I’m so bummed…not only because my Nittany Lions showed their ass at MSU, but also because that was the last football game of the 2015 regular season.
/sobs quietly at desk for a moment.
Seems like just last week that we celebrated the first game. Overall, I think this was a strong conference. I’ll be excited to see who we are paired up with in bowls (those of us lucky enough to go). I’m putting this on you though…if you go to a bowl, win the goddam thing. Don’t powderpuff your way through it…Ballers is watching.
Now let’s rundown the final week’s B1G Ballers:
Illinois Fighting Illini: Wes Lunt can’t do it all for you…but he tried. He was 20 of 41 for 241 yards and a pick. He also ran in a touchdown. However, the rushing game never got going, which didn’t help him at all. Even though he couldn’t get rolling on the ground, running back Josh Ferguson caught seven balls for 100 yards.
On defense, linebacker Mason Monheim had a huge pick and return for 58 yards. Jihad Ward had a big hit on Thorson for a sack/fumble…but Northwestern recovered. Great game guys, even if it was a losing effort.
Indiana Hoosiers: Wow…where has this Nate Sudfeld been all year! Oh yeah, it’s the Purdue factor. But seriously, the kid went 18 of 29 for 350 yards and four touchdowns. That’s a hell of a game. Devine Redding carried the ball 22 times for 144 yards and a touchdown. The Hoosiers had their way with Purdue.
On defense, the Hoosiers sacked Austin Appleby six times. On the last one, Greg Gooch force him to fumble, which Indiana used to close out the game. Tegray Scales got a pick. Marcus Oliver got a huge pick, which he ran back 41 yards.
This was a good outing for a maligned Indiana squad that allowed Rutgers to eke out a win by giving up over fifty points. It was good to see them step up in the last game of the season.
Iowa Hawkeyes: I have on name for you guys…Jordan Canzeri. He had 17 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He was almost a guaranteed first down every time he got the ball. The rest of the offense was relatively quiet. Even his holiness C.J. Beathard was under 100 yards in the air.
However, on defense, they feasted on the woeful accuracy of Tommy Armstrong. Four different players had picks…Greg Mabin, Josey Jewell, Cole Fisher, and Parker Hesse (a defensive end!). Those turnovers killed Nebraska and sealed the win for Iowa. Nice job fellas.
Maryland Terrapins: Brandon Ross! Brandon Fucking Ross! That’s so cool, the senior running back refusing to quit on his last game in a Maryland uni. Maybe he was celebrating never having to wear that retina-grating outfit again? Who knows. What we do know is that his 80-yard run stuck the Scarlet Knights’ sword up their own arses. Nicely done. He carried the ball 28 times for 173 yards and three (3!) touchdowns. But he wasn’t the only insane runner on the day. Kenneth Goins Jr. carried the ball once, and broke a 42 yard touchdown run.
Freshman runner Ty Johnson carried the ball twice. His first touch went 43 yards for a score. His second touch went 44 yards for a score. Seriously. Did Rutgers have a defense in this game?
In total, Maryland racked up 401 yards on the ground and another 255 yards in the air. That’s an incredible 656 yards of offense.
Way to close on a high note guys.
Michigan Wolverines: It’s all I can do, not to revel too much in this. You guys thought you were going to roll the Buckeyes. Confidence is nice, just don’t get caught being too confident…oops.
In spite of the team’s implosion, Jehu Chesson came to play. He had 8 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Amara Darboh had four catches for 68 yards.
I know this isn’t the way you wanted the season to end, but 9-3 will get you a good bowl game. Maybe you can boat race Notre Dame in some warm destination as a consolation prize.
Michigan State Spartans: Gawd, that sucked. I know you guys wanted to impress the committee, but holy hell. That stings you know. And your kicker? He’s no baller, regardless of his antics against OSU.
Connor Cook balled. He was 19 of 26 for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Aaron Burbridge and R.J. Shelton both had big games. Burbridge caught six balls for 75 yards and a touchdown. Shelton caught four balls for 74 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, lineman Malik McDowell caught a flukey interception and ran it back for a touchdown. Arjen Colquhoun outjumped a Penn State receiver in the endzone for a pick as well. Riley Bullough had a huge game. Demetrius Cox scooped up a fumble and rumbled 77 yards for a touchdown. In general, the Michigan State defense bent, but didn’t break often. And they contributed 14 points to the win.
This game was a rout and sent out Cook and the other seniors on a high note. Congratulations, now go win some more. You are going to be our representative to the national championship pool. Last year’s team won it all using a broke-ass, third string quarterback.
No pressure though.
Minnesota Golden Gophers: Winning this game was a tall order. I thought you could do it. And when Briean Boddy-Calhoun picked off Stave’s very first pass and ran it back for a touchdown, I thought you were off and running.
It turns out, that’s about all you guys could muster. The offense was a dry poot of an effort. The defense gave up three touchdowns in the second quarter and that pretty much sealed the deal. I hope that you guys make a bowl, but I think it’s a slim chance now.
We’ll see you guys next season.
