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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 9

As it turns out, Iowa sucked all along.

Ryan Day is interviewed after Ohio State beat Penn State on Saturday, October 30th. Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ten B1G Things

  1. Iowa went from holding teams to fewer than 24 to holding themselves to fewer than 10.
  2. Nebraska found yet another inventive way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
  3. Oh look, it’s Wisconsin favored to win the West! Who could have seen that coming? [citation needed]
  4. Minnesota everyone knows you’re getting your *** whooped in a month calm down. [citation needed]
  5. A note to the rest of the Big Ten: Just beat the crap out of Sean Clifford and Penn State won’t be able to do anything.
  6. Not to be outdone, Illinois follows in Iowa’s footsteps by losing a winnable game at home after their biggest, and hopefully last, win of the season.
  7. I am told Northwestern played football yesterday.
  8. It appears the Hoosiers still had a few points left in them.
  9. Just not enough to outscore the Terps, who also had a few points left in them!
  10. You rushed the field while chanting “not a rival.” Make up your minds already!
  11. Looks like Michigan didn’t want to wait till November to derail their season.
  12. Meanwhile, Mel Tucker out here openly advocating for the LSU job.
  13. The Big Ten Champion might have two losses after all.
  14. Because that Ohio State defense is still garbage.

The Rundown

Indiana at Maryland | Defenses disappear, Terps hold on, 38-35

BuffKomodo: At least the season is over. I was fortunate enough to miss the first half, but was brought up to speed by the internet. Then I got to watch the 3rd quarter. And boy…I’m just sad. Big breakaway run by Carr to take the lead, then surrender 2 straight touchdowns. Have a drive that stalls but then we get a gift of a special teams fake punt….only to get the ball inside the 20 and kick a field goal. Then give up a long tudder. That’s the point I stopped. I can take no more. Sheridan and Hiller must go. Tom Allen needs to take a long look at the program and develop some pitch to get kids out of the transfer portal this off season. Hire an OC with experience. Try again next season.

Iowa at Wisconsin | Midnight strikes for Hawkeyes, 27-7

Beezer: I’m stuck on an island in a different country. I was supposed to get back from my honeymoon Tuesday. Hoping everything goes well and I’ll get home tomorrow. Needless to say, I didn’t get to see the game, as Watch ESPN does not work down here…

But it was fun following the game cast and Twitter play by play. Basically this was the reverse of what I cynically and defeatedly assumed the game would be: good to great defenses, not much offense a bevy of turnovers drowning one team’s chances at victory. I didn’t expect wisconsin to be the team with the turnover life vest, though.

This defense is the best Wisconsin, has maybe ever had, the special teams have been sneaky good (honestly fucking fantastic by classic wisconsin standards, and the offense is suddenly “just barely good enough to win with plenty of turnovers” Can’t believe they have a good shot to get blown out by OSU in Indy. What a bonkers year.

StewMonkey13: Two weeks ago I wrote the following in a comment:

“What’s the difference between him [Brian Ferentz], Greg Davis, and Ken O’Keefe?

Do we really have any idea where Kirk stops and Brian begins?

I’m of the opinion that the Iowa OC doesn’t really matter, and the personnel barely matters. As long as Kirk is the coach, this is the offense.”

You know what’s changed during the bye week since? Not a goddamn thing. Complain about Brian, sure, fine, he’s bad. Complain about the OL, it’s a sieve. Complain about the QB, he did throw it 10 yards out of bounds on 4th down. While the only reason Brian is the OC is because his dad is the head coach with no accountability, he’s running the offense his dad wants, running the plays his dad wants. The OL is coached mostly by the HC OL guru. The QB has been coached to be so afraid of making a mistake he’s incapable of making any play. This is what the head man wants.

Michigan at Michigan State | Mel Tucker auditions for LSU job, 37-33

Areallybig Kornfanski: I wrote a long, mopey-but-still-optimistic recap of this with about 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, when Michigan went up 30-14. From there, MSU outscored them 23-3, dragged them into the same deep water Tucker talked about after Miami.

Kenneth Walker III was an absolute hero for Michigan State and cemented himself as a serious Heisman candidate. According to BTN, nobody had ever scored 5 rushing touchdowns in a game against Michigan before today.

