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Sunday Morning Coming Down

Your long walk in the darkness is over, for I have returned to be your guiding llight

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Ohio State Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Ohio State improves to 5-2 all time against Notre Dame, and 5-0 since FDR’s first term.
  2. Michigan hopes to build on its second year of relevance in the past two decades with a big win over a Pac-12 opponent
  3. *Touches ear* I’ve just been informed that the opponent was in fact Colorado State from the Mountain West
  4. Payton Thorne averages out to 100% if you combine his 2 last names with his 50% completion rate.
  5. Wisconsin passing and rushing for equal yardage? What next, peace in the Middle East?
  6. Purdue up to their old tricks, with nearly 60 passing attempts and a close loss.
  7. I would’ve thought PSU would give up on Franklolin before giving up on running the ball, but here we are.
  8. Speaking of two last names, is it just me or is Tanner Morgan rivaling JT Barrett for the longest time spent in college? Feels like he’s been there for a decade.
  9. Indiana fans apparently don’t care about football but also very much like complaining about football. The Schroedinger’s cat of fandom.
  10. Illinois should do special gray uniforms for the Ghost of Zooker, because he is still haunting that program.
  11. I think someone told Kirk that touchdowns are bad for sick kids.
  12. Rutgers bringing that Big East football magic back against a Boston football powerhouse.
  13. Scott Frost said Nebraska has the smartest fans in football, (plausibly true if n limited to BigRedTwice). He better hope they have the most patient.
  14. If you think I’m ever adding two more things for USC and UCLA you’ve been smoking too many of them California wavy gravy left-handed cigarettes. I’d sooner let Maryland back into this list (which I will not).

The Rundown

Notre Dame at Ohio State | Irish reminded of their place, 21-10

Another year, another Notre Dame team long on promise that will ride victories over the like of Marshall, UNLV, and Navy to an undeserved bowl bid. I am once again thrilled to see the Buckeyes defeat the loathsome and accursed Irish. Look at the bright side, Irish fans: your current coach hasn’t killed a kid on his journey to mediocrity in South Bend (probably).

In nomine Patris, et filii, et Spritus Sancti, fuck Notre Dame forever and ever amen.

MaximumSam: What am I supposed to think about this game? I expected a slog, and we got a slog. I didn’t expect the receiving corps to be injured and be trotting out walk-ons. I also didn’t expect the defense to give me warm fuzzy feelings in my nether region. I really didn’t expect them to finish off Notre Dame by running the ball down their throats. For one game, Ryan Day and company were born again hard.

Colorado State at Michigan | Coward’s approach pays off, 51-7

Why start the season with a test of your program’s strength and readiness when you can soft-launch against the third-best team in Colorado?

Brian Gillis: Michigan did what it should have done, overwhelmed an overmatched opponent. If there was a particularly encouraging sign for Michigan, it was its pass rush. The biggest question facing Michigan this year is how it will replace Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. The Wolverines did so en masse Saturday, pressuring Colorado State quarterback Clay Millen all afternoon, ultimately recording seven sacks on the day. Granted, it was against a Mountain West opponent, and one coming off a three-win season at that, but it was an encouraging sign for Michigan, nonetheless. Maybe there’s something to this “No Name Defense” after all.

RMB: We stepped on a tomato can. This program is not long removed from thinking they can step on tomato cans and being wrong, so I’ll take it.

I agree with Brian’s takes. I was most pleased with the pass rush and least pleased with how hard the offense had to work. It wasn’t McNamara’s worst statistical day ever, but it was the worst game he’s ever played in a Michigan uniform. There’s more work to do than the final score suggests.

Western Michigan at Michigan State | Sparty wins Ye Olde Directional Classic, 35-13

Apparently Kromulentski: Michigan State’s final score line will make it easier to shrug and hand wave, but they had been outgained and their lead shrunk to one score in the 4th quarter before putting the game away.

On the plus side, the pass rush looks enormously better; get to know the name Jacoby Windmon. The receivers look like they now go much deeper than just Jayden Reed, and although there’s plainly no Kenneth Walker replacement, Berger and Broussard should do just fine running the ball.

All that said, the secondary still looked really vulnerable to both coverage and assignment dorfings, and also just being beaten. Critical pieces in S Xavier Henderson and LB Darius Snow sustained what appear to be injuries. And it’s far from clear the offensive line or QB Payton Thorne have taken the step needed to cover for Walker’s absence.

