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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 4

In which the B1G fails to impress.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Remember when Maryland scored 51 points against a P5 opponent? Pepperidge Farm remembers.
  2. Borten-...Borten-....Borten-...Bortenot-gonna-work-there-anymore...
  3. Actually, he’s totally going to work there, because who doesn’t? Bortenschlager is now the 6th Terp QB to register significant playing time in the past two seasons.
  4. Akron’s agricultural campus is the toughest Akron we’ve seen yet.
  5. Strategic genius Joe Moorhead is really pushing the limit on the “lull them into submission” tactic.
  6. When the nuclear holocaust occurs, Mike Riley will greet the mushroom clouds on the horizon with crossed arms and barely-perceptible gum chewing.
  7. Wilton Speight, we hardly knew ye.
  8. With 23 astronauts to their name, Purdue should know exactly what it’s like to careen back to earth.
  9. Jesus turned water into wine and 5 loaves & fishes into a feast. Sparty turned 340 passing yards and 459 total yards into 18 points. Those Bible quotes are really paying off for Mike D’Antoni.
  10. J.T. Barrett threw 5 TDs in the first half, creeping ever closer to Drew Brees’ B1G record of 90. Rutgers should help nicely.
  11. The great thing about press-man coverage is that you get to see exactly which top-flight recruit is getting worked by some UNLV scrub.
  12. Though not technically B1G, UNLV’s football team is the Rebels. The “Runnin’ Rebels” only applies to the basketball team, which is supremely odd to me.
  13. Morgan Ellison might be the next Tevin Coleman. Or it might have just been Georgia Southern.
  14. The B1G West comes up short yet again.

The Rundown

UNLV at Ohio State | OSU dismembers Gambling State U. 54-21

J.T. Barrett continues to live in the gray area where he’s the most prolific QB in OSU history, probably the most prolific in B1G history, and half the fans still want the other guy to play. After 5 first half TD passes, the Buckeyes’ chief signal-caller retired for the afternoon late in the 2nd quarter. After that, Dwayne Haskins (the Pride of Maryland) took the helm. Barrett finished 12/17 for 209, while “Simba7” threw for 230 on 15 completions. His 16th completion went right to a UNLV defender for a nice garbage time pick-6. This game only taught us that it’s rude to play with your food. Next week will be much the same.

UCF at Maryland | Maryland Marylands, 38-10

Time to consider a hideous flag-tarp? With home attendance hovering right around 100 people for a 2-0 team that hadn’t scored fewer than 50 POINTS PER GAME this season, it’s not hard to see that “crabcakes and football” vastly overstated what it is that Maryland actually does. When Kasim Hill left the game early with an injury, Max Bortenschlager was tapped to carry the Maryland banner to victory. Things did not work out that way. Bortelsteiner went 15/26 for 132 yards and 2 INTs, including a spine-splintering pick-six to give UCF its final score. That’s to say nothing of the snap-over-the-shoulder loss of 18 on 3rd down. Whatever dreams Maryland had of a meaningful season seem to gave evaporated among the tatters of ligaments.

DJ: Hello 3rd string QB, Hello 2-10. It was a fun two games while it lasted but it would appear the Angry Maryland Quarterback Hating God has decided to take another visit to College Park. Kasim Hill went down on the 1st? 2nd? Drive of the game and it looked pretty awful for his legs on the hit as he was wrapped up low and hit high by a UCF defender. Max Bortenschlager looked every bit the 3rd string QB that he is for the remainder of the game, unable to diagnose Cover 1 man coverage the entirety of the 2nd half. I’m not sure UCF ever changed the play call on defense after that.

Rutgers at Nebraska | Dead Man Walking silently leads Huskers to 27-17 victory

Nebraska is a program nearly at rock bottom relative to what its fans expect of their team. Look no further than the collective sigh of relief that beating Rutgers elicited. Stop and think about that for a moment. You know Shawn Eichorst will be, as he wipes the tears of incompetence away with his millions. Tanner Lee proved to the Huskers’ savior yesterday, rifled a perfectly-placed TD pass to the always reliable DPE. That narrative is cheerier if you don’t mentioned that it was a Tanner Lee pick-six that put the Huskers behind the sticks for the second time in the game. Rutgers is still so very bad, but the Huskers are gaining on them.

