Week 2 is a surprisingly difficult week to pick for POTW. Traditionally (don’t research this plz), it is a week full of really mediocre and/or terrible opponents for Big Ten teams with only a couple good games sprinkled in. It’s hard to know what to do with the stats that get piled up in those games: whether to weight them less or treat them equally, whether to require “more” against an FCS opponent for recognition, or whether to count them at all! Given that this is my column, I had to make a decision: stats against FCS teams would not be eligible for POTW considerations. Sorry Indiana, Maryland, Northwestern, Michigan State, Purdue, and Iowa, your players aren’t eligible for awards this week. Okay okay, technically, because they’re actually FBS, we’ll count stats accumulated against the decaying husk of UConn football.
Even after we kick out allllll those teams for playing FCS or FCS-level squads, the Big Ten still featured three games against MAC teams and two games against what are, historically (don’t research this plz), the two worst teams in the ACC. Sure, sometimes there’s a good MAC team that upsets 1-3 Big Ten teams in a row, and sometimes Syracuse isn’t terrible, and sometimes UVA accidentally stumbles across a win, but what a letdown after a week of semi-conference play to open the season!
Obviously the answer is clear: 12-game Big Ten schedule. Or, shoot, play a straight round robin with a tie breaker based on point differential, and a second tie breaker based on offensive points scored. Winner gets the CFP slot or Rose Bowl slot or whatever. Plus, if every week is all conference games, I only have to look through half the box scores to research for this column. I can’t see any flaws with this concept.
(for real, though, I didn’t throw out any of the stats from any of the games. calm down and keep reading)
OTE’s Player of the Week: Week 2
Blake Corum - Running Back - Michigan Wolverines
21 carries, 171 yards, 3 touchdowns (8.2 ypc - we round up generously here)
I know you all hate to see it, but that’s over eight yards per carry and three scores against an actual P5 FBS team, and one that’s been much more good than bad recently! I did not see a single snap of this game, because why would I, but those numbers don’t like. Plus, Corum’s team won! None of us have any idea whether Michigan is good, Washington is bad, Corum is the lead back, Michigan will ever pass again, etc but we all know he was unstoppable Saturday. Shoot, folks, those are Jonathan Taylor numbers!
There might be other competition for this spot, sure. Among Big Ten RBs, Chez Mellusi (Wisconsin Badgers), Jordan Simmons (Michigan State Spartans), Evan Hull (Northwestern Wildcats), and Treyson Potts (Minnesota Golden Gophers) all had good days! Potts ran for seven more yards than Corum, but took thirteen more carries to do so. Hull and Mellusi had similar numbers of carries, but tallied 50 and 30 fewer yards, respectively. Simmons was nowhere close on the stat line. None of the other running backs come close to Corum’s day.
Sure, you could pick any number of Ohio State Buckeyes players, whether you like CJ Stroud throwing for 484 yards (albeit on approximately 300 attempts) or one of OSU’s three different receivers who went over 100 yards, but they lost. And nobody wants to have OSU “win” anything, be it a dumb weekly OTE award or a marquee home game against a decent-to-good Power 5 opponent.
And I know Iowa Hawkeye fans won’t stop talking about Tory Taylor, but come on. First, FCS opponent. Second, despite what we here at OTE say, punting isn’t winning. Taylor covered up for the horrific, giant dump of an offense that Iowa is running this year, sure, but Adam Korsak (Rutgers Scarlet Knights) put up a better per-punt average, an equally long longest punt, and an equal number of punts landing inside the 20 yard line (5). Plus, this conference has watched Hayes and Korsak demolish punts for years, with nary a POTW between them. What on EARTH makes you think Taylor would win this week?
It’s gotta be Corum. If you wanna be mad out of it, fine, but try not to take it out on either of the Michigan fans we have here. A new era is dawning on OTE, and it’s the era of “treat Michigan fairly/well so I get extra clicks on POTW articles.” And don’t worry, if Michigan is going to act like Wisconsin but throwing even less, Michigan and Corum we’ll get what’s coming to them several times this season. For now, just enjoy Jonathan Taylor reborn*
*Smart readers will note that last week I talked up MSU’s top notch running back, only to have him do basically nothing this past weekend. If there’s a Beez Curse in the making, let’s hope I find out sooner rather than later.
