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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 9

How the turntables

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. No player had run for more than 100 yards on Wisconsin this year
  2. JK Dobbins ran for 163, because he is the best running back in the country
  3. Master Teague ran for 76, leaving Jonathan Taylor in 3rd place
  4. Michigan State has now been outscored 100-17 in the last three games
  5. Great to see Rutgers gut out a win over Liberty (no one actually saw this game)
  6. Iowa and Northwestern—the cure insomniacs have waited so long to find
  7. Illinois’ pick-six was enough to win the Cannon Trophy back for the first time since 2015—the offensive scores just made it prettier
  8. Admit it, you forgot the Cannon Trophy was a thing
  9. The last time Minnesota was 8-0, the USS Arizona was still afloat
  10. Fish in a barrel have better survival rates than Maryland QBs
  11. It’s not even Halloween and Indiana is bowl-eligible
  12. Losing at home is bad...losing in a gimmick jersey from your long-gone heyday is the worst
  13. Harbaugh snaps 8-game losing streak to top-10 teams and improves to 2-10 all-time
  14. Fuck Notre Dame

The Rundown

Wisconsin at Ohio State | Buckeyes hit the gas, 38-7

Things looked ugly in the first half, with OSU only managing a field goal through 29 minutes of clock time. That’s when Fields hit Chris Olave across the middle to go up 10-0. Wisconsin closed the gap to 10-7 after blocking an OSU punt after the half. That’s when Day unleashed the hounds. OSU stretched the lead to 17 by the end of the third. Wisconsin threatened to close the 24-point deficit in the 4th after a perfect pass to Quintez Cephus. On the next play, OSU’s Chase Young intervened with his 2nd strip-sack of the day, ending the Badgers’ last, best hope of a score against the Buckeye defense. OSU tacked one more TD on for good measure. Taylor finished the day with 52 yards, 14 of which came on one run.

MCClapyohandz: Ohio State hammerfucks everyone by the 2nd quarter. For Wisconsin it was the 3rd quarter, and that is the moral victory I’m manufacturing to take away from this one.

Beez: Wisconsin lost by a lot and now needs Minnesota to lose before the Axe game or the division is over

Maryland at Minnesota | Minnesota Rude, 52-7

Ope, didn’t see ya there Maryland defense! The Gophers literally ran all over the Terps, using seven (7!) different ball carriers to amass 321 yards rushing. Tanner Morgan added a 12/21 performance with 2 TDs to round out the offensive deluge. The Gopher D added a pick-six off a tipped pass to add to the misery (they were already up 21-0 at the time). As though the loss wasn’t bad enough already, Maryland lost another QB. Pigrome left at the half with an undisclosed leg injury, which means Locksley is probably going to be hanging out at the student union on Monday asking healthy-looking young men if they like to play football.

WSR: The vivisection of Maryland was one of the most complete throttlings of a Gophers opponent I have ever seen. We held the ball for 42:53 total, and the Terps had the ball for just 5:10 in the 2nd half. The yardage for the day was 498-210, and we were at 500 until we took the last knee while nearly 30% of their yards came on a wheel route with broken coverage. Any nervousness Gopher fans had evaporated within 10 plays of the game starting and the environment was just fun for the rest of what was a nearly perfect fall afternoon to watch football. Now we get two weeks to get stupid and dream about what potentially may lay ahead while not-so-secretly worrying about KJ Hamler will inevitably do to us on his many kickoff returns he’ll get to receive. We have a 2 game lead in the West with our best opponent left up next, and they’re by no means unbeatable. It’s just a fun and awesome time to be a fan of Gophers football.

Iowa at Northwestern | Hawkeyes blank ‘Cats 20-0

Northwestern seems more than willing to relive M00N on a weekly basis, while Iowa’s defense is the most consistent facet of this year’s incarnation of Kirkball (it’s like Calvinball, but boring). Iowa scored once per quarter, rhythmically alternating between touchdowns and field goals. Northwestern never made it past the Iowa 28, and it took nearly three quarters to get that far. It’s a long season in Evanston.