Nebraska Cornhuskers: It’s hard to find the light in this game. Tommy Armstrong was terrible, throwing four picks. The rushing game was almost as bad. The team had 38 attempts for 135 yards.
That said, the defense looked stout…which should give Iowa fans some concerns. Nebraska held Iowa’s offense on 9 third downs, turning them back every time. That’s right, the vaunted Hawkeye offense went 0 for 9 on third down conversions in the game. That’ll earn you a blackshirt, even in a loss.
Ohio State Buckeyes: Okay, I took a whole lot of pleasure in watching you guys curb stomp coach tantrum and his urine colored squad. The only pleasure I took from my own game was knowing that your win was in vain…suck it buckeyes.
But seriously, J.T. Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott make a hell of a duo. Elliott had 30 carries for 214 yards, two touchdowns, and no tears this week. Barrett had 19 carries for 139 yards, three touchdowns and no DUIs. That was a huge game for those two.
On defense, defensive lineman Joey (The Man-Boy) Bosa had a 28 yard pick and a forced fumble. The defense got to Jake Rudock twice. In all, they made Michigan look silly. Michigan could only muster 57 rushing yards on 25 attempts.
This was a nice cap on a solid season. Now go to a prestige bowl game and skull fuck your opponent. The B1G needs some quality representation.
Northwestern Wildcats: Running back Justin Jackson picked up the team and ran over Illinois. He carried the ball a whopping 37 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. Wideout Austin Carr had a big game. He had three catches for 61 yards. To put that in perspective, he only had 100 yards all season last year.
Junior corner Matthew Harris had a pick on a solid defensive outing for the Wildcats. The defense held Illinois’ running backs in check all game. They sacked Wes Lunt three times for a net -23 yards on the game. Way to ball.
Penn State Nittany Lions: Statistically, this was a good game for Penn State. Christian Hackenberg went 22 of 39 for 257 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. Saquon Barkley carried the ball 17 times for 103 yards. Chris Godwin caught 11 balls for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Yes, statistically, that looks okay, but statistics lie.
This was a complete disaster. It was so bad that Penn State fired its Offensive Coordinator the next day. I’m praying for a cupcake in the bowl game.
Please lord, let us play Georgia. Please?
Purdue Boilermakers: I have to give some love to Austin Appleby, who has tried extremely hard to force Purdue to win. At times he’s tried too hard…for example in this game. He was 36 of 57 for 332 yards and two touchdowns…but he threw two picks. And he rushed 15 times for 19 yards and two touchdowns…but he fumbled the ball twice.
Senior wideout Danny Anthrop had a good final game for the Boilers. He caught nine balls for 96 yards. That was almost a quarter of his yardage total for the year. Nice job Danny.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Hey Rutgers…remember when you came back to beat Indiana? Yeah, well this is how they felt. Now they are laughing all the way to a bowl game and you guys are replacing your AD and football coach.
That said, Chris Laviano tried hard to win this game for you guys. He was an efficient 21 of 33 for 344 yards and four touchdowns (but a pick as well). Leonte Carroo is a baller, as usual. He had seven catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. That’s a 26 yard per catch average, by the way. This kid will look good on Sundays.
Get your house in order and we’ll see you next season.
Wisconsin Badgers: You have great running backs and a great O-Line. Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal put on a clinic for Minnesota. Carrying the ball 55 times between the two. Ogunbowale had 155 yards and a touchdown. Deal had 90 yards and two touchdowns.
Stave didn’t throw the ball much, but when he did, it was usually to Alex Erickson. He caught six of Stave’s nine completions, for 66 yards.
On defense, two perennial ballers combined for three interceptions. Senior linebacker Joe Schobert got one. Senior safety Tanner McEvoy ended his final regular season game for the Badgers with two picks. I love great defense and these guys played great all year. We’ll miss you guys.
This puts a nice cap on a relatively quiet 9-3 season for the Badgers. I expect you guys to go to a good bowl game and knock the snot out of somebody. Hopefully an SEC big wheel. Get it done Badgers and great game.
Ballers of the Week:
Offensive Baller of the Week goes to Maryland’s Brandon Ross, who took a handoff 80-yards to seal the win against Rutgers. That’s what ballers do, they refuse to quit. Nicely done Brandon.
On Defense, the Baller of the Week goes to Wisconsin’s Tanner McEvoy. He finished his career with two big picks in a big game. Nice job Tanner.
For special teams Baller of the Week, I’m going with the Maryland and Rutgers kicking teams. Those poor bastards got a work out in that game.
As for beer…well let’s just say I did more than "sample" this weekend.
I grabbed a sixer of New Belgium’s special release beer with Ben and Jerry’s (the ice cream guys). It’s called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. Holy hell is this stuff good. And it kicked my butt. It’s a rich, mild brown ale with a deep finish. I’m telling you, this stuff is great. Give it a try.
P.S.: I’m going to miss this essay. I can’t believe the season’s over already. We will do one for bowl season and I’ll try to get a poll going for Ballers of the Year. You can vote on them and I’ll tally them.