Hi sports fans. This SMCD will be a little short, as your beloved “writer” is on the road in the Big Apple.
Illinois at Rutgers | Illinois wins 24-7
GF3: How did Rutgers outgain Illinois and get more than double the first downs only to lose 24-7? Oh. Five turnovers. Welp.
Thumpasaurus: I would however like to point out that for the first time since 1992, a first year head coach at Illinois has won a conference game.
ZuzuRU: Fine everyone. Rutgers is a bad team. But you know what? I still love them and will still defend their honor. It's easy to love a good team, much harder to love a basement team. Also, it seems we might finally have our Quarterback. Gio Rescigno... Ya dun good. Please save us in our remaining games.
Minnesota at Maryland | Minnesota wins 31-10
GF3: How did Maryland convert more third downs than Minnesota and still lose by 21? Oh, four turnovers. Two points make a line...
InsertName: Minnesota's D looked great until they played prevent the entire 4th. MD only had ~100 yds through the first 3. Rhoda didn't lose the game. Running backs did as expected. Both lines mauled Maryland. Gophers should be a very soft 7-2 heading into Lincoln.
WSR: Maryland's lines are very soft. This result didn't do anything to take the sting out of the two very painful, pointless results that came before it.
DJ Carver: What is tackling? Josh Woods doesn't know. What is pass blocking? LOL don't ask the Maryland OL. Pigrome was running for his life pretty much every time he dropped back for a pass, which was far too often IMO. Maryland has seemingly abandoned the run so far in B1G play, which is super concerning considering that's their strength and our pass blocking on the OL is worthy of starting for a high school team. What was the OL good at today? Holding...a lot. Far too many penalties, many of them suspect in my drunken viewing opinion from the 30ish yard line at the game. I'm not sure Maryland has a game outside of Rutgers the rest of the year I'd be confident in saying they can win. Sparty looks absolutely awful but so does Maryland, so who knows. Even Indiana looks very competent this year. I guess it was always a rebuild but those 4 wins to start the year sure were fun while they lasted.
Also, this is directly for the Maryland students: You all are fucking pathetic. Pathetic. When I went to college, which was not very long ago (‘09 grad), we did lot leave games at halftime, ESPECIALLY when the score is only 14-0! UNREAL. EVERY single game the student section completely empties at halftime for them to never return. It is so god damn disappointing to see it, especially when it is still a game! We want to be in the Big Ten? Act like it and support your football team. It was a NOON game and there may have been a hundred students left after halftime. THERE ARE OVER 20,000 UNDERGRADS THATATTEND. Unbelievable. Hell just the freshmen in the dorms across the street from the stadium could fill the student section. I can’t believe for conference games students are still scanning and leaving at half. Just getting those loyalty points for basketball tickets I guess? I can’t wait to hear the plethora of excuses made, but there isn’t one.
Iowa at Purdue | LOL what? Iowa wins a barnburner 49-35
GF3: Akrum Wadley was the 170-yard horse in a very unexpected race. Apparently Purdue just doesn’t believe in running, though at 2.1 ypc you can see why. That passing line is insane...458 yards on a 50% completion rate? Did Iowa leave the defense at home? Also, Purdue is awful.
Baba Oreally: Purdue is what we thought they were. After their one conference win, they go back to getting blown out by teams that aren't that good. I would say it is all downhill from here, but it has flattened out down here at the bottom.
Al Namias IV: Purdue is awful and the Purdue Iowa played was without its two best defensive players making them worse than awful. But Rutgers is awful too and Iowa barely squeezed through that one. This was definitely a step up or two for the Hawkeyes regardless of the opponent. Also the score was deceptive as Purdue got many of its points off Iowa's second teamers. Still it's hard to get too excited over this win as it means almost nothing. It's not hyperbole to say the success or failure of the season rests on next week's result so we'll see. And that's my lukewarm take on a lukewarm game.
CreightonM: The worst thing I have to say about this game was that Iowa's 2nd and 3rd string guys did absolutely nothing to impress me, particularly on defense. Still, I thought Iowa's first team guys were going to get into a close, dirty, low scoring embarrassment of a football game, so I guess I'm glad they took care of business for once. Or maybe Purdue is just somehow worse than I thought they were.
Stewmonkey13: Iowa is not that good. One might even say bad, and that would be fair. But dear Lord Purdue is a special type of awful. The Iowa 2nd Team, though. Man that garbage time against Purdue's first team was ugly.
Nebraska at Indiana | Huskers hang onto another lead 27-22
GF3: So, this Riley guy is for real huh? Undefeated Nebraska in Week 8? I’d say that’s worth being happy about...in a very reserved, not-too-showy Nebraska way. Like a firm nod and pleased “Hmph.” Despite an arm-punt or two, Nebraska made the plays they needed when they needed them in what was a neck-and-neck race between the West’s biggest challenger to Wisconsin and a surprisingly good Indiana team.
Jesse Collins: All things considered, a win is a win is a win. Nebraska was exactly what we expected more or less. Bend don’t break on defense, Chris Jones being a true shutdown guy with a ballhawk mentality, and Tommy Armstrong looking hobbled and sketchy without a run option. Look, if TA can’t run, he is a suboptimal option at QB. We know it, you know it, the coaches know it… It’s not ideal. However, despite his terrible decision making, he fought through without his security blanket - Jordan Westerkamp - and other security blanket - Cethan Carter. Terrell Newby ALMOST gave the Hoosiers a chance there at the end, but I really do think his knee was down. He also pulled an Illinois and gutted out yards with everyone knowing he was going to run. Bottom line, I’m happy with the win and love it or hate it, Nebraska is 6-0. Are we Iowa 2015? Sure, but that’s okay. I’m going to ride this one out. Bowl eligible at midseason is better than waiting for scores to get you in, right?
