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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 3

It’s Oh Sh*t Week in the B1G

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

1. Indiana isn’t so tough without Urban Meyer on the sidelines

2. Maryland’s dedication to their character arc year after year is truly a thing to behold

3. Maryland has finally achieved parity with Penn State—joined the B1G late and lost to Temple

4. Yinz need to work on that offensive line, Penn State

5. Illinois joins such elite company as Rutgers and Purdue in losing to EMU

6. Iowa now owns a 5-game win streak over ISU, which many folks down at the Our Lady of Perpetual Pork meeting hall will consider a “Bingo”

7. “All three of those teams circled us as their super bowl” Fleck said, in perhaps the most optimistically incorrect assessment of Minnesota Football possible

8. Northwestern running backs will have extra time for staring at their phones in the ice bath

9. Mark Dantonio missed out on 110 thanks to 12

10. The loss of Sindelar proves just how much college ball is about the “Jimmies and Joes” vice the “X’s and O’s”

11. Martinez’s 301 yards of total offense marks the 9th time in 14 starts that he’s surpassed 300 yards

12. Nebraska’s Isaac Armstrong, the scapegoat for last week’s loss, had a PAT and two FG attempts blocked...which is a lot

13. A week without Michigan football is like a week without dysentery.

14. So ends the annual Oh Shit Week of B1G football—our treasured tradition of getting embarrassed by schools our fans have to Google before the game

The Rundown

OSU at Indiana | Urban-less Renewal, 51-10

You could be forgiven for thinking that the greatest coach in recent B1G history had an Indiana problem,. After years of close calls and brushes with horror, OSU blew the two touchdown line out of the water with a stunning day. Dobbins had more than 150 yds in the first half alone, Fields threw 3 TDs, and Damon Arnette added a pick-six for good measure. Indiana found the endzone on a trick play, which is at least good for morale.

Candystripes: For some foolish reason, Indiana continues to play Ohio State in football. And as the script has been for most of the last 31 years, IU and Ohio State played some football, and at the end of the game the Buckeyes won. Sunrise. Sunset.

GF3: Tradition?

Candystripes: I mean, I’ve literally never seen an Indiana win over Ohio State in football in my life, and the last time IU didn’t lose to Ohio State was a little over two weeks before I was born, so yeah, I guess it’s tradition.

Pitt at PSU | Penn State wins the Battle of US-22, 17-10

The fact that this game has no rivalry prize is a shame, because it really reaches that level of consistent off-field trash-talk and on-field putrescence that lends the matchup perfectly to a trophy. At least PSU got a school record field goal out of the deal, which is…something. Maybe this would be a good opportunity for our first anti-trophy. The loser has to spend a week in Pittsburgh, while the winner has to spend a week in Philadelphia.

pkloa: A win is a win, I suppose. Maybe the coaches and team can make some good adjustments during this bye week. Some recommended adjustments:

Call a damn screen pass sometimes.

Defend a damn screen pass sometimes.

Teach Hamler his routes OR stop drawing up Hamler’s routes within 5 feet of another receiver.

Play the RB who is getting the job done.

Play 4 quarters of football. Yes, even the first two!

No longer be comfortable with being “good”. At least go back to being a great team, even if elite is out of your reach.I don’t know that I have to punch in down below, but I’m not certain I don’t. That really shouldn’t be happening for a team with this big of a talent surplus. Even if it was Pitt’s Superbowl.

Maryland at Temple | Maryland enters the house of pain, 20-17

Words fail me. The fact that a team that put up 142 points in successive weeks could only muster 17 this week…with 4 of them on safeties. Well, it beggars belief. But hey, that’s what Maryland does: crab cakes and soul-rending losses. It’s incredible to think that Maryland got out-passed by a 50% margin by a mid-major. As I said, words fail. This is reality now.

E. Michigan at Illinois | Illinois loses 34-31

Lovie once again had few answers for a middling directional foe. EMU sealed the victory with a 24-yd field goal that erased any hope of an overtime. Astonishingly enough, Brandon Peters threw for almost 300 yards including a game-tying pass. But Illinois’ consistently bad defense let the Eagles march down the field and put another nail in Lovie’s coffin (which apparently needs more nails than we suspected).

Thump: To hell with this. I don’t give a single solitary fuck how good Eastern Michigan is, Illinois isn’t going 4-5 in conference play so it doesn’t matter, we still don’t get to play games after November and we still don’t get to have any fucking fun watching this team as fans.

Iowa at Iowa State | Iowa State loses in brutal fashion, 18-17

What an El Assico for the ages. To see two programs so blandly representative of a state that is itself so representative of blandness pitch this effort was almost too meta to believe. Another 200 yards from Nate Stanley, a few good stops on 4th down, and Iowa drops ISU in Ames for the third time running. The deal was sealed by the most brutally muffed punt in muffed punt history, in which an ISU player attempting to block an Iowa player collided with the punt receiver. On a fair catch. Yikes.

