Your dreams were your ticket out.
To that same old place that you laughed about.
Well the names have all changed
Since you hung around.
But those dreams have remained
And they've turned around.
Who'd have though they'd lead you
Back here where we need you!
Welcome back, Empire.
From the ashes rises the Phoenix. From the rust rises the Empire. Think a few weeks of getting our space station torpedoed is gonna keep us down? Not a chance. The Empire is (mostly) back!
Sunday Morning (Afternoon) Coming Down? Nope. We're staying up after this weekend, for the first time in a long time.
EMU at MSU. Nothing to say. How you gonna dissect that? Steamrollered from whistle to whistle. 49 first half points. Highest total in 25 years. I hope future seasons feature less Directional Michigan for these reasons alone. Next up: Wyoming.
Iowa at Pittsburgh. The first three quarters saw yours truly leading a growing a Fire Kirk Ferentz movement in the bar. The Hawkeyes were staggering after the half, but managed to find something in their backup QB C.J. Beathard, who replaced the ineffective Rudock and went 7-of-8 passing. It wasn't a pretty win, but Iowa's never been one for style points. Which fella appears under center next week is anybody's guess. Also of note: Iowa had allowed 65 yards per game rushing up to this point, but Pitt tripled that output. Needless to say, some questions remain. Either way, it's a win against the ACC. Next up: Purdue.
SIU at Purdue. Good on you, Boilermakers. You've tied last year's campaign. Points off turnovers win games. Now...can you make it two? Next up: Iowa.
Western Illinois at Northwestern. This tussle was the purplest thing imaginable. Nothing really wild or convincing in this game, but NW desperately needed a win. A check in the W column should get things moving in the right direction....maybe? Next up: Penn State.
BG at Wisconsin. "Hello, valued guests, and welcome to Camp Randall. Please enjoy the music while we run right over your face." How did Indiana lose to that BG squad? The Badgers now own the B1G single-game record with 644 yards rushing. The ground game is brutal in Madison, which is important since the passing game is brutal in a very different way. McEvoy went 9-of-16 with a TD and a pick against a MAC secondary. Good thing Melvin Gordon and company are around. Next up: South Florida.
Maryland at Syracuse. The fastest turtles on earth. 280 yards out of C.J. Brown through the air and impressive points off turnovers gave the surprisingly good Terps another win. The B1G deals the ACC another blow. Next up: at Indiana.
Utah at Michigan. Two days in Cali have softened my hard exterior, so since I can't say something nice I won't say much at all. Michigan's best stretch during this whole game was the rain delay. Time to let Brady Hoke ruin some other program. If you aren't sure, consider this: Between ND and Utah his boys have put up 10 whole points. That's with a 5th-year senior under center and veteran skilled position players. What do we think next year holds? Here's hoping we can trick the SEC into hiring him. Next up: Minnesota.
Rutgers at Navy. Navy almost snatched this one back. With Paul James down for the count in the 2nd quarter, Rutgers had to rely on Justin Goodwin and their defense to pull out the win. One can't help but think that with Paul James averaging almost 14 ypc before going out, this would've been a very different ballgame with him in. In any event, the Knights were lucky to escape Navy-Marine Corps stadium with a win. Next up: Tulane.
UMass at Penn State. Not even close. A truly balanced run-pass offense by PSU--a first for the season. Next up: Tarpwestern.
Texas State at Illinois. Um...good win? The Illini kept their streak of second-half comebacks alive to beat...Texas State. Take a lap, Beckman. A win is a win, but you're gonna have to start the game off right at some point. Next up: Nebraska.
SJSU at Minnesota. This game was methodical and sort of plodding from end to end, in a way that is the hallmark of the Jerry Kill system. Without Leidner under center, the Gophers relied on backup QB Streveler to marshal the offense. By "relied on" I mean "worked around," since Streveler didn't complete a pass until the 4th quarter. It was his only completion of the day. He did, however, generate 161 yards with his legs. Five turnovers by SJSU sealed the deal. Next up: Michigan.
Indiana at Mizzou. Nate Sudfeld offers up 252 yards passing and Tevin Coleman rips off a 44-yard dash to send Missourah packing in their own home. Were there hiccups? Sure. Did they almost blow it? Maybe. But they didn't. Bloomington's finest had it in the clutch. The Hoosiers can now say something no other B1G team can: they've knocked off a ranked SEC opponent on the road this year. I doff my cap to you, good sirs. Next up: Maryland.
Miami at Nebraska. The matchup alone gets my heart thumping with nostalgia. Typical thug behavior out of Miami notwithstanding, Nevraska could've looked sharper. A few turnovers put the Huskers in a more precarious position than they needed, but Ameer Abdullah's record 313 all-purpose yards was the foundation Big Red needed to put Da U in its place for another year. A good showing, but bear in mind that Miami has lost 5 straight to ranked foes and 11 of 12 such tilts on the road. Next up: Illinois.
Is the Empire back? It's hard to say for certain. But this weekend at least stanched the bleeding.
Good to see you again, Mr. Kot-ter.