“November is for champions”. Guess what, folks… it’s champions time.
For the first time this season, the memorable games from The Week That Were found themselves coming from B1G Country. And, if I’m completely honest, the top two made my weekend pretty fantastic.
First, let’s go to the “What’s NU With You?” battle, as Nebraska and Northwestern squared off in a battle of the walking wounded. Taylor Martinez and his magnificent aerial attack was on the sidelines again, while Northwestern’s Venric Mark missed yet another game… and more Wildcats would go down as the game transpired. If Ohio State hadn’t already broken Northwestern, Nebraska certainly would have.
And yet the Wildcats were leading by three, in Lincoln, as time was winding down.It certainly looked like it was going to be a bad weekend to be a Pelini.
The Huskers brought in their version of the Pillsbury Throwboy, who led the team to the memorable last second finish that you see gif-ing there on the right. Best “Fat Guy Touchdown” ever?
For full coverage and reaction, let’s turn to my wife’s play by play from the moment:
Yeah, it was that kind of moment… Buckeye fans know the feeling, and Coach Fitzpatrick certainly could find a Bert to talk to as well.
Several people pointed out that, in the mayhem that followed, Coach Pelini looked stunned and no one chose to celebrate with him. That could just be his normal demeanor, though… although it might also point to his having “lost” his team. A word of warning to Tommie Frazier and all of the others looking to make a change… be very very careful what you wish for.
So now a Cornhusker team that has a huge emotional win to build on travels to Ann Arbor to face a Michigan squad that’s coming off what may be one of the worst beatings that they’ve encountered in a long time.
While it’s been well documented that Coach Hoke can’t win on the road, to lose yet another game to “Little Brother” never feels good- particularly when you end the game with negative 48 yards rushing. That’s why Wolverine running backs should keep their mouths shut… although, this should have already been perfectly clear to anyone who pays attention.
Huge kudos to Coach Dantonio and our favorite Spartan, Coach Harley- not only did the defense rise up and make Devin Gardner look like the wide receiver playing QB that he is, they also managed to put points on the board for the second straight week. Granted Michigan’s defense has some holes (as Indiana and Penn State showed), but to see MSU’s offensive evolution over the season is impressive. Read More
On Monday, Coach Meyer discussed Iowa and talked NCAA guidelines.
The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1) came calling to Columbus Ohio to take on the Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0), and they came with a fight in them. Both teams traded body blows on the way to a 34-24 final score. Braxton Miller led the way with his passing game, throwing 22-27 for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns while running 18 times for 102 yards. His counterpart, Jake Rudock, connected on 19-34 for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns with an interception.
The real difference was in the running game, as Carlos Hyde again put together a powerful performance. His 24 carries for 149 yards was a continuation of his great game in Northwestern. To it he added the first two running touchdowns scored against Iowa this season. In the passing game, Devin Smith and Corey “Philly” Brown each scored a touchdown and put up 72 yards a piece. Iowa’s key playmakers included RB Damon Bullock (10 carries, 55 yards), RB Mark Weisman (10 carries, 52 yards), and TE Jake Duzey (6 receptions, 138 yards, 1 touchdown).
Starting with the ball first, the Hawkeyes struck fast. They followed excellent blocking through the first few plays, gaining most of their yardage on the ground against the #6 rushing defense in the nation. Once the Buckeyes were forced to commit against the run, they began to strike in the usual soft spot in the zone on the left side. Ultimately, Iowa dinked and dunked their way to the endzone, taking everything the Buckeyes were giving them all the way to a touchdown.
The defense, despite having had a bye week to work on their weaknesses, looked particularly unable to counter what Iowa was throwing at them early. The linebackers, already a weak spot in the defense, looked out of position most of the drive. The secondary continued to give up intermediate yardage plays without a fight. It was obvious Iowa had studied the game film and new that all they needed was to get solid blocks against OSU’s line. After that, everything else would take care of itself.
OSU wasn’t the only team with a great run defense, but the Buckeyes didn’t appear too worried about it. The Buckeyes came out an excecuted their offense their way. Both Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller found plenty of running room and, along with a solid short passing game, worked the Buckeyes down to the 10 yard line with little difficulty. Iowa’s defense stiffened at the last minute and knocked down a sure touchdown pass at the line, forcing the Buckeyes to take the field goal.
Pucker up. That’s where we stand after one week of our head-to-head pick.
Yours truly and Gary were correcting in picking Ohio State and Illinois to win last week. I correctly picked Iowa winning at Minnesota but was disappointed in the effort of Purdue as Gary was right in picking Northern Illinois.
“They are just horrible in every freaking category,” he said in justifying his pick.
This week we have a full slate of Big 10/11/12 games.
Let’s get the obligatory picks out of the way: We both are picking Ohio State and TTUN.
But that’s where it stops. Read More
The B1G 10 season is about to kick into full gear and two of your favorite BBC writers are going head-to-head the rest of the way.
Each week yours truly and Gary will pick the games that matter We may agree, we may not. And when one of us is right and Gary is wrong (it’s starting already) there will no holds barred.
It’s a light week so lets get right into it. We will include the 2 non-conference games as well.
Wisconsin at Ohio State
No differences of opinion here. We both predict an Ohio State victory over the Badgers.
Iowa at Minnesota
Gary likes Minnesota. I like Iowa.
