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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 2

Slum & Gravy, Indeed

NCAA Football: Army at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Cincinnati hasn’t beaten Ohio State since 1897, which seems like maybe reason to not schedule them anymore.
  2. Sure, Army lost in 2OT today. But only one of those teams is going to get lifelong care and disability for their concussion complications, so who really lost?
  3. Michigan leaping into the stands after beating Army in extra innings tells you where Harbaugh’s program really is right now.
  4. #25 Nebraska out here proving that 21-25 is basically throwing darts as far as rankings are concerned.
  5. #21 Syracuse is Nebraska’s hype man, apparently.
  6. Losing big in Iowa City is the closest Rutgers will ever get to being a B1G East power.
  7. Hard to congratulate you for this one, Iowa.
  8. Boiler Up > Anchor Down
  9. Michigan State was apparently serious about those uniforms.
  10. Illinois just ended a non-con road losing streak that predates the financial crisis.
  11. It’s not a real party until Indiana puts its Penix away early.
  12. Don’t feel bad, Penn State. A few years back, Army struggled with Buffalo, too.
  13. Taylor has run for 100+ in 24 of 29 career games.
  14. If you’re going to risk losing to Fresno State, do it on Pacific Time since no one in Minnesota stays up past 11:00 PM.

The Rundown

Army at Michigan | Michigan escapes 24-21 in 2OT

This is the most depressed I have ever been writing SMCD. Michigan deserved the loss. Army took them to task all game long. Jim Harbaugh should remember that next time he flap his teeth covers about nobody recruiting elite scholar-athletes like Michigan does.

And in true Army football tradition, the zebras manage to hose us in the end. The TE was wide open for a first down on the drag route. Hopkins was waiting for him to clear the ref.

Michigan under Harbaugh is exactly what those of us who aren’t blinded by khaki said they’d be. Notre Dame’s arrogance with Illinois’ trophy case. I will never ever, for as long as my body shuffles across the dying husk of this planet we inhabit, forgive Davis for calling a pass play on 2 and goal from the 6. OCs who get cute should be fired.

Wait...this just in...we have a breaking news update. Sources are now telling us that reports of 2 overtimes were exaggerated and incorrect. Army actually won the game at the end of regulation.

Cincinnati at Ohio State | Buckeyes dominate 42-0

The hardest part of this entire contest was not misspelling Cincinnati in any of the promotional material. Ohio State started strong and never looked back. Fields handed the ball off “good as f***” and kept it just as well, running for 2 TDs to compliment Dobbins’ pair. He also threw for 224 yds and 2 TDs. Tells you a lot about UCLA, really.

Central Michigan at Wisconsin | Wisconsin does Wisconsin things, 61-0

Sure, Jonathan Taylor is good and all...but Coan threw for 363 yards. That’s like 5 Hornibrooks.

MC ClapYoHandz: Just like everyone predicted, after two games Wisconsin has put up over 100 points and given up zero. Jack Coan looked much better in this one, as most QBs do when they have time to throw. Jonathan Taylor already has 8 TDs. We had our first !!!GRAHAM MERTZ SIGHTING!!! and they even let him throw. Wisconsin really just thoroughly dominated this one, out-gaining CMU 599-58 on the day. Jim McElwain talked some trash and got a sixtyburger for his troubles. On the flip side, the Badgers lose starting safety Scott Nelson for the rest of the season and get the “luxury” of riding all this momentum into a bye week. Already. In early September. Michigan up next in two weeks, hopefully they don’t figure themselves out before then.

Nebraska at Colorado | Buffs stampede back to win 34-31 in OT

The Scott Frost era is not going according to plan. Despite jumping out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, the Huskers’ defense virtually vanished by the 4th quarter. The Blackshirts gave up 24 points to the actual black shirts in the final period of regulation. Big Red only surrendered 3 points in OT, but alas...3 is more than 0 (which is all the Nebby offense could muster).

Dead_Read: Oh my. What a game. You know all that Big Redaissance talk? Not happening this year. Nope. It was a very frustrating game to watch because the offense appeared to totally shut down in the third quarter, which was the proximate cause for the defense being on the field too long and getting exhausted. The offense ran 19 third quarter plays for 40 yards, I think there were 2 first downs. I didn’t see a lot of quarterback run, and it looked like the offense suffered as a result. The defense played very well for about 2.5 quarters, then the altitude kicked in and it appeared that they lost their legs (this became obvious with about two minutes left in the third quarter - arm tackles). This dynamic should not have been surprising to Coach Frost, because he went through a similar thing as a player back in 1997. The team will get better, but I am amazed that Adrian Martinez thinks he can stand in the pocket for seven to nine seconds. Lot’s of coachable moments, etc., etc. Nebby is not there yet, and deserved to lose. Anyone know what happened to our normal FG kicker?

