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Sunday Morning Melting Down

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Oh, How Are The Mighty Fallen!

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. The B1G is ass, my dudes.
  2. With Nebraska 0-2 for the first time since 1957, Scott Frost’s chances for even a fake natty are dwindling.
  3. Trace McSorley now leads all Penn State QBs in career rushing touchdowns, having secured the title of career leader in douchebag homerun/salute gestures some months back.
  4. Temple > 2 x Texas. Solve for Maryland.
  5. Ball State is downgraded to Testicle Tech until further notice.
  6. Illinois’ death spasms are at least amusing to watch.
  7. You can make fun of the boat-rowers at Minnesota when you win your shitty non-conference matchups. Looking at you, Northwestern.
  8. Pat Fitzgerald is Ronald Reagan—ranting about communism as he blunders his way toward unduly extended employment.
  9. Get Jeff Brohm a Snickers. He’s not going anywhere for awhile.
  10. Iowa is definitely the premier program in the state. No offense.
  11. If you give Shea Patterson a shitty enough defense to stare down, he looks pretty effective.
  12. The B1G West played 6 non-P5 opponents yesterday, and beat half of them.
  13. With a kickoff temp of 86 degrees, the Badgers played and lost in the second-hottest game in Camp Randall history.
  14. TCU’s 93-yard touchdown run is the longest play ever allowed from scrimmage by Ohio State.

The Rundown

Troy at Nebraska | Trojans sack Lincoln 24-19

For the second time in as many years, Troy has upended a P5 opponent on their own turf while receiving about a million dollars for the joy of playing spoiler. Nebraska faced big difficulties at QB, with the early-season departure of a scholarship second-stringer rearing its head after the injury to Adrian Martinez last week. Walk-on Andrew Bunch did his best, launching two TDs to keep the Huskers in it, but his second interception sealed Nebraska’s fate. Nebraska’s defense hardly needed a wooden horse to be its undoing—rather par for the course for the “Blackshirts” in recent years.

BRT: Well, this team is exciting in their way, I suppose... but not in a very good way! There are things I like very much about this team, and I’m certainly not on #TeamBurnItAllDown--overall, the defense had a pretty good game, and I like that the team never folded or quit, even when things looked bleak--you didn’t always see that in years past, and I appreciate that.

But man, if you are a fan of teams who shoot at both of their own feet with gusto, do I have a team for you! It is the 2018 Nebraska Cornhuskers! (Though you may want to look into Purdue fandom as well.) This team’s propensity for doing the exact worst thing at the least opportune time is a bit stunning. Penalties and turnovers made a big difference in this game, as they did last week, and that is concerning. Special teams, once again, were atrocious, in a way that mattered a lot in this one (Troy scored a TD on a punt return, and Nebraska missed a FG). This felt disappointingly like last week’s game, where the game was winnable, but Nebraska couldn’t get out of their own damn way to get it done.

I’m going to stick up for Andrew Bunch. Adrian Martinez did not play (though he dressed and participated in warm ups). A lot of people will blame Bunch or having a backup QB for this loss. It’s true, he’s not nearly the athlete Martinez is, and maybe the offense could have ended in 7 instead of 3 more often with Martinez--it’s certainly possible. But it’s not fair to expect him to be what he can’t be. He’s a sophomore walk-on, and 3-4 weeks ago, he was the 3rd string QB. Last week, he got tossed in the game to try to win the thing when the new star went down. Today, he was in a tough position, and for the most part, he really did a good job. He managed the game well, and even made some really nice throws. He kept things from getting out of hand. The final INT that sealed the deal was bad, that’s true... but I really think Bunch should be proud of how he did today.

Still, the Huskers are off to an 0-2 start for the first time since 1957 or something, and they’ve lost 8 of their last 9, so... there’s a lot of work to be done here.

Dead_Read: Nebraska just isn’t very good right now. There is good talent, but the players cannot get out of their own way. Another game brings another underclassman starting his first FBS game at QB, which is never optimal (he did ok). There were so many screw-ups that it is hard to isolate one from the others. Nebraska needs to win six of the next nine games to go bowling. I don’t see it happening.

