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Sunday Morning Coming Down

Influenza Edition

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Your humble writer is currently battling the flu or something very flu-like along with his entire household, so don’t expect magic here. Sorry, sports fans.

Ten B1G Things

  1. This is the worst Ohio State defense in my lifetime
  2. The fact that Greg Schiano is still employed just beggars belief
  3. This has to be it for Urban Meyer
  4. Trace McSorley now owns the wins records for PSU QBs, courtesy of Rutgers (Rutger heads explode)
  5. Northwestern now owns its best B1G record in 22 years
  6. Tom Allen must be a very frustrating lover, because he never ever finishes
  7. Rocky Lombardi was 15/41 passing. I’m pretty sure I could be 15/41 passing.
  8. Iowa and Illinois tied for Illinois’ worst margin of defeat in history, tying a 63-0 loss to the University of Chicago in 1906
  9. ESPN reports that “this loss ended Illinois’ bowl hopes” and that’s probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read.
  10. Michigan State needs to score 7 TDs next week to match the number scored by the 3-9 team from 2016.
  11. Indiana and Purdue will battle one another for the pride of the Hoosier state (is that a thing?) and for bowl eligibility.
  12. Haskins has now surpassed JT Barrett for single season TDs and Joe Germaine’s single season pass yardage records.
  13. Michigan special teams player Berkely Edwards—brother of Braylon Edwards—left the game with a concussion after a brutal hit. IU LB Cam Jones was ejected for the play, which is rare since Edwards was not the ball carrier or a QB. Edwards is reported to be doing fine.
  14. This is as good a time as any to remind you that everyone still hates Braylon Edwards.

The Rundown

Ohio State at Maryland | Buckeyes survive 52-51 (OT)

1223 total yards and 14 touchdowns was enough to convince you this was a Big XII game in disguise. No defense to speak of. Ridiculous big plays by Maryland. Urban Meyer exasperated on the sidelines. This was a manic day of scoring in which OSU never took the lead until overtime. If there was any doubt that OSU is going to get steamrolled next week, this mess should put it to bed for good.

Penn State at Rutgers | PSU cruises 20-7

How you only beat Rutgers by 13 points is beyond me, especially when you’re only -1 in the turnover margin (2 INTs! Against Rutgers!). Franklinly, I would’ve expected more out of a team whose stated purpose is to make New Jersey an extra nipple on Pennsylvania for recruiting purposes. Not Penn State’s best, but Rutgers is predictably awful.

Northwestern at Minnesota | NU wins 24-14

Ladies and gents, your B1G West champions. Northwestern earned its ten point victory margin on the back of Tanner Morgan, turning two of his three turnovers into scores. Thorson was serviceable with a 15/21 performance and one TD. Perhaps the biggest outcome of this game is that Nate Hall was ejected for targeting late in the 4th, meaning that the man who intercepted two passes for Northwestern this week won’t be available until the second half of next week’s game.

WSR: Two stupid fucking turnovers in the first half gives them just 7 points, then when we tie it right before the half we give up a massive return so their offense can score again on a short field. It’s just infuriating to watch.

Other than “they don’t fuck up” there’s just no explanation for this team winning the West.

LincolnParkWildcat: Phew. Today was a boxing match against an error prone team that will be probably be a pain in the ass next year. You can’t make errors against NU and expect to win. Double phew given that our entire secondary was banged up. The Cats need to heal up, take care of business and retain the :tophat: against a demoralized Illinois squad

MNW: It’s a credit to one of the best Minnesota teams in years that Northwestern could even hang with them. For having an offensive line that opened up gaping holes for whatever non-Shannon Brooks player is currently running the all for Minnesota, that the Gophers’ elite offense line didn’t rack up hundreds of yards on the ground is nothing short of inconceivable, given how badly they beat Purdue.

Honestly, I’m thankful Northwestern came out of this game with _any_ players intact, given how formidable the Minnesota steamroller looked coming into this one. I’m sure at least three of those players were recruited by wisconsin! We should be in awe of those recruiting stars! The Gophers were well on their way and had their whole lineup at their disposal; it’s a miracle Northwestern’s overrated senior quarterback and untested freshman running back were allowed on the same field as the juggernaut that is Tanner Morgan and Mohamed Ibrahim.

Thankfully, Northwestern found a way to win this game against a team that had been nigh-unstoppable the rest of the season Big Ten play November Purdue game. Onward and upward.

Indiana at Michigan | Michigan walks away 31-20

Jim Harbaugh did a good job of talking this squeaker up like a big win, claiming that “wins against Big Ten teams in late November are huge.” So I guess we should feel glad to be seeing seven huge wins each week now. Regardless, this was an improvement for Michigan who’d beaten Indiana in overtime each of the last two year. Jesus Christ Superstar Shea Patterson was 16/28, compared to Peyton Ramsey’s 16/35. Each pitched an INT and a TD. The real takeaway is that Michigan can be made to struggle in the red zone.

C4B: The sooner Congress outlaws this stupid, reckless sport, the better off I will be, because I won’t have to keep watching this same Groundhog Day every Saturday for the rest of my life and never see my team actually do anything of note.

Michigan State at Nebraska | Nebraska wins...*checks notes*...9-6

Good god. What an indictment of all things football. Literally nothing but field goals. Nebraska kicked all three of theirs in the 4th quarter. What a horrendously appropriate homage to the ghosts of the Big Ten past.

