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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 12

The losses that almost were

NCAA Football: Illinois at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. No team has done a more convincing Jekyll/Hyde bit than Illinois this season
  2. J.J. McCarthy looked as journeyman as ever against the Illini defense, meaning he will somehow look like the Heisman front-runner next week
  3. Dallan Hayden has entered the realm of Zeke Elliott, becoming the first OSU freshman to score 3 TDs in a quarter since Zeke did it in 2015
  4. Taulia Tagovailoa couldn’t have imagined the two final plays going any worse
  5. Playing the Fresh Prince theme song over the PA as OSU marched down the field was a curious aesthetic choice even for Maryland
  6. James Franklin nabs his 100th career victory over Rutgers. Peoetic.
  7. PSU scored on offense, defense, and special teams for the first time since 2017.
  8. Graham Mertz was the hero Wisconsin needed on a day where his team battled not only the Husker defense but the loss of their friend and former teammate in Virginia
  9. Huskers upgraded to...QB3(?) this week?
  10. This makes the 999th cut Northwestern has endured this year...almost done, boys
  11. Said it before and I’ll say it again...Michigan broke MSU...the fight is gone
  12. Mo Ibrahim ran for 263 yards. That’s 200 yards and another 60 and 3 more for good measure. Minnesota scored 10 points.
  13. Iowa is just a messy bitch making messes
  14. USC and UCLA delivered an amazing Pac-12 after dark experience, which was great for everyone except the Pac-12 commissioner

The Rundown

Illinois at Michigan | Michigan snatches victory from Bert’s many-chinned maw, 19-17

Brian Gillis: It wasn’t Michigan’s best game. Not by a long shot. But give Illinois credit. The Illini are tough, especially in the trenches. Chase Brown is a great back. Better in person than on television. And in the second half, he and the Illini offensive line really got rolling. But down the stretch, Michigan did just enough to turn things around. Fourth down stops on defense. Fourth down conversions on offense. And in the end, Michigan was bailed out by the reigning Groza award winner and the best kicker in program history, Jake Moody. “The offense’s best friend,” quarterback JJ McCarthy said of Moody earlier this season, and “Money” Moody was certainly that Saturday.

For Illinois, a west title that seemed all but wrapped up three weeks ago, now appears to be out of reach. For Michigan, it’s on to the Columbus for the game of the year.

RMB: We thought this wasn’t going to be a game because one of these teams was missing its star running back. Then it was very much a game, in part because one of these teams was missing it’s star running back (well, for a half). Remember me bitching about Michigan linebackers getting lost earlier this season? I’m afraid we found our way back to that. Michigan pulled it out anyway, winning the 4th quarter 9-0.So now the hype machine for The Game next week will be turned up to 11. The talking heads can shut their traps. That game isn’t going to be close. This isn’t last year’s OSU team. On offense, you beat this team OSU team through the air. Michigan couldn’t beat an egg through the air. On defense you beat this OSU team with pass rush. Michigan thinks Rush is something you air-drum to. 11-2 (with a patented Michigan Rose Bowl loss) is still a pretty damned good year and a lot better than I expected.

Thumpasaurus: Chase Brown is better than two Blakes Corum. Barry Lunney refuses to unleash Tommy DeVito and was too scared to call the plays he needed to win the game, thus putting it all on the defense. The defense played phenomenally, but on a crucial 4th down the Michigan tight end was straight up run blocking on the perimeter for a pass to the edge. Jake Moody is one of the best college kickers I’ve ever seen, and when given the opportunity he converted. I’m gonna get a lot of pats on the back an attaboys at work for my plucky little team fighting against a Real Important Team. I’m gonna be looking for new work soon. JJ McCarthy kept throwing at Devon Witherspoon like an idiot. I guess he’s no Bo Schembechler Michigan Man, because he never looked the other way. Jim Harbaugh can adopt these nuts, and I hope Michigan voting down Prop 3 prompts him to resign to coach in a league in Qatar or something. Proud of the effort, gutted that their record won’t reflect how well they played

Ohio State at Maryland | A pyrrhic victory in the artist formerly known as Byrd Stadium, 42-30

GF3: If Maryland getting a free point off a blocked PAT they returned, which was only attempted after the two-point try was scuttled by a delay of game penalty, isn’t the dumbest moment of the season then I look forward whatever can top it.

MaximumSam: Coaches rarely say what we, the fans, are yelling at our televisions during games. But when Ryan Day said something along the lines that our running backs (TreVeyon Henderson) wasn’t hitting the holes, it was like mana from heaven. Wee Freshman Dallan Hayden came in and rushed for nearly 150 yards, and the Buckeyes needed everyone of them. Props to Maryland, they came to play and Taulia was dealing. A really fabulous and fun 11th game. Bring on the Wolverines.

Larry31: So, Maryland just went toe-to-toe with the Death Star. Maryland took a 17-13 lead into the half and Ohio State was up 33-30 with about a minute to go. This same Maryland team scored only 1 touchdown the previous two weeks against Wisconsin and Penn State. And this lone touchdown was during garbage time when Wisconsin already had the game in hand. Where was this team that played inspired ball against Ohio State the two previous weeks? Granted, Ohio State was looking ahead to Michigan, but still, Maryland looked like the good Maryland that hung with Michigan as opposed to the bad Maryland that played the last 4 games - barely beating Indiana and Northwestern, not being competitive against Wisconsin and getting blanked 31-0 against Penn State.If they take care of business next week against rutger, Maryland will be 7-5 and still king of the dipshits.

