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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 11

An all-too-familiar storyline is forming...

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 13 Michigan at Penn State Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ten B1G Things

  1. Congrats to Jim Harbaugh on improving to 3-9 in ranked road matchups
  2. I haven’t seen a QB as banged up as Clifford since Y.A. Tittle had his photo op
  3. Thank you, Denzel Burke, for keeping things interesting for OSU vs. Purdue by blowing nearly every coverage assignment you had all night long
  4. In retrospect, while the fumbles were bad and the defense was porous, Purdue letting OSU recover their own kickoff might have been the moment it was over
  5. Expect some real estate to come available on milk cartons at the Hy-Vee, as Iowa’s missing offense has been found safe and mostly sound in Iowa City
  6. Minnesota outgained Iowa by 50% in loss, which is impressive even for the West
  7. Michigan State gets 50% SEC credit for playing Maryland this week as a rest before OSU
  8. Tagovailoa continues his amazing streak of turning massive passing yardage into middling scoreboard results
  9. Who gets to blow eligibility first: Maryland or Rutgers?
  10. What can you say about Northwestern that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan?
  11. Wisconsin will win the West for no other reason than it’s an odd-number year and the writers of the simulation are lazy and short-staffed
  12. Northwestern will finish this pitiful season with 4 wins and somehow win the West next year, because see above
  13. I bet Crimson Quarry, the leading anti-Rutgers-in-the-B1G website on SBN, is a spicy today
  14. By the power vested in me by Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, I do hereby rename the city of Bloomington as New New Brunswick, for the curse of Rutgers has been passed

The Rundown

Michigan at Penn State | Holy momentum swings, Batman! 24-17

RockyMountainBlue: I predicted Clifford would be let off the leash and it would cause problems for Michigan. It did. Penn State completely dominated Michigan in the first quarter, running 33 plays to Michigan’s 6, and out-gaining Michigan 145-15. But Clifford took an absolute beating in this game and as it went on his running became more scarce, and then disappeared entirely. Overall this was a very even matchup (yards: 361-332. First downs: 21-20. Turnovers: 1-1). In short, it was exactly the kind of game I expect Jim Harbaugh to lose. And when Michigan gave up three 4th down conversions on a single scoring drive to allow Penn State to tie the game, and subsequently fumbled it right back inside their own 20, everything was going to script.

But then a weird thing happened. Michigan’s defense didn’t give up another first down, and the offense didn’t give the ball up again short of scoring a TD. PSU kicked the FG to take the lead, but then Michigan ran off their own 6-play, 75 yard scoring drive to take the lead back (47 of them coming on a catch and run by TE Erick All). The Nits turned it over on downs in four plays and Michigan held the ball to the end. Commenter 91bigten said it best: ”No bigger rivalry than Jim Harbaugh and 4th Quarters.” We all know how Jim does against rivalries. Today was a pleasant departure.

87Townie: You have no idea how difficult it is to say that Penn State can’t run the football and struggles to tackle. I mean, if we can’t do that, who the hell are we? Oh yeah...We Are Mediocre. I’m disappointed that we let another overrated, utterly beatable team sneak out with a win. And in this case, I put little of the blame on the coaching staff. You will read other writers (at some homer blogs) bang the drum about who we threw the ball to at the end of the game. But the fact is, Penn State wins if the kids execute. There were way too many dropped balls, missed blocks, and arm tackles in this game. If you can’t execute, you can’t be great. And today, they weren’t even good. Winnable game got away. And the last two games are up in the air, too. And P.S. GoForThree - never root for my team again.

misdreavus79: It’s easy to focus on the fake field goal as the reason Penn State lost, and, realistically speaking, if they score they very well could have won. But, in a game where Penn State actually went for over 100 yards rushing, all the line had to do was give Sean Clifford a few more seconds to keep drives alive. That, in my mind, was the difference. Clifford, when not running for his life, had to get rid of the ball well before he wanted to, leaving a lot of potential big plays on the table. That ultimately led to settling for field goals when Michigan was scoring touchdowns.All that said, the Lions still had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter, and, the one time Michigan was able to get a big play, was the one time it mattered most. Onto Rutgers!

Purdue at Ohio State | I’ll have two offenses, hold the defense...59-31

No Purdue writers could be reached for comment, so allow your fearless and beloved OSU “writer” to pontificate. The offense looked insane, almost as though they weren’t playing the same sport. OSU’s defense again looked mortal, thanks to blown pass coverages and surprisingly little pressure on Aidan O’Connell—a QB who, given time to work, can pick apart even a great secondary (which OSU does not have). Denzel Burke is a top recruit who made it on the field early thanks to his talent, but a great receiver like David Bell can quickly expose his weaknesses—and did so to great effect. I’m sure Bell wants that dropped TD back that would’ve made it 59-38.