Absolutely Kantgetawinski: Playing in blizzard conditions? Every receiver on the roster dropped at least one pass already? Run game actually sort of working for once? I think you all know me well enough to know I wouldn’t pose these hypotheticals unless it was to follow with this: MSU’s last two possessions went pass-pass-pass-punt, pass-pass-run-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass. Little did we in the fan base know that Dantonio was not, in fact, disregarding our demands to throw the ball more. He was just hitting us with the Monkey’s Paw, turning our deepest desire into naught but pain and regret. With all but a handful of last year’s starters returning, MSU is now 6-5 heading into a meaningless Senior Day with friggin Rutgers. So it goes.

Cornsquad do generally earn their reputation for friendliness, FWIW...though the amount of bitching about calls and non-calls leads me to believe that might not have been the case if Nebby hadn’t pulled it out.

BRT: Well, Nebraska won a rock fight on the back of its special teams and defense, as we all predicted. Wait, what? It was a strange game, and I confess, when the score was 6-3 for a stretch well into the second half, I began to get very nervous that the game would end with that score and I would have to recant all the mean things I’ve ever said about other 6-3 contests. Instead, Nebraska hit a couple more field goals to win 9-3. (Shoutout to Barrett Pickering, who hasn’t had the most stellar year kicking field goals, but who came up big today every time his team needed him to in challenging kicking conditions.) Neither team scored a touchdown in this game--while that’s not so surprising for MSU (actually it was, because Nebraska’s defense) it was unexpected for the Huskers. Martinez had a rough game, probably due in part to the challenging weather conditions, and in part to facing a very good defense, the likes of which NU hadn’t had to deal with for over a month.

A fun thing I learned today was that this was the first time Nebraska has won a game without scoring a touchdown since 1937(?) against Kansas State.

Anyway, the contrast between last week’s game (where they combined with Illinois to score 89 points) and this one (where the teams combined to score a whopping 12) and this week’s was really something. I was pleasantly surprised by the Husker defense. Now, I’m fully aware of the caveat here of “look at this MSU offense.” Valid. However, you don’t really need your defense to be the ‘85 Bears every game, you just need them to make the plays they need to make--and today, Nebraska’s defense did that. I honestly would not have guessed that they could win a defensive struggle type of game, so that was neat.

The real MVPs of today though were my coveralls, because holy crap was it freezing and windy and snowy!

On to Iowa--it’s hard to believe that in less than a week, Nebraska football is over for the season. It seems like just yesterday that opening day to the Frost Era was derailed by lightning. Here’s hoping for nicer weather in Iowa City on Friday so that the Huskers can potentially steal one more win to end this season on a solidly upward trajectory.

Iowa at Illinois | Go Iowa Awesome 63-0

Speaking of indictments of all things football, this game can’t even be written about. What a horrendous showing. Everyone who went should get their money back. “We’re not a good football team” said coach Lovie Smith. Given a 35-0 halftime deficit and four turnovers, it’s hard to argue with that.

Thump: When a conference opponent beats you 63-0 and their fans say “yeah fuck this game we suck ass” you have to fire the head coach

Creighton: Kirk Ferentz got his 150th win, Iowa had their first individual 100 yard rusher of the season, and a bunch of underclassmen got some playing time as we beat Illinois by a cool 63 points. I’m happy we played well, but I’m also not fooling myself into thinking we learned anything about the Hawkeyes because Illinois is a very, very bad team.

stewmonkey13: Sorry, but I can’t get that excited about this Iowa team delivering a historic beating to this Illinois team. It’s like stuffing yourself with Halloween candy. Sure it’s fun in the moment, but it doesn’t provide and actual nutritional value. Just because they remembered they have the best tight end in the country, and a fearsome DL, doesn’t mean they’re not capable of pissing more games down their legs.

Wisconsin at Purdue | Wisconsin escapes on the legs of Taylor 47-44

Surprise! Wisconsin ran its way to victory on the legs of a freakishly talented back. Jonathan Taylor notched a career-high 321 yards and sealed the win with a bruising 17-yard run in 3OT. Purdue had no answer for Taylor, other than to simply try to outscore Wisconsin down the stretch. And they almost did it. Blough completed 31/48 passes for 386 yards and 4 TDs, including an amazing OT strike to Isaac Zico. But, settling for a FG in 3OT ultimately doomed them.

Boilerman31: Another game Purdue probably should have won. I’ll point to two critical series. Near the end of the first half, Purdue drove the ball to the Wisconsin 2 before settling for a field goal at the end of the half. Later, Purdue had the ball 2nd and Goal at the Wisconsin 1 up by 11 and failed to push it in. Instead of going for it where worst case, you end up turning it over on downs and pinning the Badgers deep, Purdue again settled for the field goal. What a different complexion this game would’ve had if Purdue gets 6 in either case. Purdue is close to turning a corner but need to learn to close out close games. In this case, kicking is for losers.

Beezer: The only plays of this game I saw all took place in the third overtime, and I guess that was a good time to watch. Taylor absolutely destroyed. I’m thankful Purdue didn’t go for 2 at the end of the previous OT. also I like this Purdue team and I am very worried about the next couple of years if Brohm sticks around