Sandra Dukes-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
As I'm typing this, a huge storm is hitting my neighborhood in Chicago. The sky is black and 40+MPH winds are snapping branches like they're nothing. It's a fitting backdrop for the Mayan apocalypse that is surely coming, with Ohio State scoring 50+ in back to back weeks, and also giving up 49 points to INDIANA. That wouldn't be too bad, but we're talking about Indiana's football team.
The good news is that Ohio State's rushing attack is a little unstoppable, and despite the score, I never really thought Indiana was in the game after the 1st quarter. Plus, our remaining schedule is not full of strong passing teams. The bad news is that a fullback is now one of our better linebackers, we still suck at tackling, and crap, maybe that pizza guy was right about something.
We'll get into all of that later though. For now, let's check out how the OSU's opponents fared last week.
Miami OH (3-4, 2-1) LOST at Bowling Green 37-12. I think the Redhawks have now firmly established themselves as a resounding "meh" of a MAC team after a listless loss to BGSU, a name that features an adult with the name Booboo (a CB that had a 37 yard interception return for a score). Zac Dysert struggled to find a rhythm, going 17/31 for 198 yards and 2 picks. He wasn't helped by a running game that produced a whopping 3 yards. BGSU scored the game's last 20 points, and rolled up 486 yards in a balanced rushing attack. When Dysert is on, the Redhawks will always have a puncher's chance in the MAC, but it looks like this squad is going to be a spoiler for a better team's season at best. They get a shot to prove me wrong when they face the mighty undefeated Bobcats of Ohio next week in Athens.
UCF (4-2, 2-0) BEAT Southern Miss 38-31 in 2OT. The Knights kept their CUSA undefeated hopes alive, surviving a scare from winless Southern Miss after Kemal Ishmael picked off Golden Eagle Anthony Alford in OT. Knight QB Blake Bortles was decent, throwing for 272 yards, but for no scores. Storm Johnson added 94 yards and a TD on the ground, and UCF won their first overtime game in school history. Good for them. They'll travel to Memphis to take on the Tigers next week in a game UCF should be able to comfortably win in regulation.
Cal (3-4, 2-2) BEAT Washington State 31-17. Remember how we all thought the Cougars were going to be sneaky good because Mike Leach is the head coach of the internet? Haha, we sure were dumb then! The Golden Bears ran for a whopping 318 yards as a team, paced by CJ Anderson's 112 and 2 scores, which was more than enough to overcome a strong day by WSU's Jeff Tuel (320, 2 TDs and no picks). The Golden Bears were hit with 91 yards of penalties and Zack Maynard threw 2 picks, but the Cougars play defense like Ohio State does, which is to say, only theoretically. Next year dread pirate Leach. Maybe next year. The Golden Bears will try to get back to .500 against archrival Stanford next week.
UAB (1-5, 0-2) LOST at Houston 39-17. Poor Trogdors. Penalties, a bad rushing game and a worse secondary prevented UAB from getting their first win against FBS competition this year, as Houston did lots of Houston things. Namely, they uncorked 566 yards total offense, led by QB David Piland's 362 yards and touchdown. Remember how Ohio State really struggled against these guys? Yeah, me neither. UAB was held to 35 yards rushing. They play East Carolina next week.
Michigan State (4-3, 1-2) LOST to Iowa 19-16 in 2OT. Okay, everybody say it with me now. SPARTY NOOOOOOOO. Michigan State couldn't get their non Le'Veon Bell offense going, and let James Vandenberg convert on a 2nd and 26 from their own 16 late in the 4th quarter en route to a game tying Mark Weisman (116, 1 TD) plunge. Bell had 140 on 29 carries, but Maxwell's interception at the second overtime sealed the deal. Iowa is now in first place in the Legends Division. I give up. Michigan State will frantically try to fix their season next week against hated Michigan. Iowa will play Penn State.
Nebraska (4-2, 1-1). The Huskers had last week off. They tangle with Northwestern in scenic Evanston, IL next week.
Indiana (2-4, 0-3) LOST at Ohio State 52-49. Indiana will travel to Navy next week.
Purdue (3-3, 0-2) LOST to Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1) 38-14. Don't look now, but Wisconsin is starting to pick itself off the mat and climb back into the Big Ten limelight, and the Fire Danny Hope campaign might start getting a few donations soon. Purdue was outgained 645-252 was probably lucky the score wasn't even worse. Wisconsin ran for a staggering 467 yards, behind a career day from Montee Ball, who ran for 247 yards and 3 scores on 8.5 YPC. Joel Stave didn't have to do much hand the ball off, but when you can get 8 yards a carry, why do anything else? Purdue played all three of their QBs, and all three managed to suck equally. As a unit, they threw for only 124 yards and were sacked 5 times. You know what would help their woeful passing game get back on track? Playing Ohio State next week! Look for Purdue to lose 67-60 against the Buckeyes. Wisconsin is firmly in the Leaders drivers seat, and will play Minnesota next week.
Penn State (4-2, 2-0). Penn State also had the week off. They play Iowa next week.
Illinois (2-5, 0-3) LOST at #23 Michigan 45-0. If the wind catches just right, I can smell the raging dumpster fire out of Champaign from my front porch. Where do we begin? Illinois was held to a meager 134 yards by a pretty bad Michigan defense. They threw for only 29 yards, and had only 13 yards TOTAL at halftime. They let Michigan run up 527 yards, behind 4 Denard Robinson touchtowns, 2 rushing, 2 passing). Robinson left the game for part of the 1st quarter with an undisclosed injury, only to come back and crush the hapless Illini front 7. I am confident that even Ohio State could hold Illinois under 14. Illinois has the week off to try to find some walk ons, while Michigan gets ready for Michigan State.
Wisconsin is basically penciled in for the Leaders spot, but it really is still a 5 team race for the Legends. I can't put Sparty completely out of it, unless they lose to Michigan. Things should get sorted out more next week, where hopefully we can scheme our way to holding teams under 40.