BRT: I feel bad for Chris Ash. I really do. But thank GOD we were not his slump buster.

That said, I also feel bad that there was a real possibility we would be just that until late in the game. Let's talk about Tanner Lee, folks. He may have all kinds of potential--and he does have a heck of an arm--but for whatever reason, he just doesn't appear to have the head for game situations at the present time. He's not just shooting his team in the foot, he's shooting it in the head. For the second straight game, the defense has shown improvement (and yes, I know, opponents matter--but hey, they've made good shows against who they've played, and what more can you ask?) and a solid overall performance. The running game, though continuing to miss Tre Bryant, had some nice moments. But yet again, Lee made things tough on his team, throwing another pick six to add to his collection and an additional INT (and getting lucky on a couple of others.) I'm not a coach, and I know most are loathe to yank their starters, often for good reason... but my goodness, how far can you really let this go? I feel really bad for Lee, I truly do--obviously, he feels the pressure more than anyone, and probably feels 10,000x sicker than any Husker fan when he throws these picks... but what's the solution? Nebraska survived this one in large part because Rutgers is Rutgers. But unfortunately, none of the other opponents left on the schedule are quite as Rutgers-y, and this bodes seriously ill.

Michigan at Purdue | Michigan drops a Speight, gains an offense in 28-10 rout

The best thing to happen to Michigan’s offense in months was the loss of Speight to a first quarter injury. While that sounds harsh, his replacement John O’Korn would likely agree. The 5th-year senior relieved the downed starter and went 18/26 for 270 yards, backed by a 97-yard day from Chris Evans. Purdue, on the other hand, couldn’t make their Rube Goldberg offense click against the Michigan defense. The Boilermakers split duties between David Blough and Elijah Sindelar, neither of whom could make anything of worth happen. The high-octane offense that routed Mizzou sputtered to a mere 159 yards of production. The Brohmance isn’t over in West Lafayette, but the honeymoon certainly is.

Notre Dame at Michigan State | Sparty begins the 9-game losing streak, 38-18

What if I told you that a team could outgain their opponent 459 to 355, win the time-of-possession battle by more than 8 minutes, and lose by 20 points? That’s pure Michigan State. The story of this debacle comes down to one thing: turnovers. MSU coughed up the pill 3 times, and ND held onto it for dear life. Brian Lewerke bears the blame for two of those costly turnovers—one a pick-six to put ND up 14-0 and the other a fumble with his back against the MSU endzone, leading to a 21-7 deficit. Sparty’s streak of not allowing a TD from scrimmage did not survive the first competent offense they faced. I, for one, am shocked.

Aloysius Kracklepopski: Seems as though I should have watched Iowa/Penn State instead because MSU failed to get off the bus in their own stadium. They were down 14 in the blink of an eye and gave Notre Dame 21 points off of turnovers in the first half. From there, they reverted to last year's form and reliably committed penalties on both sides of the ball every time they started doing anything positive. There are lots of promising signs, but it's hard to see a silver lining in giving away a game they could have won simply by playing disciplined. Maybe I should have expected this given how young they are, but if the turnovers and penalties aren't corrected it's going to be another long year.

Georgia Southern at Indiana | Another GSU falls to the B1G, 52-17

If Indiana was wondering who could carry the offense besides Simi Cobbs, they may have just found their savior in FR Morgan Ellison. In his first career start, the Hoosier running back amassed 186 yards on only 25 attempts, making him IU’s 11th true frosh to run for more than 100 in a game. Richard Lagow and Peyton Ramsey shared rotational QB duties, going an awful 11/21 combined. Lagow’s 71-yard TD pass in the third quarter was a rare bright in a passing game that was largely an afterthought.

