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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 2

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The West is dumb and bad. MSU is just bad.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. For the second week in a row, Purdue personal fouls their way to defeat.
  2. And with that, Purdue gave Eastern their first victory over a B1G team since they beat...(checks archives)...oh, they beat Rutgers last year. Could’ve guessed that, I suppose.
  3. Directional Michigan: How Jimmy Got His Groove Back.
  4. Worst thing Northwestern loves: gothic script or losing to Duke?
  5. I look forward to week 10 when Wisconsin has to play a real offense.
  6. OSU’s backup QB threw a 51-yard TD pass. In the second quarter. Remarks complete.
  7. Liberty’s punter got ejected for targeting. Sure, it’s not technically a “B1G thing” but it’s about punting, and who wants a point about Rutgers anyway?
  8. Indiana is 2-0 for the third time in four years, but don’t let that district you from the fact that Virginia lost to a 16 seed by 20 points.
  9. Frost’s debut looked a whole lot like Mike Riley’s debut...juuuust saying.
  10. You can’t spell “Iowa wins the Cy-Hawk Trophy!” without “yawn.”
  11. Nebraska: where area codes on helmets is still a cool and innovative idea.
  12. Bringing Durkin back can’t make things any better right now.
  13. Not even the comfort and convenience of his Transitions lenses can shield Pat Narduzzi’s eyes from this disaster.
  14. Minnesota should just find a way to use Antoine Winfield on every play.

The Rundown

Eastern Michigan at Purdue | Purdue takes a walk-off, 20-19

Words fail to adequately capture how boneheaded Purdue’s defense continues to be. Last week, it was a suplex on a stopped runner. This week, it was a late hit on a downed QB by the player who tackled him. That is, of course, such a dumb move you’d expect it from someone at a non-AAU school, not from a guy at Astonaut U. It does bear mentioning that the Boiler offense did exactly zero to bail out their apparently brain-damaged defense. Sindelar and Blough led their squad to 475 yards of offense—and a mere 17 points. That’s some serious inefficiency. Purdue Pete’s eyes must be extra dead after this soggy disaster.

Boilerman31: For all that Purdue did good, they negated it all with costly turnovers and bad penalties. Usually having 340+ yards rushing will win you ballgames. Considering that Brohm is reestablishing the talent base, growing pains should have been expected. Knowing what we know now, this could be a long season.


Western Michigan at Michigan | Champions of the West conquer their own west, 49-3

Seat a little warm? Have a cupcake. Michigan avoided dropping their 5th straight dating back to last season by beating the brakes off the House That Fleck Let Return to Nature. Shea Patterson threw 3 TDs, and a Michigan WR caught a TD for the first time in a year. Michigan also went 5/11 on third down conversions. Michigan’s offensive line should hope for MAC schools every week.


Duke at Northwestern | Duke Cum Laude, 21-7

MNW called this one. And here I was dumb enough to think that a Duke team that gave up 200 yards through the air to Army might struggle against a team that doesn’t have size restrictions or march around in low quarter shoes. Instead, Northwestern opened the scoring with a 40-yard Larkin scamper, but managed to derp away chance after chance thereafter. Duke threw 3 TDs in the second quarter. The rest of the game looked decidedly El Assico. It was ultimately a pyrrhic victory for Duke, who appears to have lost their starting QB Daniel Jones to a broken collarbone. The smart ones aren’t so durable.

MNW: One thing I realized today: There is a certain Zen to just doing something completely different on Saturday. I mean, maybe later when I watch highlights or whatever, I’ll be mad or something. But there’s a soothing numbness to this Duke loss. Like a nice NyQuil PM after butt-chugging a Zima.


New Mexico at Wisconsin | Los Locos Lobos get their balls kicked to outer space, 45-14

New Mexico has a third-string QB. Wisconsin has Jonathan Taylor. Each of them looked like exactly who you’d think they’d be on paper. The former threw for 79 yards. The latter ran for 253 yards and 3 TDs. That about covers it.

Beezer: Wisconsin did exactly what it’s done the last couple years against middling to bad noncon teams. Started really slowly, committed a couple dumb turnovers, and never really got close to losing. After Taylor did yet another ball droppy thing and Hornibrook did some sort of weird air fumble that was technically an interception, the offense did what it was supposed to do and ran all over the place. Taylor ended up with a career high in rushing yards, along with three TDs (including one “we’re trying to get him the Heisman” TD after the game was very well in hand).