Kent State at Penn State | PSU does PSU things 63-10

McSorley threw for 229 and accounted for 5 TDs, while Kent State did their best not to lose any limbs in the collision. Despite going just 11/22 with an INT, McSorley proved to be both highly lethal and rather alone in terms of scoring potential on the PSU offense. But then again, how much more firepower do they need?

87Townie: I‘m still not sure how good this Penn State team is. The team is young. They still make stupid mistakes. But Trace McSorley looks like he’s hitting his stride. He got pulled in the third quarter with two passing TDs, three rushing TDs, and two other passing TD’s wiped out by penalty. I’m really excited for the running game. There are a platoon of guys that look really good. The defense keeps getting better. I guess we’ll know in two weeks, when OSU comes to Happy Valley.

Rutgers at Kansas | Rutgers gets Mangino’d 55-14

Zuzu: Wow. This Rutgers team has shown that there’s actually a third place to go when you’ve hit rock bottom (the other two being up, and just staying there). Turns OUT, you can actually dig deeper in search of a more bottom bottom. I’d like to thank Coach Ash and our freshman team for providing the shovels.

Editor’s Note: Due to recent performance issues and concerns about solvency, Rutgers has been delisted from the B1G. Rutgers football will no longer be covered here. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Temple at Maryland | The Owls create more expansion team doubt 35-14

If you want to stop Maryland (assuming they don’t just do it themselves), be wise like an owl—stack the box and make the Terps beat you in man coverage. Spoiler alert: they can’t. Kasim Hill was an abysmal 7/17 with a crushing pick-six. Back Tyrell Pigrome was an even worse 1/4. Maryland’s rushing attach, which had averaged almost 300 yards per game, squeaked out barely 50 through three quarters. But to be totally fair, the defense was pretty garbage too. The previously winless Owls piled up 430 yards of offense while the Terps couldn’t crest the 200 yard mark.

DJ Carver: Today was really bad. I mean, FFS, we lost to Temple. There are many questions coming out of the game but first and foremost, there are questions as to why a number of starters did not suit up today. Three OL, which also happen to be our best (Derwin Gray, Damian Prince, Terrance Davis), were all sidelined today without a peep as to why. True freshmen Durrell Nchami and Jordan Mosley both saw significant minutes in the first half at linebacker without a mention as to why. Something occurred this week and the team most definitely came out flat. Did they learn of the results of the Durkin investigation early? So many questions after this loss as almost everything Maryland did right in the first two games they did not do today. Matt Canada blamed himself after the game but there will be continued questions throughout the week as conference play starts up and it will eventually leak out what occurred.

ziowa9: This was... not good. Temple sold out to stop the run, which they did thanks to Maryland deciding to not start 3 offensive linemen. The only bright spot was Anthony McFarland (aka AntMac) getting 107 yards on 11 carries. Otherwise offensively Kasim Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome combined to go 8-for-21 (with ‘Piggy’ getting chewed out following his only completion). Something was amiss with Maryland, but give credit to Temple to playing a complete game. This is going to be a fun upcoming week in College Park dealing with loss; on top of the McNair investigation concluding and anything relating to DJ Durkin’s job status.

SMU at Michigan | Michigan goes HAM(ish) 45-20

Michigan didn’t score for a quarter and a half, until they finally got around to just leaning on the fact that their athletes are literally a different caliber than SMU’s. Patterson hit Donovan Peoples-Jones three times for scores, with a 5-yard cushion on each receiver. Karan Higdon sat the game out, though that doesn’t seem to change much about Michigan’s running potential either way.

Ball State at Indiana | Hoosiers romp 38-10

The Hoosiers are off to a perfect start. Stevie Scott made a campaign to be the next next Tevin Coleman, running for 114 yards and two scores. Peyton Ramsey threw for 173 and another TD, while the defense forced eight punts. That’s a very B1G punting line.

Candystripes: Coming into this game, there was concern that Ball State’s performance against the Irish and Indiana’s slog through the weather against Virginia might mean the Hoosiers would be in for a major dogfight against the Cardinals. Thankfully, those concerns were mostly unfounded, as Indiana poured 31 points onto the board in between Ball State’s two scoring drives. Stevie Scott ran for another hundred plus yards and two touchdowns, both Peyton Ramsey and Mike Penix led scoring drives, and J-Shun Harris brought yet another punt back for a touchdown, tying the Indiana career record for return TDs. The Cardinals were able to pile up almost 350 yards of offense, but only 10 points to show for all of that effort. This is exactly the kind of game IU needed to build confidence ahead of next week’s showdown for the Old Brass Spittoon.

