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Sunday Morning Coming Down

The Big Ten Conference Returns to Its Roots

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Michigan State Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Wisconsin’s first scoring drive needed 16 plays to go 65 yards, consumed nearly 8 a noon game. You can’t out-B1G this team.
  2. Michigan State took Tresselball one step too far, and then it was too late.
  3. Iowa was worried they’d fall off the edge America if they ran too fast, and thus couldn’t equal the first quarter performances of Howard or New Mexico State.
  4. Fortunately for Iowa, Rutgers still ties their shoes together before each game.
  5. International Truck is the official equipment truck of the B1G. Because if anyone was going to have an official diesel straight-truck, it was going to be the Big Ten.
  6. Two Purdue QBs starting in the SEC, but Blough is still in West Lafayette? It’s a joke, right? Like a Joaquin Phoenix thing? Tell me it’s a joke I’m not getting
  7. Minnesota’s defense is...well, putrid. But power running covers a lot of sins.
  8. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan’s “Mr. Everything”, came into this game with 96 career rushing yards and one touchdown. Hypes-man Trophy voters have spoken.
  9. Targeting has become a meaningless penalty, devoid of nuance or intent.
  10. Linebacker U is currently hiring new linebackers. Contact J. Franklin at 1-800-clap-clap-clap clap-clap-clap-clap for further details.
  11. The Hoosiers took the opening play to the house, and then forgot how to find the endzone the rest of the half.
  12. Take heart, Indiana. At least it wasn’t Duke this time.
  13. Nebraska is 7-0 under Riley when running for more than 200 yards.
  14. For a school in the city, NW sure is lost in the wilderness

Wisconsin at Michigan State | Badgers crush Sparty 30-6

What a difference a week makes. With two weeks to prepare for Notre Dame, Dantonio’s Spartans looked like a green road grader, grinding the Irish into the turf. This week, they looked as flat and lifeless as possible in the face of a Badger team that looked positively limp against Georgia State. Tyler O’Connor showed all the signs of inexperience, throwing 18 completions on 38 tries and 3 INTs. His greenhorn counterpart, Alex Hornibrook, looked like a veteran, threading throws through traffic and connecting for a TD. The Badgers glass-jointed runner Corey Clement made a rare on-field appearance, gashing the MSU defense for 54 yards, one yard less than Dare Ogunbawale. While not a huge number, the Badgers tallied 122 yards rushing to the Spartans’ laughable 75 yard effort. Clement also notched two TDs. In a week when everyone and their brother on the radio declared that Sparty was elite and overlooked, it looks like they may be just who Furman thought they were.

Andrju Krasanovski: It didn't go well. I was subjected to a fall Saturday afternoon wedding and missed the whole thing. In retrospect, I ain't mad about it. MSU will either get a lot better in all 3 phases or stumble to another 2012, which I suppose isn't a bad floor, but still not something I'm psyched about.

Wisconsin next: at Michigan | MSU next: at Indiana

Iowa at Rutgers | Iowa rediscovers the coast/mediocrity in 14-7 victory

Things go from bad to bad for Iowa, as Black-Hearted/Gold-Pantsed fans imagined what kind of a coach can be had for $45 million while the Hawks struggled to move the ball against Rutgers. Mind you, this is the same Rutgers that surrendered massive 1st quarter point totals to two pathetic teams. The Long Legend CJ Beathard was a solidly meh 12/23 for one touchdown (of Iowa’s two). Rutgers’ Laviano was barely better at 13/24 for Rutgers’ lone touchdown. Call it a hangover, call it shock at discovering the coast, call it the sleeping giant of Rutgers. Whatever it is, Iowa looked like anything but a contender in the West. At least Iowa fans can rest easy knowing they’ve locked this performance in for ten years.

Iowa Writer #34 Al Namias: I'm not sure what to say about this Iowa team except that, like last week, I was again reminded of the 2014 Hawkeyes not because of the outcome or because Iowa looked disinterested and sloppy, but because I, as a football and Iowa fan, was bored listening to the game. People often forget that above all, for us fans, football is entertainment, and this just didn't and doesn't cut it. It's hard to see spending three hours every weekend for the next two months having to sit through anything resembling the Iowa offense that has showed up (or failed to show up) the past two weeks.

During the radio broadcast, color commentator Eddie Podolack asked (and this is a direct quote) "What is wrong with this football team?" He then amended his comment to ask what was wrong with the offense. He then amended it again to ask what was wrong with this offensive line. And that sums it up.

In closing, yeah, Iowa won, but it was one of the least inspiring wins I can remember being witness to. And after watching this O-line, I was left to ask if this is the same program that produced Robert Gallery, Riley Reiff, Marshal Yanda, Bryan Bulaga and Brandon Scherff?

