clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 5

Peak Iowa

NCAA Football: Iowa at Maryland Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. The Hawkeyes have ripened early this year, which the Farmer’s Almanack tells us portends a strong ACL harvest later in November
  2. Good thing this is a column of 14 takeaways and not giveaways, or Maryland would get half the entries
  3. Michigan fans will take thi game as proof of a new and improved Harbaugh product, which of course requires completely ignoring last week’s home showing against Rutgers
  4. Wisconsin averaged 2.4 ypc against Michigan, excluding sack yardage...Rutgers managed almost 5
  5. What conference is Charlotte in, and would they be interested in Illinois?
  6. At least Bert fans can rest easy knowing that Arkansas’ problem wasn’t just the coach`
  7. Minnesota and Purdue have written another scintillating chapter in their famed Battle for the Olde Margarine Tub Full of LeftoversTh
  8. O’Connell’s sacks alone cost Purdue more than 13 of their total rushing out put for the day
  9. Subplot: Penix and Clifford locked in heated race to see which of them could actually complete more than 50% of his passes
  10. Not sure that #4 ranking is going to hold
  11. MSU’s defense is, by the transitive property, on par with Army’s
  12. Their offense is 13 points better, though (insert triple option crying here)
  13. Holy hell, Nebraska (NU)
  14. Holy hell, Northwestern (University of Northwestern—Evanston)

The Rundown

Iowa at Maryland | Iowa storms capital, 52-14

StewMonkey: Can Iowa depend on getting 5+ turnovers a game? No, probably not, but shit, it sure is fun. And it’s really good to see the offense convert those into a lot of points. All caveats taken that this is October Maryland we’re discussing, and they’ve turned into a pumpkin full of penalties and missed assignments.

Spencer Petras accounted for 5 TDs and was very game manager-y, if not actually good (though, it may have been his best game at Iowa). Tyler Goodson saves the running game and made some great moves in the passing game.The defense is just fun to watch them crush the souls of opponents. Tagovailoa was the 3rd quarterback this defense broke and got benched so far. And there really isn’t much of a weakness.

Editor’s Note: Tagovailoa was broken when he showed up

Creighton: Lol 6 different players had interceptions. Phil Parker is doing the “I know kung fu” thing from The Matrix, but with playing defense. Also I have no idea how good Maryland’s DL is or isn’t supposed to be, but this was easily the best overall performance from Iowa’s OL. I’m not going to read too much into a victory over a team that typically falls apart after September 30, but it’s rare enough for Iowa to score 50 points that I think I’m entitled to enjoy this at least through the weekend.

Michigan at Wisconsin | Michigan is back (again), 38-17

RMB: Michigan ran the ball just enough. Michigan threw the ball ok. Michigan’s defense was better than expected. Special teams continued to be excellent. Plus they got some breaks. The play calling was mostly fine. I can’t figure out how to complain. Oh yeah. Michigan gave up a stretch where Graham Mertz hit 8/10 for 115, 1TD and no picks. Embarrasing.

Beezer07: This is, without a doubt, the worst Wisconsin O Line I’ve ever seen. It has got to rank near the bottom of all FBS O Lines so far this year. Until and unless Wisconsin can fix that, arguing about Graham Mertz or his backup, or not understanding why Wisconsin has zero good running backs this year is all a distraction. The O Line cannot run block or protect the QB, like at all.

Kind of...Chris: I‘m not sure how old Beez is, but I will second his sentiment. The last time UW was this bad at OL was some point in the late Alvarez years. The early schedule has done UW no favors, and should lighten up a bit. Whether that will matter will turn entirely on how well the coaching staff can adjust on the fly. It was easy to think that last year was a fluke given Covid, but clearly that was not the case. It’s cheap to count the last two games of an excellent 2019 season, so let’s stick with this: In 2020-2021, Wisconsin is 5-6, and is averaging 22.7 ppg. That the average INCLUDES three different 40+ point games (vs. Lovie Smith D, an invisible 2020 Michigan D, and a Wake Forest parade of turnovers) is pretty damning. Take those games out and it’s 14.25. Not even a Jim Leonhard defense is gonna make that work.

