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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 3

Not much beauty to be found this week.

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Nebraska
Michael Wilbon is apparently on Nebraska
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Hey there. Relief pitcher was called up this week. Hope I don’t suck. [mnw: he prob sux]

Ten B1G Things

  1. We now know that Penn State is much better than Akron, Akron and Akron. Two of those Akrons got dunked on by Iowa State and Oklahoma State this week. But Penn State can beat Akron like no other
  2. At some point, Michigan is going to have to make points that don’t involve kicker Quin Norden.
  3. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s now 5 of the 7 teams in the Big Ten West who have lost at home to Northern Illinois. Almost inexplicably, Illinois is not one of those five teams. [Don’t laugh, Ohio State.]
  4. Illinois isn’t built to beat a ranked team on the road. Huh, who knew.
  5. No Lee can be Tan enough to get away with what happened in Lincoln. Nebraska’s defense can’t even right now. Rutgers and Illinois could be a welcome tune-up or seriously turn up the heat on Mike Riley.
  6. The greatest trick the AIRBHG ever pulled was convincing Iowa fans he didn’t exist
  7. Minnesota is pretty good at defeating bad teams. This is helpful in a division chock full of them.
  8. David Blough is a legit contender for the Griese-Brees Trophy. I had Chipotle earlier and I feel a Griese Brees coming on. They’re due for a correction (I can’t overstate how much Mizzou sucks) but 3-0 against the spread (lol edit i’m dumb) is unfamiliar territory for newer Boiler fans.
  9. If you have any doubt that we’re approaching the end times, the Davey O’Brien Award’s offical Twitter account highlighted a Wisconsin quarterback’s performance against an awful BYU team.
  10. Ohio State covered the spread by one point. The Kevin Wilson mutiny conspiracy intensifies.
  11. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter > Nathan Stanley Quick Hitter
  12. Seeing the results of those early Big Ten games, Indiana fans were probably glad they didn’t play FIU...
  13. gj thwest, the worst team in the mac was surely stunned by the majesty of those fully unfurled tarps.
  14. The fourteenth B1G Thing adds nothing to the list. Rutgers beat Morgan State.

The Rundown

Illinois at South Florida | Illini melt in the heat 47-23

I don’t know how I convinced myself the Illini would keep it close. I forgot how good South Florida was last year and how little they lost despite Willie Taggart’s departure. Quinton Flowers is the best quarterback they’ll face this year, but this offense is very bad. Inexperience is a killer, especially on the offensive line; 11 of the 22 starters were from the 2017 recruiting class. Chayce Crouch was yanked for Jeff George Jr during the game. JGJ is the best pure passer on the team, which is a very very very bad thing. This team’s a couple years away from competing for a sixth win yet.

Michigan vs. Air Force | Wolverines survive uncomfortably 29-13

Air Force was a bad matchup for Michigan, as they were able to possess the ball for decent chunks of the game and more importantly were able to slow down Michigan’s problematic offense. Kicker Quin Norden made a Michigan record 5 field goals, which is a bittersweet achievement since I’m sure Michigan wanted more than just two touchdowns here. Still, they survived Air Force without a debilitating injury. Well done.

Graham Filler: Michigan does not have an impressive offense. Wilton and the routes are both not so good...however I did just create a wholesome British pop rock band from 1958 ("hey kids next up on Top of the Pops it's Wilton And The Routes, playing their new smash "Paper Delivery Boy").

All that said, Michigan isn't the #7 team in America, because man oh man they got flummoxed and pushed around and confused by Air Force. So we beat on, defense leading the way, with no O Line to speak off, and a sure harboring in Michigan's future.

Nebraska vs. Northern Illinois | Offensive meltdown dooms Huskers 21-17

On a day where Nebraska's defense gave up 7 points, they still found a way to lose. Let that sink in for a minute. Tanner Lee put up points, but not the good kind like you want. He threw two pick-sixes in the first quarter, which ultimately sealed Nebraska’s fate despite a great defensive effort in holding the Huskies to 212 yards. Lee’s third pick in the fourth quarter was the final nail in the extremely pleasant and friendly coffin.

BigRedTwice: Many things went awry in this game for Nebraska. A lot of drops, a lot of picks, and the whole "losing to NIU" thing. It was, shall we say, not optimal.

Nebraska's performance, gif-ified

Surprisingly, the D didn't play too badly. So that was a nice change. Unfortunately, they were badly let down by pretty much every aspect of the other side of the ball, and now Nebraska is 1-2 headed into conference play. Not great, Bob.

Also, one must this Thump's fault?

Dead Read: ...only darkness.

Rutgers vs. Morgan State | Rutgers pretends to be a football team 65-0

I mean Morgan State hasn’t scored a point yet this year, so I don’t know what there is to learn from this. Jonathan Lewis came in at quarterback and rushed for four touchdowns. I said what whatgers.

RayRansom: Hey guys we got to fire the cannon today!

Wisconsin vs BYU | Wisconsin proves hedonism correct 40-6

Alex Hornibrook went 18 for 19 for 4 touchdowns as Wisconsin completely and utterly dominated the Cougars. Poor Man’s Alabama delivered again, with suffocating defense and a household object looking competent at quarterback and nobody really remembering the game.

Speth: and they were all 21 years old, not a day older or younger, and they were in my bar talking to me and they were women that were 21 years old. pretty much everything can be linked to the football rivalries of wisconsin’s satellite campuses, which are of course the most important rivalries.

