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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 8

One Giant Stirs Briefly, Another Falls

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Ski-U-Mah-God-What-The-Hell-Are-You-Doing-Goophers?!?
  2. Chris Ash’s liver must be basically a dish sponge soaked in vodka.
  3. “Houston, we have problem. No, seriously, Hornibrook stinks. Get in there.”
  4. Ohio State broke the Badger offense. That’s my narrative and I’m sticking to it.
  5. You sure that angry god only hates your running backs, Iowa?
  6. Indiana should trademark “Lagow my pass.” Like L’eggo my Egg’o...but with passes thrown to the wrong team. I admit that it needs work.
  7. It’s time to maybe consider a world in which Northwestern isn’t that bad after all. Or not. I’m not here to tell you how to live.
  8. Jim Harbaugh called a fake punt while leading 34-0 in the fourth. Go on, Michigan fans. Tell us again how he’s not an asshole.
  9. Harbaugh and Lovie Smith should play for the Second Chance Trophy. It’s a pink slip stapled to a re-tread tire, all dipped in bronze.
  10. Michigan is now 7-0 for the first time since 1904, after playing six home games (and at Rutgers).
  11. Look, we call you the Thugtans as a’s not a challenge, Mr. Bullough.
  12. This was the first time in history that an Urban Meyer team lost a 10+ point fourth quarter lead.
  13. Penn State fans will still cry about the refs after that game.
  14. At some point Urban Meyer is going to have to realize that Tim Beck cannot scheme a game. Period. End of story. Two years of this hack is enough punishment. Ohio State is a world-class kitchen and Urban’s letting Tim Beck cook pizza rolls for dinner. SAD PIZZA ROLLS.

The Rundown

Rutgers at Minnesota | Minnesota squeaks it out 34-32

The Gophers looked to have this one locked up early, but Rutgers came surging back on the arm of Giovanni Rescigno, who has possibly the most Rutgers QB name ever. All they need now is a punter named Jackie Aprile Jr. Prior to this week, Rutgers had scored a whopping 14 points in B1G play. The Gophers let the Knights back in it, and had to finally put them away with :10 left via an Emmitt Carpenter field goal.

Insert_Name: One of the more embarassing outcomes in my decade as a Gopher fan. Done with this staff. Up 21-3 then absolute garbage. Ready for a hard reset for the program.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Jesus Christ what a disaster. PJ Fleck, Dino Babers, Bret Bielema, Luke Fickell. Somebody come on down.

ZuzuRU: Short and sweet: Don't sleep on Rutgers for the rest of this season and especially not next. Yeah, it took a few tries to get it right and will probably take a few more, but things are looking up for Rutgers. However "bad Minnesota played," Rutgers looked damn solid in so much of that game and I'm no longer approaching the rest of this season with my hands covering my face.

Wisconsin at Iowa | Badgers enact slow, boring revenge 17-9

Revenge is a dish best served politely, in casserole form. After last year’s oh-so-B1G 10-6 loss at home, Paul Chryst and Wisconsin returned the favor in Iowa City. Oddly, the Badgers reverted to Bart Houston under center for one of their scoring drives despite the success Hornibrook saw last week against OSU. Hornibrook didn’t look bad either, throwing 11 completions for 197 yards. Corey Clement was the hero of the battle, with 134 yards and the Badgers’ other TD. The long legend of Beathard keeps on withering. I’d wrote more, but no Iowa fans will be here to read it.

Al Namias IV: Today I learned that you can make $700,000 as an offensive coordinator and run passing plays that would make a high school coach blush. I also learned that Desmond King can't singlehandedly win games, though he can come close. I further learned that starting six former walk-ons, not including special teamers, will only get you so far in B1G football. But most importantly I learned that an 8-point lead is a two-score lead. Oh well, that's football.

Stewmonkey: Got to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007 by beating the defending ROSE BOWL and Pac12 champs! And did it while giving them a Fuck You safety! Woo!!!. Go Buffs!!

Indiana at Northwestern | Cats thump the Hoosiers 24-14

This looks to be another season in which the Hoosiers are the team that’s good enough to scare you, but not good enough to beat you. I don’t think the Wildcats were even nervous, though. Clayton Thorson led the ‘Cats to a dominating 24-3 lead and then set the cruise control for victory. Indiana stuck with their gameplan. Richard Lagow threw 59 passes, completed 35 of them, and let Northwestern snag two (one being the best play of the week). The Hoosiers are singlehandedly making the West feel very good about itself.