Jesse Luketa - Linebacker - Penn State Nittany Lions
4 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 16-yard INT return TD
Luketa didn’t jam the box score full of impressive stats like “sacks” and “passes defended” and “tackles,” but he had a pick-6! There’s really not much else that needs to be done to get some OTE POTW column love, but Luketa was generous enough to provide it in the form of a “one-handed” interception. The reason that’s in quotes is because he used two hands. Get it together, whatever PFF College is.
Here’s another angle where you can really see just how hard the closing DB committed pass interference (obviously, assuming Luketa doesn’t get his hand on the ball):
Pick sixes against very overmatched opponents when the game is already wrapped up are some of my favorites. It feels like they’re a hallmark of really good Big Ten defenses against overmatched MAC or FCS offenses, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of them.If it weren’t for the pick-6, who else had the best Week “2” defensive performance? Sorry to do this again, y’all, but it was Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan Wolverines). He had 2.5 sacks and another hurry, again against a P5 opponent with, presumably, a higher tier of offensive lineman than most other Big Ten opponents.
Indiana Hoosiers Special Teams, just in general
81-yard punt return touchdown
D.J. Matthews, Jr. returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown. Jacolby Hewitt returned a kickoff 72 yards for somehow not a touchdown. Javon Swinton returned a blocked punt three yards for a touchdown. Somebody on Indiana blocked a different punt that was not returned for a touchdown. Top to bottom, just a special team ass kicking by the Hoosiers. Sure it was against the Idaho Vandals, but if you do four things on special teams like that, I don’t care if you’re playing Idaho, Idaho State, Indiana State, Blue Mountain State, or MTV’s The State—you’re worthy of recognition.
Beez’z thing he liked seeing this week
I did manage to watch some football this weekend! I saw most of the Ohio State game, sorta, a little of the Iowas, half of the Wisconsin game, and about 2⁄3 of the App State game.
Jalen Virgil returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown for App State against Miami in extremely rapid fashion, complete with what I guess is like a stutter step? Or whatever that thing he did that froze the sole remaining tackler is called
There was a play very early on in the Iowas game where Iowa’s not good QB through a short little pass to what I think was a running back, but could have been a fullback or a small tight end, and he just absolutely juked the crap out of the Iowa State Cyclones defender for like a six-yard gain. Of course I can’t find a clip of it, because nobody clips dink and dunk plays, but trust me it was great and I liked it.
Last, we come to a clip wherein a Wisconsin offensive lineman, Logan Bruss, commits a post-play unnecessary roughness.
Hell yea Logan Bruss.— Ben Kenney (@benzkenney) September 12, 2021
(By the way Rush walked from at least 5 yards away from the play to stomp on Allen.)
Get the hell out of here with that. pic.twitter.com/KJjxXTfwBb
Eastern Michigan has a dirty-as-hell lineman who spent most of the getting-your-ass-kicked portion of the game being a shitbag. Spitting in player’s faces, apparently trying to gouge Graham Mertz’z eyes through his facemask, and doing the above-posted, Suh-style player stomp. Hell yeah to Bruss for shoving his ass to the ground.
Finally, we arrive at the new Best Reaction We’ve Had To An Article. Last week, stewmonkey13 posted his take on The Wave this year, finding it hypocritical to accept the platitudes and back pats and such that come with The Wave while accepting precisely zero COVID precautions as a school or as a state. That article was met with some FIERCE resistance from several Iowa fans who really need to find something else to complain about—like, for example, the equal parts respect and utter disrespect they’re hearing after hilariously moving up to a top 5 ranking.
Or you can do what this dude did, and start a petition. Here’s a screenshot of the petition:
The impetus for this petition, apparently, is that our Iowa friend, Creighton (the person not the school in...I wanna say Nebraska?) made fun of the petition guy for not stopping whining about stew’s article. You can find the petition here! Sign up if you want, or don’t, but fingers crossed Creighton gets fired from OTE, whatever that means.
What Should Happen Following The Wave-Gate
Fire Creighton and Stew
Fire all the Iowa writers
Rank Iowa in the mid-20s, where they belong, as punishment