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Sunday Morning Choking Down

Punching in amidst a maelstrom

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Pro-tip, kids: if you return to your native land for the first time in two years, do not—I repeat do not—get a new iPhone just because they’re 40% cheaper. Or if you do, remember to change over your 2-factor Authentication apps so you don’t lose access to everything in your life.

I’ll update this as we go, but there’s plenty to talk about already. So have at it in the comments while your beloved writer fixes his digital disaster of a life.

B1G Things:

  1. Life in Columbus without a running QB is looking bleak
  2. Any semblance of a defense would help.
  3. Iowa and Iowa State as top ten teams is a delightful indictment of the rankings system
  4. Getting a real 2014 vibe from this season so far.

The Rundown Special Edition: Opinions Devoid of Statistics and Analysis

(and totally not just a copy-paste of Slack comments)

(and defintely not coming to you live from the Delta Skyclub in Austin)

LPW: Oh man, the first quarter was so much fun. Bulldozing the Sycamores out of Ryan Field. Then our offense turned anemic and our defense locked down Indiana State. Eh. Oh well. We needed to get the sour taste of last week’s loss out of our mouths and taking care of business against a lower division team seems like just what the doctor ordered. Pat Fitzgerald also just passed Jim Tressel on the all-time big ten wins list.

Thumpasaurus: I can’t stress this enough. We suck big fat donkey dicks in all phases of the game except special teams. Blake was average today, so we lost by an enormous margin. Honestly, at this point I’ve seen enough to rule that this coaching staff will never go to a bowl game as presently assembled. But y’know. We’re Illinois Gotta make sure the pilot light is out. We’re going 2-10 at best. See you in 2026

MNW: Much like an Iowa fan confronted with the fact that people outside Iowa are allowed to judge them, I went into today determined to learn nothing, and that’s exactly what I did.A few of those quick, planned out routes from Hunter Johnson to his WRs looked good. Maybe that’s the optimism I’ll draw. Kuhbander made a long field goal. Brandon Joseph can also return punts, which seems cool.Duke seems similarly un-good, so next week in the heat of Durham should be a hoot.

Afterthought Komplicationski: Michigan State continued their thoroughly sustainable new practice of scoring on the first play from scrimmage, and from there did what they wanted on offense and rotated enough guys on defense to let Youngstown sustain a few drives. Eventually, meaning next week, they’re probably well advised to decide who their defensive stalwarts are, though there’s a few good indications - Xavier Henderson, Cal Haladay and Quavaris Crouch showed out, and the offense looks so vastly improved that it’s tough to keep opponent quality in perspective. Off to a Miami team that’s ideally too weary from Bama and App State to give their best effort next week.

BoilerUp89: Purdue got their first shutout in a decade (feels like yesterday as I was still a student) but learned very little. Up 35-0 at the half, the backups (and backups to the backups) played almost exclusively in the 2nd half. UConn is in fact as awful as everyone told me. Unfortunately for a team without an offensive line, Purdue lost large cannonball of a man RB Horvath to an injury and he was spotted in a boot later in the game. Next up: a sluggish Notre Dame team. The non-OTE contingent of the Purdue fanbase will begin to dream after seeing the score of the ND-Toledo game (but not actually watching the game because of Peacock) and that’s a terrible idea. This Purdue team seems competent but I’ve yet to see evidence that they can pull a big upset.

Dead_Read: Nebraska defeated a FBS school 28-3, their second straight blowout victory. What if I told you that Nebby is not close to being a fully functional football team three games into the season? That they have had a punt return calamity in every game they have played? That they missed three field goals yesterday? That Nebby had three touchdowns called back? That the quarterback is bearing too much of a burden in the running game? What would you say? You would say you have seen this movie before, and you would be correct. The coming game against Oklahoma will be a litmus test. If Big Red can both keep it close and keep its composure, this team might have some potential. We shall see.

BoilerUp89: I’ve seen no evidence that ohio state is better than Illinois this year thump. Both have one win over a conference opponent and have lost all their games to noncon teams. Therefore I have no choice but to rank ohio state 14th.

misdreavus79: Ball State was a trendy “trap game” pick leading up to the game, and for good reason: The Cardinals won the MAC last season, went 7-1 on the year, and were on an 8-game winning streak coming into Saturday. At the very worst, most pundits believed Ball State could make it a game for a half, with Penn State pulling away in the second half.That did not happen. Instead, Sean Clifford went 21-29 with a touchdown in the air and on the ground, and, for the second straight game, had zero turnovers. Penn State didn’t need to open up the playbook much, since, as it turned out, the game was well out or reach midway into the second quarter.Maybe the Wisconsin defense was that good after all. We’ll see next week.