MNWildcat: Seriously, if that Quiero pick isn't the defensive play of the week, then let's just post fap fap fap michigan every day. It was great to see the 'Cats cruise and actually go out and throw the ball around the park with Thorson, who started something like 11 of his first 17, but then the good old Fitzball took hold again and Northwestern went right back into its conservative shell. So it goes.

What was really thrilling was to see how well the 'Cats secondary responded to an absymal outing against Michigan State. They held Richard Lagow to 0 TDs and a pretty inefficient afternoon at the office, and while they didn't get a ton of pressure for stretches in the game, there was still a lot positive to be taken away from the game. Seeing Minnesota, Purdue, and Illinois play, I'm getting more comfortable slotting the 'Cats into a bowl game, and damn if I'm not starting to think we could actually make it out of the Detroit slot. That's dangerous.

LincolnParkWildcat: WIllie ate Candystripes for lunch. we survived. I expected a shootout, and after a fantastic first quarter indiana's defense stiffened and we had a much tighter game. Kyle Quiero had a monster pick!

CandyStripes: The concern I've been harboring for the past couple of weeks went into full blown panic today. The defensive improvements have been great, and the more the play, the better they prove themselves to be. The offense, on the other hand, has somehow developed into a raging tire fire, particularly in the red zone. Richard Lagow is playing more like a freshman than you would hope your redshirt junior JUCO QB to look, and I don't think a steady diet of Zander Diamont is enough to fix whatever's broken on that side of the ball. Devine Redding hasn't fit properly into the mold that Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard set, so it's more like Indiana has a couple of change of pace backs than a featured guy and folks to give him a breather. Part of that falls on the offensive line, but you can only place so much blame on not opening holes on them before you wonder if it's not the space opening that's the problem. Something on the offense has to change. What that is, unfortunately, is still a mystery.

Illinois at Michigan | Harbaugh Harbaughs 41-8

Not much to say about this one. Next verse, same as the first. Illinois is a very bad team and Harbaugh reminded them of that fact. Wilton Speight went 16 of 23 and didn’t even play the whole game. The Illini turned to Jeff George Jr. (yes, THAT Jeff George) who was 4 of 15 for 95 yards, and his team held the ball for only 18:37 of clock time. This was a very bad game. But, as ever, Harbaugh decided to add to his mystique with a fake punt while leading 34-0. What a guy.


Purdue at Nebraska | Huskers pull away 27-14

Nebraska has faced plenty of critics who say they aren’t a true top ten squad. This game didn’t silence any of them. Many of us called for the dead cat bounce out of Purdue, and that’s what we got. Nebraska trailed for much of the game as David Blough seemed to have found a previously hidden level of passing acumen. As ever, the Huskers just kept plugging. Despite launching the occasional back-foot prayer, Armstrong was lethal to the tune of 303 all-purpose yards and two TDs. Good teams find ways to win and the Huskers buckled down in the second half, holding Purdue to 94 yards of offense. Big Red is still very much in the hunt for the West, though the national critics won’t be quieted.

Jesse Collins: Nebraska football continues to win ugly, and while it’s great that they win, letting a very loose - and not necessarily good - Purdue team pass all over the field for 2 quarters was a bad look. Add to the fact that Nebraska’s MASH unit offensive line decided that they would miss blocking assignments on the regular, and you have a really bad game. Luckily, Nebraska owns the fourth quarter for some insane reason and we pulled away when it mattered. Bonus points to the Nebraska defense who remembered - in the second half - that they should just out-athlete Purdue. On to the next one, right? Wisconsin and Ohio State in back to back will be the barometer. Can we win them? Sure, why not us? But it better be a hell of a lot cleaner than it’s been the last few weeks.

MSU at Maryland | How are the mighty fallen...Maryland wins 28-17

MSU is a bad team this year. There’s no good or nice way to say that. The ol’ wrestler was back under center for Maryland and marked his return with two TD passes to lead the Terps to their first victory over MSU since 1950. Brian Lewerke is still pretty poor under center in his second start, completing under 50% and throwing no TDs. Frustration started early for the Spartans, who saw Riley Bullough commit three personal fouls and get ejected in the first 11 minutes of the game. Perhaps things are worse in East Lansing than they seem.