Iowa Writer #41.5 Stewmonkey: Iowa is bad, Rutgers is super bad. If I were a Rutgers fan, I wouldn't take a single positive thing from this game. Iowa practically begged Rutgers to take it, and Rutgers flat refused. Like flipping a switch, the extension has heralded in a return to Old Kirk and the most predictable, awful offense ever. Iowa will struggle to bowl eligibility against an atrocious schedule.

ZuzuRU: Rutgers Defense is showing its Ash and Niemann (which is good). Tackling has improved immensely.

Offense is showing its severe lack of talent especially with the loss of Grant. Speaking of, FUCK. WHY DO THE FOOTBALL GODS HATE RUTGERS?

That one moment where we didn't just kick was the worst thing ever.

Our non-Grant offensive players aren't that bad, we just need a quarterback. We have four, and it's sad that Laviano is the best. Uhh... Moral victory I guess in that this game did not go at all as expected for anyone. Everyone thought Iowa was gonna steamroll Rutgers after their loss. Not sure if Rutgers good or Iowa bad.jpg. All in all, the most stinging game I've experienced since Washington State and Michigan State last year. But progress was definitely shown. Onto the next...

Ed. Note: After last week, we probably have more Iowa writers than Iowa readers.

Iowa next up: Northwestern | Rutgers next up: at OSU

Colorado State at Minnesota | Gophers escape 31-24

Shannon Brooks returned from injury, and not a moment too soon for a Gopher team that apparently loaned its defense to Rutgers for the weekend. Leidner was impressively efficient by the standards of Leidner performance, completing 16 of 24 passes...17 if you count the pass to a Ram. The Gophers showed little to no interest in stopping anything Colorado felt like doing, letting the freshman QB Colin Hill throw basically at will, racking up 182 yards and a TD, though his TD and fumble led to Minnesota scoring 14 points. The Gophs’ defense was generally gross, but the two-headed monster of Rodney Smith and Brooks ground out a combined 184 yards. Leidner added another 50 himself and the Gophers remain unbeaten...barely.

Insertname: Leidner and the offense had another pretty good day. Shannon Brooks is back and looks great while Rodney Smith mashed the circle button to two more touchdowns. Leidner made one mistake passing resulting in his lone turnover on the season but it led to no points the other way and he still completed 80% of his throws. Taiyon Devers is an animal. Kid will eat B1G qbs over the next 3-4 years. The secondary was not good in run support or in pass coverage and is the reason CSU stayed in the game. If the young secondary can't get it figured out, this will not be the #SpecialSeason Gopher fans were hoping for.

WSR: A win is a win, and Shannon Brooks is back. Good enough.

Minnesota next up: at Penn State

Nevada at Purdue | Amazingly, Purdue wins 24-14

Despite donating all their QB talent to the Darrell Hazell Institute for SEC Kids Who Can’t Read Defenses Good, the Boilermakers found enough in the tank to battle back from a 14-3 deficit to actually win a football game. Your humble writer is as surprised as anyone. So is Hazell, I assume. David Blough actually made some impressive throws, including a 48-yard TD strike to cut the Nevada lead to four. Markell Jones put Purdue ahead with a TD in the third, and the Boilermakers capped the win with one more in the fourth. Blough finished with 300 yards and the Boilermakers bought their coach another week of employment. Lucky them.

Purdue next up: at Maryland

Penn State at Michigan | A Franklin meets a Harbaugh, loses 49-10

Are you athletic? Strong? Do you have simple taste in clothing and look good in white? If so, Penn State would love to gauge your interest in immediate employment at the linebacker position. After losing their starting backup linebacker to the most pathetically mishandled targeting call yet this season, things only got worse for PSU. The Wolverines came out of the gate swinging and never relented. Jabrill Peppers almost lived up to this September Heisman hype, but couldn’t keep his feet on the way to the endzone during a 53-yard punt return (that was subject to penalty anyway). What remains of the Penn State defense had no answer for a Michigan rushing attack that saw De’Veon Smith cross the century mark as he and his pals ran at will. The PSU offense looked as ineffective as ever, with world-beating runner Saquon Barkley amassing only 59 yards. This game probably isn’t the best measure of where either Penn State or Michigan is, but it sure was ugly.