BRT: I wish I could have watched this game as an impartial observer, because I think in that scenario, the ending of that game may have been as entertaining as the sport gets. Unfortunately, I was not impartial, and therefore, while I enjoyed the first half of the game, I was rather less enamored of the second.I didn’t expect Nebraska to win (see my pick for this weekend) so I was pleasantly surprised by the first half. It was wonderful to see Adrian Martinez look more like what he is capable of (and to see him emerge from a game against CU uninjured by dirty play). But the disappearance of the offense after half for the second week in a row was a puzzle, and cause for some concern.

The biggest disappointment of this was that the Huskers once again seem to be unable to slam the door on an opponent when they need to. This felt a lot like last year’s game against Northwestern--in both cases, there was no reason for Nebraska to walk out with an L, and yet, they did. How do we fix that? I don’t know, but Frost makes like 100x more than me, so hopefully he can solve that riddle.I want to give a shout out to Nebraska’s punter, Isaac Armstrong. The punter ended up assuming kicking duties today, as Nebraska’s starter did not travel due to injury. He missed a long, would-be-tying FG in OT. Unfortunately, he might be remembered for that in the context of the game, but he had a beautiful day of punting, and helped his Defense an awful lot. It wasn’t his fault they didn’t always take advantage of it.

Another shout out goes to Colorado fans, especially the 75 of the 300 still in attendance at the end who rushed the field. Nebraska was 4-8 last year. And the year before. Get a grip, Buffs. Also, major props for selling like 75% of your tickets to Husker fans and making Northwestern fans look good. But at least you didn’t get a whole section kicked out for throwing garbage on the field this year--I can always appreciate growth, even in Colorado fans.

Rutgers at Iowa | Iowa cruises 30-0

After 5 years I’m running out of ways to say Rutgers is bad and Iowa is good-ish. So, there it is. Stanley threw for 236 yards while Rutgers’ two QBs combined for 41 yards (no, I did not drop a digit). Rutgers remains—in the words of our esteemed national executive—the “worst trade deal in the history of trade deals.”

Stewmonkey: Iowa just suffocated rutger. Iowa got more yards on their first TD pass (58 yards), less than 3 minutes into the game, than rutger passed for all game (41 yards, for a whopping 1.6 yards per attempt). Iowa’s DL, and A.J. Epenesa in particular, were living in the rutger backfield, disrupting the passing game. It was a workman like dismantling of a pretty awful team. Iowa’s passing game continues to show signs of life not seen in years. Iowa’s running game was also quite effective racking up close to 200 yards.The real story of this game was the punting porn it provided. rutger punter, Adam Korsak, nearly quintupled the rutger offensive output with an impressive 476 punting yards, averaging 47.6 yards per punt, and downing 7 of the 10 punts inside the 20, and an astonishing 4 inside the 5. Meanwhile Iowa’s Michael Sleep-Dalton averaged 48.3 yards per punt on 6 punts. Just an incredible display.

Vanderbilt at Purdue | Boilers win 42-24

The black & gold of Army wins games without passing, and the black & gold of Purdue does it without running. 509 yards through the air by Sindelar more than made up for 31 yds on 18 carries by the Boiler offense. As for the black & gold of Vandy? They supposed to be SEC!

Bman: I’m officially claiming my reverse jinx worked.Purdue looked more like what is expected of this team.

The defense was much improved. They dialed up blitzes, they pressured Vanderbilt’s QBs into bad throws, they stayed aggressive.The offense sputtered early but found its way after Jeff Brohm was seen tearing Elijah Sindelar a new one on the sideline. After that, he started playing like a B1G quarterback. He still had a boneheaded INT but he was hitting targets effectively. My sister texted me during the game and compared him to Jay Cutler, she’s not wrong. He’s smart but his decision making is sub-par. Rondale Moore made timely catch after timely catch down the stretch, including using the umpire as a pick to score a TD. Purdue was way unbalanced to the pass but when it works, it works.

I’m feeling much better (who shouldn’t after a win? Oh, hey there, Michigan). Now for another challenge in TCU next Saturday night.

