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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 6

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Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls

Michigan v Rutgers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Ten B1G Things

  1. Mitch Leidner is not a first round draft pick. Not in the NFL. Not in the CFL. Not in the German Kropfkrankenkriegliege. Hell, if there was a league called the Only Guys Named Mitch Leidner Football League he’d still be a third rounder.
  2. Don’t laugh, Beathard. You’re no better, you legendary architect of delusion.
  3. Joey Julius’ acting skills surpass at least 50% of the Baldwin brothers.
  4. This week marks the second game in a row where a player has been stupidly ejected for making a non-targeting hit on Julius.
  5. Randy Edsall beat PSU. Just saying.
  6. Ohio State still has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season.
  7. J.T. Barrett went from the middle of the first quarter to 3:51 in the 4th between positive yardage pass completions.
  8. Indiana’s rock is actually a lump of Buckeye-specific kryptonite.
  9. Michigan had more than 5 times as many touchdowns as Rutgers had first downs.
  10. Rutgers went 0 for 17 on third downs. That must be a record.
  11. How was Purdue/Illinois the dirtiest game? Multiple roughing penalties, a targeting ejection, and a guy stepping on the QB’s helmet? I’m not mad, just disappointed.
  12. No seriously guys...Rutgers gained 22 yards on offense. Total. Harbaugh thinks Peppers should win the Heisman. Which is more ridiculous is anyone’s guess.
  13. This is a floor season for Dantonio. The problem is that nobody knows which floor.
  14. It just occurred to me that Wisconsin will have had two weeks to prepare for OSU and I’m now very scared.

The Rundown

Maryland at Penn State | PSU runs away with the We Totally Don’t Care Trophy 38-14

Penn State’s offense wasn’t great, but it was good. Maryland’s offense wasn’t even good. Saquon Barkley ran for just over 200 yards, and Trace McSorley completed just over half his passes for 152 yards. Penn State was a rather abysmal 5/13 on third down conversions, but again Maryland was worse. Add to that, Maryland offered nothing in the way offense on their own, registering only 270 yards to Penn State’s 524. All told, this wasn’t even a contest. DJ Durkin, ironically, learned that a 4-0 start and lots of hype talk don’t mean much in the B1G.

87townie: So a 4-0 Terrapin walks into Beaver Stadium with a CHIP on his shoulder... I listened to this game on satellite radio in the parking lot of the Days Inn in Crystal River, Florida. Boom, baby. Penn State doesn't suck. We aren't the best team in the B1G, but we sure ain't worst...that team played Michigan this week. Could we be third in the East...yes, yes we could.

DJ Carver: Didn't watch, had to work. Checked score, not watching replays. Rush defense is as awful as I thought it would be in conference, maybe worse. Was worried that would happen and why I stayed pessimistic while those on other Maryland sites blew their load early when the line flipped. Time to sleep, three bar shifts straight working 24 of the last 32 hours does that.

PSU next up: BYE | Maryland next up: Minnesota


Iowa at Minnesota | Floyd stays put as Iowa wins 14-7

Minnesota looked terrible and Tracey Claeys was a bad hire. That needed to be said. Leidner didn’t complete a pass until under 5:00 left in the 2nd. After their last two battles for the bronze porker saw Minnesota put up a combined 86 points, the Gophers couldn’t move the ball with any consistency. That’s not to say Iowa was much better. Beathard matched Leidner’s two backbreaking picks with two of his own, and only out-produced Minnesota 321-268 on offense. This was a battle of two teams who have no hope of living up to their pre-season hype, and only Wadley’s 52-yard TD blast kept Floyd from having to forward his mail.

Stewmonkey: OINK OINK OINK MOTHERFUCKERS!!!! But Iowa is still pretty damn bad, it's just that Minnesota found a way to be worse.

Al Namias IV: I thought Iowa was the only team with an inept OC. And then Minny came out and decided to lead with the pass. They even challenged King. Didn't go so well. Anyway, the Iowa D was much improved, the offense was better but still awful. And the game itself was only slightly more exciting than a high school scrimmage. It's a shame King and Jewell can't play every position on the field because they're both playing at an all-conference level. And though I didn't think it possible, Iowa may very well reach seven wins which, y'know, is the touchstone of a really good team.

WSR: I do not have the profanity for what happened today.

Iowa next up: at Purdue | Minnesota next up: at Maryland


Indiana at Ohio State | Ohio State rolls 38-17 and looks bad doing it

If you expected Ohio State to coming out firing on all cylinders against an improved Indiana defense, you were just the sucker the Buckeyes were looking for. Ohio State’s first drive collapsed with a wet plop when J.T. Barrett blasted Mike Weber in the face with a shovel pass, leading to an Indiana fumble recovery and field goal. Barrett never found his rhythm in the passing game...and by that I mean his “rhythm” was the kind you’d see at a Sunday no-liquor wedding reception in Cedar Rapids. Credit is largely due to the efforts of the defense (Indiana’s first ever) who took a page out of Tulsa’s book and clamped down on the Buckeye passing game. Barrett went nearly three quarters without completing a pass for positive yards. Richard Lagow, the lanky JUCO transfer, looked notably better. He completed 14 of 28 passes for 182 and Indiana’s two touchdowns. Barrett ultimately carried the day with a team-leading 137 rushing yards yielding a combined 2 TDs. When your QB has to take more than two dozen hits to win against Indiana, though, it’s a sign that Urban Meyer’s offense caught a case of TimBeckian Wasting Disease. To wit, the outrageous Curtis Samuel ended the game with a whopping nine touches.

