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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 12

Don’t Dream It’s Over

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Kinnick f***ing Stadium, man
  2. Minnesota has finally reached the upper echelons of the B1G, as evidenced by blowing their perfect record to a trash Iowa team on the road
  3. Minnesota is so clearly better than Iowa, but those frosty white uniforms apparently came with instructions to “place crank beneath foot” when suiting up
  4. NOON-zee-oh Cam-pah-NEE-lay
  5. Rutgers is great for parents of opposing schools because they get to see little Johnny the 4th-string FR on TV
  6. How did that game take 4 hours?
  7. Shea Patterson finally showed up
  8. If he hadn’t it probably wouldn’t have changed much
  9. Not for nothing, but Army put 63 on UMass
  10. Maybe Mick McCall should be able to do more with a B1G offense than a service academy with a 2nd-string QB? Just throwing out discussion starters
  11. Nebraska somehow looks their best in big losses
  12. Fitting that Iowa’s Super Bowl trophy is a pig
  13. Penn State seemingly abandoned the concept of pass defense this season, a big move for OC Pry
  14. Penn State will somehow have the best pass defense on earth next week, snagging meteorites and the like

The Rundown

Minnesota at Iowa | A hotdish of that old Kinnick Magic, 23-19

Slow starts are killer. The Gophers came out flat and Iowa had everything fall their way to take a 20-3 lead before the Gophers began to claw their way back. It was clear from the 2nd quarter on that Minnesota is the better team. The Gophers smashed the Hawkeyes in nearly every major metric—yardage, 3rd down conversions, time of possession, etc. But their 52 penalty yards and -1 turnover margin was killer. The real nail in the coffin was slippery Gopher hands. Facing a 4th and short near the Iowa end zone, Morgan’s sure touchdown pass fell inexplicably through the receiver’s hands. Missing that tying TD let Iowa stretch the lead and close out the game. Tough loss for the Gophers. Super Bowl win for Iowa.

Stew: Once again Iowa is able to take down a top 10 team at Kinnick. Once again, it’s after Iowa is out of contention for the division. However, it’s still a win and keeps Floyd home for another year. That’s now 5 years in a row, and keeps Minnesota 0 for the century in Kinnick.

As for the game itself, Iowa got out to a fast start offensively for the first time this year against a conference opponent. And then they played some brilliant bend but don’t break defense. The secondary kept the incredible gopher WRs from getting behind them as they racked up receptions. Minnesota’s first 4 trips to the redzone resulted in 6 points. And Iowa just held on and bled the entire 2nd half.

WSR: Iowa did just about a perfect job of scripting it’s offense to get out to a lead, and then hung on for dear life to get the win. The Gopher offense did everything possible short of committing turnovers in the first half and still had the ball with an opportunity to win the game before Tanner Morgan got hurt and Cole Kramer couldn’t move the offense.

Ohio State at Rutgers | Vegas didn’t count on 4th-stringers, 56-21

The only things we learned from this game are not to muff punts and Chuganov is definitely never going to be the starter by choice.

Indiana at Penn State | Nits outlast Ramsey’s heroics, 34-27

PSU capped of a 9-minute drive with a Clifford TD to put his team out front by 10, leaving Indiana in need of two scores to have a shot. All the Hoosiers could muster was the field goal. Ramsey continued his renaissance, with a 31/41 effort for 379 yards. Indiana actually outgained PSU by nearly 100 yards, but yards don’t go on the scoreboard.

87townie: PSU looked hungover. Cliff had a gut check with Indy within 3 late in the fourth. He engineered an 18 play drive and carried the ball in to score the final TD. I have to credit Indy. This is a really good football team, even without Philyor and Penix. This group should be ranked in the top 25.

pkloa: Penn State’s passing defense is... not good. As I type this, the Lions busted coverage once again, giving up another long play to random Indiana backup receiver. Kudos to Hoosier QB Ramsey, the pkloa Player of the Week.

I’ve come to terms that the Nittany Lions will not destroy Ohio State next week. The game will be a lot closer than I’m comfortable with, but a win is a win, I suppose.

A-A-Ron: Just like with Minnesota, the Indiana game started out with multiple blown coverages and two straight touchdown drives against Penn State. The Lions tightened up on defense this time and rallied to take a 27-14 lead early in the third quarter. However, back-to-back scoring drives led by Peyton Ramsey cut the lead to three with just under 11 minutes to play in the game. It looked like Penn State might collapse when on 3rd and 9 Sean Clifford scrambled for a first down, sparking an 18-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to ice the game. Despite having plenty of time to throw all day, Sean Clifford completed just 11 of his 23 passes. He’s not going to have much time to throw in Columbus next week.

Candystripes: Well, it was nice actually looking like a decent football team in Happy Valley for a half, but after absolutely mismanaging the beginning of the 3rd quarter, Indiana has yet again shown that they can’t beat the good teams in this conference (and also Michigan State). So I guess there’s no reason to watch next week, because Michigan has a 31 year streak of dominance to push to a 32nd year.

