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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 11

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The Witch of November Come Stealin’

NCAA Football: Penn State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. No, really. This is not a drill. Minnesota is about to be in the Top 10.
  2. Can we trust Minnesota with the Victory Bell trophy? Last time didn’t go so well...
  3. All I’m saying is that when I look at Minnesota I see 2015 Iowa with a cheaper coach and more uniforms
  4. Antoine Winfield Jr. now owns the Minnesota record for INTs in a season with 7
  5. If that wasn’t enough, both of his picks came inside the 10 yard line
  6. Speaking of the West pantsing the East, Illinois is bowl eligible after ensuring the post-season destruction of MSU’s coaching staff
  7. Comebacks don’t get bigger than the one MSU allowed—at least not in the Illinois record books
  8. Remember when Brandon Peters played for Michigan and didn’t even get to play against Michigan State? Sparty remembers.
  9. If Northwestern scores their conference-high of 22 points but loses, did they even score at all?
  10. Mike Locksley was so dejected after yesterday’s performance that he couldn’t even muster the will to punch an assistant coach.
  11. Iowa is the Nebraska of Iowa.
  12. No offense, Nebraska.
  13. After rushing for 120 yards in 3 quarters, Jonathon Taylor took it easy in the fourth by rushing for only 130 more.
  14. Lots of talk about Chase Young this week, but the larger problem is hidden in plain sight.

The Rundown

Penn State at Minnesota | Ski-U-Mah 31-26 (Clap clap clap)

Minnesota, hats off to thee. Penn State, the #4 team in the country, came into the small but lovely TCF Bank Stadium ready to prove that the Gophers were an ain’t-played-nobody-Pawwwwl fraud. The Nittany Lions never led. Sean Clifford got picked off twice inside the 10 and once in the endzone. Rashod Bateman blew the PSU secondary out of the water with 203 yards receiving and a TD. He averaged nearly 30 yards per reception. If you subtract out his 66 yard TD, he still averaged over 22 yards per reception. Perhaps the defining moment came when the TCF crew meme’d the stalled PSU offense during a FG try.

The Gophers now hold a 2-game lead in the West.

WSR: That was the greatest football game I’ve ever been to. Tanner Morgan played a nearly perfect game, the defense did just enough, and we got the W in front of an just electrifying crowd.

A-A-Ron Yorke: Major letdown for the PSU defense. It was shredded by Tanner Morgan and Rashod Bateman. Minnesota’s secondary was much stronger than PSU’s and there were missed opportunities by receivers Daniel George and Justin Shorter. Great effort by Sean Clifford to lead the comeback effort, but if Penn State gets in, does the defense get a stop? Probably not based on the rest of the game.

pkloa: Very well played game by the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Clearly well coached, with some fantastic football players. Morgan to Bateman was money, as was Clifford to Winfield.Indeed, TCF Bank Stadium music director, The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Congrats, Goofers, good luck the rest of the year. Don’t break that trophy this time, eh?


Big Fitz on Gitche Gumee | Superior sings in the rooms of her ice-water mansion

While we’re speaking of the great state of Minnesota, let’s all stop for a moment to remember the 44th anniversary of the loss of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior with all 29 hands aboard. Immerse yourself in the dulcet tones of Gordon Lightfoot for a moment before pressing on.


Maryland at Ohio State | Turtles all the way down, 73-14

OSU was favoured by 44 before Chase Young’s suspension. They were favoured by 43.5 after his suspension. They won by 59, with the starting offense sitting for the second half. At least we got to see Chuganov, who seems to be...not very good.


Illinois at Michigan State | Illinois storm back 37-34

With the clock ticking single digits in the 4th, Brandon Peters threw a TD strike to Daniel Baker to lift the Illini over the increasingly hapless Spartans. That clock is probably a good metaphor for Dantonio’s career, as it’s ever more apparent that MSU peaked 4 years ago. Rearranging the coaches has not fixed a team that seems stuck in first gear. One could even make the argument that it went in reverse this week, with Lewerke throwing 3 picks and the defense surrendering a 25-point lead. Whatever the cause of MSU’s woes, one would be hard pressed to believe that Dantonio survives the season.

Thump (1st half): Christ. They could beat us by >63.

Thump (2nd half): I RETRACT MY PREVIOUS STATEMENT.I HAVE NO IDEA HOW, BUT THAT HAPPENED AND I WAS THERE.

Atrocious Kollapseski: If any of you thought I wasn’t being completely sincere when I said Dantonio’s options after this season should be retirement or being fired, maybe this game would convince you.

He managed a bye week in such a way that 3 more starters were knocked out with injuries. He’s mismanaged his roster so badly that all he had to replace 2 starting OL were true freshmen. He kept putting the ball in the air when the run game he wants to lean on was finally working. He consistently left Shakur Brown alone with Imatorbhebhe, including on 4th and 16 when everyone in the building knew chucking it to him was Illinois’ only play.

All of which only matters because they added up to his team blowing a 25-point lead to an aggressively average opponent. The guy who, once upon a time, pushed all the right buttons at the perfect times has not had real answers for the better part of 4 years now.

Dantonio does not have it anymore. I don’t care if by some miracle MSU beats Michigan next week, if they win out, if they prevail in some meaningless bowl on December 22nd. It. Is. Over. It’s already too late to avoid being an ironic commentary on saying things like “pride comes before the fall,” so let’s settle for preserving some scrap of dignity, some scrap of positive feeling from all the big things you did here, Coach.

