Iowa 42, Indiana 24
Bob Davie is the new Pam Ward, an announcer whose voice and comments make me want to implode. Bob was at his best Saturday, playing up the old "aw shucks, I don't have any idea what's going on" persona. Some lowlights:
- Referring to Adrian Clayborn as "Adam Clayborn" about 5 times.
- Davie flipped his lid after the late Stanzi touchdowns. "Some quarterbacks would have literally, literally gone back in the lockerrom, but Stanzi came out here and made plays," Davie commented incorrectly, as I have never ever seen a quarterback go sit in the lockerrom out of pure frustration.
- "3-3, 177 yards is an unbelievable 4th quarter, that's 41 yards per reception!" Wrong.
- "Who would have believed that Ricky Stanzi would be 3-3 for 177 yards in the fourth quarter? Who?" Davie's partner is silent, confused, probably embarrassed.
Terrelle Pryor had a tremendously bad third quarter against Purdue, throwing two picks and leading the Bucks to -7 yards. Ricky Stanzi had a much worst third quarter, whipping one unbelievably bad pick after another into the confused Indiana secondary. People at my gym were watching the game in disbelief, pointing at Stanzi and whispering excitedly like schoolgirls. Weird, weird times.
I love scoring clutch TD's, I love scoring clutch TD's...
The Hoosiers refuse to finish games after starting out like a house of fire against Michigan, NW, and Iowa. What gives? Two main reasons are behind this. First, the Hoosiers offense is built on clever misdirection passes from the Pistol formation, which allows them to succeed even with a little less talent on the offensive side of the ball. Once defenses get accustomed to the fakes and short passes, Indiana's offensive options become limited. Second, the Hoosiers secondary isn't very talented. When teams have to throw, this unit tends to break down.
Here's a fun Hoosier statistic:
First Half Points v. Michigan: 23...Second Half Points v. Michigan: 10
First Half Points v. NW: 28...Second Half Points v. NW: 0
First Half Points v. Iowa: 21...Second Half Points v. Iowa: 3
Minnesota 42, Michigan State 34
I still think I was right in calling for Weber to be benched in favor of Gray. Wait, what's that? 416 passing yards and 5 touchdowns?
Michigan State's 4-5 record serves as a constant reminder that 1) you should never ever gamble using my advice and 2) Pat Narduzzi's secondary is probably the most embattled unit in the entire Big Ten.
McKnight, Tow-Arnett, and Green stepped up with big time catches at a time when no one expected them to. Odd how the loss of Decker brought out the best in that young group. There's going to be a pitched battle between Andrew Quarless and Tow-Arnett for 2nd team All-Big 10 tight end.
Wisconsin 37, Purdue 0
Worst game of Hope's year, worse than the 7 turnover performance against Northwestern. There was no creativity, no run game, no toughness.
Worst case of the drops I have ever seen and I mean that. I'm guessing 8 drops by the receivers. Carlos, Smith, Valentin...Elliot's 5-23 performance probably could have been 15-23 or so.
Apparently the key to stopping Wisconsin...is exactly the same as it was the last 10 years. Slow the run game early and force the quarterback to throw into coverage. In Big Ten play, Clay has averaged 150 ypg rushing in wins, 67 ypg in losses. Purdue couldn't budge the Wisconsin line, averaging 320 lbs, and the Badgers picked up 266 yards on the ground.
Lance Kendricks: 4 carries, 91 yards, mostly on end arounds that kept Purdue off balance.
Illinois 38, Michigan 13
Big plays all day baby. I predicted Illinois didn't have the firepower to gash Michigan like everyone else has this year. I was wrong. The Illini has plays of 79, 70, 36, 35, 28, 27, 26, 22, 23 on their way to 500 total yards. The UM secondary was out of place on most of the zone reads and lacked the quickness to at least mitigate damage.
Michigan is a year away, just as we predicted at the start of this season. The biggest issue for RichRod and the coaches to work with Tate this offseason? Getting rid of the ball and taking care of the ball. Tate fumbled three times, and not even while taking big hits.
I am off the opinion that Denard Robinson and top recruit Devin Gardner are the future of this spread.
It was 31-13 with 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter - Michigan had the ball inside the Illinois 20, 4th and 6. Instead of kicking the field goal to turn it into a 2 possession game, RichRod decided to go for it. The pass failed and the game was over. Just some bad game management.