It’s one game, against a team that could turn out to be a MAC contender. If I’m back with these same quibbles after the tilt with should-be-awful Akron, that’ll be much greater cause for concern.

Illinois State at Wisconsin | A swift and through Badgering, 38-0

Kind of...(Chris): Wisconsin won 38-0 and didn’t seems to suffer any serious injuries. Those are the only solid facts that matter. The first quarter was very sluggish, with too many penalties, but there are eight new starters on D. A 100-yard INT return for TD is cool. Braelon Allen going 96 yards for a TD is cool. A stress free second half is VERY cool. Graham Mertz went 14-16, but we’ve seen that before, so let’s reserve judgment. It does appear Bobby Engram was able to build his confidence without putting too much of the playbook on tape, though, so that’s good. Wazzu struggled with Idaho, so let’s hope the coaches can keep the team motivated this week because the secondary is far from a finished product, and I expect a real test next Saturday.

Penn State at Purdue | Nits claim Supreme P status, 35-31

Boilerman: Life is pain. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t cheer for Purdue football.

BoilerUp89: Friday morning coming down: Penn State has some talent. Purdue isn’t good enough to make big mistakes against that type of team and come away with a win. And they made some big mistakes - from the fumble taking away at least 3 points to the failure to tackle with time running out in the first half giving up 7. Oh and as I thought, Purdue still can’t run the ball. Or won’t try to run the ball. Same difference. Purdue kept it close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.Yes, Purdue almost certainly should have tried to run the ball. But let’s not pretend like Purdue had a great running game they could rely on. 2.8 yards/carry for the game. Expecting Purdue to do better than that late against stacked boxes? Same old problem, different year. O-line isn’t thereIt wasn’t all bad news as the game saw Purdue pick up a recruiting commit for basketball. I don’t really like to talk recruiting until they are signed but verbal commitments are good (edited)

misdreavus79: Man it sure looked like Purdue was going to come away with that win. Sean Clifford delivered Purdue’s last points, and he delivered Penn State’s game winning drive as well. Most of Penn State’s fanbase hates him at this point, and can’t wait for Drew Allar to finally take the reins, but I’m enjoying every bit of Clifford’s last season with the Lions, win or lose.Speaking of Allar, he didn’t look too bad in that one series in relief. So the future is bright!

87townie: Well, we are 1-0. Purdue is going to surprise some teams this season. Aiden O’Connell, King Doerue, and Charlie Jones are the real deal. I believe Penn State has one of the best secondaries in the B1G. And O’Connell ripped us for 356 yards and a touch down.

The bad for PSU fans is a trifecta of pain - our OLine still can’t get to the second level and are one or two blocks away from being competent. Our tackling sucks. Missed tackles led to many of Purdue’s big plays. And our receivers dropped wayyy too many balls. Call me spoiled after watching Hamler, Friermuth, Gesicki, and’s hard to see guys drop well-thrown passes that they need to catch.

Illinois at Indiana | Hoosiers claim Second-Best I (Probably) status, 23-20

BuffKomodo: I was fortunate enough that Mrs. Komodo agreed to make the 3 hour venture to Bloomington (My personal Mecca). We got there early and walked around the scene. Was wonderful to be back for the first time since 2019 (the Michigan game if you must know).

The game. Ooph. Between trying to determine if Thump was getting ejected and seeing how unoriginal Walt Bell could be…it was a day. I think there’s a lot to like and a lot to dislike. If Indiana would suck it up and throw 70% of the time, they may just make a bowl or better. If they continue to try and run the ball for .5 YPC, they’re gonna win 4 games. Defense = Good mostly. Offense = Meh. Apologies to those around for the curses.

It’s game 1. Indiana is 1-0 and has a wonderful path to 3-0 in front of it. Let’s see how much better the Hoosiers can get over the next couple weeks!

Also, great seeing Thump and the Champaign Room crew!

He was a high school QB: This was the Zookiest game that ever Zooked. I read somewhere that Illinois lost 23 games during the Zook era where Illinois had more yards. My first thought was there’s no way that’s right. It HAS to be more than that. 69 more yards (nice!) 8 more first downs, 12 more minutes of possession and 3 less points because of 2 more turnovers and 4 more penalties and some shit special teams play. That sucks, but Illinois never wins their first game away from (the real) Memorial Stadium anyway. We really needed to win this game if we wanted to get to the Quick Lane Bowl, so that dream died an ugly, ugly death.