The offensive line and other assorted pass protectors struggled again, giving up a lot of pressure making it tough for Horni to have the time to throw...but at least he’s now gone two games without a real interception! (And no, his pick today wasn’t an interception in any sense of the way we’d use the word.)

The defense played very well except for the first drive. Looking slow to start, the D gave up a looooong drive and TD to start the game, followed by two quick 3 and outs, followed by the New Mexico starting QB getting hurt. After that, New Mexico had no shot at what looks to be yet another run stopping and turnover forcing Wisconsin D.

All in all, glad Wisconsin won, Taylor dominated despite the fumble, and we didn’t really learn anything new. Next up is BYU which should be significantly tougher.


Rutgers at OSU | OSU does the inevitable, 52-3

Rutgers hasn’t scored a TD on OSU in almost 3 years. Nothing more needs to be said.

*Zuzu*: So uhhh yeah. We.... scored. Yay? OSU's talent is much better than Rutgers'. It's on a different plane of existence. This game isn't the type of game Rutgers fans should be looking at for progress measurement, sure. Logically, we know that, but it still hurt to watch. And Art being injured... God there's a lot of rage in all directions right now among fans. Hoping hard he's not out for the season. Overall though there was a lot I saw that made me go, "Huh. This is a better team than last year's." so we're not out yet.


Colorado at Nebraska | Huskers fall 33-28 in tribute to Mike Riley

What’s speedy as hell and named Martinez? If you said a Hanna-Barbera knockoff of a mouse/racial stereotype, you’d be wrong on several levels. The answer we’re looking for is “Nebraska QBs.” This time it’s Adrian Martinez, and he brought the Huskers back from a 14-point first quarter deficit to take the lead 28-20 by early in the third. Things went downhill from there, with the Buffs riding the arm of Shane Montez and his 351 yards passing. After losing Adrian Martinez to a knee injury, the Huskers had the Buffs all bottled up with an incomplete pass on third and a mile—until Nebraska’s Antonio Reed needlessly drilled a receiver who’d already missed the pass. With a fresh set of downs, Montez lobbed a 40-yard TD to Laviska Shenault. It wasn’t exactly a Hail Mary loss to BYU, but it wasn’t exactly not either...

BigRedTwice: On the one hand, this was a frustrating game, because the Huskers had multitudinous chances to win this game. On the other hand, it was an encouraging game, because the Huskers had a chance in a game against an opponent with a pulse, which hasn’t happened in awhile. You tell me: Nebraska goes down 14 in this game last year, are they in a position to win at the end of the game? I’d say not. The aggressiveness and number of sacks was really encouraging, and this offense looks like it could be really fun (please get better FAST, Martinez). I expected to lose this game, and feared it might be by a lot, so I am bummed but not devastated by the final result. Also, it was PERFECT weather to spend the day outside, and it’s hard to be too mad when life smiles on you in the form of a bright but not sunny 70 degree day. I’m excited and interested to see what happens with this team this season.

Dead_Read: Let me see if I can sum this up. A promising first drive ends at the ten because a JUCO transfer fumbles. Buffs score. A true freshman fumbles at his own twenty. Buffs score. An all-conference WR drops a touchdown pass. This results in a true freshman K missing a FG. There were poor fourth down play calls and more special teams penalties than I can count. Frosh QB eventually makes a bad read and throws a dumb INT. The same QB is injured after making a poor read on an option play. Possible all-conference receiver drops a third down conversion pass from the back-up. A veteran safety cedes a first down on third and long with a dumb personal foul. Buffs score. Somehow, Nebby was still a last second heave (by a walk-on who was third string two weeks ago) from winning the game.


Western Illinois at Illinois | Another Western falls 34-14

Not much to say about this contest other than it still royally sucks that an awesome player like Mikey Dudek is probably done with football forever now. Also, Western has just terrible uniforms and logos. Also Also, what’s the difference between West and East in Illinois? 50 miles?

Thump: I finally got to see the Fighting Illini win a game in person again!!! A lot of our players got hurt and we couldn’t run the ball against a middling MVFC team, and it would have been a really cool feeling if this had been...like...Wake Forest or something, but I’ll take what I can get! 400 or so people stuck around to sing the Alma Mater with the team and the band and it was magic. We won’t get another one all year, but this ended up being a nice experience.


