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Sunday Morning Coming Down // Week 2

Nebraska springs eternal

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Nebraska at Colorado Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ten B1G Things

  1. Tom Allen says “if at first you can’t beat a team named after a tree...find a much worse tree”
  2. Illinois has now lost 19 of their 23 first road games this century (of the four they’ve won, those opponents finished their seasons a combined 5-42)
  3. Harbaugh briefly elevated his son to a position above his talents & experience, which PSU and Iowa fans can tell you is a recipe for long term success
  4. Nothing says “I’m taking this whole thing seriously” like switching head coaches at halftime
  5. Master stroke by Ryan Day in letting Devin Brown settle the QB controversy in one quarter
  6. Denzel Burke recorded Ohio State’s first INT by a cornerback since Octoiber, 2021
  7. Penn State had 7 ball carriers and still managed to have a 100-yd rusher (OSU & UM did not)
  8. Nebraska losing like this under a new head coach is like how independent and unrelated organisms keep evolving into crabs
  9. 6 hrs of delay couldn’t stop Purdue from delivering the first punch of a Big-ten combo to Virginia Tech
  10. Iowa getting beaten in every major statistical category and still winning by a TD is The Classic in its ultimate form
  11. Wisconsin was the first Power 5 non-conference opponent to play (and therefore to lose) at Washington State since 1998
  12. Good to see Tagovaialoa hit his mid-season conference play form early those INTs
  13. Rutgers could be Michigan’s first legitimate opponent at 3-0 if they dispatch Va Tech
  14. Start taking bets now for MSU’s next head coach...

The Rundown

ISU at Indiana | Indiana wins Tenderloin Between Two Bibles trophy, 41-7

BuffKomodo: Indiana beats Indiana State soundly and perhaps that’s the most important part. In this, the Indiana defense, outside of one drive, really didn’t allow the Sycamores to get going offensively. And as a complete counterweight to last week, the Indiana offense looked pretty competent at times. Competent to the point of, “well where the fuck was that play last week Walt.” Tayven Jackson practically wrapped up the QB competition. He looked solid and steady and led the Hoosiers on 5 touchdown drives. Sorsby will be need at some point this year, and he really just needs more time to cook. I’d be floored if Jackson didn’t start next week. Anywho, on to Louisville at Lucas Oil next week. This will be a very good litmus test for the Hoosiers.

Illinois at Kansas | Dozens of fans watch Jayhawks upend Illini, 34-23

thumpasaurus: Much like Matt Rhule carrying Scott Frost’s torch at Nebraska, Bret Bielema has carried on the long-standing tradition of Illinois having no fucking clue what they’re doing in their first road game of the year. The defensive front 7, especially the edges, were quite concerning as they just couldn’t make tackles, but that is also not a kind of offense we’ll see much of in conference play.

What alarms me is the offensive line. The right side of the line has been abysmal and Luke Altmeyer is going to get murdered if they don’t do something about the rotation. Gesky and Crisler just cannot play tackle without help. Something has to change, we absolutely cannot have Altmeyer be our leading rusher and win anything. You kind of wonder what the point is in having Bret Bielema as your coach if the team is losing in the trenches consistently. We just can’t go on like this.

That being said, the West is ass. We’re undefeated in conference play. Lunney is not a good OC, but Altmeyer has good physical tools. I wish he had more DeVito than Peters in him, but it is what it is. He didn’t lose the game.

Alma Otter: While I expected the loss, I didn’t properly brace myself for the complete beatdown that was the first half. Kansas was incredibly fast and seemed to be able to get first downs at will. I imagine that’s partially due to the Illini defense having a shaky night, but I think that Kansas finishes the season well in the top third of the Big XII. The 35 second Jayhawks touchdown right before the half to make it 28-7 was a back breaker. Proud of Illinois for fighting and making it a game, but it was too little, too late. I look forward to starting the B1G West slate with the rest of our division’s flawed and shitty teams.

UNLV at Michigan | 2 coaches, 1 Harbaugh make a Michigan victory, 35-7

RMB: For a team that returned as much as Michigan did, they sure look different from last year. This offensive line is nowhere near the line they had last year. Myles Hinton is the biggest problem, but by no means the only one. On the other hand, their disappointing run game is being bailed out by an excellent pass game. It’s fun to watch, but I barely recognize these guys. The defense has been stout, particularly the interior defensive line. Tackling, however, has been a major issue. Through two games this is the worst tackling Michigan defense since the RichRod years. Things need to get a lot better than this if we think we’re going to beat PSU and OSU this year.