87Townie: Game two we learned a little bit more about Penn State. The played dominant defense again, holding Balls Tate to just 69 yards (nice) rushing and 226 yards passing. They forced two turnovers, including a pick six by Big Man Jesse Luketa.

On offense, things looked better. The running backs got rolling and racked up 240 yards on the ground. Ironically, the longest run from scrimmage (43 yards) came from the QB Sean Clifford. The rest of the yardage came in chunks under 12 yards.

We saw four of the five running backs play: Noah Cain (20 carries for 69 yards), Keyvone Lee (8 carries for 68 yards), Devyn Ford (6 carries for 32 yards) and Caziah Holmes (1 carry for 3 yards).

But I’m left wondering, where is Baylor Transfer John Lovett? He’s a guy who got lots of praise in the pre-season. He racked up 655 yards on 103 carries in 2019…why didn’t he get a touch?

The passing/receiving side of things looked much better. Ten players caught balls for a total of 253 yards and two touchdowns. Jahan Dotson had 5 catches for 65 yards and a TD. Parker Washington is quickly becoming a star in his own right. He had 6 catches for 57 yards. He’s clutch.

Cliff did well. He was 21 of 29 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 66 yards and a touchdown. He still isn’t as crisp as I’d like. He still looks confused at times. But he has a lot of talent around him. He just needs to settle down, work his progressions and throw with good fundamentals (I want to hit him with a stick every time he throws off his back foot).

On defense, we played a stout game. However, we didn’t get to the quarterback enough. Just one sack and six tackles for loss. That’s not enough against a team like Balls Tate.

One good thing is seeing linebacker Brandon Smith leading the team in tackles and solo tackles. In the recent past, it was a safety topping that list. And we gave up far too many yards.

Bring on Auburn.

BRT: Nebraska won, and that was nice and even a little unexpected! I am pleased with the outcome. However, lest I be accused of harboring delusions of greatness about this team, please rest assured that I noticed the sloppiness that continues to plague this team. Two (or three?) touchdowns were called back for penalties (though one was admittedly very ticky-tacky), they missed ALL THREE field goals, and for the third straight week they pioneered new ways to fck up a return. As of now, this team does not have the tools needed to make a lot of noise in the Big Ten, and will almost certainly be bludgeoned by Oklahoma next week. Given that, I am choosing to be happy with this result, as it may be the last time I’m happy with a Husker result for possibly the rest of the season. I am pleased that they’ve got it together to beat two (unimpressive) opponents soundly for two weeks in a row - after that disastrous start against Illinois, that wasn’t a given. So yay, Huskers.

Kind of...(Chris): Whatever the CFB equivalent of hippie punching is, you can count on Wisconsin to deliver it against overmatched non-conference competition. Through three quarters UW had a 303-2 edge in rushing yards and a 20-1 first down advantage, and it didn’t matter because Graham Mertz’s 13-15-131 line featured a succession of eight yard outs that tell you nothing about his ability to avoid shitting himself against Notre Dame.

Then again, all the second guessers calling for Chase Wolf to replace Mertz got to see him throw a 99 yard pick six, so looks like Mertz is in no danger of being replaced. The defense is ferocious, as long as they aren’t stretched. While the Irish may not have Jahan Dotson, Brian Kelly isn’t losing sleep just because the Badgers rolled over EMU. Bye week upcoming. In two weeks the narrative will solidify one way or the other.

Thump: Oh cool, Sam Pittman beat the living piss out of Texas. That’s the guy that left Bret Bielema halfway through his tenure at arkansas because Bert was a real asshole to him, right? Awesome. Cool. Fuck yeah. The Matt Campbell to our Tim Beckman.

