Ten B1G Things from Across the Pond
1. OSU’s defense had their best weekend yet
2. Wisconsin’s defense took up the mantle of absolute buffoonery, as is the West’s wont
3. Injuries, man. Injuries. The B1G looks like the Somme at this point.
4. Less reliable ball carrier: Jonathan Taylor or Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
5. Stanley Steamer is a joke that just keeps on giving--especially if our unit of measure is “panic interceptions.”
6. I could smell that performance from over here.
7. Losing a game on a run by a lineman is 190-proof Ferentz
8. I couldn’t help but notice Iowa had two safeties in this game. I’d trade OSU’s two starting safeties for four points, if anyone’s interested.
10. The worst trip to London in history is one when there’s an NFL game that same weekend. Eagles fans are America’s worst export since Buick. Not a B1G fact but it bears mentioning.
11. Purdue’s offensive amnesia has returned, I see.
12. PJ Fleck is going to pitch a few 9-win seasons and then really regret tape of himself saying Minnesota needs a 20-year head coach like Iowa, which will be played on repeat as he drives out of town to his next job.
13. Tom Allen is the best high school coach in Indiana, probably.
14. I’m not saying that a weekend away from college football is quite good for one’s mental health, but I’m not about to say it isn’t, either.
The Rundouwn - UK version (With Free Extraneous U)
Wisconsin at Northwestern | Wild Felines Scuffle to Victory 31-17
Absolutely cracking performance by the lads from the Northwestern University of the United States, which is located quite quizzically in the middle portion. Top man Clayton Thorson, formerly of Scandinavia, heaved several scoring strikes against the varmint Germans. He led his team down the field just as fast as you like, making short work of the lads from the Uni in Madison. Jonathan Taylor, as tough a lad as the reds have, had a bit of clotted cream on his mitts—he surrendered the ball quite readily to his violet foes. The chaps from Illinoise now seem quite poised to lose a championship to someone from the other half of the league.
Lincoln Park Wildcat: First place in the Big Ten West!!! I’ll take it. We have a habit of playing to the level of our competition, for better or worse.
If someone told me wisconsin would be playing this sloppy, with several interceptions and turnovers, I would not have believed you. We locked down wisconsin’s top rated rushing attack by holding Jonathan Taylor to 46 yards! Thorson threw for 167 yards, with 3tds and 1 int, while Isaiah Bowser carried the ball 34 times for 117 yards and got a touchdown out of it.
Mick McCall got very aggressive with his playcalling, maybe a tad reckless with goal line situations where taking the points would’ve been more prudent. It worked out in the end. GO CATS!
Purdue at Michigan State | Grecian Gladiators Scrape Past 23-13
With nearly half the team in hospital and their transport-savvy opponents fresh off the match of a lifetime, one might not expect the Spartan boys to have got a victory here. What a surprise indeed, then, that head man Marcus D’Anthony was able to secure the victory. We’re not so sure who or what a Purdue is, since it doesn’t appear on any maps we had available, but we’ve been assured they do exist. Some lads from the state of Ohio are apparently quite sure of it. Nonetheless, apparently their scrum half tossed several balls to the boys in green. That’s not a winning strategy, we’re told.
Boilerman31: Welp, that, boy and girls is what we call a textbook letdown spot. Credit to Sparty for executing and shutting down David Blough and Co. Everytime Purdue seemed to be in position to make a move in the fourth quarter, the Sparty D snuffed it out. Whether it was a lucky bounce (and no targeting review) on an INT or getting the field goal block, Purdue couldn’t get the job done.
Looking forward, the path to bowl eligibility is easy enough, win the winnable games at Minnesota and defend the bucket. A win over Iowa or Wisconsin is gravy at this point.
Andrew PolishworkersaredestroyingthiscountryenactArticle50ski: Listening to some of and watching a bit more of this game, it’s nice to get a W, and the fact that the offense looks functional with a few more personnel available is really encouraging. The defense was for the most part great, and my concern about Purdue’s big play ability was not borne out - I recall two 30ish yarders and that was it.
But. Seeing Rocky Lombardi playing and looking for the most part capable, one cannot help but glance backwards and wonder if his best effort might have lent MSU’s offense a little more punch in a game that wasn’t the blowout it should have been...one wonders.
MSU’s remaining four games feel like a sure win (butt), a sure loss (yes, still putting OSU in that category) and two toss-ups with Maryland and Nebraska that will determine if this season is meh but with reasons or better than it should’ve been, given said reasons.
Bethune-Cookman at Nebraskar | Corn Husk Removers win handily 45-9
What a load of bollocks.
BigRedTwice: I believe I selected a poll option recently that forbade me from “speaking glowingly” about Nebraska this weekend, so I’ll keep this restrained. It was nice to see Nebraska do what they should do against an over-matched team, and to see the players have some fun after a pretty un-fun season. The real win was that no injuries happened, so I am thankful for that. It was fun to watch, and I have to apologize to the Hawkeye bretheren--I now see why the SEC and Iowa do this so often.
