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Sunday Morning Coming Down

The B1G Hits Snooze

Northwestern v Michigan State Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Ten B1G Things

  1. Oh the weather outside
  2. wAit 15 mINutEs aNd It wiLl chAnGE
  3. Breaking news in Evanston: 2nd half of football discovered
  4. Northwestern can’t buy an intentional grounding call (and those cats have money)
  5. Without LJ Scott, MSU is basically Felton Davis and punting
  6. The words “compressed broadcast” are music to every fan’s ears
  7. Devin Bush never met a helmet-to-helmet hit he didn’t like
  8. Rutgers finally won a conference game!
  9. Just kidding, why on earth would you believe that?
  10. Illinois and Rutgers managed to take out an official, with the CJ leaving after being hit in the head with a ball being tossed from the sidelines. Delany probably took him out for considering calling holding on PSU at some point
  11. If Nate Stanley wants to play in the NFL he should only let scouts watch him play Minnesota
  12. Two B1G West “powers” played for a bronze pig and the result was less than 200 yards rushing combined
  13. OSU needs to shake out the couch cushions and see about getting Kerry Coombs back
  14. It’s cool if we just don’t do the playoff thing this year, right?

The Rundown

Northwestern at MSU | Roll Damn Cats 29-19

Dark Mantonio and his band of merry Thugtans tried in vain to defend their home turf without LJ Scott. To make matters worse, they’re on the 29th interation of their offensive line this season. How many tries will they need to find success? 220...221...whatever it takes. On the Purple side, Thorson had himself a day, with 373 yards through the air and a game-sealing TD dive/scrum/push to send the Spartans home on their shields. MSU is wasting no time getting the 9 portion of their 3-9 campaign off the ground.

Abner Kerfuffleski: Past is prologue. In 2012, MSU had a mess of injuries on the offensive line, a playcalling approach that refused to account for that, and a defense that kept the team in every game against the offense’s will. There are a few differences - now, the receivers are better, but also wracked with injuries. Lewerke is better than Maxwell, but not by all that much. And the coaches remain as stubborn as ever, opting to throw more than 20 yards downfield all of once that I counted despite Felton Davis III being the best player on the field by a mile. Oh, and Dantonio’s staff once again misread the rule book and operated under the impression they were only allowed to target Davis once a drive.

Any notion that Northwestern played a good game is just false. Both teams resolutely did their best to lose this game, MSU just happened to prevail. Having Established The Run and therefore won the game by -10, MSU moves to 4-1 in its coaches’ minds.

MNW: Northwestern is stupid. That’s all I have, they’re just dumb. Do not bother trying to make anything out of that win, it is pointless.

LPW: I have a different take than my younger Wildcat colleague: Northwestern was playing angry after last week’s heartbreaking loss to Michigan. Clayton Thorson had 3 TDS and threw for 373 yards in a strange, yet exciting game. Strange: Thorson hit a wide receiver in the face with a football leading to an MSU interception and also were called for a pass interference play when one of our defensive backs pulled the long hair of an MSU receiver!! (what the fuck). Also, MSU shot down Northwestern’s run game. Nine fucking yards total. Exciting: Thorson outdueled Lewerke in an epic passing duel. MSU struck first with three points, then NU scored 14 points, then MSU scored sixteen additional points to make it 19-14 midway through the third quarter. To be honest, I was like “oh fuck, let’s not blow another lead again”, but the ‘Cats rallied to win 22-19 with timely offense and an aggressive defense against the Spartans. I’m writing this early onto getting drunk in bars on Grand River street in East Lansing. LETS GO CATS!!!

