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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 11

Deja vu, Jim!

NCAA Football: Michigan at Iowa Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Almost two months had passed since MSU won a game.
  2. MSU earned the strangest penalty of the week when the had two players wearing No. 22 on the field at the same time.
  3. You know a game is boring when the second storyline is kids getting two footballs caught in a tree.
  4. After years of being derided for starting traffic cones on the offensive line, PSU has moved them to second string.
  5. Justin Jackson the Ball Carrier™ and John Moten IV are the first NW duo to rush for more than 100 each since 2013.
  6. In case anyone thought Carr wasn’t good, he’s tied the single-season NW record with 12 TDs.
  7. Judging by all 17 fans behind the BTN Tailgate stage, Madtown folks are not early risers. Or they don’t care about Illinois. Or BTN
  8. Illiniwek is an old Algonquian word that translates as “a man’s horrifying search for meaning.”
  9. J.T. Barrett now owns the all-time B1G touchdown record for QBs. Sorry, Breesus.
  10. Maryland’s uniforms were, without a doubt, the worst uniforms yet seen in the B1G. They looked like ketchup bottles, but not Heinz. That House Recipe stuff from Sysco.
  11. Tommy Armstrong is exhibit A of why CTE will destroy football.
  12. Minnesota has so many good skilled players, and yet they’re forced to rely on a 250-pound pinball flipper under center.
  13. Iowa’s last win vs an AP top-2 team was in 1985, when No. 1 Hawkeyes beat No. 2 Michigan. Starting QB for Michigan in that game: Jim Harbaugh.
  14. Turns out that road games at night are a little tougher.

The Rundown

Rutgers at MSU | MSU Wins 49-0, Avoids Seppuku

Hello darkness, my old friend. MSU donned their Colorado State tribute uniforms and put the wood to Rutgers. Tyler O’Connor looked good, which is a service Rutgers offers. He and the Spartan offense ran up 440 yards to Rutgers’ paltry 149. Not much to say other than that while both teams are bad, one is suffering acutely and one is near-death from a chronic disease. Maybe it’s sleeping sickness. Do giants get that?

Andrew Yakovsmirnoff: Welp, MSU is still better than Rutgers. Wave the tiniest of celebration flags. I ain't gonna complain, they looked today like I thought they would all season, but it's a bit late, you know? Also next week is going to be well uh better slap the mature content label on that one.

MSU next up: Ohio State | Rutgers next up: Death or Penn State...whichever is preferable

Penn State at Indiana | PSU wins the Battle of Who Can Care less 45-31

This game was a regression to the mean for Penn State and more of the same for the Hoosiers. To wit, PSU held a -3 advantage in turnovers before the half. They capitalized on this to the tune of a 14-14 tie with 27 yards of rushing—partly due to losing LT Paris Palmer in the first quarter and partly due to atrocious execution. Saquon Barkley finished the day with 60 yards on 33 attempts, but added the two key 4th quarter TDs to put the Hoosiers away. Indiana’s duo of Richard Lagow and Zander Diamont led the offense to a 459-yard performance, but couldn’t close the deal. A failed TD attempt on 4th and 1 haunted the Hoosiers, who find that the oft-mentioned “hump” is forever one week ahead of them.

87Townie: Well Penn State pulled off a miraculous comeback. I had to actually leave the house at half time to collect was that bad. Our offensive line woes continue to expand. We gave up three sacks and 15 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Tegray Scales is a beast. He's the real deal. Our second stringers are going down now...leaving us with youngsters who are so bad they don't even have the sense to hold. Saquon Barkley was met in the backfield time after time after time. The bright spots were infrequent...recovered fumbles (Indiana was more than generous) resulted in no points. It took a massive 24 point fourth quarter to salvage this game. Good for Indiana for coming to play. They looked prepared on both sides of the ball. The difference here was turnovers.

Tegray Scales is a monster. I knew he was good, but jesus. He was in our backfield as much as Barkley.

Indiana's coaches had them ready to play. They had answers to almost everything. They forced Mcsorley to throw picks, something he hasn't done much of this year. On offense, we were on our heels for most of the game. Excellent plan by Indiana, just a little short on execution. I think they are going to win a lot of games next year.

Aaron Yorke: On one hand, it's not a good sign that Saquon Barkley only gained 58 yards on a career-high 33 carries. The offensive line being banged up and ineffective is a bigger problem for Penn State right now than worrying about its Playoff ranking. On the other hand, it was fun to watch Penn State come from behind despite the lack of a running game. Trace McSorley has been lacking at times this year, but he was money in the fourth quarter in Bloomington. The redshirt sophomore seemed to know exactly how long he had in the pocket before the Indiana pass rush clobbered him time after time. Even after being forced out of the game in the first half due to an ankle injury, he still came back and powered through adversity, even making a barely legal tackle following one of his two interceptions. McSorley might be the exact opposite of what NFL scouts look for in a quarterback, but he has the same intangibles that Matt McGloin used to rise from walk-on scrub to NFL backup quarterback. If McSorley plays in the NFL, it won't be as a quarterback, but that won't stop him from continuing to grind out wins at Penn State.

C4B: Indiana can never and will never win a football game that actually matters. Period. End of fucking story.

PSU next up: at Rutgers | IU next up: at Michigan

Northwestern at Purdue | Purdue Harbor! Just kidding, they lost 45-17

If you’re a Purdue looking to lure some unsuspecting Wildcats into your harbor, it isn’t going to happen on Clayton Thorson’s best day. The Top Cat threw for a career best 352 yards and 3 TDs in what amounted to a complete thrashing of Purdue’s lukewarm body. The Wildcats piled up 31 second-half points. Purdue managed only a lone touchdown. Thorson was aided by the duo of Justin Jackson and John Moten IV, who each easily surpassed the 100-yard mark rushing—a rare feat for two Northwestern backs. Purdue falls to dead last in the West with this loss, which honestly is where we all knew they were headed anyway.