Brian Gillis: Not too much to take away from Michigan’s victory over UNLV. Another overwhelming performance against another overmatched opponent. Another shutout lost in the game’s waning moments. JJ McCarthy continued his strong play and the Michigan defensive line dominated the game one the other side of the ball.With Bowling Green up next for the Wolverines, perhaps the best thing to say about Michigan’s non-conference schedule is that it’s almost over.

YSU at Ohio State | Tressel returns and brings offensive pace with him, 35-7

GF3: In any sane world, we are offering our congratulations to Devin Brown on securing the QB2 spot. McCord looked much better this week, pushing the ball down the field. There were several passes which, while not bad, probably could’ve been scores if he’d hit the receiver in stride (Harrison on the 15-yard crossing route was a great example).

I remain absolutely amazed at what a liability Josh Simmons is at left tackle. If he’s not missing blocks completely, he’s holding. Treyveon had a nice little outing, but you can’t take too much away from having vision for holes the size of Harbaugh’s arrogance.

The defense remains suspicious. Sure, there were moments of brilliance. But Knowles also gave up the first TD ever to YSU and was having to execute safety blitzes at a dead sprint to disrupt an FCS offense. His insistence on man cover schemes baffles me. I remain pessimistic about their chances against Notre Dame.

Delaware at PSU | Obvious talent differential comes home to roost, 63-7

misdreavus79: Apparently Penn State can score now so that’s pretty neat

GF3: Bonus fact - Delaware has the only female-coded mascot in D1 football

Nebraska at CU | Coach Prime & Lil’ Prime get more insufferable, 36-14

BigRedTwice: So, Nebraska’s problems are fairly easy to identify: a casual perusal of the stats quickly shows what’s gone wrong here. Unfortunately, I’m guessing most of them are also fairly hard to fix. So... good luck, Matt. The defense had its moments, certainly, but no defense can make up for that amount of unforced errors (and shouldn’t have to.)I didn’t watch tons of this game, as my current attachment style to Husker football can best be described as avoidant. But I will note that what I saw from the much ballyhooed Colorado team is a team that is fine but thinks it is great, and that seems rather committed to massive, ugly penalties of the unsportsmanlike category. I am not sure those are ingredients for success, and it didn’t cost them today... but it will be interesting to see when it blows up in their face.

deadread: It is going to be a long season for Nebraska.

Purdue at Virginia Tech | A long hot night of wet fun in Blacksburg, 24-17

BoilerUp89: Purdue outgained Virginia Tech 427 to 286. Dominated time of possession 38 minutes to 22. And yet... only won by 7 due to some unorthodox decision making by the coaching staff that did not work at all. Purdue was pretty clearly the better team but wanted to make this one a lot closer than it needed to be.After a long, long weather delay, Purdue was able to build a 17-0 lead and then squandered that advantage in the last 7 minutes of the first half to only be tied at the break. The decision to go for it on 4th and short from their side of the field when up 17-7 was asinine. The play call was worse.Credit to the defense for stepping up and pitching a shutout in the 2nd half. The Hokies QB play wasn’t great and the Boilermakers D gave them nothing on the ground. Mockobee had a great game. The team is getting better but the learning curve for the new staff is painful to watch develop in real time. At least this week, Purdue came out with a victory.

Iowa at Iowa State | Iowa “wins” the El Assico, 20-13

The only way this game could get worse would be if a divisive, grifting, caustic political criminal showed up and tried to steal the show. Fortunately that would never happen...

Creighton: The offense looked like shit again, the OL can’t block, and once again we failed to completely finish off an already defeated opponent. Luckily for Iowa, Matt Campbell’s clock management is indistinguishable from someone who is actively trying to lose the game for some reason. I hate El Assico. We have 8 wins out of 9 or whatever, but should beat ISU by 40 every year instead of letting them stay in it until the final play like we always do. It’s the most humiliating win for us every year, and it feels like punishment for the sins of a past life.

Positives: freshman running back Jaziun Patterson is a dawg and I was hooting and hollering when he blocked two blitzing defenders at the same time.

Also Iowa has yet to reach Brian Ferentz’s 25 points threshold this year, even with the pick-6. Lol. Lmao, even.

Richmond at MSU | Sparty beats team it didn’t know existed til now, 45-14

The Ghost of Athracite Koalmineski is pleased with this victory in the way that he is pleased by anything: begrudgingly.