Maryland at Michigan | Michigan delays the inevitable, 42-21

Who is Maryland, exactly? For that matter, who is Michigan? The Wolverines keep racking up points against nobodies, which shouldn’t be impressive but somehow also sort of has to be since that’s the essence of college football. At any rate, Karan Higdon tallied another 100+ yard game, and Shea Patterson looked like at least a rough approximation of the Christ Child we were told to expect. Maryland did Maryland stuff, most notably a blazing kick return that briefly led yours truly to question whether Matt Canada had secretly slipped Will Likely back into a hideous uniform.

ziowa9: Maryland’s not going to win very many games only scoring 14 points on offense; with all 14 of those coming after the game was out of hand. This performance, start to finish, was not good. The only silver lining in this dark cloud was Tyrrell Pigrome getting 63 yards rushing and completing north of 50% of his passes. This performance will make for a fun week before Rutgers heads to College Park.

Illinois at Rutgers | Illinois clears the lowest of bars 38-17

AJ Bush completed 10 passes, and yet didn’t break 100 yards. While I understand that that is mathematically possible, I didn’t think it would be realistically possible—especially against Rutgers. Nonetheless, the grad transfer was this week’s MC in Chris Ash’s Misery Gala Celebrity Telethon. Bush ran for 2 TDs and threw for a third, and his team tallied 330 total on the ground. Rutgers’ Arturo Sitkowski threw for 267 and his team racked up nearly 400 yards of offense enroute to...17 points. Eeeesh.

Thumpasaurus: I waited too long after the game tpo write thisw so i am toioio drunjk e ven in spite of the huge amount of mistakes we made, we managed toij win becouse their mistakes were bigget than oiur mistakes + the smount our team was better than theirs. Thiss is so engouraging i want even describe my euphoria i just cant believe we are a cut above the leagues’s worst. this is oiur fist b;lpowout win over a bit gemn schjuool sinjce purdue 2015 amd pm;y tje secpmd somce omdoama 2-11. I-L-L! I-N-I@ d;fd

Iowa at Minnesota | Iowa holds onto its hog, 48-31

Nate Stanley connected on 23 of 39 passes for 314 yards. Four of those were TDs. Annexstad tried to keep up with 3 TDs of his own, but adding those 3 INTs was a questionable move. Earlier this week PJ Fleck said that the problem at Minnesota is that they don’t have a 20-year coaching history like Wisconsin and Iowa. Remember that when he goes 9-3 and leaves for a top tier job, Gopher fans.

WSR: You just can’t make mistakes against Iowa. You can’t throw a bunch of interceptions, you can’t drop passes, you can’t try to go for it on 4th down and fail to convert multiple times, and you can’t have blown assignments on defense. If you do you give up 400 yards of offense and 48 points, even if you do manage to hold them to 100 yards on the ground. Chances were there to make it a game, but either Minnesota didn’t take advantage of them or Iowa just snuffed them out.

StewMonkey: Iowa kept Floyd home for the fourth straight year in one of the more bizarre games I’ve seen in a while. Iowa’s passing game was on point, featuring both FANTastic tight ends, and in a surprising turn of events, introduced some wide receivers that seemed capable. The running game was ok, but Minnesota was loading the box all game. The defense, though, really was schizophrenic. The DL dominated Minnesota’s OL, but the back 7 was decimated by injuries playing backups at 5 of the 7 positions, including 2 true freshmen at the corner spots. This led to some missed assignments and inconsistent play, allowing Minnesota to move the ball when the DL couldn’t get home. Still, Floyd is coming back home, and that’s what matters right now.

Creighton: I don’t have much to add that Stew didn’t already cover. The good: Iowa’s pass rush was fantastic, the passing game was probably the best we’ve seen since Ohio State last year (which ended 55-24 if you recall), the two true freshman cornerbacks combined for 3 interceptions, we ran a direct snap to a tight end for a touchdown, and Floyd will be hanging out in Iowa City for another year. The bad: Minnesota’s receivers occasionally looked like they were playing against a Big 12 defense, and Nate Stanley handed the Gophers 14 easy points. I’ll take my pig. Bring on the Hoosiers.