USF at Illinois | Oh you know...25-19

For the second time in two weeks, USF overcame a two-score deficit in the fourth to beat some hapless P5 squad. This week, it was our hapless P5 squad. USF QB Blake Barnett hit Darnell Salomon for two TDs late as part of a 411-yard day. Hard to win games when your G6 opponent is one long bomb away from a half-a-grand in passing yards.

Thump: This is the best game Illinois has played in Lovie Smith’s tenure. I can’t believe it, we actually competed. Sure, you might hope for some fireworks from me after we blew a 19-7 fourth quarter lead, but you know what that means? We had a 19-7 fourth quarter lead. All I’ve ever asked is for Illinois to be fun to watch.

BYU at Wisconsin | Badgers pushed around 24-21 in their own home

That was just ugly all around. Hornibrook’s scrambles are physically painful to watch. Paul Chryst’s reliance on his second-team O-line in the first half was mentally painful to watch. If you’re a Badger fan, there was almost nothing to like about this game. The offensive line got dominated. Imagine a Badger game against a second-tier football team in which Jonathan Taylor is not the leading rusher despite actually playing in the game. There’s no trick to this one, save for the one running back pass for a touchdown. Wisconsin plodded along until they just plain got beat.

Beezer07: Wisconsin Oline got absolutely embarrassed by an inferior defense, receivers dropped passes, and Taylor looked like he ran with fumbling on his mind. Wisconsin can still make the CCG, but the offense has a long way to go to meet expectations, and the defense looks like it’ll be about where conservative expectations has them preseason

MC ClapYoHandz: Kudos to BYU, they’ve clearly improved, but Wisconsin blew this. BYU came to battle and Wisconsin didn’t, it’s as simple as that. We’ve been attempting to temper expectations since preseason here, especially after looking sluggish in Week 1, but now it’s certain: this is not a playoff team, this OL is not the best line in the country, and this defense is not a Top 5 unit anymore. Wisconsin has a lot to clean up before a rock fight with Iowa and as of now they’re not ready. Saturday’s game in Iowa City is a must-win to keep the division hopes alive even though it’s the first game. Wisconsin can’t overcome a de facto two-game disadvantage against Iowa with Iowa’s schedule.

The Real Miami at Minnesota | Gophers upend Miami Peroxide 26-3

Who needs a Rodney Smith when you have a Bryce Williams? The Gophers do, probably, but Minnesota’s speedy freshman ran for 141 anyway. Zack Annexstad added two short TD passes as the Gophers dominated all phases of the game. Normally I wouldn’t congratulate a B1G school for beating a MAC opponent, but given the performance of the rest of the West this week...great jorb, Goophs!

WSR: The Gophers continue to do good enough. The offense is efficient and does enough to make sure that the few mistakes they do make can’t hurt the team. Annexstead continues to do a good job leading the offense when he’s asked to, Bryce Williams stepped up to carry the load with the absence of the three guys in front of him on the depth chart, and Tyler Johnson continues to have two awful drops and then put on a show. The defense continues to strangle the fuck out of opponents, and special teams do what they’re asked. Being 3-0 is a great start, and being good enough in a division full of flawed teams may be good enough.

Akron at Northwestern | Akron retroactively upgrades PSU’s schedule 39-34

The name Alvin Davis will make LASIK-corrected eyes twitch and manicured hands tremble for years to come. The speedy Akron DB returned two INTs for touchdowns as Akron rallied to beat the Wildcats in stunning fashion. Despite being the B1G’s punchline for a PSU-soft schedule joke, the Zips overcame a 383 yard passing performance by Clayon Thorson, thanks in part to the INTs and also owing to two passing TDs of their own. Northwestern should worry less about RPOs and communism and more about throwing passes to their own players and, failing that, at least tackling the player who did make the catch.

LPW: Northwestern lost a sloppy game against Akron, and I’m completely fucking disgusted. I need to find a bottle of Malört and drown my sorrows in it. Clayton Thorson had two interceptions, and a fumble on a strip sack that were converted to touchdowns. Akron scored 36 fucking second half points! What the fuck. Here comes a 5-7 season.