UTEP at Northwestern | Cats learn why Army reliably schedules UTEP, 38-7

MNW: This was so welcome. I can’t pinpoint—and perhaps it’s the drunken haze—one thing Northwestern did particularly well on a regular basis, but they did enough to win. I liked the first half (really, the first drive) when Mike Bajakian (“that guy mostly-seen head-in-hands in the booth”) called plays that got Ben Bryant and Cam Porter to the boundary..and then the ‘Cats went away from that.

But, on the whole ,Northwestern invited UTEP to make mistakes like the stupidest fucking 4th-and-short formation I’ve ever seen, and the Miners obliged. This is not going to happen every week. This is still, at best, a 4-8 team. But the ‘Cats won in David Braun’s home debut: he’s the first ‘Cats coach to win such an occasion since John Pont in 1973, and I’m sure Pont’s tenure ended well, no need to fact-check that. It’s a rare win, it’s a complete win, it’s just nice to see something positive in purple. Onto...ah, fuck, Duke? Really?

Wisconsin at Wazoo | Wisconsin does not like them apples, loses 31-22

MC Clapyohandz: This one feels like a missed opportunity. Ultimately this one comes down to the team with the better pregame plan getting the spoils. Washington State came out swinging on both sides of the ball and built an 18 point lead in the first half on strong passing schemes and a stout run defense. I was happy with Wisconsin’s in-game adjustments over time (this was NOT a strength in previous years) and was elated to see promise in the face of a deficit for a change, cutting the lead to 2. And there was an effective two minute drill! But too big of a hole early on and they take an L as a result. For as much as I like the coaches’ ability to figure out an opponent over the course of a game, I’m very much disliking the trend forming where the opponent has the upper hand based on their own preparation. I’ll be hopeful for hot starts in the weeks to come.I always joke in the preseason that Wisconsin is going 15-0 until proven otherwise, but the honest season prediction was 9-3. This was presumed to be one of the 3. How the team responds will say a lot.

Kind of...Chris: Luke Fickell never promised a Year 1 miracle the way Deion Sanders did, and last night showed why that was wise. You can’t play a pretty good team on the road, let them go +3 in the turnover battle, and expect to win. It became clear very early that Allen and Mellusi weren’t running against a MAC defense. In fact, this week it was the Badger defense that wore down late, surrendering a back-breaking TD after UW’s 3rd turnover of the night completely reversed momentum after UW had dominated the third quarter. [The reasons UW lost are those already listed, but if there’s any silver lining to the implosion of the Pac-12, it’s that there won’t be any more Pac-12 refs.] Tanner Mordecai looked much better last night throwing, but had two fumbles that were instrumental in creating the 24-6 deficit. It’s a work in progress. When things gel, they’ll be pretty good. But @Purdue opens conference play in two weeks, and the Boilers won their road game against P5 competition.

Charlotte at Maryland | Terps avoid a disaster, 38-20

Larry: Incase you missed my crtically accalimed preview of Charlotte, their first-year head coach coached two Baltimore high school powerhouses [Gilman and St. Francis Academy], along with stints under Coach Khaki. There are 29 ex-St. Francis players on the Charolotte roster. They were super-pumped for this game, which explains theri first possession marching down the field for a touchdown. Then on Maryland’s first possession Taulia brain farts and throws a pick six and suddenly Maryland was down 14-0 only 3:10 into the 1st quarter. Maryland’s starting defense shut-out Charlotte the rest of game. After Maryland had gone up 38-14, the 2s and 3s were sent in. The defense allowed a TD with 1:22 left in the game. I can’t be disappointed. 38 unansered points after going down 14-0.

EMU at Minnesota | Gophers stand like metaphorical cinderblock wall, 25-6

WSR: That was perfectly fine, and there’s opportunities for improvement. The offense went inside the 5 yardline 6 times and only got 23 points, but we have hopefully seen the beginning of the Darius Taylor era. The freshman RB got some help from the fat kids, but he looked pretty good getting just short of 200 yards in his first serious performance. Meanwhile, the defense went from allowing a ton of ridiculous broken plays in the first half to only allowing 4 yards and 0 1st downs in the 2nd half. Effective smothering, and we’re 2-0. Feels OK.

Temple at Rutgers | Rutgers showing signs of competence, 36-7

RUReady4Brazil: I’m just happy they won even though they thought they were Iowa in the 3rd quarter, nursing a 13-0 lead and running into the line with no success. Then give up a TD to cut it to 13-7 and decide not to play with their food and just pour it on like Iowa defense would.