Or schlep along to 6-7, come back next year grumbling about staying the course with what will be a markedly worse team, and push another wave of fans out the door. Whatever.


Iowa at Wisconsin | Badgers Climb on Jonny’s Back, 24-22

Taylor became the only back this season to put more than 100 yards on Iowa. He managed that by the end of the third. Then he more than doubled it in the fourth, stymying Iowa’s hopes for a comeback victory while tallying the most yards ever by a Wisconsin back against the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin foiled Iowa’s bid to tie the game when they dropped Nate Stanley short on game-tying 2-point conversion. Taylor ensured the Hawkeyes didn’t another chance. So the Badgers win whatever trophy that game decides. A 3-pack of HyVee brand microwave popcorn or something, I think,

Stew: From my preview: “Iowa covers a game that doesn’t feel that close, yet is frustratingly within reach. I know it’s going to happen. I’m still gonna be angry when it does.”

Boy does that seem like exactly what happened. Iowa flailed around on offense until the 4th quarter when desperation (and wisconsin mistakes) worked to let Iowa back into the game. But even when Iowa was lining up for the 2 point conversion to tie, I doubt many people thought they’d convert. Sure enough, Brian Ferentz remains 0-for-life on 2-pointers. And then Iowa kicked it away, thus conceding the game.


Purdue at Northwestern | Purdue wins the other 24-22 gunfight in the West

Northwestern exceeded 20 point for the first time in B1G play this year, but that wasn’t enough. The Wildcats came within literal inches of winning, but a FG that would’ve put them up to the lofty total of 25 doinked off the upright. That’s when Aidan O’Connell, Purdue’s 74th QB this season, guided the Boilermaker offense to a game-winning field goal (I suppose the kicker, J.D. Dellinger, deserves a bit of credit, too).

Boilerman: I will fully admit. I quit on this game twice. When Purdue failed to show up in the first quarter and spotted Northwestern 14, including their first touchdown in quite some time, I wrote this game off. When Aiden O’Connell took a safety near the end of the half with Purdue trailing by 7, I figured it was over. Hell, when it looked like Northwestern was going to either run out the clock or salt the game away with a short field goal, I was giving up.

But this team turned into the Little Train That Could. They showed life in the second quarter and then took their opening second half drive down the field for a score. When Northwestern doinked their field goal, Jeff Brohm put together a very good drive (with some timely penalties) to put JD Dellinger into position to win the game.This team is banged up to hell but today they proved they haven’t quit. Time for a bye week and then a trip to Wisconsin. Choo choo, muthas.

MNW: Bummer to see about the kicker. We really thought Kuhbander was decent. Anyways, from the boxscore it looks like a dumb game, and I will be content knowing it as such. Let’s hope the ‘Cats don’t Merrimack themselves against UMass.

LPW: Bad teams lose bad games. Fuck this noise. WILL SOMEONE THROW MICK MCCALL INTO LAKE MICHIGAN?! Drinking Malört is preferable to this radioactive garbage season.


Remembrance Day

Here in the United Kingdom, it’s Remembrance Sunday—specifically the 100th anniversary of the celebration of Remembrance. Tomorrow, the US will observe Veterans Day. It is my sincere hope that each of you has the day off of work to enjoy your corner of the American experiment as you see fit. While it’s not a day of remembrance in America, it is a day of reflection on but one form of service to the nation—a nation that requires something of us all to keep going.

In keeping with the theme of November musical tributes, I present the Medal of Honor citation for Specialist-6 Lawrence Joel, who earned the award on November 8, 1965 for actions near Bien Hoa, Republic of Vietnam while serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. The battle was the subject of a contemporary country song by Big & Rich, who also provided the College Gameday song for a season some years back.

Joel was the first living African-American servicemember to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

The citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. SP6 Joel demonstrated indomitable courage, determination, and professional skill when a numerically superior and well-concealed Viet Cong element launched a vicious attack which wounded or killed nearly every man in the lead squad of the company. After treating the men wounded by the initial burst of gunfire, he bravely moved forward to assist others who were wounded while proceeding to their objective. While moving from man to man, he was struck in the right leg by machine gun fire. Although painfully wounded his desire to aid his fellow soldiers transcended all personal feeling. He bandaged his own wound and self-administered morphine to deaden the pain enabling him to continue his dangerous undertaking. Through this period of time, he constantly shouted words of encouragement to all around him. Then, completely ignoring the warnings of others, and his pain, he continued his search for wounded, exposing himself to hostile fire; and, as bullets dug up the dirt around him, he held plasma bottles high while kneeling completely engrossed in his life saving mission. Then, after being struck a second time and with a bullet lodged in his thigh, he dragged himself over the battlefield and succeeded in treating 13 more men before his medical supplies ran out. Displaying resourcefulness, he saved the life of one man by placing a plastic bag over a severe chest wound to congeal the blood. As 1 of the platoons pursued the Viet Cong, an insurgent force in concealed positions opened fire on the platoon and wounded many more soldiers. With a new stock of medical supplies, SP6 Joel again shouted words of encouragement as he crawled through an intense hail of gunfire to the wounded men. After the 24-hour battle subsided and the Viet Cong dead numbered 410, snipers continued to harass the company. Throughout the long battle, SP6 Joel never lost sight of his mission as a medical aidman and continued to comfort and treat the wounded until his own evacuation was ordered. His meticulous attention to duty saved a large number of lives and his unselfish, daring example under most adverse conditions was an inspiration to all. SP6 Joel’s profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Mr. Joel passed away in 1984 and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.