GF3: Ohio State always struggles with Indiana under Wilson. I’m amazed they haven’t lost one yet. Tim Beck was in full effect, calling plays like a high school JV coach and risking his QB at every turn. Terrible.

Candystripes: The only thing I'm truly disappointed about coming out of IU-OSU is that the margin of victory for the Buckeyes ended up being that large. No one really expected Indiana to beat a team that looks destined for the CFP again, so the fact that the Hoosiers actually hung tough in the Horseshoe and made the Buckeyes work for it is good enough for me this year. The early decision by Coach Wilson to make running the ball a priority to the exclusion of passing was a bit odd, but it did produce some good gains at times. If Indiana could have converted a few more breaks into points, they might have taken it down to the last play for a second straight year, but making the folks in Vegas look kinda silly will have to suffice.

OSU next up: at Wisconsin | Indiana next up: Nebraska


Purdue at Illinois | Purdue stands own stench longer to prevail 34-31 over Illini

What sort of topsy-turvy, mixed-up world are we living in where Purdue and Illinois give us the best B1G game of the weekend? The Boilermakers owe their victory to a kid who had never started as a running back and a kicker who misses most everything he attempts. Brian Lankford-Johnson, a relative unknown, racked up 127 yards for the Boilermakers, who took the Illini into overtime as the Illinois kicker doinked a potential game winner off the upright. Despite losing Wes Lunt to injury in the 2nd quarter, the University of Chief Illiniwek fought their way back from two separate touchdown deficits and came within inches of winning, only to have their dreams dashed in overtime by a Purdue kicker who’d missed 60% of his field goals this year. Despite having the ball first in OT, the Illini got no points after fumbling the ball away, leaving Purdue the chance they needed to win the...uh...Cannon Trophy. Whatever that is. The pain continues in Chambana.

babaoreally: So Purdue won their one conference game of the season. It took an overtime to get there, but it's nice to get that out of the way so we can return to lopsided defeats. Darrell Hazell is 2-2 against Illinois (2-0 at Illinois) and 1-21 against the rest of the conference. Purdue fans should party like it's 1999, because Iowa is going to roll into Ross-Ade next week and make Purdue look like Purdue again. I'm not saying Iowa is good by any means, just that will win easily.

Thump: We are never winning another football game. Honestly it took miracles by Turner and Nickerson to even get us to that position. Lovie and co are in over their heads. Burn it all down. They're not recruiting well enough to justify THIS.

Purdue next up: Iowa | Illinois next up: at Rutgers


BYU at MSU | Sparty collapses to the mid-2000s, 31-14

Reality is a cruel mistress, and the reality is that MSU is not a good team. BYU rolled into East Lansing with a losing record and walked out with Sparty’s head on a pike. MSU drew first blood, taking a touchdown lead that BYU whittled only three points off of by halftime. But the Cougars held the home team in check after that, allowing Sparty only 31 yards over five offensive series. Dantonio’s kingdom was lost for want of a quarterback. The starter, Tyler O’Connor, managed only 58 passing yards on seven completions. He was replaced by Damion Terry in the fourth, though his short-lived success was ended by way of an interception. BYU’s Taysom Hill tallied 178 yards between his passing and running before being replaced as well. Sparty is suddenly facing a very long season.

Andrej Kielbasazewskowitz: MSU's biggest problem, which is utterly beyond their control, is an unbelievable plague of injuries to a team already lacking depth because of attrition. Riley Bullough, Jon Reschke, Raequan Williams, and Darian Hicks, all defensive starters, were all out today.

But their absence isn't why MSU lost; they lost because the offense is officially 2012-level bad.

Just like in that year, the QB and offensive coordinator will get most of the blame, and to be sure, they deserve a lot of it. Tyler O'Connor still doesn't have the connection with his receivers you would expect from a senior, and his pocket presence flat-out sucks, there's no other way to put it.

Likewise, the sickeningly bland and predictable playcalling will get Dave Warner a lot of criticism, but between the freshman receivers and a line that hasn't been the same from drive to drive, this offense can't execute anything more complicated than its base plays, and they aren't good enough at those to succeed against a competent defense.

Mark Dantonio does appear to have learned something from 2012, though. Instead of clinging to his failed quarterback beyond the point of any rationality, he's gone to backup Damion Terry much earlier. Terry did throw a bad interception, but also led the offense on one of its two extant drives of the day. Unfortunately, his learning curve now starts mid season instead of in the spring like it probably should have.

Bring on basketball season.

MSU next up: Northwestern


Michigan at Rutgers | Harbaugh Harbaughs, 78-0

There’s nothing objectively meaningful to say about this game, really. Life in Urban’s shadow obviously hurts Harbaugh so much that he not only bought Twitter followers, but faked a PAT against Rutgers. He faked a PAT. Against Rutgers. With a 6 touchdown lead. Rutgers didn’t even get a first down until the 4th quarter. Rutgers is an embarrassment to Big Ten athletics in every way possible and should never have even been considered for membership. This is why you don’t say yes to the first call you get, Chris Ash. No, seriously, I’m done writing about Rutgers. If you play that room-temp cadaver of a team, assume you won by 100 and bypass SMCD. (unless you’re Iowa).

Michigan next up: BYE | Rutgers next up: Who cares? I mean it’s Illinois but seriously who even cares?