Michigan State at Michigan | The Darkest Mantonio, 44-10

Once, this game gave us iconic moments like ““trouble with the snap.” Now it’s Michigan’s chance to briefly be Ohio State and clown its rival (Michigan sure has a lot of rivals). Patterson finally looked like a star with a 24/33 effort for 384 yards and 4 TDs. Lewerke was the opposite in pretty much every way. If Dantonio doesn’t leave by his own choice, Sparty needs to get real about the hand they’re holding.

Anvil Koyoteski: At least now there should be nobody left on the Save Dantonio wagon. If you’re an MSU fan and you don’t want him fired now, it’s presumably out of some insipid sentimentality about him “deserving to go out on his own terms.” He is. He made every decision since the Playoff appearance that has brought his program to this place, and now he needs to be out.

What happened in the game? Who cares? The box score is, if anything, a little deceptive of how much better Michigan was in every phase. MSU fought Michigan even for a quarter. That’s how long they can now keep up with a program they dominated for most of the last decade. It was all the same stuff - bad drops, a complete lack of discipline in terms of penalties, an offense with no explosiveness, and a defense that might as well not be there against the pass. Only saving grace for me was knowing, after MSU derped its first possession after halftime, that I could safely tune out and do something better with my Saturday.

Wisconsin at Nebraska | No real surprises, 37-21

It seems hard to believe that Nebraska once stood atop the B1G. Now they provide the backdrop for Taylor to become the first FBS player in 20 seasons to run for 200 yds three times. So that gives you a sense of how things went. The Huskers made a good showing early but faded down the stretch. Scott Frost took a not-so-nice tone in the presser after the loss. He might heed the lessons of Bo Pelini when it comes to dishing out the unvarnished truth.

Beez: Wisconsin’s defense played poorly enough to give up 40 this week, but the offense scored often enough to keep the game out of reach most of the second half. Not an encouraging performance by anyone other than Jonathan Taylor and about half the linebackers, but whatever. Hashtag technically still alive for the CCG but lol obviously that’s not happening. Also Taylor ran for 200+ and 2 TDs and it really didn’t feel like it. Also he’s the most prolific junior running back in college football history, a fact you only know if you heard the announcers mention it 45 times during the game

BRT: I only watched the first half, and they played reasonably well during much of that. Their first possession of the 3rd quarter seemed to be this team writ large: forced the punt, great field position, chunk gain to short FG range... then a 20+ yard sack, inadequate yardage, and a missed FG. Opportunity, squandered in silly and spectacular ways.

Anyway, I’ve seen way worse, so I’m not as mad as I could be. I suppose that attitude is fairly damning in its own way.

Dead Read: Nebby shows just enough to instill hope, then they screw up (more than enough) to crush that hope. The Nebraska game hit on a bunch of familiar themes - lots of yards, points not commiserate with that yardage, poor tackling, and remedial special teams. The jerseys seem to weigh heavily on a significant number of players. You can watch players overthink things in real time. If the players eventually conquer the opponents between their ears, they could become a pretty decent football team. We shall see.....when (and if) that happens.

UMass at Northwestern | Cats prove ineffectiveness of militias, 45-6

Northwestern now has its second win of the season! They have now all but locked up the record for the longest and hardest fall by a team that played in the most recent B1G CCG. Hard to see it getting worse than this

MNW: I woke up this morning to a text from my mom: “Why is NU playing UMass?” When I explained the situation involving a bye after the Stanford game, she responded “Well, should be an easy win for the ‘Cats at least. They need one!” So I was getting dunked on by my mother before this shit even kicked off.

If, somehow, it’s possible to take negatives away from a 39-point drubbing of the worst team in FBS, we can thank Pat Fitzgerald and Mick McCall for asking Aiden Smith to take to the air, where the junior distinguished himself with a 7/13 line for 76 yards, no touchdowns, and...two incredibly bad interceptions. The ‘Cats put the ball on the ground about 7 times this game. LITERALLY ONE RECEIVER—RILEY LEES—caught a fucking pass before garbage time. This is an offense completely devoid of Big Ten-level talent, assuming Hunter Johnson is dead or not ready or washing his hair or something, and neither the head coach nor the offensive coordinator have a fucking clue how to fix it.

Thankfully, UMass is so abjectly terrible that it doesn’t matter. The Wildcats’ Joe Gaziano blocked a field goal and Chris Bergin returned it for a touchdown. The Minutemen’s starting QB missed several open receivers in the end zone. Multiple illegal formation penalties on punts. By the second half, Northwestern just ran its bread and butter zone runs over and over and over, and freshman RB Evan Hull was able to scamper around for 220 yards and 4 TDs. So congrats to him, Northwestern is 2-8, now let’s get this season over with.

LPW: This season is stupid. I’ll take a win over a shitty team. Whee. FIRE MICK MCCALL