Candystripes: I would love it if Indiana would like to put a full 4 quarter game together anytime this year. But, since that doesn't seem likely to happen, I guess I get to watch everyone else gush over how good #ChaosTeam is doing, while never having to worry that their team might actually lose to them* (does not apply to MSU fans). AGAIN.
Northwestern at MSU | The wheels fall off the Spartywagon 54-40
GF3: 54-40 means there wasn’t a whole lot of fight out of either defense. I don’t think anyone could have even laughingly predicted that Sparty would be in such dire straits. Northwestern? Who knows that they are, but they dropped almost 500 yards on MSU and 50% more first downs than Sparty could muster. Things in East Lansing are looking a bit dire. From playoff team to no bowl? Could happen.
MNWildcat: Well, nothing's easy, huh? NU came out slow and gifted MSU with a short field and pick six for their first 14, then absolutely dominated two quarters, then held on in a vaguely competent showing. Justin Jackson is a fuckin stud and deserves your attention even though he doesn't play for Ohio State and isn't Saquon Barkley (he's better). Austin Carr is the best WR in the B1G. Thorson was passable.
The defense needs work. Trae Williams and Montrae Hartage and works in progress at CB, and Godwin Igwebuike is not often in the business of setting balls perfectly to Shelton for touchdowns, but the D still got to both MSU QBs and made it happen. That's awesome.
On the whole, I'll take the win. It was weird scoring the most points in NU history since HOWEVER FUCKING LONG, the offensive explosion is making me rethinking firing Mick McCall, and Fitz is firmly ensconced in Northwestern lore. This team needs 2 more games to go bowling, and that's exciting, given the assy start to the year.
Andrew Pirogie: Do not rethink firing your offensive coordinator because of any results gained against this shit defense. Forget 2009, we are now somehow looking a 2006 in the face.
Really, the most basic problem this team has is that neither line is up to snuff. Yes, both suffered bad attrition, but failing to run block, pass block, stop the run, or get any consistent pass rush outside of Malik McDowell is really discouraging.
I don't know what the hell MSU is doing with its quarterbacks at this point. Redshirt freshman Brian Lewerke got his first career start, was ok at first, but then showed skittishness in the pocket and refused to throw the ball downfield against a weak secondary. Instead, the call, after a creative and effective opening drive, was consistently RUTM on first down after first down when the line got not the vaguest whiff of a push.
Then Tyler O'Connor comes back on, whether because Lewerke got murdalized when his useless right tackle was tossed aside or just because the offense had stalled for almost half of the game by that point, it's hard to say. And he uncorks a couple of long bomb touchdowns to Shelton to keep it interesting...not that the defense was up to the task anyway.
As an aside, Northwestern got the benefit of having two turnovers erased by overactive replay officials on borderline calls. This happened, it cannot be reasonably disputed, and I don't believe it would have changed the outcome because MSU was so thoroughly unable to handle out route after screen after out route that it wouldn't have made a difference.
There's no real point to this last part because Dantonio's greatest fault, and the single biggest reason he will never win a national title for MSU, is his undying loyalty to his friends on his staff. But I'm concluding with this anyway: Mark Snyder needs to be fired.
He is responsible for the special teams and linebackers. His charges did the following:
- Kick yet another kickoff out of bounds off the foot of a senior who has never done anything except kickoffs. You. Had. ONE. Job.
- Allow yet another punt to hit the ground and roll 20 additional yards
- On one of the few attempts at a kickoff return they've had the courage to undertake, commit a penalty to start the drive on the 5 yard line
- Allow a soul-breaking kickoff return touchdown immediately after Shelton caught a dramatic touchdown to narrow the lead
- Miss about 25 tackles on the edge to make plodding, unremarkable Justin Jackson look like Emmitt Smith
I'm slower to say fire Dave Warner because 2 years ago, he managed the best offense in school history, Pat Narduzzi had some pretty bad defenses in his tenure. But Mark Snyder has got to go. But he won't, and Dantonio's reason will essentially be that he knows better than we ignorant masses. Sure, he's earned that, but the sense that he may be willing to accept what he's getting in he name of loyalty to his friends is an uncomfortable thought.
Ohio State at Wisconsin | Ohio State wins a grudge match 30-23 in OT
GF3: I missed most of the second half thanks to work obligations, but I was nigh inconsolable at the halftime break, as my worst fears looked to be coming true. The Badger defense couldn’t have played more downhill if they were on a ski jump, yet somehow the Buckeyes couldn’t get anyone open deep either (save for a horribly dropped TD pass). Chryst is a master play caller, and OSU apparently was flummoxed by the innovation of the sweep play. Arriving back at the hotel to see the Buckeyes had tied it up was a welcome surprise. The Badgers looked very much like a grudge-fueled team coming off two weeks of preparation in a big night game at Camp Randall. Thank god for halftime adjustments.
Ohio State got jobbed early on a very bad reversal of a fumble, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. In total the Buckeyes played a clean game, being penalized only twice (once for a sideline infraction when a ref smacked Urban with a windmilling arm), but then false started and held in the overtime period. Despite giving back 15 yards, Ohio State rode Barrett all the way to a go-ahead TD strike to Noah Brown.
Hornibrook worked some serious magic in the end, getting the bend-but-don’t-break Buckeyes against the wall. That’s where things failed. Ohio State sniffed out Clement runs and, in a replay of the 2014 overtime defeat of PSU, ended the game on a big sack.
A great game by the Badgers. An amazing come-from-behind by the Buckeyes.
TSpeth: GODDAMNIT. Alright time to clownfuck the West Division.