12.3 points) is ninth, Iowa (13.5) is tied for 11th, Michigan (13. is 13th, Maryland and Northwestern are tied for 22nd at 17 points and Nebraska (18.0) is tied for 25th.Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said the conference was in a similar position halfway through last season.The defensive coaches in this league are very sound, he said. You dont see typically a lot of guys running uncovered on plays that go for 60, 70 or 80 yards. Most of the defenses have become very sound, team orientated and very athletic, talented and physical.Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said that many coaches have long adhered to the practice of putting their best recruits on defense.Lking at Michigans defense for this weekend, Chryst said there isnt one player to stop. There are a lot of playmakers.You take those gd players and you coach them up, so with a gd scheme and gd players who understand what they are doing, that makes for gd defense, Chryst said.Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh sees the same thing on Wisconsin, which is giving up just 80.5 yards rushing and 277 yards in total.I had the pleasure of coaching (former Badger linebacker) Chris Borland in San Francisco, and I say this as the highest form of compliment, it lks like 11 Chris Borlands out there, the way they play, said Harbaugh, whose team is giving up an average 269.8 yards.If there is a common link between the better defenses, its their ability to force turnovers. All seven teams have a plus figure in the turnover differential, with Ohio State being plus-9.Surprisingly, the Buckeyes retled their defense this season after seeing defensive end Joey Bosa and cornerback Eli Apple taken in the first 10 picks of the NFL draft.Rutgers coach Chris Ash, who was the Ohio State co-defensive crdinator last year, is not surprised the Buckeyes have made the transition.Ohio State recruits at a high level, its just really reload, the next man in, he said. When someone goes to the NFL or their career is over, there is another talented player waiting to burst on the scene and became another Ohio State legend.Other notes from around the Big TenROMISING PURDUEPurdue (2-1) has its first winning record entering October since 2012.I think we are work in progress, said Purdue coach Darrell Hazell, who won six games in his first three seasons. I think they are starting to understand all the things it takes to win games. They are playing hard and fast and with confidence. I am sitting here feeling gd about the team but we have a long way to go.HARBAUGH-CHRYST FRIENDSHIPMichigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst have been friends for almost three decades, when Chrysts father, George, was the head coach at Wisconsin-Platteville.Its been a family friendship, the Chrysts and the Harbaughs going back to 1987, said Harbaugh, whose No. 4 Wolverines host the No. 8 Badgers on Saturday. Our dads were friends, the sons were friends, and its been a 30-year friendship.Chryst was a San Diego Chargers tight ends coach when Harbaugh was finishing his NFL career. Chrysts brother, Geep, was the offensive teams offensive crdinator. Geep Chryst also served as an assistant coach under Harbaugh when he coached the San Francisco 49ers.BALL CONTROLMaryland (3-0) has not turned the ball over under new coach DJ Durkin. It is the only Power Five program and one of just three in the FBS that have not committed a turnover this season.FRUSTRATED FERENTZIowa coach Kirk Ferentz is a little frustrated with the inconsistency of the calls regarding cut blocks by offensive linemen.In four games, he said, he has seen four different interpretations. He lost a 75-yard touchdown run last weekend against Rutgers on a cut-block penalty and voiced his concern after the game.Once we start conference (play), I think there will be an effort made to get everyone on the same page, Ferentz said. Hopefully, thats coaches, players and the guys working the game. Clarity is always a gd thing on any issue.Cheap Swingman Nuggets Jerseys . Varlamov made 33 saves and Ryan OReilly had a goal and scored in the shtout as the Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night. Cheap NBA Jerseys . Nine days before the opening ceremony, organizing committee chief Dmitry Chernyshenko said Wednesday that Sochi is "fully ready" and will deliver safe, friendly and well-run games that defy the grim reports that have overshadowed preparations. http://www.cheapnuggetsjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-jarred-vanderbilt-jersey . As he recorded his 23rd and 24th points of the evening, a segment of the sellout Air Canada Centre crowd expressed their appreciation for the Raptors point guard with a smattering of MVP chants. Cheap Denver Nuggets Jerseys . Once again, DeLaet finished tied for second at a PGA Tour stop on the weekend, this time at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The pride of Weyburn, Sask. Cheap Nuggets Jerseys . Tests earlier this week revealed a Grade 2 left hamstring strain for Sabathia, who was hurt in last Fridays start against San Francisco. Its an injury that will require about eight weeks to heal. He finished a disappointing campaign just 14-13 with a career-worst 4.WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- American singles players Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla and Brian Baker have had their appeals approved by the International Tennis Federations Olympic Committee to compete at next months Rio Games.Johnson, Kudla, Baker and Jack Sock were on the provisional entry list released by the ITF last month, with their participation contingent on either playing Davis Cup or a successful appeal.The 26th-ranked Sock is taking part in the Davis Cup quarterfinal against Croatia this week. Johnson is No. 25, Kudla is 102nd, and Baker 179th.The top American man, No. 16 John Isner, chose to skip Rio, as did No. 29 Sam Querrey, who is coming off a Wimbledon quarterfinal appearance and an upsset of Novak Djokovic.ddddddddddddTwins Bob and Mike Bryan were already set for the team and will lk to repeat as doubles gold medalists. Johnson and Sock will be the other U.S. doubles pairing, the U.S. Tennis Association said Friday.All the American womens players were already set as well: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens in singles and CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in doubles. The Williams sisters will also be seeking their fourth doubles gold medal.The two U.S. mixed doubles teams will be announced at a later date. ' ' '