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Sunday Morning Coming Down // The End is Nine

Week 9. It’s Week 9.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Northwestern at Ohio State Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Our long regional nightmare is over
  2. Sic Semper Occidens
  3. The first two and a half quarters of this B1G CCG should be entered into the coaching instruction manuals under “malpractice”
  4. Seriously...Trey Sermon is averaging 15 yards a carry, your top receiver is out, and you’re trying to pass 3 out of 4 downs
  5. Tough loss for Pat “Dicknose” Fitzgerald, whose fancy private school degree didn’t teach him that the bad stuff that comes out of your mouth also comes out of your nostrils
  6. Kudos to Little Fitz the Petty for not using any timeouts in the hopes of preserving a 2-TD moral victory
  7. Nebraska finally got that season-defining signature win
  8. Scott Frost giving Ryan Day a run for his money in the coveted yds-per-point category
  9. Nebraska piled up 22 yds of offense for every point to OSU’s 23 yds/pt
  10. Penn State finishes with 4 straight wins and a losing streak longer than it winning streak
  11. James Franklin is a polite host, refusing to let his players tackle for the first quarter
  12. Wisconsin’s roster had more holes than a Cheesehead hat and they still row a bette boat
  13. Army defeated Air Force on a game-defining 80-yard TD drive following an endzone interception
  14. As always, it’s been a pleasure to write this. I look forward to seeing you all next year in good health and in a world hopefully changed for the better. Best wishes and Merry Christmas to you all.

The Rundown

Northwestern at Ohio State | The King stay the King, 22-10

Hey gang, what would you do if your team was getting a first down every other time you ran the ball? Throw it? Cool, me too. Anyhow, everything has gone according to plan. Except that Justin Fields Heisman campaign. That didn’t go so well, with Fields turning in a 12/27 for 114 performance with 2 INTs. But, Ohio State is the king of the B1G once again and Trey Sermon shattered Eddie George’s single-game rushing record. So that’s nice.

LPW: Damn. The ‘Cats fought hard and kept it close most of the game, but Ohio State’s Trey Sermon just had a monster day in gaining Ohio State’s single game rushing record against our defense. We need to do better with ball security, we can’t make those mistakes against teams of Ohio State’s caliber. Missed opportunities , interceptions and turnovers and Ryan Day realizing what he had in Sermon put us away. Hey, If you would’ve told us last year we’d win the West and play Ohio State again in the Championship, I’d be thrilled. Eventually we’ll beat this damn team again. Onto bowl season! (edited)

MNW: What a stupid game. Peyton Ramsey was the better quarterback at 22/34 for 224 and 2 INTs, somehow. Brandon Joseph came up with the most ridiculous pick I’ve seen a Northwestern player make (save, perhaps, Kyle Queiro, but definitely on the bigger stage). Northwestern survived blow after blow after blow, and finally just couldn’t muster up a counterpunch when it mattered most.The Ramsey red zone pick followed by the Kuhbander missed FG were back-breakers, for me. Can’t leave those points on the field, and Northwestern did. Might not have made a bit of difference because Trey Sermon was absolutely ridiculous, but in a game that the ‘Cats successfully dragged into the mud for 40+ minutes, it sure feels like an opportunity missed. Of course, narratives abound.

My deepest condolences to Ohio State having to rely on 4* athletes and its own shit playcalling and quarterbacking for three quarters until they realized the 5* athlete was the best one on the field. They truly overcame adversity here, and GF3 has the last word so no doubt I have been owned by a witty rejoinder. (Love you, GF3. Have a meat pie for me if you’re in Tier 1 or 2 or whatever.) But in the meantime, Northwestern ought to have carried Mike Hankwitz off the fucking field for dialing up a defense that kept Ohio State out of the end zone for almost three full quarters; the man is a genius and we’ll be a poorer program for losing him to a well-deserved retirement. So thanks, Hank, go ‘Cats, and let’s win a bowl game.

GF3: Good game, Cats. Thanks for teaching Ryan Day how to run the football.

Nebraska at Rutgers | Red, White & Blah, 28-21

The swansong of Adrian Martinez? Probably not, as his draft stock is on par with mine. The 8th-year Husker QB worked his hardest to overcome four turnovers, a fake punt, and special teams collapses to turn 620 yards offense into 4 TDs. Remember when Nebraska fired Mike Riley for losing more games than he won? Neat.

Dead_Read: Nebraska was -3 in turnovers, had nine penalties, allowed a fake punt for a first down, and a kickoff return for a touchdown. The Huskers also put up 620 yards of offense, while allowing only 252. There was a two-to-one time of possession advantage for the Big Red. (edited)

It was a “game of contrasts.” Nebraska managed to pull it out by dominating the ground game in the second half. This entire misbegotten season was encapsulated in this game. Nebraska needs to improve in a lot of things that are fairly elemental to football before they play next season. Hope springs eternal.

BRT: DeadRead offered a better analysis, so my only thought is that I’m deeply thankful we didn’t lose to Rutgers. Yeah, they’re better this year... but this year has had enough “highlights” without that happening.

Minnesota at Wisconsin | The do-over ax stays home, 20-17

A slow-hitting slant to Michael Brown-Stephens knotted it at 17 with 4:40 left, but Wisconsin prevailed with the OT kick. Both these teams endured a season that was, in many ways, a complete waste. At least this game got played.

WSR: Well that ending stunk. It really was a fitting end to the year. I’m not mad because Minnesota had plenty of chances to put away the badgers, but just couldn’t find a way to do it. The players did well, the coaches called some absolutely brilliant plays (some of which worked, some of which didn’t), and I feel great about the program going into next season. 2020 sucked, but Mo Ibrahim had the best season for a Gopher RB I’ve ever seen.

MC ClapYoHandz: Garrett Groshek, Jack Dunn, Leo Chenal, Jack Sanborn. These may not be household names outside of Wisconsin but they are to thank for keeping the Axe at home in Madison. Jack Dunn in particular is a name perhaps unfairly maligned amongst Badger faithful but boy was he important for this one. If you aren’t a fan of these teams this game probably stunk. Hard to argue with Mohamed Ibrahim as another star in this one, but otherwise these are two teams that are kinda limping to the finish and it showed. Most of us at OTE scoffed at the spread for this game and that held true as well. Ugly football in an empty stadium and I’m more than content to just walk away with a W here. Kudos to the B1G for adjusting it’s Week 9 plans to save some rivalry games like this one (I would have said this if Wisconsin lost too, shut up).It’s really annoying that Mohamed Ibrahim is a Gopher. As a fan of Wisconsin I’m obviously a big fan of running backs, and man, there is nothing to dislike about that guy’s game. Please go pro, ideally to the Packers or at least an AFC team so I can be comfortable starting to root for that guy.

Illinois at Penn State | The Ghost of Lovie Smith takes one final bow, 21-56

After trailing briefly in the 1st, Penn State opened the taps and put Illinois down mercifully. Sean Clifford and Will Levis battled it out in the QB spot again, proving that Jahan Dotson is the only one to watch on this team.

Thump: Had a pretty fun first 9 minutes of the game or so. Then we gave up 42 unanswered to Penn State for the second time in three years. Sim to 2027 please.

Bonus Round


...and Chaser