Charlotte at Illinois | 62nd best P5 team wins, 24-14

Thump: Bert getting a 250 yard rushing performance out of chase brown against one of the worst defenses in college football. Some real “kid scores touchdown in Nebraska spring game” stuff.

Every defense Illinois faces from this point forward is better than every defense we’ve faced up til this point.Brandon Peters threw a touchdown that should have 100% been an end zone pick and got Luke Ford hurt with a hospital ball. He’s the worst Illinois quarterback I’ve ever seen.This win means absolutely nothing, but I still enjoyed it after it happened. I have to, because we’re not winning again until next year.At least Bert finally went for it on 4th and short at his opponent’s 40, but I felt like he did it sarcastically. I’ll be in Champaign for homecoming but I’m not wasting 4 hours of my homecoming Saturday watching this shit ass team get pulverized by the only qb in college footbal half as shitty as brandon Peters

He Was a HS QB: Duke is maybe the 63rd best PS football team and they lost to Charlotte. We didn’t lose to Charlotte so perhaps we’re the 62nd or 61st best P5 football team.

Thump: ^^^ not gonna stop us from losing to Northwrstern

HSQB: Not even a little bit. Looking forward to 2-9 Illinois getting pantsed by 2-9 jNU in front of dozens of people on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Minnesota at Purdue | Minnesota cromulent, 20-14

WSR: Minnesota won. Yay. But holy shit does Mike Sanford need to be fired out of a catapult into the sun or a brick wall or a garbage disposal made of sharks or something. The offense is mediocre as hell, and even in a monsoon that wasn’t acceptable at all. Thank you for being secretly not trash, defense. Particularly you, Tyler Nubin. Thanks for shaking off dropping the game-sealing pick to get a game-sealing pick.

Also Fleck needs to figure out when to be aggressive and when to be completely risk-averse, because he’s just coaching scared right now and that‘ll bite him in the ass if we play a good team this year.

BoilerUp89: So I expected a loss today. But—and I have a feeling I’m going to be saying this a lot the rest of the year—the defense played well enough to win the game while the offense had to settle for FGs instead of TDs. You can’t score 0 points in a half and expect to win. You can’t get to the redzone 4 times and settle for 3 FGAs. Coming into the game, I felt these two teams were pretty even but that injuries holding guys out for Purdue and the rain (the mortal enemy of Jeff Brohm) would give the Gophers the victory. After the game, I’m left with the feeling that Purdue is a slightly better team than Minnesota and should have won this game. Purdue had a lot more yards and was able to semi-effectively run the ball (ignore the sack yards when looking at the stats) while getting yards thru the air. The defense seemed in control most of the game and held Minnesota to 20 points. But losing the turnover battle (0-2), missed opportunities in the passing game due to the rain (slips, bad snaps, dropped passes), and being unable to convert redzone opportunities into TDs killed this game for the Boilers. There will be a lot of doom and gloom among Boiler fans following this game and I get why but I don’t think this team is done yet. Will see what the rest of the B1G does later today, but this team does enough right that they should be able to get some more wins against what currently looks like a pretty weak schedule moving forward (Iowa & OSU games notwithstanding). Next up: a bye week followed by a loss to Iowa that will put Purdue at 3-3. Then Purdue will try to stop the bleeding against what looks like the worst Badgers team during this long losing streak to them.

Ohio State at Rutgers | The usual, 52-13

Ohio State has scored 49 points or more in every matchup with Rutgers. So it goes. I guess Stroud just needed that week off to heal the shoulder, because he was accurate AF—to the tune of 330 yds and 5 TDS with no INTs.

Maximum Sam: Pretty...pretty...pretty good!

Indiana at Penn State | PSU tunes up, 24-0

pkloa: Defense Decidedly Dominant, Offense Occasionally Okay. Anytime your team can record an in-conference mollywhop is a good day. Clifford was mostly good, with 3 TDs, 178 yards passing and an additional 58 on the ground. Dotson did all the Dotson things we’ve come to expect. Ebiketie is the next beast to terrorize NFL QBs. On to Kinnick, where dreams go to die.

Candystripes: That was ugly. And not “52-7 blowout” kind of ugly that I was expecting. If the Hoosiers had shown even the slightest bit of life on offense, that was almost a game for the taking, which is wild to consider. I’m no longer sure that Mike Penix should be the QB, if this latest injury hasn’t ended yet another season for him, but I’m still not convinced that Tuttle is the guy either. Credit the defense for showing some fight, but that just plain sucked.

