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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 13

The East is Settled

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Ohio State played their worst game of the season against a top 10 team and still won by double digits
  2. This is the perfect setup to screw it all up next week
  3. Chase Young is exactly as frightening as Gus Johnson makes him out to be
  4. Chase Young now owns the OSU record for single season sacks with 16.5 after playing only 9 games
  5. Chase Young finished the day with 3 sacks, 4 TFLs, 2 forced fumbles, and 9 tackles
  6. Chase Young will not be a Heisman finalist, because some guy who throws 2 picks against ASU will get the love
  7. Jonathon Taylor owns another record and Wisconsin will make it to Indy
  8. Brohm’s cover steak as a double digit dog is alive
  9. After watching Ramsey play, I don’t know how Penix ever won the job
  10. You have at least appreciate a season in which Iowa has to rely on their defense to come away with a victory against Illinois
  11. That Maryland team the non-con stretch ought to be on a milk carton by now
  12. Minnesota let Northwestern score a TD throwing, so we know they’re a fraud
  13. If anyone doubted Dantonio’s obsolescence, not even getting a 3 TD line against Rutgers should do it
  14. Not really a B1G thing, but koalas are functionally extinct after the Australian bush fires, because climate change is real. Also, Shea Patterson can’t hit a damn thing unless he has 5 seconds in the pocket

The Rundown

PSU at Ohio State | Buckeyes roll 28-17

For the first time all season, OSU was challenged by a contender for the division. The game wasn’t pretty in any sense. Cold, rainy, soggy, and still the Buckeyes showed that they’re the class of the East. Cruising to a 3-TD lead, the only thing that hurt the OSU game plan was OSU’s own bungling. Fields and Dobbins combined to fumble the ball 4 times, losing three of them. By contrast, PSU only surrendered the ball once on a Will Levis interception. Had OSU not gifted PSU two scores, this game could’ve easily been 35-0. Alas, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas. At any rate, OSU dominated most of the game and still won by double digits despite finishing -2 in turnovers. On to the signature game of the season with the East wrapped up.

pkloa: With the exception of ball security issues, Ohio State played incredible football. Offensively and defensively, Penn State had moderate success, at best. That said, the Lions played better football for 60 minutes than they have against almost any other opponent this year. I liked the focus from the Lions, and I liked the sportsmanship from both teams. On to rutger.

A-A-Ron: Well, that could have been worse. Yes, Ohio State could have blown this one out had it not lost a fumble at the goal line in the first half and two more in the second half that set up short Penn State scoring drives. However, Penn State caught a bad break when Sean Clifford left the game early in the third quarter due to injury. Will Levis got off to a good start with a pair of touchdowns, but he later made two crucial mistakes. When Penn State got the ball back deep in its own territory trailing 21-17, Levis fumbled the first snap of the possession and only narrowly avoided a safety, nipping the drive in the bud. After an Ohio State touchdown, the freshman led Penn State inside the OSU 30-yard line only to throw a brutal interception. Even with Chase Young making some big plays, the Lions weren’t completely smothered on offense. James Franklin choosing to punt on separate occasions from the OSU 42- and 36-yard line might have been a bigger detriment.

Minnesota at Northwestern | Gophers look shook, 38-22

Seems a bit odd that the Gophers would allow nearly as many points from Northwestern as PSU. I grant you that the transitive property is a tenuous argument at best, but all the same most of us expected better. Minnesota’s defense looked a little weaker than I’d have liked last week against Iowa, but to let Northwestern tie their highest conference point total—and to score a passing TD—is beyond the pale. At this point it seems hard to fathom the Gophers retaining the axe next week, even if Morgan turns in another 4 TD performance like yesterday’s.

WSR: I don’t know what to say. Northwestern has some issues this year, and we jumped all over them and took care of business. While we gave up more points than I’d have liked, we did have the game under control from the start and had a few mental hiccups that gave the Cats opportunities to get points that they took advantage of. Hopefully it was just a matter of looking past them for next weekend’s game and not some other issue.

LPW: Today was comically bad in the first half. I didn’t think we’d score any points, then we got a safety. Minnesota’s offensive bulldozed our defense the first few series and established a lead they never lost. Somehow, our offense actually did things, but we still lost. Northwestern football is dumb. Mick McCall does not deserve to be coaching a fifth grade parochial league team, let alone an B1G offense with a five star QB that got injured. Again. This season can’t come to an end soon enough.

Purdue at Wisconsin | Boiler down, 45-24

On the plus side, Brohm covered the +24.5 spread. On the downside...everything else. Wisconsin left little doubt that they’re aiming for Indy with a steady diet of Jonathon Taylor crushing all mortals before him. He finished with 222 yards, now owning the record for most 200+ yard games in a 3-year span and most yards by a player through their junior season with 5,826 (a number that will keep rising). Purdue once again put up gaudy passing numbers, but to little avail.

MC: Well, there’s certainly a lot to clean up if this team wants to win next week. An interception and five fumbles isn’t…isn’t going to work out most days. The defense hasn’t really shown its best since the MSU game a while back and that trend continues for at least another week. I did think Jonathan Taylor was once again phenomenal, I liked seeing some new wildcat-y formations, and SINCE WHEN CAN WE KICK 62 YARD FIELD GOALS? But this isn’t the best time to trend towards being more sloppy, and there isn’t much opportunity left to fix it before a big one next week.

