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Sunday Morning Coming Down

Strained Veterans Day Metaphor Edition

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. First Northwestern reclaimed NU from Nebraska, and now they’ve taken Champions of the West from Michigan. Lock your doors and keep an eye on your traditions
  2. To quote an unnamed commentor: “How you let a team that lost to FUCKING AKRON win your shit ass brokedick garbage division?”
  3. Seriously, though, Northwestern has zero out-of-conference victories, is 2-4 at home, and their best running back retired from the game of football last month
  4. Meanwhile Kirk Ferentz made $422,916.67 for coaching that game last night.
  5. Credit to Rutgers for being the lobster who tries to take a finger from the chef before being dropped into the pot
  6. Smoothbore cannons are an obsolete artillery system
  7. Ohio State now owns a spotless 20-year record in Spartan Stadium
  8. OSU punter Drue Chrisman’s first punt traveled 4 yards. His subsequent punts led to MSU starting five consecutive drives inside their own 6-yard-line
  9. Purdue would do something like this after clowning OSU
  10. On the other hand, that’s one way to keep Jeff Brohm around...
  11. Dwayne Haskins is 50-ish yards shy of being the most prolific passer in OSU history
  12. Northwestern supports the troops with the worst off-brand camouflage that private university tuition revenue can buy
  13. Credit to BTN for hauling their standard definition cameras out of mothballs to broadcast the Minnesota/Purdue game
  14. The Big Ten has the absolute worst commercials of any conference, including the Conference of American Gastorenterologists

The Rundown

Northwestern at Iowa | Beleaguered Northwestern Wins Pitched Battle for Hill 640, 17-14

At more than point, the leads seemed insurmountable in this back and forth fight. First Iowa charged ahead 3-0, setting Northwestern scrambling to find an answer to such overwhelming force. Then Northwestern kicked into high gear with an explosive 7-point onslaught to put the men from Iowa on their heels. But the gritty Iowegians, led by the most decorated officer outside of the Ames Regiment, found the will to charge once more into the fray and score what looked to be a tide-turning touchdown. But again, their hopes were dashed, as a young former grunt by the name of Animal Mother Pat Fitzgerald rallied his men for a heroic double envelopment (supported by a timely and improbable air strike) to win the day for good. All awards for valor shall be printed in Olde English font.

stewmonkey13: This is just who Iowa is. It’s who they’ve been for the better part of two decades. It’s who they will likely be until Ferentz retires. I had hoped that maybe Kirk would want to be Les stupid to ensure handing the job off to Brian. But it doesn’t appear like that matters. Unless Ferentz has a contract on the line,, Iowa will continue to be one of the most frustrating 7-5 teams in country. We continue to live in the dumbest timeline.

LPW: If you told me Purdue and Wisconsin would lose today and Northwestern would win the west today, I’d say you’re lying. But here we are, with NU going to indy for the first time ever. I’ll take it!!!

MNW: I refuse to believe it’s really happening.

OSU at MSU | Buckeyes Win Battle of Sackets Harbor, 26-6

A history teacher once summed up the War of 1812 as “they fired on us, we fired upon them, all retreated slightly embarrassed.” Ohio State certainly came out the victor here, but mostly thanks to the complete impotence of their attacking foe. Michigan State committed three of the dumbest possible turnovers, including snapping the ball into their motion man in the endzone and a Lewerke interception due to his own blocker interrupting his throwing motion. Sparty ran for 54 yards total, while OSU went from averaging 0.9 ypc in the first half to 4 ypc in the second half against the best run defense in the conference. As was said yesterday, OSU’s defense is 100% trash, but Sparty’s offense is 250% trash.

Absolutely Kanttakeitanymoreski: Did y’all know Mark Dantonio is one of the more stubborn people alive? If you didn’t, you would’ve learned yesterday. Brian Lewerke hasn’t been good at any point this year, even when he was healthy and had all of his receivers available. Since his injury against Penn State, he’s been a shell of himself. Rocky Lombardi hasn’t been Johnny Football or anything, but he’s been a damn sight better than Lewerke and was obviously MSU’s best chance to win this game - or rather, that was obvious to everyone except MSU’s coaching staff. By the time Lombardi went in, Drue Chrisman was well into the best game I’ve ever seen from a punter and MSU was fighting up too steep a grade for this limited offense to overcome. I didn’t expect to win this game before the season or at any point during it, but it was 7-6 deep into the third quarter. This L belongs to you, Coach.

Purdue at Minnesota | Purdue Fleet shattered by Rowboats in Gopher Harbor, 41-10

One improbable victory does not a general make. Like Zee Germans before them, Purdue failed to account for the horrors of winter. Field reports indicate that Purdue’s greatest weapon, the M1 Blough, was negated by the wet and icy conditions. Minnesota’s leadership ranks were thinned after Marshal Fleck dismissed his subaltern Robb Smith for gross incompetence, though history will likely record the outcome as addition by subtraction. Minnesota’s previously paper-thin defenses stiffened mightily in the aftermath, rendering Purdue’s attacks laughably moot—243 total yards, to be precise.

WSR: The B1G West is still schizophrenic as heck. Minnesota gives up roughly 11,000 yards and points to trash-ass Illinois, fire our DC, and then turn around to just beat the stuffing out of Purdue on a cold, snowy Saturday afternoon at the bank. Sure, why not. The offense, particularly the run game, was much improved with the return of Donnell Greene up front. And the defense? Wow. I have no idea where that came from, but Purdue was at -3 yards rushing when they started their last scoring drive down 41-3. Just a complete smothering of the last good team we face, which means I should probably get ready for a pair of losses.