MNW: Not one, not two, but three defensive touchdowns. Oh right, allowed. Not scored. That’s bad, right? A comfortable but ugly 21-3 halftime lead. 36 second-half points allowed. That’s bad too, I’m told. Clayton Thorson went into his protective medical cocoon in the off-season and has emerged: a beautiful, fully-formed Mitch Leidner. The ‘Cats will go 3-9. Still first place in the Big Ten West, though

UNI at Iowa in Sectoral Battle for Iowa | Iowa dominates Lesser Iowa 38-14

Nate Stanley finally found his receivers reliably—though Noah Fant was the second-favorite target, which is very Iowa indeed. Iowa’s defense remained stout against the menacing Panther attack, limiting them to 20 first-half yards. Hard to say which side was more to blame for that.

Creighton: Iowa won convincingly over the second best football program in the state, which is about all I could really ask for today.. The pass rush continues to be the strength of the team. The running game looked good, and Nate Stanley mostly looked great. A blocked field goal and way too many penalties were troubling. UNI is an FCS team so I’m not going to read too much into it, but nobody got seriously injured and the backups got to play for a few drives so I’ll take it.

Stewmonkey13: Iowa’s defense continued to be a rolling ball of chainsaws. Iowa’s offense looked not horrid, which is a step in the right direction. Stanley looked a bit more accurate, wide receivers caught the football, Noah Fant continues to be good at football. But this all comes with a giant caveat from the level of competition. UNI is a pretty good FCS team, but that’s a low bar. Not sure I can take a whole lot from the game.

Mizzou at Purdue | Mizzou cruises past Purdue Harbor 40-37

Purdue has decided that running the ball is not an option, and it’s working out just great. David Blough attempted 55 passes. On 73 snaps. That’s ridiculous, and shows just how little confidence Brohm has in his run blocking or his ball carriers. Blough connected on 39 passes for 572 yards, and erased a 17-point deficit to tie the game. Mizzou turned to their kicker multiple times, finally burying the Boilers with a 25-yard FG. The bloom is quickly falling off the vine for Brohm, as it turns out Purdue is still facing all the old structural problems.

Boilerman: Wow, just wow. Another week, another single possession loss. This week’s Boner of the Week comes courtesy of the replay booth. Purdue appeared to score the go ahead TD when David Blough hit Jared Sparks in the corner of the end zone. Upon review, someone must’ve had an X-ray machine because both the announcer and “expert” for BTN said inconclusive, but the replay booth said no, he didn’t possess. Purdue settled for the game-tying field goal and then let Drew Lock go (penalty free this time) down the field to setup the chipshot game-winner.

Purdue showed great fight again. They appeared to be overmatched by Luck and Co. as the DBs continually got torched and the Boilers fell into a 27-10 hole. They bounced back and eventually tied the game at 27 before spotting the Tigers another 10-point lead. They fought back again to tie, but Mizzou proved better down the stretch.

This one had all the offensive fireworks. David Blough ended up setting Purdue’s single game passing record with 571 yards and cemented the starting spot in my mind. Purdue falls to 0-3 for the first time since 1996 and a physical BC team waits in the wings.

Ohio State at TCU in JerryWorld | Toads get licked 40-28

It’s hard to imagine a more underwhelming start or a more ridiculous “neutral site venue,” as the announcers briefly tried to bill it. OSU didn’t score an offensive touchdown for 38 minutes, owing to a combination of inexplicable drops by Austin Mack, miscues, and a really odd idea to summon the spirit of James Franklin by trying the wildcat with Parris Campbell. Trailing 14-13 at the half and 21-13 in the third, OSU ripped off three scores in a 4-minute stretch. TCU answered with a 51-yard strike over double coverage, but Haskins broke back with a 75-yard drive capped by his first TD run. OSU bottled TCU up on the fourth quarter, led by pressure from Dre’Mont Jones after Bosa left the game in the 3rd with a groin injury. Dre’Mont also earned early Piesman billing with a pick-six on a shovel pass.

OSU is now 3-0 at JerryWorld and the only playoff contender in a B1G rapidly melting down in the face of mediocre competition. Also, a TCU “Horned Frog” is neither a frog nor a toad, but a lizard. Now you know.

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