Syracuse at Maryland | Trampled by turtles, 63-20

63 points is Maryland’s best performance ever against a ranked foe. It’s hard to know whether it’s Locksley or finally having a QB, but Maryland is trouble this year. 354 yards on the ground and 296 throwing is about as balanced an attack as one could hope for. Surprising, to say the least.

Illinois at UConn | Illini win 31-23

Despite trailing by 13 points, the Illini battled back to win their first non-conference road game in 12 years—despite being out-passed by the Huskies. Dropping UConn QB for -31 yards made up for it, though.






Western Michigan at Michigan State | MSU wins 51-17

This is the first time MSU has scored more than 30 points since Sept. 29, 2018. Their 51 point total was the most since beating PSU 55-16 in 2015. Lewerke threw for 314 yards and the run game added nearly 200 more in a convincing rout of a once-powerful Directional Michigan squad.

Arthritic Knuckleboneski: Is this what it feels like to actually bedumpster an opponent you should absolutely overwhelm on paper? Because this...this I could get used to, even if it’s a near-certainty MSU comes back to Earth in a big way against Arizona State next week. It’s probably going to be the case that Western Michigan is the worst defense MSU plays all year, but playing bad defenses has never guaranteed success for the Spartan offense before. MSU came out throwing on first down, throwing more than 10 yards downfield, and calling something other than their base run to wondrous effect. The offensive line was massively improved, and MSU may have found its first lead back since 2014 in Elijah Collins, who only needed 17 carries to get 192 on the ground. It wasn’t a flawless day - Lewerke had a hideous interception when the game was still undecided, and there are still a lot of drops - but it felt like this team really needed some proof of concept offensively and this game should be that. Nothing much to see defensively, as Western had some early success with quick passing but ultimately bogged down in the endzone. Tag the Sun Devils back for last year with even 70% of this efficacy and I’ll be back on board with this team as a conference contender.

Buffalo at Penn State | Penn State wins 45-13

“They’re really attacking the A gaps” is apparently how you explain struggling with a MAC foe for most of three quarters. In the end, PSU’s depth and talent overmatch turned this one into another predictable MAC beatdown-cum-payday. Probably the most notable aspect of the game was the gruesome open fracture the Buffalo punter sustained.

pkloa: Looking at the box score, you’d say Penn State got outcoached in the first half, and you’d be right. That’s not so much as an indictment on the Lions as it is a credit to the Bulls. A herculean effort by a tough but less talented team, Buffalo took advantage of the overconfident favorites. Penn State showed good adjustments defensively, especially after halftime. Offense was cromulent. Freiermuth had some nice catches and Dotson could make the receiving corps special.Don’t look up the Buffalo punter injury, just hope for a speedy recovery.

87townie: Just looking at the score, you will never know how good Buffalo played. Their offensive line humbled our much ballyhooed guys. Their defense stymied our O-Line.Brutal.They could do whatever they wanted on offense for the whole first half…except score. PSU couldn’t do anything at all.Up 10-7 at the half, Buffalo outplayed Penn State. But don’t take my word for it. Just look at the stats:

PSU went in at the half, made a plan, and came out swinging. The second half was impressive. The defense stiffened up and the offense became explosive.It’s a young team. Really young. I expect some slow starts.But I thought our offensive line would be better. The pass pro was good. The run blocking was meh. I expected a much more dominant game out of these guys. There’s only so much time we can give Limegrover, before we start to suspect he’s part of the problem, rather than the solution.

Minnesota at Fresno State | Gophers rally to win 38-35

“Go west, young man, and dress like a can of mango White Claw got its wish to be a real boy” is apparently what PJ Fleck thought Horace Greeley said. The Gophers blew a 14-0 lead to end up trailing by 7 twice in the 4th. When all looked lost, Morgan hit Chris Autman-Bell for a stunning one-foot-down TD catch to tie it at 28. After trading TDs in the first OT, Antoine Winfield snagged Fresno State’s pass to send them packing on an endzone INT for the second week in a row.

WSR: I hope everyone is entertained after that one. Fresno took advantage of a number of huge mistakes and probably should have won the game. But when it mattered in the 2nd half the offense pounded them and the defense made the huge stop when it needed it. Antoine Winfield Jr is absolutely insane and I love watching him play football when healthy. Fumbles and dumb penalties were huge tonight and are something that need to be cleaned up fast, but we got away with it and get to be the B1G team that went West and won.