Boilerman31: Welp. Boilers can’t seem to handle success. Beat a ranked team? Bet against Purdue heavy next game.

Rutgers at Michigan | Politikal Officer declares Michigan “National Title Contender” after stunning victory, 42-7

The Ann Arbor Commissariat is pleased to announce that Michigan forces are advancing on all fronts, ahead of schedule. The enemies are fleeing before the brave and invincible Maize Army.

Wisconsin at Penn State | Penn State mops up remains of the Wisconsin Regiment, 22-10

A once proud unit hobbled by a lack of heavy assets and air support, Wisconsin found itself unable to withstand the repeated frontal assaults by Miles Sanders. The PSU back piled up 159 yards and a touchdown. His Wisconsin counterpart Jonathan Taylor ran for 185 yards and the Badgers’ lone TD. With no credible air threat from backup QB Jake Coan, Wisconsin eventually succumbed to a superior power from the East, giving Captain McSorley his 29th victory, tying Todd Blackledge.

Beezer07: Wisconsin is a shell of a team at this point on both sides of the ball. All you need to do to understand Hornibrook’s value to the team is watch the offense try to convert a third down without him. The only solace in this game is that I expected Wisconsin to lose this game all along, although this does basically knock Wisconsin out of the CCG race.

87townie: Penn State came into this season with several good “test” games. Most of them came at home: Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Michigan was the one big test on the road. We failed three of the five test games. We got a dinged up Wisconsin team at home and came out winners. I’ll take it. It wasn’t a pretty win. It starred a lot of young faces. We kicked a lot of field goals...but at this point in the season, a win is a win.

As for the implications, PSU is a middle of the road B1G team. Better than a few teams. Worse than a few teams. Not what I’d hoped for, but not too far below what I expected.

A-A-Ron: Penn State was able to run the ball for first downs consistently in this game. That was a fun surprise. Trace McSorley once again got banged up and had to leave the game for a little while, but he’s still doing his thing. The Lions missed two field goals and an extra point, plus they fumbled on defense while returning a turnover by Jack Coan. Still, the Wisconsin passing game was so bad that none of those miscues mattered much. (edited)

Illinois at Nebraska | Untrained Illinois regiment dispatched handily, 54-35

Illinois simply handed the key to victory to the Cornhuskers in the form of 5 turnovers. That’s five. That’s half of ten and that’s just pathetic. Illinois is the epitome of pulling the grenade and throwing the pin at the enemy. Von Martinez the Younger threw for 290 yards and created four TDs. Illinois has no Martinez or anything close to him.

thumpasaurus: All of the improvement this year has been on the offensive side of the ball. I don’t think the 13th best recruiting class in the big ten is going to improve this defense. I guess we’ll head into 2019 with a lame duck coach. I knew last week was a mirage. I don’t see how this team gets better on defense and I don’t see how a lame-duck Lovie Smith recruits anyone here next year. So I guess “wait for 2019” has become “wait for 2022.”

BRT: Well, I mean, it was Illinois. But Nebraska has not had the kind of year where this can be taken for granted, especially since after the Michigan game, many of us wondered if they’d win more than one game all season. I’m so proud of this team for staying the course through some choppy waters, and they looked good today. Well, half of the team did--I’m not going to get so Pollyanna as to say that the defense isn’t still really concerning. Illinois had 509 yards, after all, which is not great. However... Illinois also had five turnovers, several of which Nebraska’s defense came up with, so that was encouraging.

While far from a perfect game or team, it’s been nice to see areas of real improvement from earlier in the season: For one, they came up on the right side of the turnover battle, with two to Illinois’ five (and one of the two came courtesy of the backup QB near the end of the game). Nebraska finished with seven penalties for 72 yards, which, while not the best, is certainly better than where they were hanging out at the beginning of the season. Ozigbo ripped two 60+ yard touchdown runs, while scoring three touchdowns, and Martinez had another great day, completing 24/34 in frigid and breezy conditions for 290 yards, 3 TDs, and only one INT. The offense, as a whole, finished with 606 yards, though yes, Illinois’ D is admittedly woeful. Also, it was amazing to see that another team has worse special teams than the Huskers, which I didn’t think was possible.

It’s hard to believe that there are only two more games left to watch this team--it seems like only yesterday they were being defeated by lightning. :disappointed: I’ve enjoyed watching this team lately, and am excited about their trajectory. They’re still deeply flawed, but I doubt either MSU or Iowa is super excited to be facing them right now, and what more can you really ask for when you’re a 3-7 team? I so wish we could have picked up another couple of wins for our seniors, but hopefully we can steal one or both of the next two, and finish the season poised for a promising 2019.

Dead Read: The Huskers are not a great team, by any means, but they are a better team each week. Nebraska has now had 450+ yards of total offense for seven straight games (school record), and 500+ yards for five consecutive games. The team is improving on defense and special teams (there was maximum potential for growth). It is good to see some good things happen for this team. Hopefully, Nebraska will push MSU and Iowa in the final two games. A quick check of the scoreboard...opportunity is knocking.

Maryland at Indiana | Hoosiers seize victory 34-32

The garrison from Fort McHenry should never have traveled beyond the friendly confines of the ramparts. Perhaps with a competent leader on the field, they might have emerged victorious. Alas, their hopes rested on the shoulders of a Pigrome, who tried in vain to erase the memory of his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pass with an even more backbreaking fumble to end the game. Tom Allen gets himself a much needed win and perhaps a reprieve from the MacArthur treatment.