Ten B1G Things
- I wonder if James Franklin knows who his team is playing next week?
- Saquon Barkley dominated Ohio State for the entire first 14 seconds.
- How many times can you run for fewer than 10 yards in a half and still be the greatest running back in history? Asking for a friend.
- JT Barrett completes 16 straight passes in the 4th quarter as part of a 33/39 outing, setting the new Big Ten career passing TD record at 93.
- “JT Barrett is the worst passer in the Big Ten.” -PSU commenter, 7:17 PM
- Refs still giving make-up calls for Mike Mauti’s career all these years later.
- PSU’s defense might’ve cut the mustard if their best tacklers weren’t playing on the offensive line.
- Northwestern has battled themselves into 3rd place in the East. Undersized, high motor, real nose for the football. Oh, and Thorson is an objectively great pressure-situation QB. Probably did well on his SATs too. (Asshole!)
- Wisconsin looks to be holding down the traditional B1G West “Top-10 team that isn’t actually very good” spot. Nebraska wasn’t interested this year.
- Is Minnesota still playing football? What was that even? The Gophers have exhausted my incredulity at this point.
- We can officially stop pretending Indiana is a good team in any sense.
- Tanner Lee exchange rate: 431 yds = 2 TDs. Also convertible in lump-sum for one Purdue Heartbreak® bond, with weekly payouts.
- Never forget: Penn State blew a 21-3 lead.
Akron at Ohio State | Buckeyes overcome Buckeye mistakes, 39-38
One Heisman front-runner made the trip to Columbus. Zero Heisman front-runners left Columbus. I guess 5 yards of Heisman-quality second-half running wasn’t quite enough to carry the mail. Good teams score touchdowns with 4 minutes left. Blocked kicks aren’t fluke plays.
Aaron Yorke: I'd be more bothered about Penn State blowing a 15-point fourth quarter lead if the yardage stats weren't so lopsided. The advantage felt surmountable for the entire game due to J.T. Barrett's ability to get whatever he wanted via the air or the ground. If you look back at big Penn State wins over Ohio State in recent history, they've all featured a Penn State defense coming up with stop after stop in key situations. That was obviously not the case in this game, and it's clear that James Franklin still has some more recruiting to do, because the Buckeyes were bigger and stronger in the trenches. It was apparent when Barrett was able to sit comfortably in the pocket while leading the comeback and it was apparent when Saquon Barkley was met in the backfield repeatedly while the Lions were trying to melt the clock.
Franklin is going to get criticized for his decision to run the ball three straight times at the four-minute mark when Penn State needed to get some first downs, but I thought he did a great job overall to give Penn State a chance to win this game. The Lions were getting beat up front and they still took advantage of their opportunities and nearly won a game in which the other side had nearly twice the total yardage. McSorley also deserves praise for his ability to step up in the pocket and keep his eyes downfield when the tackles were getting whipped on every other play. With Barkley once again shut down after the first quarter, the quarterback took on a heavy burden and converted some big first downs that helped keep Ohio State at bay until the final two minutes.
Finally, we've got to start talking about Barrett's Heisman campaign. He's been outstanding all season, and last night he was outstanding with the season on the line.
Michigan State at Northwestern | Cats own the night in 3OT
In the way it always seems to go, the two best games of the weekend occurred simultaneously. The Cats won an absolute dogfight (groan) against a Sparty team whose offense seemed content to cede the contest until the waning moments of the fourth. Sparty matched or bested the Cats in very measurable stat except the one that really matters: turnovers. Three give-aways doomed Sparty, and the Cats capitalized. Thorson is best when the pressure is on, and it showed in OT. The West should thank their lucky stars for Northwestern, or they’d be even more laughable against the East.
(Slightly toasted) MNW:
Problems in the secondary? 'Cats win.
Can't get a first down? 'Cats win.
Mediocre West team? 'Cats win.
THIRD-BEST IN THE GODDAMN EAST.
DOES IT SOUND LIKE MUCH? NOPE. IS IT SOMETHING? SURE. ROLL MOTHERF***ING 'CATS.
LPW: This was an instant classic, a drunken bar fight, and crazy to watch. If you would’ve told me that Northwestern would’ve taken MSU to triple overtime and won, I would not have believed you. I would not have believed that a kicker can hit a goalpost twice in a game. DOINK! DOINK! This game served notice that we’re taking back the mantle of the Cardiac ’Cats. I also second everything MNW has said.
Axel Krazslashski: MSU played its typical sloppy, incoherent football until it had no choice but to let it fly. Driving on offense? Commit a dumb or nonexistent penalty. Wide open receiver got past the last defender? Miss that throw on at least 4 occasions. Got a defensive third down? Blow a coverage. Anything at all is going your way? Fumble, fumble, fumble! Settling for a field goal? Oops BA-DOINK. And let's not discuss the defense failing to make a tackle anytime after the half. If this team ever gets all its parts moving at the same time, it will be formidable. They haven't done that yet, and losing to a mediocre opponent was the inevitable result.
Minnesota at Iowa | Floyd stays in Iowa, Dies of Boredom 17-10
329 yards of passing combined. 267 yards of rushing combined. If people who voted in the last election want the America of 50 years ago back, they need only go to Iowa City on any given Saturday. The most exciting play of the game was a TD pass from Stanley to Noah Fant that brushed the belly of the blimp and developed over the span of a geologic era (I kid, I kid...there was absolutely no blimp at this snoozer).
