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Sunday Morning Coming Down: Bye Bye Beckman?

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Five of the top 8 teams and 11 out of the top 20 in the AP lost this week.....but who cares about that? We have B1G football to discuss....

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

I'm sure most people think their child is special. And that's fine.

But most kids are not special.

I, however, have a special child.

My son was born on September 14th, a Sunday, and a Northwestern bye week (excellent timing).  Since his birth, Michigan has not won.....and Northwestern has not lost.

Is it too early to nickname him Purple Messiah?

Let's get to the games....

  • For the first time since 2012, Purdue won a B1G game. Credit goes to Darrell Hazell, who played a hunch and started Austin Appleby on Saturday against the Illini....and Appleby blew up, throwing for 202 yards and TD, and rushing for 76 yards and 2 TDs. Purdue exploited the middle of the field and a weak Illini defense, racking up 349 yards rushing (Akeem Hunt putting up 177 yards and TD himself) and getting big plays (an 80 yard TD, plus plays of 62, 54 and 53 yards).  While Purdue has some pride, I'm afraid we have bad news for the rest of the conference....we may not have Tim Beckman around much longer. If Illinois can't beat Purdue, I can't see a win all season for them, particularly if Wes Lunt can't get over the injury bug (he left this game injured).  And that almost HAS to be the end for Tim Beckman. Speaking of dead coaches on the sidelines...

  • Michigan lost its 7th straight game against Power 5 competition, and Rutgers got to celebrate its first B1G win 26-24 at home thanks to Gary Nova's 404 yards passing and 3 TDs.  This game was not without controversy (and not of the "Why is Hoke playing concussed players" type), however...late in the game, with Michigan driving and only down two, Amara Darboh had a first down catch at the Rutgers 30, but as he went to the ground and extended the ball for the first down he lost the ball. By rule, that was an incompletion.  And that rule is dumb. Rutgers blocked a 52 yard FG after that, and then ran out the clock.  Still, kudos to Gary Nova and Rutgers on their first B1G win in a sold out Piscataway....and Michigan? This is getting ugly.  I have no idea how Hoke can right this ship. I mean, the offense looked better, but now the defense is falling apart? Can Michigan win ANY B1G games? They lost their first two B1G games for the first time since 1967.

  • In what many have billed as a B1G championship preview, Michigan State played three quarters of pretty dominant football against Nebraska, before almost coughing up the game in the 4th quarter. The script was pretty much what we expected: the MSU defense shut down Ameer Abdullah (45 yards rushing, 2 TDs, and a fumble) and held Nebraska to only 47 yards on the ground, and rode Connor Cook (234 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT) and Jeremy Langford (111 yards rushing and a TD, but on only 3.8 yards per carry) to victory.  I'm a little worried by the 4th quarter near-collapse, to be honest; during a week when everyone else at the top of the polls seemed to be losing, Michigan State could have made a statement that they belonged in the playoff with a dominant win. Instead, they had to wait out a late INT to survive. Kudos to Nebraska for continuing to fight.....but MSU is probably the class of the conference, and deservedly so. 11 straight B1G conference wins for MSU....

  • I attended Wisconsin's visit to Evanston, and I still have no idea how Northwestern won this game. Consider the fact that Melvin Gordon ran for 259 yards....and yet Wisconsin only scored 14 points, and none in the first half? The only conceivable explanation is that the Northwestern defense is for real. Despite giving up monster yards to Gordon, Northwestern forced Wisconsin to pass the ball, and Wisconsin failed MISERABLY at that task. Gordon Igwebuike picked off THREE Wisconsin passes (first NU player with 3 INTs in a game since 1973), Jimmy Hall picked off another (after Ifeadi Odenigbo hit the QB), and the NU defense held Wisconsin to just 138 yards passing.  On offense, true freshman Justin Jackson kept the chains moving with 162 yards rushing on 33 carries....does Northwestern now have a workhorse running back? Hidden story of this game was some excellent special teams play by NU punter Chris Gradone, who pinned Wisconsin 4 times inside their own 20. Wisconsin hasn't won in Evanston since 1999, and it was the first time in 18 games that Wisconsin failed to score 20 points. Northwestern has now beaten 4 straight times in Evanston, with each win coming when Wisconsin was ranked. Suddenly and surprisingly (especially given the losses to Cal and NIU), Northwestern is in the driver's seat for the B1G West title.

  • Indiana rolled over North Texas. Not much to say here, other than to question where the Hoosier offense was last week....Nate Sudfeld with 230 yards passing and 3 TDs.

  • Ohio State gave Maryland a very rude welcome in Maryland's first home B1G game, rolling up a huge victory 52-24. J.T. Barrett threw for 4 TDs (this seems to be his modus operandi) and 267 yards, and the Ohio State defense forced 4 turnovers. Urban Meyer has now won 17 straight regular season B1G games. Hat tip to Maryland kicker Brad Craddock, who kicked a school-record 57 yard FG in the defeat.  Ohio State versus Michigan State is gonna be one hell of a game....