BuffKomodo: Look, I’m not gonna pretend we were going to find out much about Indiana this week. They were covering a 32 point spread late in the first half, so competition wasn’t intense. I did see a more confident Penix. I saw some shots called on offense early too. I saw a more relaxed and loose team. Saw lots to like and enjoy, even if we don’t know what it means.That o-line was still a problem at points though. I think that Carr is a very very good back and if you can just get him a small hole ,he’ll make a play. But at times they couldn’t do that against Idaho. Kinda terrifying.The playcalling was…more aggressive. I’ll give Sheridan that. Going for it on multiple 4th downs is an aggression I can get behind, especially on sustained drives. Overall, not bad. But again…Idaho.Look, a lot of teams have had a bad week this season already. Iowa, as it turns out, is actually even better than the very good team we thought they were. There’s a ton of season left and we have a very good litmus test next week in UC. Indiana has 1 notch in the win column, and that’s worth celebrating. On to next week, keep the improvements coming.Also, someone move those fucking sponsorship boards in the end zone further away from the field of play. Good god.

Stewmonkey: Iowa’s defense just smothered a top ten opponent and bitter instate rival to put the Hawkeyes at 2-0. Forcing 3 interceptions and a scoop and score fumble this defense is a very special unit and one of the top of the Ferentz era, which is a very high bar to clear. Following Riley Moss’s two interception performance against Indiana, Matt Hankins got a pair against the much hyped Brock Purdy. The linebackers played clean, made every tackle and got the other two turnovers. The DL harassed All-American Breece Hall into 3 yards per carry. This defense is good.

The offense….? Well, they protect the ball, I guess. Tyler Goodson is good enough to make the running game not seem that pathetic. Petras made some professional level throws in between over throwing receivers.

And Special Teams? Well, you all know Blake Hayes is good, but have you heard the good news of Tory Taylor our punt lord and savior? He is possibly the best punter Iowa’s has since the GOAT, Reggie Roby.

It’s a goddamn Hawkeye State.

RMB: Such a weird game. Michigan had two different running backs with over 150yd, and totaled 343 yards on the ground. On the other hand McNamara had all of 44 yards passing on 15 attempts, 33 of it on one play. How do you win a game by 21 with 2.9 yds/attempt?The defense looked terrific early, and then Washington figured out this is the same secondary Michigan had last year. Dylan Morris threw for 293, almost all of it in the last 20 minutes of the game when offensive coordinator John Donovan stopped being a complete moron.This game would make me feel a bit better about this season if we had any indication at all that Michigan will be able to throw downfield without Ronnie Bell. I’ll take the win, but my pessimism remains.

Creighton: I don’t have anything to add that Stew didn’t already say, other than eat shit, cyclones. Have fun playing in the new AAC. Can’t wait for the ACC-B1G-Pac12 cartel to take up all our non-con games so we don’t have to ruin our strength of schedule by playing you every year

Ben Dawson: We won. Jesus Christ what an absolute disaster of a 2nd half. After going up 21-3 and forcing a punt, the Gophers offense stalled out on the Redhawks 40 with just under 2 minutes and at least 2 timeouts. We punted. That was the last time the offense appeared for the day. We got the kick in to start the 2nd half and proceeded to gain a positively Iowegian 10 yards in the quarter on 3 full possessions. The game was fully in “uncomfortably in control” mode as Miami never had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but that was still ridiculous. And my thoughts that it was going to be an open audition for the RBs? Everyone got a shot as long as their name was Trey Potts. Fine and good, I guess. Whatever. We won. Yay go us.

pkloa: The Lions thoroughly handled a good(?) MAC team, as everyone here would have hoped. Pry’s defense could be championship caliber, and I have no complaints about the offense. Cain and Lee led the Lawnboyz to a fine bounceback game, Dotson and Washington flashed brilliance in receiving. Clifford didn’t make any huge mistakes, which is good enough. The defense held the Cardinals to 13 total yards in the third quarter, and only 150 yards through the first three quarters combined.Looking ahead to next week, Auburn comes up for the White Out game. ESPN Gameday will be in town, so I’m going to try to see Lee Corso don the headgear one more time. Will there be a SMCD sign? I don’t actually know.

man, the first quarter was so much fun. Bulldozing the Sycamores out of Ryan Field. Then our offense turned anemic and our defense locked down Indiana State. Eh. Oh well. We needed to get the sour taste of last week’s loss out of our mouths and taking care of business against a lower division team seems like just what the doctor ordered. Pat Fitzgerald also just passed Jim Tressel on the all-time big ten wins list.

GF3: That was the most pathetic display I’ve seen from OSU since Purdue. Absolutely pathetic. Nearly 500 yards passing and 28 goddam points. Zero defense. Against the Pac-12 who will fail to get a Playoff bid again this year because the conference is a joke. Disgusting effort, Buckeyes.