Minnesota at Iowa | Slugfest featuring actual slugs, 27-22

Creighton: I don’t know, man. Padilla is quite obviously the best QB for this offense. His decision making, composure, and accuracy are all better, but what stuck out the most was his ability to roll out and buy an extra 3-4 seconds or more with his feet where Petras would either take a sack or throw the ball away. When you’ve got a terrible offensive line that makes all the difference.Having said that: Petras was not the only problem. I’m not going to keep saying the same thing every week, but Ferentz deciding to run futile QB sneaks and then kicking a field goal from inside Minny’s 5 to waste all their timeouts instead of trying to score a TD and end the game right then and there tells you all you need to know.Anyway, Tanner Morgan is pretty bad when he doesn’t have NFL talent at all his wide receiver positions, so thank god for that. Oh, and Floyd is staying in Iowa City for a 7th year. I guess I should feel good about that. (edited)

StewMonkey: Iowa was out gained 409-277 in total yards, outrushed 189-77, lost the turnover battle 1-0, and lost time of possession by just over a 2:1 ratio. Iowa also won Floyd of Rosedale for the 7th straight year. The two biggest differences were in special teams and redzone efficiency. Iowa was able to convert a redzone trip to a touchdown over more time than Minnesota, while also making all their FGs to Minnesota having one blocked, and by out punting Minnesota by about 10 yards per punt.

For those disappointed that Kirk will take the wrong lesson on this, I’ll note that he’s not really capable of learning lessons, and I’ll just be happy for the win right now.OINK, OINK, MOTHERFUCKERS!

WSR: What a fucking joke. Jesus. We’ve now pissed ourselves against 3 absolutely crap teams this season by giving up dumb plays and not being consistent at all.

Tanner Morgan isn’t a bad QB. His numbers for the season are the best of any Gopher QB going back to 2000 not named Tanner Morgan. That’s more of an indictment of Gopher Football during my life. But also, Tanner Morgan just isn’t a good fit for this offense. 2019’s RPO-dependent style was perfect for him, and making him be a dropback QB just ain’t it.

Northwestern at Wisconsin | Same old story, 35-7

MNWildcat: During the Rutgers game I laughed a great deal at the Knights — not only how they would start a drive, only to derail it with stupid decisions, but how Greg Schiano acted the fool on the sidelines and took dumb penalties.Today Northwestern played the Rutgers role to a T.On the first play, Peter McIntyre was in coverage on a simple checkdown pass. The badger caught the pass and just ran right by him — it looked like a 6A school playing a 9-man linebacker. It was a sign of things to come: wisconsin just steamrolled a Northwestern defense that arm-tackled its way to another abysmal performance against a bigger, stronger team.This ineptitude is nowhere more pronounced than on offense. After a first offensive drive took 7 minutes and went 90+ yards, ending in a maddeningly bad Andrew Marty INT (he knows one receiver to throw to and stares him riiiiight down), Northwestern sputtered the rest of the day, as wisconsin racked up TFLs and Marty ran for his life. The second drive ended in a shanked Derek Adams punt, as indicative as the rest: when this inept offense fails, special teams cannot make field goals or hit good punts with any consistency.And at least, in the past, I could count on coaches to adjust from week to week. Instead, today, Pat Fitzgerald played the role of a camo-bedecked Greg Schiano, For The Troops. Less red-faced screaming, but a sideline that took penalties, a defensive coordinator who appears to have no idea how to adjust to on-field performance, and a general malaise about the program. It feels unbelievable that this program was reliant on a 70-year old man, and yet that appears to be where we are. This is a JV team.You can all watch Northwestern lose to Purdue by 30 at Wrigley next week. I might drive to San Antonio and watch the UAB-UTSA game. (edited)

LPW: OK cool we had a 19-play first drive where we ate lot of o’clock and we went all the way down to the end zone and then we threw an interception. Shit. Well then it was all downhill from there. I saw on TV that Pat Fitzgerald said that this was the youngest squad he has had in 10 years and that he has not done this with coaching in quite some time with these young kids. Meh. Pass the fucking booze mean my God I am literally saying the same goddamn thing every week. I think it’s quite telling that MNW and I are writing these recaps while the game is going on. What is the name of Otto Graham is going on around here?! I’m not going to Wrigley Field next week.

Maryland at Michigan State | Sparty spanks New Rutgers, 40-21

Thanksgiving at the Tagovailoa table has to be just uncomfortable as hell. Sparty’s offense looked good, their defense looked okay, and their uniforms looked absolutely shit.

Rutgers at Indiana | L-O-fucking-L, 38-3

BuffKomodo: Buffkomodo could not be reached for comment. When called, all that was heard were a few swears and indistinguishable yelling