Ohio State's off-field issues among key Big Ten camp storylines

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Here's a quick look at what the Big Ten's 12 teams need to do during fall camp.

First practice: Aug. 5

Biggest concern: Rev up the offense. New offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, who spent the past eight seasons as coach at Western Michigan, needs to find some playmakers and also help senior QB Nathan Scheelhaase become a more effective passer. Rebuilding the defensive line also is important.

First practice: Aug. 2

Biggest concern: Find a way to stop somebody. The defensive line and secondary, especially, are worrisome. IU has to get more physical up front. The Hoosiers also have to sort out their quarterback situation, but the pieces are in place for a potent offense. This has the look of last season, when IU had to win shootouts.

First practice: Aug. 5

Biggest concern: Find a quarterback. It's a three-man race between junior Cody Sokol, sophomore Jake Rudock and redshirt freshman C.J. Beathard. Whoever wins the job has to show he can be a competent passer. If that happens, the running game should improve, too, because opponents won't be playing eight in the box.

First practice: Aug. 5

Biggest concern: Rebuilding the back seven on defense. This team has talent, no question, but there also are a lot of holes. Jake Ryan's spring knee injury makes things problematic at linebacker, and the secondary is undergoing an overhaul with the departure of three starters. The offense would be helped if true freshman TB Derrick Green lives up to the hype.

First practice: Aug. 3

Biggest concern: Find some answers in the offensive backfield. Will returning starter Andrew Maxwell come through at quarterback, or will he lose the job to sophomore Connor Cook? And who is going to be the starting tailback? Is it really going to be redshirt freshman Riley Bullough, who was moved from linebacker during the spring? The defense again is going to be stout, even with a rebuilt line. The offense was mediocre last season and didn't pull its weight. Is the same thing going to happen this season?

First practice: Aug. 2

Biggest concern: Improving the passing attack. Coaches seem to like sophomore QB Philip Nelson and the rushing attack has some potential. But the Golden Gophers were terrible throwing the ball last season and there are zero proven playmakers at receiver; indeed, you wonder if there are even any potential playmakers at receiver. The defense made big strides last season, and if JC transfer Damien Wilson is the answer at middle linebacker, it could make more strides this fall.

First practice: Aug. 3

Biggest concern: Finding a way to stop the run. Given his background on defense, coach Bo Pelini had to get physically ill watching his team try to stop the run last season. It was embarrassing at times, and the Huskers finished 92nd nationally against the run. The linebackers look to have potential, but the line is a big question. Offensively, it's important that senior QB Taylor Martinez actually play like a senior and quit making dumb mistakes. Nebraska committed 35 turnovers last season.

First practice: Aug. 5

Biggest concern: Improving the passing attack. Northwestern averaged almost 32 points per game despite a poor passing attack last season, and the talent is on hand for the Wildcats to be more prolific through the air. There will be three new starters on the offensive line, but that shouldn't be that big a deal. Defensively, someone needs to step up to help senior E Tyler Scott as a consistent pass rusher.

First practice: Aug. 4

Biggest concern: Complacency? The Buckeyes are prohibitive favorites to win the league, and it's not a stretch to see this team going unbeaten for a second season in a row. Off-field distractions could hurt, especially if star CB Bradley Roby misses any games. TB Carlos Hyde has been suspended for at least the first three games, and that's a bit worrisome even if there are numerous bodies looking to take his spot. The defensive line will have four new starters, but there is ample talent there, even though it is a bit inexperienced.

First practice: Aug. 5

Biggest concern: Finding a new quarterback. Matt McGloin exceeded all expectations last season, but he now is gone, meaning the job will go to JC transfer Tyler Ferguson or highly touted true freshman Christian Hackenberg. Junior WR Allen Robinson is a big-timer, but will he get enough touches? It would help matters if an explosive tailback emerges, but that doesn't seem likely. There is little depth at linebacker, so an injury there would truly hurt. Special teams need to improve, too.

First practice: Aug. 3

Biggest concern: Finding a new quarterback. "Finding a quarterback" is a familiar theme in the league, and Purdue will choose between fifth-year senior Rob Henry and true freshman Danny Etling, who went through spring practice. New coach Darrell Hazell prefers a power running game, but that won't matter if defenses don't at least respect the pass. The defense has a chance to be OK, though the linebackers don't really scare anyone (expect, maybe, Boilermakers fans).

First practice: Aug. 5

Biggest concern: Finding a new quarterback. Yes, the Badgers also are looking for a new guy behind center. New coach Gary Andersen will choose from among three candidates: oft-injured sixth-year senior Curt Phillips, JC transfer Connor McEvoy and sophomore Joel Stave. The quarterback will work behind a huge line and have two solid tailbacks behind him. But other than senior Jared Abbrederis, wide receiver is a question mark. The biggest issue on defense is rebuilding the secondary; true freshman Sojourn Shelton could start at one of the two open cornerback spots.

Follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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