MNWildcat: Austin Carr for motherfucking galactic emperor. 'Cats win and one more win gets a bowl. Let's roll.

LincolnParkWildcat: After a shaky first half, and some unwanted interceptions, the Cats opened a can of whoop-ass on the Boilemakers. I'm happy. I also enjoyed traveling to Purdue and watching the game with Babaoreally.

Baba Oreally: Purdue, content having already gotten their one conference win per season earlier this year against Illinois, played a good first quarter, an OK second quarter, and a very Purdue-esque second half. Northwestern could have had 800 yards of offense if they didn't start running clock almost the whole fourth quarter. The weather was nice at least.

Northwestern next up: at Minnesota | Purdue next up: Wisconsin

Illinois at Wisconsin | Wisconsin returns the Jeff George Experiment to Earth 48-3

Illini fans probably wouldn’t have minded ending the season last week. Hopes probably weren't high heading into Camp Randall, and by the time JGJr had completed more passes to Badgers than to Illini, the outcome was all but sealed. Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbawale combined for 226 yards, backed by an acceptably vanilla effort from Hornibrook. George Jr. was a miserable 5 of 16 for 76 yards, and the Illini rushing attack mustered only 99 yards. After weeks of playing top-tier competition, the Badgers finally got to enjoy some proper week-2-level competition. The orange faithful will want to cling to that MSU win, as further victories will be hard to come by.

Thumpasaurus: hahahahahahahahaha fuck

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

Ohio State at Maryland | Buckeyes trounce Harbaugh Jr. 62-3

This started ugly, stayed ugly, and finished ugly. Perry Hills went out in the early series and never returned—once again plagued by injury. The biggest takeaway from this entire game was the consistent failure that is B1G officiating. Maryland scored a TD on a Caleb Rowe run, which was called short. Replay showed that he was clearly well across the line when his knee went down. Nevertheless, the play stood as called. Beyond that, the Terps were totally outclassed. Barrett threw for two TDs and ran for another pair. Backup Joe Burrow also threw a scoring strike. Ohio State held Maryland to 176 yards as a team. When you’re Jim Harbaugh’s surrogate, you get the pointy end from Urban Meyer.

OSU next up: MSU | Maryland next up: at Nebraska

Minnesota at Nebraska | Nebraska outlasts the Gophers 24-17

Miraculously healed after a severe head-blow that caused him to lose consciousness, Nebraska’s famed quarterback returned to the field in Lincoln to lead his Huskers past the pesky Gophers one last time. The victory would see Armstrong complete 19 of 27 passes for two scores, and a last-ditch run for the go-ahead TD. That last bit of heroics looked to cost him his hamstring. After leaving earlier in the game for a twisted ankle, he returned to remind Mitch Leidner exactly what a running QB who makes bad throws is supposed to look like. Ribbing aside, Armstrong put the Huskers on his back to ensure that’s Goldy’s favorite chair bits and pocket cash spend Christmas in Lincoln.

Nate: Shit away a very winnable game. Another #missedopportunity.

WSR: Well damn it all, anyway. Another opportunity pissed away because we just can't finish.

BigRedTwice: First of all, I just want to say what an incredible privilege it was to see Mitch Leidner play in person. Just a tremendous honor. Bigly.

But although the dream-like experience of seeing Mitch Leidner play in person threatened to carry me off into unreality, the Huskers saw fit to put a pretty sobering product on the field. To wit, a defense in the first half that can only be described as atrocious, several dumb penalties (12 men on the field when Minnesota was attempting to punt? Pierson-El getting an unsportsmanlike after Tommy had a huge run?), and a negative yardage punt. Yes. You read that right. It was actually quite amazing. It was a bad punt to begin with, short and shanked, and then, incredibly, it barreled backwards down the field in world's worst bounce. Poor Caleb Lightbourne. I hope, in time, he'll be able to laugh about that, because it *was* pretty funny, but today is probably not that day.

But, on the bright side, the Huskers, yet again, found a way to win. Terrell Newby had a great second half with some tough runs, Westerkamp caught passes by his feet from each QB, and the defense sucked much less in the second half. The Huskers are not a great team, as anyone who has watched them knows, but they've taken advantage of a manageable B1G schedule and beaten the teams they should beat. There are certainly worse things to be than 8-2. More importantly, they bounced back from the shellacking they received at OSU. This was an important game for Nebraska, both record and conference-wise, but also just in the mental game too. 62-3 blows, as our Terrapin brothers can attest, and it was important for this team to come back to Lincoln and bounce back. And they did.

UNL next up: Maryland | Minnesota next up: Northwestern

Michigan at Iowa | Harbaughs vanquished 14-13 in brave expedition beyond Ann Arbor

This was the second time Michigan left the state this year. The first didn’t count, because it was a recruiting trip to Rutgers. I’ll leave the rest to our Iowa writers, but suffice it to say, this was a pyrrhic bit of Schädenfreude for OSU fans. Still worth it.

Creighton M: What is this feeling? Sleepy? Hungry? HAPPY? What the hell is happy? I'll enjoy this feeling for 24 hours before I wonder where this team has been all year and get grumpy again. Michigan barely did better against Iowa's defense than Rutgers did. I don't get football.

StewMonkey: Woo!!!! Can I get a hearty Fuck Michigan! Ann Arbor is a lady of questionable ideals!

Al Namias IV: I'm at a loss for words, so I'll turn to to somebody else's words:

Iowa next up: at Illinois | Michigan next up: Indiana