Stew: It was just about everything a neutral observer could want out of El Assico. It was close, frustrating, bad clock management, terrible mistakes at inopportune times. It was ugly and bad and I hate this game. There were two separate weather delays, too. Just to draw out the pain even longer. In the end, though, Iowa State is still Iowa State. The muffed punt with under a minute to go was just such a very appropriate way to end the game.

Fine, here’s some details on the game. Iowa was down 4 defensive backs, Iowa State took advantage, and had two big plays on broken coverage. Iowa could move the ball alright until they got the red zone, where they only managed a single TD. Keith Duncan was great, making 4 FGs. And Iowa State made more mistakes.

I hate this game. But it’s still a Hawkeye state.

Creighton: I still wish we’d do away with this awful series. El Assico is bad enough without lightning turning it into a 6 hour affair. I get no pleasure from watching it and within a couple years ISU is going to revert back to being the team that drags our strength of schedule down. Our injured secondary was a mess and the play calling on offense left a lot to be desired, but generally I liked how well we were able to move the ball when we really needed to. I was miserable for every second of that game up until the hilarious muffed punt at the end. With Gameday coming to Ames for the only time ever this was arguably the biggest game in program history for Iowa State (who only won 8 games in what was considered a miraculous 2018 season), so I suppose the pleasure of watching them piss it away by tackling their own punt returner makes living through the worst day of the year kind of worth it. Logically I should want ISU to win a bunch of games this year and make the Hawkeyes look better on paper, but screw that. May this be the beginning of an 11-game losing streak for the Cyclones. (edited)

Georgia Southern at Minnesota | Gophers burrow out of their own way, 35-32

The PJ Fleck show continues to disappoint. The Gophers needed a third touchdown pass from Tanner Morgan in the final ticks of the clock to seal another come-from-behind win against another mid-major team. At some point, Fleck needs to show this team moving in a position direction instead ofsqueakking out victories and cheering about how much heart the team has.

WSR: I’m starting to think that I need to take a different approach to how I’m viewing this season. Do you like blocked FGs returned for TDs? Strip sacks also returned for a TD? A really dumb interception? A 3rd & 30 while losing and having no timeouts left with mere minutes left? EVEN MORE INSANE WR SHENANIGANS?! Friend, I have the team for you: THE 2019 MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS! Gopher Football so far this year has been spectacularly entertaining for everyone that’s watched, and those things are just from today! I’m going to need to make a bingo card to cover everything that’s gone on this year, because I have no idea what could come next but we absolutely need to gamble on it.

Silliness aside, this team still needs to work on the OL because ye Gods is that still a liability. RB was a MASH unit today with Mo Ibrahim getting hurt in practice this week, Rodney Smith having trouble breathing, and 3rd-stringer FR Cam Wiley getting a concussion. The WR of the weekend this time was Tyler Johnson, who’s 10 catches for 140 yards included 3 TDs, the last of which was made while wearing an Eagle DB as a cape. Watch the Gophers, friends, because there’s going to be plenty of silly after we survive the bye week and go to West Lafayette.

GF3: Fun non-football fact...the MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) has been superseded by the CSH (Combat Support Hospital). CSH is pronounced “Cash” out of tradition.

UNLV at Northwestern | Northwestern wins 30-14

Not much remarkable here, other than Northwestern’s offense shaking off the jitters that plagued them against Stanford. UNLV’s three second-half turnovers made the job considerably easier. Northwestern appeared to lose another running back, with Jesse Brown leaving the game in the second half. That makes two in two games, which is AIRBHG-level running back attrition.

LPW: I’ll take the win. Offensively, our wide receivers dropped a few sure TDs from hunter Johnson, and running back by committee worked. I’m really worried defensively: we’re not sealing edge runs well, and our DBs will probably get burnt in conference play. I’m happy the team rallied in the second half. The first half almost gave me an ulcer. (edited)

MNW: Drake Anderson announced that he, apparently, is the RB who will run for 30 yards on 21 carries against Michigan State, Hunter Johnson showed an ability to have passes skip off the hands of wide-open receivers like Kyric McGowan and J.J. Jefferson, and Northwestern made the adjustments necessary to beat a Mountain West team who had lost to Arkansas State by even more than this. Charlie Kuhbander can possibly kick decent, Dan Kubiuk can punt good, and the tackling is still bad.Take from this what you will, people. Northwestern will be lucky to get to 6-6.