Creighton: Iowa played pretty well, and the game went mostly as expected. Defense was lights out against the conference’s worst offense, while the Iowa offense was whatever as usual. I’m glad Fitz didn’t pull any of his usual bullshit out of his ass and steal another one. My biggest takeaway from this game is that Northwestern is exactly as big of a mess as we all thought they were.

MNW: Today at an oasis in Illinois I too, much like Northwestern, took a massive shit surrounded by mostly people from Iowa.

I think my new frustration is that, after the game, two players follow at Fitzgerald after his press conference. Not a single player should be required to be up there and follow that. This falls squarely on the shoulders of one man and his ability get anything out of a team and a coaching staff. I don’t need to hear Aidan Smith talk about how he missed those two throws, because he is not the quarterback who should be missing those throws. I don’t need to hear a beleaguered secondary say they have to be inch perfect every game, because they shouldn’t be in a position where a shutout is the only option.Northwestern has scored 38 points across five Big Ten games.Pat Fitzgerald spent his postgame presser complaining that players look at their phones in the locker room after a game.The emperor has no clothes and, worse, no idea where to get any.

LPW: I’ve had a lot of limoncello and wine to drinkand I see we got shut out. I don’t need to know any more details. I blame Mick McCall. Always blame Mick McCall. Behold, I have found his punishment: load him into this catapult I photographed at Castel Sant’angelo and launch his ass into the Tiber.

Ed. Note: Happy honeymoon, LPW and Mrs. LPW!

Illinois at Purdue | Illinois extends win streak, 24-6

After shocking Wisconsin last week, the Illini dominated the shattered remains of Purdue in West Lafayette. Purdue’s Jack Plummer completed just 8 of his 20 pass attempts in the bad weather that plagued most of the league on Saturday, and found himself on the bench in favor of Aidan O’Connell after losing a fumble in the third. Illinois didn’t ask much of Brandon Peters, attempting just 6 passes. Dre Brown carried the load for the Illini, tallying 136 yards. Brohm must be kicking himself for not taking an offer last year.

Thump: For the second week in a row, Lovie Smith outcoached someone who was widely believed to be among the conference’s best. I just can’t believe what’s happening. Are the Fighting Illini turning a corner damn near a year after anyone thought it mattered? Is this real life? Are we one butger from a winning record?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Lovie Smith now has six B1G wins and 13 overall, passing Tim Beckman in the second category. Hey. We still might lose out. However.1. It’s looking unlikely2. Even if we do, these two weeks have been the most fun consecutive weeks I’ve had with Fighting Illini Football in an incredibly long time.

Boilerman: I got nothing to say. This was a miserable game in miserable conditions.

Penn State at Michigan State | Nitty Kitties roll, 28-7

Spartan Stadium was a sore sight from the aerial cam, with large swaths of the upper deck empty amidst the drizzle and cold. That was probably for the best. PSU marched down the field at will, dropping passes on target as Sparty’s secondary pinged around in near-chaos. Sean Clifford threw for 189 yards on an 18/32 completion rate, and tallying all 4 PSU TDs through the air. Brian Lewerke nearly matched him for yardage with 165, but the endzone remained as elusive as ever for the Spartan offense.

pkloa: A cold and wet afternoon was not enough to swing the game in Michigan State’s favor. Sean Clifford was lights out to start the game, and TE Pat Freiermuth is a great target. The two linked up twice as Penn State took a 21-0 lead into the locker room after an outstanding first half. Sparty played a little better in the third, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Another Freiermuth touchdown gave the Lions a very comfortable 28-0 lead.Both teams had players banged up. Looking forward to this bye week and enjoying the LAZERS!!! Next up is a trip to the 8-0 Golden Gophers.

Aaron Yorke: Penn State once again scored three touchdowns in the first half and then did very little on offense after halftime. I only listened to the first hour because I was driving to a wedding, but it was nice to hear Penn State moving the ball despite missing on most of its big play attempts. Seems like the second half was a big mess after the Lions added the fourth touchdown early, but at least the defense held up better than against Michigan. Speaking of the Wolverines, it seems they finally got their act together. If they play Wisconsin in Ann Arbor next week do they win by 10? 20? They look like a different team since halftime in State College. Minnesota is up next and they are for sure a good team, but Penn State’s last three opponents are all tougher than the best team the Gophers have played (Illinois I guess?). Lay the points.