Virginia at Indiana | Hoosiers dump the Wahoo-siers 20-16

Stevie Scott isn’t just a great name for a female lead singer in an Almost Famous-style movie loosely based on Fleetwood Mac. It’s also the actual name of the next great Indiana running back. Scott, a true freshman who got off to a rocky start this season, was an absolute bulldozer. He carried the ball more than 30 times, amassing more than 200 yards and—more importantly—grinding down the clock. Indiana’s defense was still fairly bad, doing its best to let UVA win it by going from their own 9 yard line to the Hoosier 27, and giving them one extra untimed play thanks to a pass interference. Even that was’t enough, and Indiana racks up another win over a P5 opponent.

Candystripes: The only reason Indiana didn’t lose that game is that they were able to mostly contain Bryce Perkins (106 passing yards, 123 rushing). A little bit of turnover luck helped, as did the defense standing stout on some very awkward field position moments. Of course, none of this matters if Stevie Scott doesn’t go HAM as the featured back tonight (31 carries, 204 yards, 1 TD). The true freshman came up 3 yards short of tying Indiana’s single game freshman rushing record, set by Hoosier great Anthony Thompson. This is a game that Indiana probably loses in the not-so-distant past (and in gut-wrenching fashion to boot), so coming out on top is reassuring, though there is still plenty of room for improvement [looking at you, field goal protection unit].


MSU at ASU | ASU forks Sparty 16-13

Sparty and the desert just don’t mix. Last week was supposed to be a fluke. First game jitters, etc. This week, Sparty faced an unranked ASU team in a night game that, while not a pushover, should’ve been a chance to highlight LJ Scott, Brian Lewerke, and a receiving corps that can supposedly get it done. Instead, MSU got the short end of an ugly stick. Make no mistake, this game was weird. Both QBs threw for over 300 yards, neither team cracked 100 yards rushing, and not even 30 points were scored. It’s looking entirely possible that the years of success that seem so distant for Sparty were simply a big outlier in an otherwise mediocre reality.

Andrew Kosciuszko: MSU fixed virtually none of the flaws we saw last week against Utah State, and as a consequence, went to Arizona State and lost to an inferior team. The offensive execution in the red zone left 11 points on the field in the first half. MSU’s wide receivers were uncoverable, but the number of throws more than 10 yards downfield could probably have been counted on both hands. The defense, faced with an opponent that literally abandoned the run in the second half, neither blitzed nor went to a nickel or dime, but allowed deep attempt after deep attempt until, eventually, Justin Layne’s solid night against N’Keal Harry was insufficient. When punter Jake Hartbarger was injured on a play that was blown dead due to penalty, it transpired that MSU had not brought its backup punter to Tempe, and so backup QB Rocky Lombardi did his best, which was not very good. ASU then drove to the goal line, drained the last grains from the hourglass, and chipped in the winning FG.

Albert Kristofferson: For once, MSU’s stupidly early bye comes at a good time, as there’s a whole hell of a lot to figure out here. It’s not like MSU was a serious contender for the playoff this season anyway, but if they don’t figure out how to deal with tempo, the road trip to Bloomington in two weeks ain’t going to go much better. There are going to be so many personnel questions. What happened to LJ Scott, who went to the bench sometime around the half and was not seen again? Or Cole Chewins, who started, played one snap, and then left the game and didn’t return? Why the balls didn’t the backup punter come on this trip? Was showing up the afternoon before for a game played in 100-degree temps, which also ran past 2:00 am EST, really a sensible approach? Why can this team not shoot itself in the dick once the yardage indicator says “x & goal”?

Aedna Krabapple: None of these questions will be answered, because Dantonio. Aren’t sports fun?


Iowa State at Iowa | Farmer Ferentz defeats Natural Disaster, 13-3

Our five Iowa writers are going to just blast their keyboards into powder over this ass-tastic display of offensive blandness, so I’ll just say that the weather looked nice and whoever designed that children’s hospital did a great job.

And now, for the corn syrup lube job...

Creighton: It was a shit game just like we all thought it would be, but for the 8th time in the last 11 year the shit rolled the way we wanted it to and we got the W. I hope the Ferentzes (Ferentzi?) figure out the offense soon or this could be a long year. Conversely, Iowa’s front 7 on defense was unreal, and they made the difference today. The pass rush was suffocating, and “Heisman candidate” David Montgomery was held to under 50 yards rushing. I’d like nothing more than for this pointless series to be taken out back with Old Yeller. Iowa State is a glorified MAC program and we get nothing out of playing them every year instead of say, Mizzou or Texas or Colorado or literally any P5 opponent that’s actually worth playing.