Arizona State at MSU | Arizona State beats timezones and MSU 10-7

For all the noise MSU fans have made over the years about body clocks and traveling, they didn’t have any extra energy to give ASU in East Lansing. ASU drove 75 yards in 11 plays on their final drive, capped by a touchdown to give the Sun Devils a 10-7 advantage. MSU’s ensuing drive saw a tying FG negated by a 12-men penalty, and the retry was a miss—Coghlin’s third of the day.

Artillery Kannonski: Let’s continue to ride to roller coaster of MSU football, and since last week was a peak, time for a goddamn valley everybody. Let’s talk about two missed field goals in a three-point game. Let’s talk about continuously shooting yourself in the dick to breathe life into a feeble Arizona State offense. Let’s talk about playing prevent with two minutes left to allow your opponent to drive the length of the field. Let’s talk about refusing to spy a nimble opposing QB and letting him extend the drive again and again and again. Let’s talk about continuing to use Connor Heyward, who wouldn’t see a lane on a abandoned Autobahn, and Matt Dropson in crucial moments. Let’s talk about retracting your balls into your abdomen by not even attempting a game-winning shot at the end zone with 11 seconds left, but instead doing...that. Dantonio has never deserved a loss more, and he’s not winning anything of consequence. Doesn’t mean MSU might not wreck a few seasons with this defense, but Dantonio’s time has passed. So it goes.

TCU at Purdue | Boilers down, 34-13

Without Elijah Sindelar, the Purdue offense once again evoked the heady days of Darrell Hazell. TCU’s Darius Anderson ran for 179 yards in a punishing attack, and the Boilermakers couldn’t keep their beleaguered defense off the field. RS FR Jack Plummer, starting for the concussed Sindelar, threw for 181 and 2 INTs. That’s a far cry from Purdue’s normal eye-popping production.

Boilerman: We’ve been weighed, measured, and have been found to be wanting. When news dropped that Elijah Sindelar was in street clothes, that pretty much sealed Purdue’s fate. Jack Plummer did an admirable job, but to ask him to make his first start against a stout TCU defense was simply too much.The end result was too many short possessions ending up in the defense being completely worn down. At one point, TCU had over 30 minutes of possession to the Boilers’ 15.

Depth will continue to be an issue as the season rolls along. That loss to Nevada really stings now as Brohm and company need to find five wins in a tough B1G schedule.

Ugh. Where’s my bleach?

N. Illinois at Nebraska | Huskers show us what they’re made of, 44-8

No blowing a 17-point lead this week for Team Frost. The Huskers racked up 575 yards of total offense and put the Huskies away early. Finally a big performance from an offense that promised so much.

BigRedTwice: As is often the case with Nebraska, there were some wildly bad moments in this game, as well as some wildly beautiful ones. Luckily, this week, the good far outweighed the bad, and the Huskers rolled over the Huskies. The first half of this game had the feel of a deranged circus, due in large part to both teams having some rather spectacular special teams miscues.

For Nebraska, the continued absence of kicker Barrett Pickering continues to loom large, making even extra points the kind of suspenseful adventure that they really shouldn’t be--in the first half, the Huskers suffered two blocked field goals and a missed extra point. This led to the retirement from kicking duties by Isaac Armstrong (who has been a fine punter for Nebraska this season) and Lane McCallum kicked without incident for the Huskers in the second half. Why is this noteworthy? Because McCallum is a backup safety, so... yeah, that’s where our kicking game is at. (McCallum was a kicker in HS and for one year at Air Force... but still.)

Anyway, in spite of a first half filled with shenanigans, the Huskers managed to keep their heads on straight this week, and sustained a relatively uneventful second half. Highlights included backup QB Noah Vedral (straight out of Wahoo, Nebraska) leading a nice drive capped off with a touchdown by him; as well as the Husker defense executing a goal-line stand. I’m not sure when the last time was that I saw the Huskers have a goal-line stand, so it truly was beautiful to behold. In fact, the defense really did have a strong game.

Overall, in spite of it being NIU and therefore not, perhaps, an overly valuable litmus test, it was nice to see the Huskers handle an opponent after the wild ride of the first two weeks. It was probably just the kind of rebound the team (and the fans) needed after last week’s Mile High Meltdown.

Dead_Read: Nebraska did a lot of things it was supposed to do against NIU - play a sound defensive game, create chunk plays, and minimize penalties (only 1!) and turnovers (again, only 1!). Apart from the clown show for placements - UNL had 3 kicks blocked - special teams were generally solid, as well. If you want to see a game filled with third phase ridiculousness, find a replay of this game. This game had two blocked punts, three blocked placements, a failed fake punt, and a failed onside kick. If I am not mistaken, all of that happened in the first half! Injuries to starting LT Brenden Jaimes and playmaking DB Cam Taylor-Britt put a real damper on this one. Hopefully neither injury is serious. This year Nebraska consummated its MACrifice, and that is progress. Not everyone was so fortunate. I’ll take it. (edited)