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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 9

Extra film time for Honest Jimmy H

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. Drew Allar finally lost his crown as the unblemished QB, pitching the first INT of his career
  2. PSU’s offense looked just as moribund as it did last week, starting 1-6 on third downs
  3. “We’re in playoff mode now” Tom Allen said after the loss, apparently not knowing what that word means
  4. Hello darkness October Maryland, my old friend
  5. Maryland just lost to the boys in red and the boys in blue, so color theory correctly predicted the boys in purple had a real good shot
  6. Northwestern fans must’ve heard “tarps” instead of Terps, as just 19,286 fans attended
  7. Tagavaioloa is one of the biggest wastes of QB talent in recent memory...a chef wielding an Easy Bake Oven
  8. Another week, another sad chapter in The Fall of the House of Tucker
  9. MSU technically improved with 12 pts, bringing their scoring average up to 11.3 in their now 6-game losing streak
  10. Minnesota’s Jordan Nubin saw his first significant action and decided to run for 200 yards...not bad for a third-choice back (Ryan Day, please take notes)
  11. Nebraska just completed their first undefeated October since 2001
  12. Kyle McCord has to be on track for the NCAA intentional grounding penalties record
  13. Treyveon Henderson and Marvin Harrison together accounted for 330 yards, while the rest of the team contributed 77
  14. Marvin Harrison is the top player in college football right now

The Rundown

OSU at Wisconsin | Bumbling Buckeyes bounce Badgers, 24-10

GoForThree: Some scientist at OSU is gunning for a Nobel prize in quantum mechanics for the manipulation of space-time, because this game somehow compressed 2 years of Ryan Day’s tenure into 60 minutes:

Josh Simmons procedural penalties. Josh Fryar blocking air. A double-dose of McCord grounding penatlies. Julian Fleming dropping easy balls. Abandoning what’s working (boundary runs) in favor of what isn’t. Atrocious special teams play. Amazing defense. Momentary defensive collapses. Marvin Harrison being Marvin Harrison. Cam Martinez looking like he’s never played football in his whole life. Treyveon being great when you least expect it. A last minute scratch of a key offensive player. Poor play-clock management. A double-digit win that feels kinda shit.

Science was a mistake.

Jim Knowles has built an awesome defense, but if he ever puts Cam Martinez in a game again he should lose his job on the spot. I am 40 years old, live on a steady diet of ibuprofen, and I could still cover literally anyone at least as well as Martinez does...which is to say I could let anyone do whatever the hell they want downfield and look lost the entire time. It would be easier to just spot the other team the 7 points and save the clock time.

I guess it’s something that McCord can play his worst game of the year, at night, on the road, limping, and win by two scores. But I’d bet Day is eyeing the transfer portal like Spice Adams behind a tree.

I think a big part of the reason it’s hard to like McCord is that he’s just so emotionless. Mind you, I don’t want a giant pissbaby QB like J.J. McCarthy throwing t-shirt tantrums at pressers about his cheating coach. But when McCord throws an INT...he’s stonefaced. When he throws a 70-yard TD? Also stonefaced. I suppose that’s an advantage as a player, but it’s maddening to watch.

MC ClapYoHandz: Postgame: I’ll tell you what...I’ll take it, and I’ll tell you why. This game last year was a nightmare. OSU beat Wisconsin by >30 in a game that wasn’t even as close as that sounds. The Badgers were so thoroughly outclassed that it was impossible not to lament the years prior where win or lose, you knew Wisconsin could punch OSU in the mouth and make them work for it. They emphatically failed to do that last season, and a coaching change was underway within days. Fast forward to tonight, and Wisconsin was still decided underdogs and anyone watching could still tell that OSU was the better team, but felt good to punch them in the mouth again. I’ve said before that Wisconsin has three players critical for their success in 2023: Mordecai, Mellusi, and Allen. As of the first half of this one, they’re all gone. If you pressed me for the next name on the list I might say Chimere Dike, who also left this one early and did not return. But it didn’t matter; the team still fought. For the first time in a good while, Wisconsin played a team generally understood to be better than them and I was proud to watch them battle. I know I’m speaking fluent Moral Victory right now but it’s real. We saw a hint of this in the final quarter against Illinois last week and I hope today’s performance indicates more of what is to come. Allen, Mordecai, Mellusi, we’re not seeing those guys anymore, but it might not matter. It used to be that regardless of the result, when you faced off against the Wisconsin Badgers you were in for a long night. I am cautiously hopeful that those days are returning.

Indiana at Penn State | Nits make a daring escape, 33-24

misdreavus79: Indiana gave Penn State everything it could handle, and then some. That did not look like a team that was 2-5 coming into the game. If they play like this the rest of the way, who knows.As for Penn State, playing a bad game after losing to Ohio State is a tried and true tradition around these parts. So I’m actually not that surprised that this game played out the way it did. The defense had by far its worst performance of the season, and, Drew Allar, after 301 passes to start his career, finally threw an interception (I believe that’s a record for a first-time quarterback). You know what else happened after the threw the INT? He threw his longes touchdown pass of his career. Maybe the pressure will now be off, and he’ll be able to play more loose. We’ll see.Onto Maryland!