Thump: Congratulations on needing several generous interpretations of the rules to beat motherfucking Illinois. Retain Tom Allen at 4-8. We’re never making another bowl, but neither are you.

I know you don’t care whether indiana wins or loses. YOU COULDN’T POSSIBLY HAVE MADE IT ANY CLEARER! I’M SO PROUD OF YOU, NON-CARERS! CONGRATS on evolving to ethereal beings that can only process basketball. Indiana Basketball is definitely winning the national title this year.

Illinois is 8-23 in games I’ve seen them play live since I graduated. It is never going to happen and it is so long past time I just accepted that

He was a HS QB: It’s 66 days until basketball season!!!!!!!!

New Mexico State at Minnesota | Gophers cruise, 38-0

I mean, what did we expect?

WSR: WELL GODDAMN THAT WAS FUN. From start to finish the Gophers actually smothered the life out of a non-conference opponent at home, and I’m a bit stunned. NMSU is a bad team with a new coach, but that usually just means that Fleck and co are going to play around with the decapitated mouse (and hopefully not die of plague like they did against Bowling Green last year). Mo Ibrahim ran like somebody looking to make up for an aborted Heisman campaign last year by running around, over, and through the overmatched Aggies. Tanner Morgan was efficient when he wanted to throw the ball, the receivers and backup RBs played perfectly fine, and the defense was outstanding in only allowing 91 total yards and getting the shutout. That was just a fun night at the vivisection.

South Dakota State at Iowa | The Most Iowa Game that ever Iowa’d, 7-3

stewmonkey13: What can be said about Iowa’s offense that hasn’t already been said about the generosity of boomers? Iowa is once again going to waste what appears to be an incredible defense on quite possibly the most anemic version of the Ferentz offense to date.

Creighton: I think the most succinct way to describe this game (and Iowa as a football team) is that Iowa’s defense outscored both teams’ offenses.

What else do you want me to say? Yes Brian Ferentz needs to be fired. Yes Spencer Petras should not be the QB. None of the things wrong with this team will be fixed because Kirk Ferentz gets exactly as much satisfaction out of beating an FCS team 7-3 without scoring a touchdown as he would from winning 50-3. “A win is a win” - this old man’s insane philosophy of how to play football is going to be the death of me.

Buffalo at Maryland | Terps get one of their 5 wins, 31-10

Are Terps fans still a thing? Is Maryland football? The answer to both remains unclear, even after this mini-MACtion bout.

Rutgers at BC | A shocking comeback win for Buttgers, 22-21

Zuzu: Holy heck we won lol. I high key wrote this game off at halftime not gonna lie. Had to help manage our department tailgate of future Big Ten titan, USC. Imagine my surprise when I got settled and got some food in me to check the score. I actually exclaimed “OH MY GOD WE WON.” Just a gritty no stop never give up effort from Rutgers. And the defense in those last BC drives. Whew. Messy first half, but hey. First half of the first game of the year. It’s fine. Great to beat an old regional rival.

North Dakota at Nebraska | Huskers pull away at tractor speed, 38-17

BRT: The final score looked more respectable than most of the game did. I mean, tied with UND at halftime is... not ideal. Good for them for hanging in there and pulling away, but the defense is troubling, and I think we’re in for a long season. So, like Jesse, I’m going to enjoy the win, because I don’t think I’ll get that experience very many times this fall.

Dead_Read: There are some good things to talk about (Anthony Grant running the ball, Casey Thompson as a capable leader, and an explosive receiving corps), but old nemeses remain - turnovers, penalties, mediocre special teams, and questionable game management. Problematic trench play cannot be ignored. The defensive line does not shed blocks or rush the passer. The offensive line cannot protect our smallish signal caller. If Nebraska cannot block the Fighting Hawks of the MVC, I hold out little hope for a successful conference campaign. Despite having a notable talent advantage over its opponent, Nebraska refused to get out of its own way. It will be a drama filled football season, and I mean that in the most pejorative sense.

Jesse Collins: Honestly. I’m just happy with the 21 pt win. It sucked that it wasn’t easy but also, we didn’t need last second heroics. Could’ve been worse all things considered. I didn’t have to wait on a last second drive. I didn’t really worry for most of the 4th quarter (although existential fear of failure was always present). Oh, and Anthony Grant is good? Nebraska allowed one really long drive, but were otherwise mediocre versions of bend don’t break most of the game. It wasn’t pretty, this team is likely bad, and I’m going to enjoy a win.