WKU at MSU | Sparty tops ‘Toppers, 48-31

Annihilated Kentuckyski: Notwithstanding some heartburn at yielding almost 500 yards through the air, MSU controlled the game from wire to wire, starting with Jayden Reed’s electrifying punt return TD for the second week in a row. These opposing passing lines are what bend-don’t-break looks like, but if you can consistently force turnovers or hold your foe to field goals in the red zone, it’s probably the best formula for the talent this defense has. I’m going to take the offensive performance with a big grain of salt; other than Youngstown State, this was the weakest defense on the schedule by a mile. It was still good to see Thorne get himself together after whatever happened against Nebraska, though. I still don’t think MSU gets to the Michigan game undefeated, but things are coming along.

Northwestern at Nebraska | The Real NU stands up, 56-7

MNW: It is 7:15pm CT. Northwestern lost by [a lot]! These linebackers are completely lost, the defensive line gets no push, and the tone was set from the first play of the goddamn game, when All-American safety Brandon Joseph thought he was intercepting an easy ball that a Nebraska wide receiver ran in front of and took 70 yards to set up the first Nebraska score.It only got worse.This is the worst Northwestern team in 20 years. They should probably go 2-10 and will be saved from that only by the grace of God how terrible Illinois/Purdue/Minnesota are. Whether Pat Fitzgerald and Smedium Shirt Guy can’t find enough “juice” for the players, whether Jim O’Neil is the worst coordinator since Greg Colby, whether it’s just that Ryan Hilinski and Hunter Johnson are mediocre quarterbacks...this whole bit is a continuous nightmare.I assume Northwestern lost and that Minnesota United did, too. Rest assured, though, I had a KBS and some chips and salsa and enjoyed the rest of my night have a great Sunday, everyone. I’ll be on the golf course by the time this article drops. Hope all your fucking horseshit teams lost, too.

LPW: Good lord what a mess. I’ve been a season ticket holder for 20 years and this is the worst team I’ve seen. MNW is absolutely right. This team basically has quit on the season. Jim O’Neil needs to be fired immediately because he reminds me of Greg “Swiss Cheese” Colby. Replace JON with Tim McGarigle. Can’t fucking hurt. This game reminds me of the Alamo Bowl.

BRT: I have not enjoyed a game this much for a long time. Yes, it was JUST Northwestern (hahahaha), and they are shockingly dreadful at the moment. I do not know what is wrong with them, and while I’m sorry for some of our fine jNU writers, I have to admit it felt really good to be on this side of a game for once. It was also nice to see what Nebraska could do if it got out of its own way. Yes, Northwestern helped - not every team will let the Huskers have over 400 rushing yards. Actually, probably none of the rest of them will. But the kicking game was mercifully un-eventful, and the Huskers committed only four penalties, for 19 yards. If you’ve paid even a lick of attention to Nebraska this season, you know that both of those things are rather startling.

Adrian Martinez had a great night, which was wonderful to see, as he’s as likeable as Frost is unlikeable. He had one passing TD and three rushing TDs, and was (wisely) done for the night in the middle of the third quarter. We got to see backup Logan Smothers, and even third-string QB Matt Masker. The O-line played much better, though again, there are some asterisks to this—as the BTN postgame put it, Northwestern’s defense is “not conducive to stopping offenses,” so who knows if they’re starting to figure things out, or if jNU’s ineptitude forced their hand into improvement.

Still, for all the caveats, this was a good night for the Huskers. A team that has found so many maddening ways to break Husker hearts this season instead crushed Northwestern’s. After the heartbreak in East Lansing last week, coming after the heartbreak in Norman, this was the best possible outcome for this game. Things will not be so easy next week against Michigan, but at least the Huskers will head into that game on a rare high note.

DeadRead: The jNU Wildcats are not a good football team. I don’t care - this is what the Huskerverse needed. Where has it been? No matter, I will take it now and hope that it lasts. I’ve been saying for three years that one week Nebby would put it all together. Was this it? It sure looked like an approximation of it. Alas, one robin does not make a spring. I’ll bask in the sunshine for a few days, anyhow.