In choosing the Gophers, Gary opined “I think the two teams are evenly matched.” He gives Minnesota the home-field edge as the margin of victory.
Iowa has been stuck in reverse since losing to Ohio State in a de facto Big 10 title game a few years ago. Kirk Ferentz has been feeling the heat and I think the Hawkeyes will get the big win they need.
Northern Illinois at Purdue Read More
For those unfamiliar with this feature, consider it your cheat sheet for the conversations around the grill on Labor Day. As always, these come with a melodic interlude to play gently in the background during your perusal… because you’re that important to me.
It was the best of times, it was the… well… best of times. Football was played, plays were made, and the long summer doldrums finally came to an end.
Sawkaralyna got us started off in style, scoring on the third play of their first possession and kicking off the annual “Hey, we’re pretty good! Oh, that’s right… we have to play in the same conference as Alabama/Georgia/Florida/LSU… nevermind.” The only significant storyline to come out of this game, other than the fact that sometimes “new school clothes” aren’t always fashionable, is the fact that ESPN’s love-fest for all things Clowney turned into the predictable hate-fest for the sophomore after he didn’t balance the budget/solve global warming/play like a Heisman candidate. Whatever helps them get their ratings points, right?
Speaking of firsts, the news this offseason was about the new “targeting” rule and it’s potential impact on the game. Your future trivia answer to “who was the first college player to be ejected under this rule?’ is none other than Tulane’s Lorenzo Doss. Small Ohio State related fact that’s stuck in my brain for some reason- In 1995, the NCAA decided to crack down on “showboating” and OSU’s Terry Glenn was the first person flagged after signaling “First Down” following a catch against Boston College in the Kickoff Classic. What a cute rule that was…
At any rate, the impact (see what I did there?) of the new rule was certainly felt across the first weekend; Northwestern had a game-winning drive extended after Cal’s best pass rusher was flagged for “targeting” on a tackle in the end zone, Texas A&M lost a player for a similar infraction (although, to be honest, it was a really bad call), and Oregon had to go and “one up them” (as always) with this potentially crippling hit against Nicholls State. To be fair to the defender, though, everyone in the stadium was yelling “Duck!” to the Nicholls QB. At least that’s what I think they meant…
Another major story this weekend was the debilitating sanctions that hit Heisman winner Johnny Manziel following the “autograph” scandal. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to sit there on the sidelines for that time, missing the change to be with his teammates and… yeah, in the time it took you to read this sentence, his “suspension” was over. I wish my car had a suspension that cushy…. Read More
Iowa used a quick start and some of Sparty’s own medicine to jump out to a 30-20 lead at halftime. The Hawkeye’s quick start opened a double digit lead but Michigan State settled down and was able to get the lead trimmed in the middle of the half. Iowa then used a couple of three points down the stretch to open it back up a bit and take their 10 point lead into the half.
The Hawkeyes have taken a page out of the Spartan’s playbook when it comes to hustle and heart. Every loose ball seems to going to Iowa and as of right now it just looks like they want it more then Michigan State. Iowa is copying their first half performance from last night as they have 8 different players scoring again tonight (none have over 6 points) and Michigan State’s Adrian Payne leads all scorers with 7.
The second half of the game left me speechless. Unfortuntalely, it was for many reasons. Iowa fought extremely hard, out working the Spartans for much of the game. They continued to run a balanced, team offense in which no player had double figures when all was said and done. Michigan State refused to go quietly as Payne (18 points), Harris (13 points), and Appling (13 points) slowly chipped away at the Hawkeye lead and eventually took the lead with about 4 minutes to go. Iowa still didn’t give up as they missed a game tying shot at the end of game, allowing the Spartans to escape with the victory 59-56.
Michigan State will now face Ohio State in the second semi-final game tomorrow. They will tip-off approximately 25 minutes after the Indiana-Wisconsin matchup. Be sure to check back with us tomorrow for complete updates all day long!
#2 OSU versus #10 Nebraska
#4 TTUN versus #5 Wisconsin Read More
Gary Russell and I are covering the B1G Tourney live again although it’s not actually from Chicago! Some last minute travel plans fell apart and we are hanging out at his house in Zanesville covering the games! Hope you enjoy the updates!
#6 Iowa versus #11 Northwestern
The first half of the day one night cap has been all Iowa. They hold a 36-22 lead at halftime and the score doesn’t reflect how dominating the Hawkeyes have been. The Wildcats didn’t score until the 12:30 mark of the first half. Iowa has been very balanced on the offensive end. 8 different players have scored for the Hawkeyes, and none of socred more than 7 points. As painful as it is to say, Iowa’s Aaron White leads all scorers with 7 points. Northwestern is being led by Freshman Alex Olah’s 6 points.
Iowa didn’t quite dominate the second half like they did the first half as they did their best impression of Michigan in letting a team hang around. The Wildcats refused to go away getting the lead under ten several times and even down to seven at one point. Unfortunately for Northwestern, timely three point shooting from Mike Gesell and Roy Devyn Marble combined with a Flagrant One foul by Reggi Hearn kept pushing the Iowa lead back to double digits. In the end, Iowa knocked off Northwestern 73-59.
Iowa will now face Michigan State tomorrow evening at apprixmately 9:00 EST. We hope you enjoyed day 1 of the Big Ten Tournament. Remember to check back with us tomorrow as we update with all the action from Day 2 of the tournament! Read More