Iowa vs North Texas | Conquered University of North Texas 31-14

A weird and ugly game ended as an inspired Mean Green defense gave way to Iowa’s running game. Iowa held the ball for over 40 minutes, which ultimately allowed them to pull away from a 17-14 contest in the second half. Akrum Wadley went down, prompting much wailing and gnashing of teeth. As unconvincing as it’s been, the Squawks are 3-0 and Nathan Stanley hasn’t hacked his own team to pieces yet, which makes him one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

Creighton: 2017 Iowa is a team where a good offense controls possession to bail out an underperforming defense, because apparently I cheer for the Bizarro Hawkeyes now. I don't know how much there is to be learned from beating North Texas, but my initial observations are:

1) The defense still has a lot of work to do if they don't want to get gashed in the Big Ten.

2) The depth on offense is much better than we thought it was when the season started, which we'll need if Wadley and Butler's injuries are serious.

3) If Stanley ever figures out how to put the right amount of touch on his deep ball he's going to be a hell of a quarterback.

StewMonkey13: That was one of the more disjointed games I've seen in quite some time. Neither team could get much of a rhythm due to some very odd reffing throughout the game.

Both the OL and DL aren't as good as was thought coming into the season. I think the OL can probably get there with consistent reps together (been a lot of shuffling due to injury so far this season). But the DL is a little concerning. However, the WRs are competent! The TEs are spectacular! And running back depth seems solid. Not much else can really be gained from this game.

PJ Fleck and PJ Fleck’s Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Middle Tennessee State | Catchphrase Rolls 34-3

Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck, who is the head coach of Minnesota, has to like what he sees out of his PJ Fleck Defense. As they welcomed Certified PJ Fleck Opponent Middle Tennessee to PJ Fleck Field At PJ Fleck Stadium, PJ Fleck (head coach of PJ Fleck’s Minnesota Golden Gophers) was intent on having his team of PJ Fleckolytes execute his catchphrase: Rhoda Boat. As sure as PJ Fleck is life-changing, PJ Fleck led PJ Fleck’s team up and down the field, making many great play calls and inspiring everyone to be the best version of themselves. Each player on Middle Tennessee left a better man for having been near PJ Fleck.



Purdue at Missouri | Purdue wins SEC East 35-3

Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. And by design I mean prediction. Missouri is certainly one of the worst P5 teams in the country, but for Purdue to be head and shoulders above even a team that can claim that is an unthinkable step three games into Jeff Brohm’s tenure. The offensive explosion against a pathetic Tigers defense was expected, but the swarming defense creating turnovers and keeping Mizzou out of the end zone was not. Suddenly, Purdue is entering bowl projections and making people nervous.

Ohio State vs Army | Ohio State rolls 38-7

J.T. Barrett became the all-time leader in Quarterback Touchdowns Responsible For as he threw three of them while Ohio State more than doubled Army’s yardage. The Buckeyes gained 30 first downs and the main takeaway from this is that I want to know what touchdowns are counted in that statistic. Tanner Lee was responsible for four touchdowns today.

Penn State vs Georgia State | Penn State defeats Akron 56-0

In their third attempt this season to defeat Penn State, Akron had their worst outing yet, being shut out 56-0. This is made even worse by the fact that this was their Super Bowl. Franklin’s commitment to courting votes is admirable, but their win over Pitt just got hurt by the fact that Oklahoma State beat that team much worse than did the Nittany Lions. Big Ten play is coming.

87Townie: Akron South wasn't as good as Original Akron or Akron of Pennsylvania. Akron South had five turnovers, which gave Penn State the ball far too often on short fields. It was what you expect a beat down to look like. However, Akron South sold out to stop Barkley at the line and succeeded. Let me say that again...our offensive line couldn't move them. The gilded running back could only muster 47 yards on 10 carries. That's terrible. Our offensive line should be able to move Akron South out of the way enough for Barkley to pick up more than 4.7 yards per touch. That is our Achilles heel folks. If Limegrover can't get that figured out soon, it will come back to haunt us. It may be against Michigan or Iowa or even Indiana. Our offensive line better show up in a hurry. On the other side of the ball I saw too many arm tackles. Our D-Line isn't where I'd like it to be yet. They love to pass rush, but were gashed by Akron South's runners. I saw our starting linebacker get knocked back three yards...he was waiting in the hole. Just sitting there. So when they running back arrived with a full head of steam, he got trucked. THAT'S FUCKING UNACCEPTABLE. I hope they point this out in film, because from here on in, we ain't playing Akron. We start conference play next week. Hey CJF, I'm talking to you...WE START CONFERENCE PLAY NEXT WEEK. Clean it up, get it tight and let's roll.

Northwestern vs Bowling Green State | McMcCall is what a rooster says 49-7

Congrats on beating the worst team in the MAC. If only it worked like on the video game and you could actually make Clayton Thorson better by having him put up big numbers against bad teams. Justin Jackson scored thrice as Northwestern put up 678 offensive yards on the day.

LPW: I’m happy we took out our frustrations on a crappy MAC team, however the first quarter was concerning: BGSU’s rb is a little speed demon and we were down on time of possession. Then the team woke up and started dominating. We can’t fall asleep like that in future games.

Garrett Dickerson and Ben Skowronek had great games, Clayton Thorson threw for over 300 yards and Justin Jackson had over 100 yards rushing. Let’s make sure we do this in conference play.

MNW: Nothing was ever wrong, Duke will win the ACC, and now Northwestern is certainly a championship team that will definitely not struggle to stop Jonathan Taylor and wisconsin. But the 'Cats introduced some fun wrinkles (SB fly sweep, still maybe Matt Alviti?) that might force wisconsin and Penn State to be honest on D. Who knows. Let's have some fun, kids.

Also we got the backup punter some time, which feels very B1G. A satisfactory "get right" game.

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