Week 8 Big Ten Recap: McNutty, Bowman's Back, Comeback Cats

Iowa 15, Michigan State 13

This was an SEC game at heart, let's be honest. Two defenses stuffing every possible offensive thrust, both coaches conservatively running and rarely throwing down the field. And in honor of the thrilling style of play exhibited by both squads, I took an hour nap starting in the early third quarter and ending with about 8 minutes left in the fourth, which turned out to be perfect timing...

Stanzi didn't look comfortable all night, throwing short of his wide receivers and accumulating only 78 yards up to the final drive. But three perfectly thrown passes brought the Hawkeyes down to the MSU 7, where Stanzi would connect on the do-or-die TD to McNutt with 0 seconds remaining.

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That's now four game tying/game winning 4th quarter comebacks that Michigan State has allowed this year. CMU, ND, UM, and now Iowa. Passing lanes open up late against the Spartans, lanes that were closed the rest of the game.

Ohio State 38, Minnesota 7

Terrelle Pryor, who's taken more shots this week than a frat boy celebrating his 21st birthday, threw a couple beautiful deep passes for touchdowns. The 2nd TD came on a ball that Pryor heaved close to 70 yards. So in conclusion, Pryor can throw the ball accurately on deep posts, but he can't throw short out routes...

Adam Weber, 10-23, 112 yards, 2 picks, 3 sacks...He looked confident on approximately two slants, but the wide receivers didn't help at all. If Joey Elliot wasn't so effective last week, we'd be talking about the great quarterback killing OSU defense. Ah well, we can talk about them anyways..

We could also talk about the interception, penalty and fumble prone Golden Gophers. Three TO's, 72 yards of penalty yardage...

Penn State 35, Michigan 10

The commentary during the game flowed easily thanks to the Michigan ineptitude. "Hey guys, we're running really effectively up the middle, let's throw into coverage on second down...PERFECT!"..."You know, it looks like they're getting 8 yards a pop on quick throws to the wide receivers - let's pull our corners a little further from the LOS"...

If you watched this game, you share my immense confusion with Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson's pass coverage. I've visited this concept here (with Smart Football), but it boils down to Michigan cornerbacks being instructed to play 7-10 yards off the wide receiver. Most teams had been exploiting this incredibly stupid coverage via bubble screens and swing passes, but Daryll Clark just turned and whipped the ball to his wide open receiver for 5-10 yards EVERY SINGLE TIME. Who do I have to sleep with around here to get some press coverage? Jesus...

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The hyperbole about Forcier reached new heights early in the broadcast, when the announcers said Tate Forcier might be the best quarterback in the Big Ten. I have him somewhere around 7th best in my latest rankings, as the incompletions, intentional groundings, and general ineffectiveness have rendered him semi-useless against Iowa and now Penn State. Note to ABC, BTN, ESPN: He's an injury ravaged freshman who has crashed back to earth; save the annoying over hyping comments for next year...

Navarro Bowman looked pretty comfortable defending the Michigan passing game and butting heads with Minor in the trenches. I'm guessing 10 tackles, one sack, one pick, one recovered fumble...

Purdue 24, Illinois 14

NO PURDUE TURNOVERS SWEET MOTHER OF MARY. Purdue refused to shoot themselves in the foot, reversing a season long propensity for self-destruction.

Joey Elliot - 63 yards rushing and an excellent nose for when to scramble out of the pocket...

You know I hate generic stupid statements like the one I'm about to make, but...Ron Zook looked like a man resigned to losing. Yelling at no one in particular, tossing his politician's hair around wrestlessly, continuously pacing...and always angry...

Intriguing decision by Zook to give three quarterbacks meaningful snaps. The redshirt frosh Charest looked good, but playing QB carousel is the kind of thing the worst offense in the Big Ten has to deal with...

Northwestern 29, Indiana 28

How in the world did Indiana let NW back in this game? 28-3 slowly morphed into a close game, which of course quickly turned into a barnburner. The difference was a Northwestern front four that stepped up and rushed Chappell, disrupting the efficient Hoosier offense and giving Kafka opportunities to pull NW back into the game.

The second half scoring drives of 97 and 65 yards were keyed by Concannon and Kafka. These two pushed the Wildcats, picking up big gains on the ground and keeping the chains moving.

IU in the second half: Punt, Punt (safety), Downs, Punt, Downs, End of Red. 6 possessions, 0 points, 111 yards.

Hilary discusses the horrible start by NW and the subsequent comeback here...

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