I suppose not getting mollywhopped by two of the three big brothers of the B1G East is progress. Whatever.

At least Maryland Women’s volleyball pulled the upset against Ohio State. Here’s some more good news, and it’s not even lacrosse season!!! Maryland made a supposedly good St. Louis team look like cupcake fodder. Got out to a 10-2 lead, was leading 53-27 at half time and then cruised to a 95-67 win. Just like the cupcakes, St. Louis could not handle Maryland’s aggressive, high-energy pressure and trapping defense. Maryland has Tennessee and UCLA coming up in the next two weeks. We’ll find out very shortly if this defense will work top-10 teams.

Penn State at Rutgers | We’ve all seen this movie, 55-10

misdreavus79: Penn State sweat a little early, but its superior talent took over in the second quarter, and a 7-10 game turned into what eventually was the 55-10 drubbing most expected. Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen are fun to watch, and Drew Allar is getting a ton of time for a backup. That’s about as much as you can take away from this game.

87townie: It was Buttgers.

Wisconsin at Nebraska | Sneaking out a win, 15-14

Kind of...(Chris): It’s been a long time since I was in middle school, and I can’t verify this, so I must be getting some of the details wrong...but I recall reading a short story for class. I thought it was by James Thurber, but cannot verify that so it’s probably not correct. Anyway, it’s about a boxing promoter who thinks all you need are two closer matched boxers to make money. So he sets up a bout between two palookas (I remember that word pretty clearly...why I thought it might be Thurber...definitely 1950s or earlier). And...the bout is basically a farce; just two, well, palookas grabbing and clinching and putting on a boring, terrible show. You can guess the moral of the story, I’m sure.Anyway, Wisconsin beat Nebraska 15-14. Graham Mertz went 8-18 for 83 yards.

BigRedTwice: The Huskers led for all but 25 seconds of the game. They still lost. This team is absolutely incapable of closing a game. Allergic to it. Something very weird and very hard to shake has taken up residence in Nebraska’s locker room. It’s one thing to get your shit kicked in all the time... it’s another to consistently get so close and then just toss it away. I’ve never seen anything like it.Really glad I froze my extremities off for this. (edited)

Northwestern at Purdue | Purdue makes a bad season worse, 17-9

BoilerUp89: I hate you PJ. Go Cornhuskers. Purdue’s game was cold but a win was nice.

MNW: Northwestern played its fourth-string quarterback, a sophomore walk-on, on a blustery day at Purdue. Things went about as well as you would expect. A shout-out, though, to DB Cam Mitchell, who kept Charlie Jones in check all day.One more of these to go. (edited)

lincolnparkwildcat: Well shit. What’s one more loss? At least we played heartily.

Indiana at Michigan State | Tom Allen wins a bucket of spit, 39-31

Anti Kurrentkoachski: Mel Tucker’s a shitty coach. That’s the only meaningful conclusion from this game, in which MSU outplayed Indiana down to down for the entirety of regulation and still squandered a 17-point halftime lead despite Indiana completing ONE PASS in four quarters.

Mel Tucker’s a shitty coach because his kickoff unit set up Indiana at midfield to start the game (that turned into a touchdown), and then later gave up a defibrillating kick return touchdown when they were about to put Indiana away. He’s a shitty coach because, with the worst kicking game in the damn country, he played for a field goal attempt in a tie game late, with predictable results, and then let the same shitty kicker try again in overtime, with the same results.

Maybe this still works long term. But MSU was so much better than Indiana today, and these coaches found a way to give it away nonetheless. I cannot imagine a scenario where he amasses so much talent that this kind of mismanagement doesn’t consistently sink them. If they can look like that against 2022 Indiana, what’s the scenario where they find a way to win this conference?

So now MSU falls to a deserved 5-6. They won’t stand much of a chance against Penn State next week, and maybe missing a bowl will prompt the people who have media access to push for real answers on what the hell went wrong here and what the actual plan is to fix it, but I doubt that. Because there probably isn’t a plan.

BuffKomodo: Tempering expectations, I’m extremely happy to see this result. Doesn’t excuse the last 7 games and it’s not some job saving win, but seeing Indiana fight back and win a conference game is certainly a welcomed result.

Things of note that are weird. Dexter Williams was 2/7 for 31 yards through the air. Jaylin Lucas had a special teams touchdown. Indiana rushed for 257 yards in the box score.

This team has a lot of flaws. Glaring flaws everywhere from skill positions to line to coaching, but last years team packed it in once bowl contention was lost. This years team managed to scrape out a win. Back to back wins in trophy games would go a long way to calming the fan base nerves. Nice to see the Spittoon in Bloomington again.

Iowa at Minnesota | Iowa’s bowl fate moves one week later in December, 13-10

stewmonkey13: What’s important here, the most important, is that Floyd of Rosedale, the best fuckin’ trophy in the sport, stays home for the 8th consecutive year - the longest streak in the history of the trophy.Is Iowa a good team? Ehhh. The defense is nails. The special teams are great. This offense is rotten goose Shit, but here we are. Nothing is going to change so let’s just roll with it and piss off everyone (Iowa fans first and foremost).

WSR: PJ Fleck needs to stop beating Minnesota against Iowa.