Candystripes: Indiana needed a somewhat easy game to ease back into the flow after an unexpected bye week, and while Georgia Southern did make enough big plays to look respectable, this game belonged to Indiana from the start. After finding the QB of Indiana's future against Virginia, the Hoosiers found the running back of their future today: freshman Morgan Ellison, who seems to be built in the mold of Tevin Coleman, and went off big against the Eagles for 186 and 2 scores (and fumbled a third potential touchdown into Simmie Cobbs' waiting hands anyway). Good job, good effort, we're on to Penn State.

Penn State at Iowa | Nits survive by the hairs on their chinny-chin-chins, 21-19

Penn State finally survived the grueling slate of Akron, Akron, and Akron to find themselves up against an above average B1G team. The results were not all that surprising. After gutting a slew of Akrons in smug yet meaningless fashion, Kinnick Stadium gave the PSU offense all it could handle. Iowa, for its part, wasn’t much better with the ball, but that seems to just be Iowa’s style. One can imagine Kirk Ferentz purring like your grandfather at his Victrola when his Hawkeyes registered 15 whole points. Saquon Barkley proved to be the difference with 358 all-purpose yards as part of a nearly 600-yard Nittany Lion offensive effort that somehow yielded 14 points in 59:55.

87Townie: Wow. Just wow. That was a fantastic football game. It came down to the final play, with just seconds to go. Penn State won on a “walk off” touchdown. Iowa’s defense kept Penn State out of the endzone all game. The Saquon Barkley vs Josey Jewell duel was epic. Absolutely epic.

Barkley was stupidly good. He set a PSU record for all purpose yards at 305…211 rushing and 94 receiving with 1 rushing touchdown. But it wasn’t the yards. It was the cuts. It was the crazy, stop on a dime and reverse direction moves. He’s just incredible.

In all seriousness, if you haven’t watched Barkley, you should. He’s a legitimate star.

McSorley looked rough. He was hassled and hurried. Iowa’s D-line knocked down passes, forced fumbles and picked him off once. His stat-line says 31 of 48…but it didn’t look that good. He threw for 284 yards, mostly to Barkley and Juwan Johnson.

Penn State’s defense looked stout…or maybe Iowa’s offense just looked anemic. Until that last drive with 2 minutes to go. Then they went 80 yards in a blink to take the lead. This was a nail biter right to the end.

Hats off to Iowa. They played a great game. They had a plan to stop Penn State and they mostly did that. It just wasn’t quite enough.

A-A-Ron Yorke: This is probably the most exciting thing I've missed because of a wedding, but it's close since my college roommate got married the night Seth Rollins cashed in. The offense obviously didn't play as well as expected, but the defense was stout for most of the night, and it's satisfying to know that Penn State can grind a game out by dominating time of possession instead of treating every game like a track meet. Barkley's newfound production in the passing game looks like it will make him a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.

Stewmonkey: Well, Dammit.

That was a hell of a game. Iowa let one get away that they could've stolen. Dammit.

The game started and offense wasn't doing Jack shit. The defense was playing lights out. Then all of a sudden McSorely gets hit while throwing, the outlaw intercepts it and runs back setup into PSU territory. Nate Stanley process to throw a beautif TD pass and Iowa goes into half with the lead.

2nd half the defenses start to wear a little, Barkley and Wadley stay to get loose. And with about 2 minutes to go Wadley takes a draw and houses it. Then I started to realize what this game reminded me of, the 2009 Iowa@MSU game, with Iowa playing the role of MSU. Dammit, Dammit, Dammit. What a fun game, though.

Two other things.

1) Goddamn Saquon Barkley is fucking amazing. Like Barry Sanders out there. Iowa's defense would have him bottled up and he'd somehow swear through for 6 yards. Just amazing. The last player I remember dominating a game like that was Antwaan Randl El. Tip of the cap, to you, sir.

2) Trace McSorely and James Franklin are fucking tools. After the game Trace and significant number of other PSU players engaged in some douchebaggery. When asked about it post game, Franklin said he was aware if it, and that that's not what we do, that's not who we are. Bull fucking shit, you ass clown. Your football team did it, that's exactly who you are.

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