BuffKomodo: Well, Indiana showed quite a bit more fight than anyone thought they’d show. Just like every game this year almost (except for the Maryland game), it’s real hard to blame the players. There was no quit.However, it again comes down to a case of extremely poor coaching. Indiana suffered a muffed punt (2nd in 2 weeks) and a missed field goal a game after you had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and a muffed punt. Multiple sloppy penalties. And perhaps it all culminated in the best/worst way when Indiana picked off Penn State with 5 minutes to play on the Penn State 21 and then Indiana chose to run up the gut 3 times to tie instead of going for a lead or a first down. 1 bad series taints the whole game. It’s extremely unfortunate.On to Wisconsin this week. Mathematically a bowl is still on the table, but they must win 4 in a row. Lose? Well, it’s likely a fitting probable end to the Tom Allen era.

Maryland at Northwestern | Cats maul turtles, 33-27

Larry31: I remember some poster saying the September Maryland is not a thing, it was all about scheduling. BULLSHIT!. September is a very real thing. 5-0 in September with every win being in dominant fashion. 0-3 in October. Thank you, Maryland, for making all of the OTE “writers” look stupid by losing. We don’t need your help. All September, I was saying the defense is was the catalyst for Maryland looking so strong. In the very bad losses to Illinois and Northwestern, Maryland has looked like the same old Maryland because the defense has regressed dramatically. To give credit to Northwestern and their coaching staff, Northwestern threw a bunch of tight end-centric formations that they had not shown all year. Great game planning. These looks really set Maryland back on their heels. But, good teams adjust and overcome these things in the second half. Maryland did not. Frankly, Maryland has looked flat the last two games. There has to be some locker room discord. They just don’t look excited to be playing.

MNW: That Maryland has become such a meme stock is just damn incredible. Another mediocre Big Ten team pulled into the slop and mire of Ryan Field, making stupid penalties and allowing Northwestern to stick around despite the ‘Cats having at LEAST four points out there with baffling goal-to-go playcalling.Kudos to Brendan Sullivan, for one. I haven’t been his biggest fan this year, but he’s always been tough as nails and today did enough to make it happen. Run the Dan Persa offense the rest of the year, for all I care. But straight drops and runs into the line aren’t going to work against Iowa next week, and Mike Bajakian is liable to get someone seriously hurt. Besides that, though? This is a team that sure looks like they want to play for David Braun. And his defense, today, did juuuuust enough to rein in Taulia and the Terps, who happily spun the chamber and aimed it straight down.4-4 (2-3 B1G). Wonder what it’d be like to be the guy who picked the ‘Cats to go 5-7 (3-6)...

LPW: If you would have told me Northwestern would be 4 and 4 near Halloween back in August, I’d say you’re crazy. I didn’t expect much this season, but after today’s win over the Maryland Terrapins, I’m very happy. I didn’t think we’d be able to score 33 points because I still think we need a new OC, but hey, I’ll take the win!!!

MSU at Minnesota | Dark Goldy dances on the carcass of MSU, 33-27

WSR: We did everything in our power to try to jar Sparty back to life. 2 fumbles in our half of the field to start the game led to us spotting them a 6-0 lead. Our first real scoring opportunity led to a blocked FG. Our next drive stalled inside the 10 and led to a made FG. Before the score to end the half, I was cautiously optimistic that we could get a 9-6 win. Thankfully, we were unable to piss away another game inexcusably, as the defense was outstanding again and 5th-string RB Jordan Nubin (walk-on brother of safety Tyler) got 202 yards and 2 TDs. That’s pretty nice. And now…we control our own destiny in the West once again. Do we have to beat tOSU? Yup, but that’s what we get for losing to fucking Northwestern. Oh well, no need to worry about next week, since it’s just Bert coming off a bye week.

Purdue at Nebraska | Huskers rhule, Boilers drool, 31-14

Dead Read: Nebraska cobbled together 277 yards of offense, which was enough to win. The defense played well, again. The special teams returned a block field goal for a touchdown, and the freshman kicker nailed a 55-yarder. Turnovers, particularly from the quarterback position, continue to be an issue. The Huskers are one win away from bowl eligibility, and I will take it. Merrily.

BigRedTwice: I listened to this one rather than watched it, so I may not have seen all relevant details, but overall, there’s not much I need to bitch about. The turnovers continue to be ridiculous, and were we playing in a context that isn’t the B1G West, they would probably matter a lot. But we are, and they didn’t. The devotion to making things “interesting” in the waning minutes of the game is fatiguing, but I’ll take “interesting but still winning” over “interesting and finding creative ways to lose,” which I’ve had an overabundance of in recent years.Sounds like Purdue has some issues. The radio call compared Card’s demeanor to “like he needs a compass out there, like he’s been spun around many times and then released on the field.” I hope that’s how he always plays, and not the sign of a head injury. Meanwhile, the color commenter kept struggling to revise down his description of Purdue’s secondary: “I used the word ‘leaky’ earlier, but that’s completely inadequate.” “It’s literally taking candy from a baby.” No Damon, it literally isn’t, but the point is still clear enough.Anyway, Nebraska has lost games like this a lot. I am happy we won this one.


I missed most of the game but it sounds like that’s not the worst thing. Purdue’s offense is bad. I’m not sure if that’s a lack of talent at the skill positions, injuries at the Oline and a lack on depth there, or the coaching.Regardless of which it is I’m ready to move onto basketball season. Where the Boilers lost a charity exhibition game at Arkansas in overtime. I haven’t seen a ton from that game yet, but taking a top 20ish athletic team with the style of play Purdue struggles against to overtime on the road seems pretty promising on its face to me. More on that and other basketball exhibitions/scrimmages later this week. (edited)