DJ Carver: Something about Michigan State coming to town always means a night game and guarantees it is either cold, windy or a combination of both. It was sort of amusing to me that both fanbases felt the same way before the game, no one thought they'd win and both were in F it mode for the season after the last few weeks. I think we firmly put Sparty there after this game. Hills was efficient and unimpressive at the same time but Maryland got back to what they had done best this season: running the ball. Apparently to call run plays Hills needs to play QB, but whatever the case Walt Bell seemed to remember he had a pretty good run game and it did the trick. The defense was pretty terrible against the run but Sparty called pass plays at just the right time to derail that momentum along with a timely imaginary offensive pass interference that sealed the deal on Sparty's attempt to come back. Nevertheless Maryland is now 5-2 and only needs to beat Rutgers or Indiana in order to get to a bowl game (LOL we ain't beating OSU, Michigan or Nebraska).

Andrew KraskaLechWaleša: MSU lost again to a theoretically less talented opponent. They turned it over twice with less than 10 yards to go to the endzone. They committed their now-typical array of boneheaded penalties to gift their opponents points they otherwise wouldn't have scored. This senior class has, 7 games into the season, shown just how extensively they have heretofore ridden the coat tails of the classes in front of them to achieve what they have so far. I'm missing the Michigan game next week and am not the least bit upset about that fact. More details once I sort it all out myself.

Ohio State at Penn State | Nits get the breaks for once, upend OSU 24-21

Our worst nightmares have come true. For some of us, anyway. For others it was a dream night years in the making. A slow, grinding, very-B1G first half saw OSU take a 12-7 lead into the halftime break. J.T. Barrett hit Marcus Baugh who bowled past three tackles to score the Buckeyes’ first half TD. In a reprisal of 2014, PSU receiver Chris Godwin snagged a boundary pass in the endzone to put the Nits on the board. The second half looked to be all OSU as well. The Buckeyes held the Nits to negative yardage in the third quarter and extended their lead to 21-7. With the previously competent PSU offense notching only 72 yards, one FG and one TD, you’d think that would be it. Then the impossible happened. Rather than go for it on 4th and 2, Urban Meyer elected to rush his kicker into a long FG. The low kick was blocked, and PSU’s Grant Haley barely outran OSU’s oddly speedy holder for the game-winning TD. A brutal no-call PI on the ensuing drive ended OSU’s night and their probably undeserved reign at #2 in the land.

Aaron Yorke: Unlike two years ago in Happy Valley, the breaks went Penn State's way on Saturday night. But even if you take away two huge special teams plays in the fourth quarter and add in a pass interference penalty that wasn't called, the most important part of this game remains: Penn State's defense slowed down Ohio State's running game and even looked dominant on the Buckeyes' final possession. This comes just one month following a game in Michigan that saw Jim Harbaugh's team run over the Lions like they were traffic cones. Look at the box score for this game and you'll see that the Lions still have plenty to work on. In particular, the offense is still far too reliant on the big play to be considered efficient. However, the upset over Ohio State will be best remembered as the night James Franklin got the monkey off his back and pulled off a huge win over an elite opponent. You can stop worrying about the man's job now.

87Townie: Oh holy hell. Apparently I have to be out of the fucking country for great things to happen. Didn't see the game, but I caught the highlights. What can I say? I do love a fucking white out, baby. Signature win for Franklin...check. Big time upset for this young team...check. Finally get to stop hearing about Urban Meyer's undefeated away record...check. Hello world, Penn State is back.

GF3: (Hi again) It sure does suck to be the ones having the game stolen from you by the refs. Fake horse collars. Whistle-swallowing refs. Unreal holding by PSU’s shitty O-line. Buuuut...if the Buckeyes had shown up to play, none of that would’ve mattered much. They didn’t. They had a pocket full of Beck and, as it turns out, running the tight zone on every first down doesn’t fool anyone. Calling Penn State “back” is a bit premature, given that they got dominated in every phase of the game and turned in a quarter of literally negative offensive production. Sometimes, luck does you a favor.