Chicago Sun-Times
with Neil Hayes

Venric Mark fast enough for SEC or any other conference

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The SEC is a great conference. Is it better than the Big Ten? It can't be disputed.

But SEC arrogance has no bounds. After Venric Mark displayed a burst of speed in Northwestern's 34-20 win over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on Tuesday, the following statement was overheard in the press box.

"He's fast but he's not SEC fast."

For goodness sakes. Mark won Texas state championship in the 100- and 200-meters in high school. Trust me, he's fast in any conference, including the NFL's American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and players grew weary of questions about how they would deal with the speed and athleticism of SEC-member Mississippi State. As it turns out, the Wildcats became the first Big Ten team since 1998 and only the ninth ever to defeat two SEC teams in the same season. They beat Vanerbilt 23-13 on Sept. 8.

"The Big Ten can run a little bit," Fitzgerald said. "We proved that today. We can run. Enough said about that."

Mark had 118 all-purpose yards to finish the season with 2,166, just shy of Damien Anderson's school record of 2,195 set in 2000.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on January 2, 2013 10:58 AM.

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Jared Carpenter curious choice for Gator MVP is the next entry in this blog.

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