Allinfavor O’KanningDantonioski: Another Saturday, another superior opponent, another indictment that Dantonio’s MSU is right back where it was when he got here - a place of mediocrity. Having a bye to regroup after getting their heads caved in by much better teams didn’t make a lick of difference. The focus will and should be on the offense - they spent the first half going punt, punt, punt, missed field goal, end of half. But this time around, the defense didn’t cut them much slack, allowing long touchdown drives on two of PSU’s first three drives.

The problems are all the same - this offense has no explosiveness to it whatsoever, but it also isn’t sharp enough to sustain many long drives. The defense is better, but has a season-long issue with getting off the field and wipes out its strength against the run with an anemic pass rush and vulnerable coverage. There’s no dynamism on the return teams and a kicker who’s missing about half of his kicks, 8 games into the season, after being an all-conference guy last year.

If you’re still trying to make excuses for a staff that’s pretty clearly past its sell-by date, you can point out these last 3 games were the hardest stretch of the schedule. Cool, but this was a program that had goals once. If you want to have them again, you have to win games like this. MSU made the Playoff and has been basically a .500 program since, but hasn’t held anyone accountable. Dantonio made his gamble and it came up empty. Whether by his own choice or not, he needs to be gone after this season.

Indiana at Nebraska | Peyton’s Place is in Lincoln, 38-31

The Hoosiers are bowl eligible in October. This is not a drill. After losing his 2-year starting job to Penix in the pre-season, the old baller Peyton Ramsey took the first snap for the third time this season. His performance, I dare say, was just shy of magical. He passed for a career-high 351 yards and two TDs, completing 27 of his 40 passes. Fourteen of his throws landed in the hands of Whop Philyor—matching the receiver’s season best. Nebraska was beset on all sides, missing starting QB Martinez due to injury and then seeing backup Noah Vedral depart with an injury as well. Vedral would return to replace FR Luke McCaffrey (another vaunted McCaffrey QB who is all name and no production so far) late, but it wasn’t enough. Plagued by turnovers and defensive miscues, the Huskers lost their second straight.

Candystripes: For possibly the first time in my lifetime (or at least the first time in my IU football fandom), Indiana has clinched a bowl bid before the last game of the season. I have no idea what to feel right now. I think I’ll still be in shock when you read this on Sunday. I’m definitely still in shock right now.

BRT: We are bad. Good job to Indiana getting bowl eligible. Another 4-8 season for Nebraska. The offense was slightly better today, even with the third-string freshman QB helming it for awhile. Our best win will end up being Illinois, which is interesting.

Dead_Read: It is POSSIBLE that Nebby can win another game or two, but I am not certain it will happen. Indiana was the better team on Saturday. Hoosiers are bowl eligible in October.

Liberty at Rutgers | Rutgers wins 44-34

Rutgers did not lead this game until late in the third. Fortunately for all 4 Knights fans, QB Johnny Langan put the team on his shoulders. He completed 15 passes for 192 yards and ran for 118. A big win for Rutgers, given they opened as home dogs to a team in its second year of FBS play.

Zuzu: Rutgers defeats literal evil. Where’s your screwed up, god now, Liberty?

Creighton: This marks the second time I’ve ever given a shit about a Rutgers win, the other one of course being the win over Michigan (an institution only slightly less evil than the Jerry Falwell Institute of Homophobia and Tax Evasion)

Notre Dame at Michigan | Wolverines rout Forces of Evil, 45-14

There is only one thing on God’s green earth that can make me lightly cheer for a Michigan victory, and that is the University of Notre Dame Fighting goddam Irish. Imagine my sweet European surprise to awaken this morning and find that Harbaugh had momentarily shuffled off his shackles of mediocrity and managed to down an (overrated, because they always are) Notre Dame squad at home. Notre Dame’s Ian Book was hot trash, completing only 8 of his 25 throws. Patterson was markedly better, completing 6 on only 12 attempts. The real story was Hassan Haskins, who gashed the Irish “defense” for 149 yards. Notre Dame’s CFP hopes are non-existent at this point.

Wake up the echoes, indeed.