September 13, 2010

Creepin' The Big Ten: Week 2

Crotch-grabbing Iowa's Marvin McNutt: Not a recommended strategy.
And we're back again for another week of Creepin' The Big Ten, because let's face it: You've done so much praising of Rob Bolden's poise in a hostile environment at Alabama and cursing our tackling and Tom Bradley's patented Cover-3 defense that the last thing on your mind right now is on what happened elsewhere in the Big Ten. Well, allow me to bring you up to speed, young whippersnappers:

Northwestern 37, Illinois State 3
Purdue 31, Western Illinois 21
Illinois 35, Southern Illinois 3

The above three teams all took care of business like they were supposed to against their respective FCS foes. Move along people, nothing to see here...

South Dakota State 41, Minnesota 38

Unless of course, you're Minnesota, you have a joke of a head coach in Tim Brewster, and an even bigger joke of a defense that allows South Dakota State's QB Dante Warren to look like Terrelle Pryor against you (352 yards passing for 3 TD's, 81 yards rushing for 2 TD's). This past Saturday, an ESPN announcer doing one of the noon games mentioned how Brewster was a "hot commodity a couple of years ago." As Ross over at BHGP tweeted to me: "Those used cars aren't going to sell themselves."

Wisconsin 27, San Jose State 14
Michigan State 30, Florida Atlantic 17

While neither Wisconsin nor Michigan State were truly threatened by their respective opponents, they didn't exactly crush the living hell out of them as expected. The MSU-FAU game was a "home" game for FAU in Detroit which meant that FAU got its logo at midfield and "Owl noises" were allowed to be piped through the Ford Field sound system in an effort to make them feel more at home in Boca Raton, where the game was originally supposed to be played in FAU's new stadium. Of course, one can only duplicate the FAU home game experience so much when you lack an outdoor facility and a fan base with the average age of 70 in attendance.

Wisconsin won handily but aside from Jonathan Clay's 137 rushing yards and 2 TD's, the Badgers looked shaky on offense. Scott Tolzien did throw for a TD and 191 yards but he also tossed an interception and fumbled three times. It also didn't help matters that Tolzien's favorite target David Gilreath, was knocked out of the game and had to be taken away via ambulance. He's gonna be okay though, thanks for asking.

Iowa 35, Iowa State 7

The Hawkeyes appear to be clicking on all cylinders just in time for their much-anticipated trip out West to take on Arizona. Ricky Stanzi threw for 203 yards and 2 TD's while Adam Robinson (156 yards, 1 TD) and Jewel Hampton (84 yards, 1 TD) lead a two-headed rushing attack for the Iowa offense. The Hawkeye defense was its usual stingy self, garnering three interceptions from Iowa State QB Austen Arnaud.

Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24

Perhaps more impressive than Denard Robinson's 258 yards rushing/244 yards passing was the fact that he rallied Michigan down the field for a game-winning drive right after Dayne Crist and his one good eye exploited Michigan's paper-thin secondary for a go-ahead 95-yard TD pass to Kyle Rudolph. Watching this game was akin to watching an intense game of Madden where both players exchange big plays but the player who holds possession last ends up scoring the game-winning TD with seconds remaining, causing the other person to chuck their controller to the ground and launch into an obscenity-laced tirade. Such back-to-back solid performances by Robinson have Michigan ranked back in the Top 25 and appear to have taken Rich Rodriguez off the hot seat for now...gee, where did we hear that before?

Take a look at the box score and you'll notice something that should be disturbing if you're a Michigan fan: Denard Robinson is the only capable running back on the team as of right now, and he's the quarterback. If Rich Rodriguez thinks he can run Denard 25+ times a game in Big Ten play, he'll be in for a rude awakening when Big Ten defenses are able to better contain him and knock him around. Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw have to step up and take the load off Denard's shoulders. Otherwise, it's going to be another long Big Ten season for the Wolverines, especially considering they aren't built to win defensive struggles.

Ohio State 36, Miami 24

The major tenants of "Tressel-ball" include an opportunistic defense that can force turnovers inside an opponent's territory and clutch special teams play. That latter tenant was displayed moreso by Miami at times than the Buckeyes as the Canes had a kickoff and a punt return for TD's which quite frankly, were the only reason this game wasn't over at halftime. Jacory Harris did Da "U" no favors by tossing 4 INT's while Terrelle Pryor strung together another solid game against a quality opponent with a 200+ yard passing/100+ yard rushing performance and 2 total TD's.

Props also go out to OSU kicker Devin Barclay for connecting on 5 of his 6 field goal attempts. He should've been a perfect 6-for-6 but inexplicably shanked what seemed like a kick he's made numerous times in his dreams as he boots the Buckeyes to a national title over an SEC opponent, making everyone at ESPN cry.

Follow LBU on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to by Email


Post a Comment