Indiana at Ohio State | Buckeyes win by some stupid number like 23

Yours truly literally could not have been more correct about this game. With a -24 line, OSU managed to bungle its way through most of the game—led by the linebackers, of course. Peyton Ramsey did all the things everyone with eyeballs expected, picking apart the slow and out-of-place linebacking corps for much of the game. To be fair, the secondary got in the act, too. Why not let Westbrook catch everything thrown his way? Seems like a plan. Of course OSU won out by virtue of their talent overmatch, but that’s not a great plan going forward. Dwayne Haskins became just the second OSU QB in history to throw for more than 400 in a game, with a career-best 455—barely shy of Art Schlichter’s all-time record.

Urban Meyer fell to his knees briefly on the sidelines after colliding with an OSU staffer. He addressed the situation after the game, noting that he was dealing with headaches connected to the arachnoid cyst in his brain.

Candystripes: As I write this, there are technically still 11 minutes left in IU-Ohio State, but as IU has just punted the ball on 4th and 5, it’s quite likely that any chance of the final result changing has officially died, so let’s do this instead. Of course, we’ve seen this exact damn script before: Indiana plays the Buckeyes tough for 3 quarters, and can’t make any headway in the 4th before ultimately losing. Buckeye fans rush to claim that they were utterly terrified of Indiana, despite almost 30 years of evidence that they’re all liars and bullshit artists, but make sure to point out that “Indiana is actually a good team and will probably upset someone”, even though no such thing will occur. The humdrum “almost good enough, but never actually there” cycle will repeat ad infinitum, Indiana fans will yet again try to will the football team into being something worth talking about, and by the Bucket game they’ll be more concerned with how Archie and the basketball Hoosiers look than what will probably be another loss in the lopsided Bucket battle.

If it’s cool with y’all, I’d like to just skip ahead to the point where Indiana finally is capable of putting someone talented in the ground. So, see you in 3085 or so, I suppose.

Nebraska at Wisconsin | Wisconsin shucks Huskers 41-24

Wisconsin’s capstone TD was a simple inside handoff to Jonathan Taylor. From their own 11-yard line. He blew through three attempted tackles and outran the entire defense to the endzone. That’s the entire game in a nutshell. Nebraska is not good, and it looks as though they won’t be good for quite some time. On the other hand, Wisconsin’s loss to BYU looks downright atrocious these days. So who the hell knows what’s happening in the West, honestly.

Jesse Collins: Nebraska is still winless, and despite the obvious move to ‘moral victory’ I must admit that this team certainly feels like it is inching ever so close to getting their act together. There are still absolutely back breaking penalties, and when the team needs just ONE play on either offense or defense, they can’t seem to get it. Process, culture, etc. Here’s what I will say, watching the maturation of Adrian Martinez and Maurice Washington, and somewhat salivating at the idea of continued opportunities to watch JD Spielman do JD Spielman things - a record breaking performance at that - still gives me hope that this season is not just a wasted year in transition. Wisconsin handled Nebraska pretty easily, but you do not have to squint all that hard to wonder if the gap between the teams shrunk just a tad. Only time will tell and ultimately a loss is a loss, but I saw silver linings this week. Now let’s stop making dumb mistakes and win a damn game.

Dead Read: I agree with Jesse - there is enough talent to think this team has potential. The lack of focus is dazzling: continued special teams gaffes are infuriating, frequent penalties continue to hurt, and the defense acts as an intermittent sieve. Nebraska does not have Big Ten line play. But, if that offense can find its stride and get out of its own way, it could be dangerous. Improvement is all I am looking for, if only to preserve my sanity. GBR, I guess.

MC ClapYoHandz: On the way back home. This one went about as expected; the only concern going in was defending Nebraska’s passing/home run ability and they took full advantage of that. In the end Wisconsin was a little better and a little more disciplined. Wisconsin is going to lose to Penn State, a team with similar strengths to Nebraska but is much better at them.

You can tell Nebraska is going to be a problem in a couple years. The X’s and O’s look good already and they have the resources to improve the roster. If I recall correctly, the play that drew the (correct) targeting call involved multiple pre-snap shifts until they got a linebacker out wide in single coverage on a speedy WR. Some good chess.

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