Michigan at Indiana | Harbaugh suffers through, 39-14

Patterson drew many an accolade for his 5-TD performance, aided mostly by the complete and total lack of a pass rush by Indiana. Never has a B1G man had so much time to make throws without also having Rutgers on the field. Given that, it’s no wonder he picked the IU defense apart. This loss was costly for the Hoosiers, seeing Ramsey take a significant shot that left him down for several minutes and mostly out of sort for the rest of the game. Their night only got worse when Stevie Scott and their starting left tackle Bedford went down on the same play. Rough night to be a Hoosier, and Michigan hubris is peaking right on schedule.

Candystripes: I guess Shea Patterson was right to look past IU.

Illinois at Iowa | The I’s don’t have it, 19-10

Most of the troubles began and ended with Brandon Peters, who committed 3 turnovers and gave Iowa the breath room they needed to win game on one TD and four FGs. I don’t know what else pleasant there is to say about a game where both teams combined for 450+ yards passing and only found the endzone twice. Bowl season should be hilarious.

Stew: Iowa’s offense is just good enough to get in position to score, but still so bad it rarely can finish the job. Iowa attempted 6 FGs against Illinois. 6!!! The running game is pathetic. And I don’t think it’s the personnel. The zone running game fucking sucks, and I hate watching the team continue to bash its skull up against that particular concrete wall. Iowa has yet to score 30+ against Power 5 competition. But hey, Keith Duncan now owns the record for made field goals in a season by a Big Ten kicker.On the other side of the ball, however, Phil Parker is still making fools out of other teams. Iowa’s defense has held 8 teams to their season low for points scored.

Thump: Well, i’m gonna pretend there was a regular 4th and 9 play there, and say that although the illini threw away a lot of opportunities, they frankly contended for four quarters without even having a bunch of preposterous turnover margin luck. this is kind of all i’ve ever really wanted out of illinois, and even though the defense is hurting, it was resilient.of course, then iowa decided they needed to take out our quarterbacks. man, i really hope geno stone gets burned for three receiving touchdowns, then makes a “glancing blow” into the ground following the third. then of course, they had to get their bryce paup on against matt robinson. so now we might be down to our third string quarterback against northwestern. well, guess what, hawkeyes? no amount of late cheap shots on our quarterbacks will erase the following facts:

  • we’re going to a goddamn bowl
  • we’re a legitimate big ten team that can compete with the meat of the conference
  • you desperately wish chicago was more forgiving of your mediocrity so you could move there
  • you got challenged for four quarters at home by a team that you beat by 63 last year
  • kirk ferentz is Shitty Hayden Fry, and Hayden Fry was just Shitty Bo Schembechler, and he never won a national title
  • it’s 2:45 pm central, shouldn’t you dead-ass culturally irrelevant old people be getting ready for bed?
  • you can’t win games unless you’ve already lost every game that mattered for a championship of any kind

Rutgers at MSU | Pathetic, 27-0

Rutgers went 0-11 on third down and possessed the ball for only 22 of 60 minutes. The fact that MSU only turned the remaining 38 minutes into 27 points is a fairly strong indictment of everything happening in East Lansing right now. This win ended a 5-game skid and gives the Spartans a chance to become bowl eligible with a win over Maryland. Because if ever a team needed to go to a bowl, it’s this one.

Anthropogenic Klimatechangeski: MSU received its infusion of Scarlet Knight blood to cure what ailed it, the same way every other B1G team that’s had to play Rutgers this season did. Somehow, even in a 27-bagel walkover, there’s still cause for aggravation - MSU dorfed a pair of 4th and short attempts, pinged a 33-yard field goal off an upright, and had a near-TD turn into an INT in the endzone instead. The win moves MSU to a win over a comparably lifeless Maryland away from scratching out bowl eligibility, which I suppose is good when you’re starting three true freshman offensive linemen and four other true freshmen are in the playing group on offense. In Year 13. This is fine.

Nebraska at Maryland | Mother of God, 54-7

There you go, Scotty! Mr. Frost finally mollywhopped someone. It only took a team relying on 4 QBs to produce 57 passing yards to help the Huskers find their groove. Next year will be the year, I’m sure. Maryland only has to suffer one more week of indignity before gnashing their teeth about basketball for a few months. Time is a flat circle.

Dead_Read: Of these two mediocre (or mediocre to bad (ok, ok...bad)) squads, Nebraska more closely resembled a Big Ten football team. Over the last two decades, Nebraska has become an expert on the snowballing phenomenon in college football -- where failure begets failure. You know what was nice to see? For the first time this season, the snowballing was in Nebraska’s favor. An early fumble recovery got things rolling, and the outcome was decided before halftime. A lot of back-ups logged minutes, and the Huskers played a pretty clean game (only one penalty, only one turnover). The defense played well, sacking Terp quarterbacks six times and forcing four turnovers. To round things out, the latest walk-on kicker (this one from the club soccer team) succeeded at every opportunity. We will take it, even with the Old Bay on top. Inquiring minds want to know: Will this confidence boost translate into a strong performance against Iowa? I almost look forward to finding out.

BRT: Maryland is bad, worse even, than we (or at least I) even thought. However, Nebraska hasn’t looked good on the road in... years? so this was still a delight for me to watch. A part of me felt bad for Maryland--they simply could not catch a break, and had some weird plays go against them (see a Nebraska pass that bounced off the hands of not one but two Terps before falling perfectly into the waiting hands of J.D. Spielman in the end zone.) I really enjoyed seeing the team dominating someone for once, and the excitement with which the players were playing. They were enjoying the rare dominance as well, and it was fun to see.Of course, like most Huskers, I wish we would have seen this effort against Purdue or Indiana, as it might have been enough to get it done against one of those two teams, and then we’d be bowl-bound instead of hoping for a long shot against Iowa. Still, this team has stunk on the road, and today they didn’t, and they’ve at least gotten themselves to the point they still have a mathematical chance to play two more games. I’ll take it.