Stew: Iowa's offense came out firing to start both halves. Coming out firing, with Nate Stanley leading great drives for TDs. The Iowa offense did pretty much nothing else the entire rest of the game. Minnesota is bad. PIG!!
WSR: We continue to play one score games with opponents while short-handed. Patience will be rewarded.
Indiana at Maryland | Maryland outlasts Indiana 42-39
828 yards. 153 plays. 78 passing attempts. 53 completions. Zero defense, apparently. The polar of opposite of the battle for a wooden pig, this combined effort was the closest thing we’ll see to a track meet on turf in the B1G this year. That’s not because it was amazing, but because the other 12 teams seem to have defenses (except Rutgers, but they also lack an offense. Bort Marxenlager connected on 10/16 passes, including two fourth-quarter TDs to put Indiana away. “Everyone was jumping up and down, the music was playing," said Bortleschlocker in the most uninspiring post-game interview since whatever Kirk Ferentz said last.
The Hoosiers remain winless in the B1G. Winless. In the B1G.
Candystripes: Football is an awful sport, and if I could ever actually convince myself to give up it permanently, I'd live a much happier life.
DJ: So at 14-0 with more than 10:00 to go in the 1st quarter, things looked pretty awful and I embodied C4B’s line of thinking. Then Darnell Savage Jr decided he didn’t want to lose and single handedly willed Maryland back into the game with an interception for a short yardage TD and following that up with a punt block that he then returned for a TD. Things were weird in between that with a safety where it appeared MD TE Derrick Hayward gave up on a block that gave up a safety (Avery Edwards played most of the game after that at TE) but it was a football game again. Maryland would charge at the end of the half for a quick 14 points on two quick drives inside of 3 minutes to take a 28-23 lead and I was amazed how the game turned. The second half was just as eventful as Maryland tried to find every way to get penalized and not win the game but Peyton Ramsey’s legs were also being held together with every brace imaginable before Indiana gave up on that for the day. In typical Maryland form...I thought the comeback from Indiana was coming when they scored to make it 42-39 but then Chandler Burkett came up with his 3rd blocked kick of the year to keep it a 3 point game and then Maryland iced just enough of the clock and the defense did their job to keep the win. Who would of thought on their 4th string QB that Maryland would have two conference wins before they played rutger and don’t have Purdue/Illinois on the schedule?
Rutgers at Michigan | Michigan breaks in 8th QB of season in 35-14 win
Not a lot to say here, because it’s Rutgers, but once again Jim Harbaugh’s offense is suspect at best. The QB whisperer turned to another talent—Brandon Peters—after O’Korn turned in another O’Korn performance early. Peters led Michigan to TDs on his first three drives, which I guess is something that matters against Rutgers. Chris Christie was at the game. Good thing he didn’t have to cross the GW to get there.
Wisconsin at Illinois | Gray uniforms fail in Chambana 24-10
Despite a handful of key injuries, the Badgers maintained their position as the most likely team to lose by 3 scores in Indianapolis this December. The only memorable aspect of this gray, dismal affair was a FAT MAN TOUCHDOWN. Left Tackle Mike Dieter caught a lateral from Hornibrook to put Wisconsin up 24-3. Just watch that highlight and you’ve seen the whole of the game, really.
Thump: Wow, that was one of the worst football games ever played. Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. The defense held up better than expected but it didn't matter because our offense is unable to score touchdowns outside of garbage time. Our passing game is so bad it's hard to actually believe.
Nebraska at Purdue | Huskers strike back late in 25-24 win
There are no fingernails left in the state of Nebraska. Tanner Lee had perhaps his best game ever, connecting on 32 of 50 (50!) attempt for 432 yards and two scores. With the game on the line, Tanner Lee stood in the pocket as the clock ticked under 15 seconds to play and rifled the game-winner to Stanley Morgan. Purdue’s misery continues unabated...or slightly abated, I suppose. But still...bad.
BRT: For the most part, that game felt both boring and bad. But then, there was the final minute, which was neither of those things. After watching this team all year, seeing so many things go so beautifully right in one drive (and an important one at that) was disorienting, but lovely. There were times I suspected the team of quitting in this game, but clearly, they didn't (or if they did, it was a passing fancy) and it was great to see it pay off for them. It is better to beat Purdue than not beat Purdue, so I'll take it. This isn't a good team, but they won a winnable game after a disastrous last game, so huzzah for them.
Jesse Collins: If you were to look at the stats, you would see that Nebraska outgained Purdue by 100+ yards, allowed .5 yard less per play, put up 431 yards through the air with two TDs, and had no turnovers. Most Nebraska fans would say they won by at least a score or two, and that the game was more or less boring. The thing is… that’s not what happened at all. Purdue led from about the very beginning of the 2nd quarter until just about the end of the game, and while Nebraska was always close - 4 trips to the RZ resulting in 9 points close - they were always a play away from cashing in. They finally did on what will convince some people that this Tanner Lee guy might not be all bad. Nebraska is probably still not all that good, but a win is better than a loss and I don’t really care how it happened.