Lazy national pundits will look at this game, and MSU’s overall pass defense, and conclude they’re still something of a fraud. Go ahead and think that, but filling opposing offenses up on the breadsticks of short passes has not ultimately cost them yet, and they’re still forcing tons of field goals. They also evened the turnover ledger after another off day from Payton Thorne, who struggled to deal with constant edge pressure from Michigan’s outstanding bookends. Chuck Brantley’s going to be a hell of a player, but even if he never makes another highlight reel again, that sealing interception is a nice one to frame and put over the mantle.

Paul stays home. 10 of 14. Get fucked, Michigan. You’re not special.

RockyMtnBlue: I haven’t seen it yet. Not sure I will. So we’ll be inundated by idiot Sparty trolls this week instead of idiot Michigan trolls. At least these don’t embarrass me. Silver linings.

ILLINUTGER | Oh no! We suck again! 20-14

Thumpasaurus: Well, for the 14th straight year, Illinois picked up their 6th loss of the regular season. Outside of yet another horrible playcall on a crucial 4th and short, I can’t complain about the gameplan. We actually dialed up some big plays on offense, but we weren’t able to consistently generate the same push that they got up front last week. Emotional hangover? Physical letdown from a long OT game vs a team coming off a bye? I don’t know, but the O line just didn’t have it today. the front of the defense had a lot of trouble with this zone read that Rutger kept spamming at us. We had basically the same plan as Rutger, they just did it better and beat us. And sure, as usual, we’re the worst team in the league and are almost certain to be that next year as well BUT! (1) it doesn’t feel like we’re as far from most of the B2G as we usually are (2) none of our players, or at least not our best players, seem to hate our new coaches so much that they become unplayable, so this is an improvement on our last two coaches!

Of course, I guess when I say I’m not that upset, I mean “I don’t feel completely and utterly hopeless, as though the mythical 7 win season can never happen with this coaching staff.” We’ve been right there in 5 of 6 big ten games, which is good but pissing away 3 of them with bizarre 4th and short decision making hurts. We’re still bad, but this game wasn’t enough to strip me of all hope that we’ll field a 7 win team in the future.

HWAHSQB: I’m not even mad. I really didn’t want to be 5-6 heading towards a sad Thanksgiving football weekend. We looked like we left a lot of energy and emotion back in (un)Happy Valley. We had three drive killing penalties on all three drives of the 3rd quarter, but only one of them was dumb. The other two were kind of fluky things that just happened. (To be clear, I’m not doing the Purdue fan thing with REFFFFFSSS!!! They were all the right call) We’re bad this year and will likely be worse next year when 6 of our top 7 OL are gone. At least we have the joy of pointing at PSU and Nebraska and laughing.

I continue to think Tony Petersen is bad at his job. On the last drive with a 225# and 242# back on the sideline, we ran our 185# back up the middle on 3rd and 2. He was stopped about a foot short of the 1st down. I think one of our other backs gets that extra foot. Then on 4th and a foot, we ran a naked toss to the outside with no blockers and got nailed for a 2 yard loss. Those were bad decisions and not just because it didn’t work. Prior to that 4th and 1, we’d run 6 QB sneaks that all gained at least a yard the last two weeks, but oh well.

On brighter notes, Illinois volleyball got in on the action of beating highly ranked PSU teams on the road today and in two exhibition basketball games, Kofi repeatedly pass out of triple teams to find open shooters, so that’s going to be a problem for you folks I think.

Minnesota at Northwestern | PJ Boatraces Wildcats, 41-14

MNWildcat: If Andrew Marty was ready to go, why was he not starting?

The issue with a coach who will (rightfully) never be fired, like Pat Fitzgerald, is that it insulates decision-making like this. Northwestern lost by a lot, but it may have lost by less had Fitz played his best quarterback right away. Instead, Ryan Hilinski started the game, was too statuesque, gave way to Marty (who scored a touchdown on his first pass), came back in, and then sat for Marty again when it was too late. Oh, and Fitzgerald hired Jim O’Neil, his old buddy from coaching at NU and STC Jeff Genyk’s old defensive coordinator at Eastern Michigan, who is a goddamn trainwreck where this team does not appear to know what it’s doing in pass rush, in gap-filling by LBs, in...really anything. But hey, it’s Fitz’s program and Pat Ryan’s paying for it, and that’s just how it’s gonna be.