Hopefully this wasn’t too glowing. I had a nice Saturday afternoon, and I enjoyed it and will savor it, especially in light of what is likely to happen next weekend.
Indianar at Minnesota | Hoosiers (Hoo-zhers) lose a heartbreaker, 31-38
Minnesotar is full of Norwegians and Swedes, and therefore can’t be trusted. No surprise then that they pulled a fast one of the boys from Indiana with a long throw to a gent who appears to be quite possibly the second-slowest runner in American football. Fortunately he was defended by the slowest runner. No chariots of fire, I’m afraid.
Candystripes for Breakfast: Of all the Indiana football games to Indiana football, this was the Indiana footballiest.
WhiteSpeedReceiver: The Indiana comeback and the Minnesota comeback from the comeback are all my fault.
Illiinois at Maryland | Man City loses to Fort McHenry’s finest
We’re told there are two team from Illinois, with one being sort of bad and one being awful. Think Manchester, but with actual corruption and crime and whatnot. Maryland put quite the hurting on Illinois, who apparently enjoy the colour grey and defeat.
Thumpasaurus Rex [get it? like a king?]: Well at least Rod Smith tried. This defense is putrid, and that special teams S&P+ ranking is 100% about the kickers. Coverage teams suck, but you usually don’t see them because the kickers are good.
I know crushing Illini losses tend to blur together but this one was historic. We allowed 10.3 yards per play to the 100th ranked offense in S&P+, who put up 115 yards in a shutout the week prior.
DJ Carver: 715 total yards, 63 points, and Javon Leake almost outscored Illinois himself with four touchdowns in the game. Maryland found the edge often and it opened up the passing game over the middle as Illinois tried to adjust to stop it. Pretty much Illinois did everything Maryland wanted them to do on defense and it showed.
Next week will be a test to see if Maryland really learned anything after the Iowa game. If we open up in a 3 man front dime defense again against a run first team I may lose my mind.
Iowar at Pennsylvania State | Desperation in the Valley, 30-24
It seems that the goal of American football is to get the ball to someone speedy, who will then run round the other boys for a score. This, of course, happens after many intermissions and pauses and the like. For some reason, the Iowa quarterman thought it prudent, when facing defeat in the final moments, to toss the ball to a quite large man whose job is not to run the ball but to get in other people’s way. It’s all a bit nonsensical, but we’re told their coach is quite highly paid and therefore must be a rather innovative chap.
Stewmonkey13: I don’t want it to get lost just how insane the first quarter was in this game. It ended 14-7, but it had 2 safeties on botched punts, a touchdown where a punter passed it to a DT after shifting out of the FG formation, and another shift out of the field goal formation, that shifted back into the field formation and resulted in a delay of game. It was nuts, and fun.
Unfortunately there were 3 more quarters. Iowa’s defense held up admirably. They were able to apply pressure and kept Iowa in the game with a score. The offense, though, and I hate to put a game on a single player, but man, Nate Stanley was really, really, REALLY bad this game. Downright Hornibrookian, even. He was overthrowing every ball until he hurt his hand hitting a helmet, and after that he was short arming everything. It was bad. And that really was the game. It’s pretty much impossible to win a football game if your quarterback goes 18/49 for 205 (4.18 yards/attempt), and 2 horrible interceptions.
A-A-Roun, House of Yorke: Why don’t they make the whole team out of Trace McSorley? That’s all there is to say after the quarterback hurt his knee in the second quarter, only to return in the third and run for a 51-yard touchdown. That performance led James Franklin to say after the game that McSorley is the best football player in the country. I love the guy to death, but chill out, Coach. He went 11-for-25 in this game and threw a brutal interception that nearly cost Penn State the game.
Fortunately, Nate Stanley doubled McSorley up in that regard, throwing one pick to get the Lions back in the game early and another to ensure they held the lead late. Stanley also overthrew the most wide-open receiver I’ve ever seen on a brilliant play-action fake. It was one of his many misfires. The most bewildering part was Steve Levy and Brian Greise thinking that Stanley’s accuracy had gone awry after his banged his hand on a friendly helmet in the second half. I don’t know what game they were watching, but Stanley was playing so poorly before the incident that I couldn’t notice any difference. It also didn’t hurt that Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos was in the backfield all afternoon. The sophomore is looking like a star with four sacks in his last two games.
87townie: I love playing teams from the midwest. You really are the most accommodating people on the planet. No matter how hard we tried, you just wouldn’t take the win. And Penn State did everything possible to give Iowa the win... Not one safety from our punt team, but two. Want a touchdown on a “trick” fieldgoal? Sure, go ahead. Driving for the coup de grace...nah, let’s fumble the exchange and give Iowa the ball back. We’re up by too much, here’s a pick six to get you back in the game. And finally, they have the ball down by six to end the game. I was prepared to lose by one point at the end...but gosh darnit, the Iowa Hawkeyes refused to be that kind of guest. And after the poor manners shown to us by OSU and MSU, they kindly allowed us to win.
So thanks, Hawkeyes. We’ll do you a solid and knock off Wisconsin. (I hope.)