Stewmonkey: The game lived up (down?) to it’s moniker. It was a truly assy game. Nate Stanley was largely inaccurate, the running game never really got going. Miguel Recinos missed 2 FGs. But the defense was pretty damn good. The DL took over the game getting multiple sacks, batted balls, and the only turnover of the game from A.J. Epenesa beating a double team. The secondary held up well against some talented WRs (Hakeem Butler is no joke). Overall, ISU had less than 200 total yards, and a grand total of 19 rushing yards for the game. It’s a Hawkeye State.

GF3: I expected more, guys...then again, this is really on-brand for El Assico.


Penn St at Pitt | Pitt is shit, 51-6

Sometime before the half I turned to my better half, as we lay in our marital bed eating mini-wheats (as one does) and said “I bet Penn State wins this shit-fest 7-6 and that holder is the goat.” Fortunately for said kicker, the Pitt defense bailed him out. Nobody’s going to remember that botched PAT now. Trace McSorley earned an extra tube of goatee wax for for his performance, going 14/30 with two TDs (14/30 in that slop was good, and his receiver owe him two that they dropped). In other news, Qadree Ollison is soooo sloooow. For a talented runner, he moves slightly slower than pond water in the open field. Pitt is not good, and PSU made them realize it. At least they didn’t have to travel. Imagine going through that and having to take a long, soggy bus ride back to Pittsburgh (shudder).

Aaron Yorke: I don’t know what James Franklin and defensive coordinator Brent Pry told the boys at halftime, but it must have been quite inspiring. In the second half, Penn State completely shut down a Pitt running game that looked nearly unstoppable in the first half. That development allowed the Nittany Lions to turn the Keystone Classic into a blowout. It helped that the Panthers made numerous critical penalties and special teams errors, but that doesn’t take away from how dominant Penn State’s defense was after halftime. The passing game continues to be a work in progress, as Trace McSorley saw his targets drop too many footballs. Hopefully it was just the weather.

87Townie: Sloppy game in the remnants of Gordon. Offensive line looked much better. Defense did not. I’m more than a little worried about our inability to tackle and stop the run.


Maryland at Bowling Green | Terps escape Hell for Mediocre People, 45-14

If you’ve never been to Bowling Green, Ohio you are one lucky SOB. Half my school went to college at BGSU (or rather a quarter of my high school, since only half went to college at all). It’s a den of utter mediocrity in every single way...so you can sort of see the attraction for Maryland football. At any rate, the Terps looked a bit out of sync early, trailing 14-10 at the half thanks to a mountain of penalties (BG brings out the worst in everyone). The second half saw them go romper-stomper on the Falcons, piling up 35 unanswered points. MACtion is magic.

DJ: Matt Canada took a page out of his book from when he was the OC at Wisconsin and just ran the damn ball. Maryland dick tripped left and right for almost the entire first half before settling in on just running the ball. The defense kept Maryland in the game in the first half when the offense kept committing penalties to kill drives and then Maryland asserted their will in the run game to a tune of 53 runs for 444 yards and 5 TDs. I think they threw the ball under 5 times in the second half. The Maryland defense should be commended as well, holding Bowling Green to 15 yards rushing after they gashed Oregon last week on the ground. Next week we play Temple, who is probably worse than Illinois and the worst team in the AAC, so another tune up before B1G play starts on 9/22 with Minnesota.


Fresno State at Minnesota | Minnesota wins 21-7 in heart-pounding fashion

Antione Winfield Jr. is a name you need to remember. Last week, it was a return for a TD. This week, it was one of the most unbelievable interceptions you’ll ever see. On a trick play that look sure to be a TD to everyone who has ever watched a football game, Winfield somehow bent time and space to snatch victory from defeat with one hand. Just watch it. Words don’t do it justice.

WSR: The Gophers did just enough to sneak by Fresno State in every sense of the word. Losing Rodney Smith on the 3rd play of the game was a huge loss, and there were a number of plays that would have been much bigger gains or possibly even points if he would have been there. With Smith and backup Mo Ibrahim out the job of carrying the ball fell to FR Bryce Williams, who picked up 87 yards on 25 carries and got stronger as the game went on. TE/WR/QBish thing Seth Green picked up another 2 TDs from the Sethcat and threw a nice 2 point conversion late in the game. Zack Annexstead went 16/26 for 175 and had a key late 3rd down conversion to keep the team alive. (https://twitter.com/cjzero/status/1038616840384249856).

The defense held Fresno State to 14 points, 7 of which came after a Tyler Johnson fumble gave the Bulldogs a short field, and did an outstanding job shutting down a team that scored 79 points last week. The Gophers are 2-0 and won a game that I didn’t expect us to get, and have been fun to watch in the process. What a great start to the season.