Good on Andrew Marty for answering the bell, good on Evan Hull for running angry against a team that barely gave him the courtesy, and good on me for watching most of the game (I assume—I wrote this recap at 3:54pm). I deserve another beer.

LincolnParkWildcat: Northwestern was ran off the field by the Vile Gopher Menace….Fitz was being weird with his choice of quarterbacks again, playing Hillinski when he clearly should’ve just played Marty the entire time. At least Brandon Joseph had a great interception. This season is stupid.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Another Saturday with a Gophers win, another day of me being absolutely incensed with P.J. Fleck over his coaching in the Bowling Green game. Northwestern is not good, but that was an efficient smothering that started with Gopher fans frustrated over weird play calls leading to FGs and ended with walk-on LB Derik LeCaptain getting a 24-yard TD run to cap off a palindrome’ing of the cats. Tanner Morgan was a boring 12/17 for 134 yards and a rather impressive INT, but he did exactly what he needed to do passing the ball to keep the defense honest-ish and allowed the kids to run wild. Mar’Keise Irving and Ky Thomas decided to go 19/110/2 and 21/106 respectively and just pound the opponents into a fine mist. The defense was outstanding again and held Northwestern to just 241 yards and got the 1st scoop and score in 2 years. All in all it was a great day for your Gophers, who are now all alone on top of the B1G West. Have a blessed Sunday morning.

Purdue at Nebraska | Someone had to win, 28-23

BigRedTwice: If you read the game threads, you’ll see a whole bunch of pearl-clutching Purdue fans acting like they were going to lose this after Nebraska clearly folded in the second half. I understand they’ve been hurt before, but damn— everyone else watching that game could clearly see what was going to happen, as certainly as Hallmark begins airing Christmas movies in October or Fox News trots out a caravan scare story before an election.

My only complaint is that it was such a boring, pedestrian way to lose. Out heart isn’t even in losing anymore.

Jesse Collins: Hahahahahahahahaha.

That’s all I got. It’s Halloween weekend. Imma go find some sour patch kids and not let this absurdly lost program get me down.

DeadRead: There is not much new to say about the Frost era. There was so much hope, and so much bravado. There was so little progress, and there were so few wins.

BoilerUp89: Purdue won! And moves to 5-3 despite only having the following upperclassmen play on the offensive line today: 1 graduate transfer, 1 redshirt junior. The rest were sophomores and freshmen of the redshirt and non-redshirt variety. And Purdue ran for over 100 yards! When Purdue fans complain about the offensive line, look at who is playing on the O-line. That’s not a coaching and development failure (unless you want to blame the coaching staff for the injuries/medical retirements). Now Purdue is a win away from bowling. The question is will the CFP committee rank MSU #2 this week? I think they should. After all, they have a better win than Oklahoma does and Cincinnati is just a G5 team as every single ESPN commentator keeps reminding me. Bama, OSU, and Oregon all have losses. Rank Michigan State 2nd CFP committee or you are cowards.

Penn State at Ohio State | I’m a Penn State fan, suckers! 33-24

misdreavus79: It wasn’t a win, but it wasn’t the absolute demolition everyone expected. As has been the story all season long, and as is usually the case in sports, if a few plays go differently maybe I’m writing a different paragraph. But that wasn’t the case, and the Nittany Lions will hope to stop the bleeding against Maryland.

Also they stormed the field while chanting not our rivals. Ok then.

pkloa: Not quite enough to get the job done, but a hell of an effort by the Lions. One week after a horribly embarrassing loss, the fight shown by the team bodes well for the remainder of the season. Clifford was leagues better this week, putting the ball mostly on target for 360 yards. Tight Ends got involved early and often with some nice gains. The rushing attack ended with two TDs, one on a Jahan Dotson wildcat. The Defense, especially in the Red Zone, played well enough to keep Penn State in the game.

Franklin did not get outcoached, which is a marked improvement. I hope and pray Yurcich can develop a run game in the offseason. On to Maryland, where I’m looking to cheer on the team in person. Ryan Day looks like a vampire cosplayer drawn by Mike Judge.