87Townie: Damn it, this season is going to suck. I knew this was going to happen, as I told you in my predictions:

…we have Michigan favored by 18.5 over Penn State. Take the over. Penn State’s defense can’t stop water dripping with a bucket. Our defensive leader and linebacker Nyeem Whartman White is now out for the season. We’re starting kids from the practice squad now. It’ll be a massacre. Thankfully, it’ll be shown prime time on ESPN, so that’s great. /sobs quietly

If you took the over and won money, you’re welcome. But damn it, my long-term 8 win prediction is looking like an impossibility. We are down to the dregs now. Red shirts burnt. Scout team now first team. It’s brutal.

Here’s what I know. Penn State is slow. The handoffs are slow. The play development is slow. The linebackers are slow.

The common takeaway from this will be fuir coach hype, hurr durr. But this wasn’t all coaching. It wasn’t even mostly coaching. You can’t expect a bunch of freshmen to outperform this Michigan team. These kids are young. They need time. And weight. And they need to get faster. Like soon.

So congrats to the Wolverines. We’ll see you next year.

Aaron Yorke: Penn State got manhandled by Michigan in a game that served as a reminder that the Lions are not physically up to the task of contending for a division title. Like Pittsburgh before them, the Wolverines took advantage of a soft Penn State front seven and rushed for over 300 yards. Meanwhile, Penn State's offensive line got pushed around, allowing very little room for Saquon Barkley tor work with . Even when Trace McSorely had sufficient time to make a play through the air, he was often forced to take a sack or throw into coverage due to tight coverage from Jourdan Lewis and the rest of the Michigan secondary. Eventually, Penn State wised up and began drawing some pass interference penalties, but that wasn't nearly enough to turn the tide in this game. It was an all-around beat down that will only serve as a warning to Michigan's future opponents that the Wolverines are not to be trifled with.

Michigan next up: Wisconsin | Penn State next up: Minnesota

Wake Forest at Indiana | The Hoosiers lose to Off-brand Duke 24-14

An all-too-familiar feeling for Hoosier fans, as Kevin Wilson’s squad falls to the poor man’s Duke in the form of Wake Forest (who, yes, beat Duke). In terms of numbers, this may be one of the most pathetic losses you could imagine. To wit, the Hoosiers out-gained the Deacons 611 to 352. That’s insane. What could’ve happened, you ask? Well, Lagow tossed five picks. Five picks! That’s half of ten, and that’s terrible. For once, it wasn’t Indiana’s defense who doomed the candystripe crew. You can’t put your defenders on their heels five times and expect to win. Good thing Wilson had his bifocals on...I’d hate for him to miss the intricacies of the flaming wreckage that has replaced a competent offense.

C4B: There are very few teams that could win a game after coughing up the ball 5 times. Indiana is not yet one of those teams. Still, on a day where Richard Lagow set a new IU record for passing yards in a game (and nearly interceptions thrown in a game as well, the record is 6 and the last touchdown was almost that instead), it's odd to say that Indiana's offense is what lost this game, but certainly true. An offensive line desperately missing Dan Feeney and Dimitric Camiel let Lagow get knocked around too much, and never really opened up any holes for the rushing game (32 carries for 115 yards, including 3 sacks of Lagow for -8). Even one less interception probably changes the complexion of this game, as would Wake's last scoring drive where Indiana got called for at least 45 yards worth of penalties on the 75 yard drive. The defense wasn't perfect (it's Indiana, after all), but it should have been good enough today. And it wasn't. Hats off to Wake; they made plays when we didn't.

Indiana next up: Michigan State

Nebraska at Northwestern | Nebraska reclaims NU 24-13

When Tommy Armpunt runs for 132 yards on you, you’re gonna have a real bad time. He’s like Pit Bull in reverse. Northwestern let the Husker signal caller run amok in Evanston, which is a surprisingly rude thing for someone from Nebraska to do. In what was almost certainly Chicagoland native Jordan Westerkamp’s last trip to play in his hometown, the Huskers owned all the stat lines that matter. Mike RiWWWWey’s team posted nearly 200 yards more offense, converted more third and fourth downs, and averaged nearly seven yards per carry. Northwestern looked like they have all season. Thorson threw a lot, but only found the endzone once through the air. He backed it up with a second rushing score. Justin Jackson the Ball Carrier™ continued his career-long theme of not scoring touchdowns at all. The Huskers own “NU” for the next year, and Northwestern owns a 1-3 record.

Jesse Collins: Left two TDs on the field via turnovers, piled up 500+ yards of offense, had more red than purple in the stands, and walked away with a win. All in all a good weekend for Nebraska. Also, this Tommy Armstrong has been pretty fun to watch.


Also, I had no idea how we'd play against these guys. I'm glad we were competitive, and had some good flashes, but I think this season will give me games that feel like you have to fart, and they're going to be smelly farts.

Nebraska next up: Illinois | Northwestern next up: at Iowa