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"Contrary to what you guys think, I haven't forgotten how to coach defense and how to stop the run," Bo Pelini, the week before he would give up 63 freaking points to Ohio State.
We all forget stuff. I routinely forget to make sure that my socks are matching before I leave the house, I'm pretty sure I've forgotten the quadratic formula, and Bo Pelini's Cornhuskers forgot how to play defense last week. I can't remember the last time Ohio State scored that many points against a real team (Eastern Michigan doesn't count as a real team). Must have been in the Cooper era when they hung 70 on Pittsburgh. Anyways, Pelini's amnesia and Miller's ninja skills led to a pretty fun Saturday. The Big Ten? Well, they aren't having so much fun, as they don't have a single team ranked in the coaches poll for the first time since ever. Let's survey the damage over the weekend, shall we?
Miami OH (3-3, 2-0) LOST 52-14 AT Cincinnati. For all the derision the Big East has rightfully incurred over the past few seasons, they might have multiple real football teams this year in Louisville, Rutgers and the Bearcats, who completely embarrassed their rivals The Bearcats forced 4 turnovers, including three interceptions from Zac Dysert (one returned for a touchdown), and Cincinnati running back George Winn added 128 yards and 2 scores. Miami kept it close at the half, trailing by only 10, but were boatraced out of the stadium in the second half. Dysert went for 303 yards passing. Miami will try to keep their MAC record spotless when they travel to face Bowling Green next week.
UCF (3-2, 1-0) BEAT ECU 40-20. The Knights weren't able to spring the upset on either of their major conference foes, but that doesn't mean they can't reign terror on a depleted CUSA this season. UCF stormed back from an early 14-0 hole behind some big plays from Quincy McDuffie to cruise to the win. Blake Bortles went 15/21 for 269 and a score, and the Knight defense stiffed up to close the Pirate passing game, and allow UCF to score the game's final 17 points. It looks like road games at Marshall and Tulsa will be the only tests remaining for the Knights. They face winless Southern Miss next week.
Cal (2-4, 1-2) BEAT UCLA 43-17. Teams like Cal are the reason I don't gamble on football. Just when you've completely given up on them, they turn around and clobber somebody out of nowhere. The sloppy Bruins were penalized for 99 yards and had 6 turnovers, forcing them to take the ball out of Jonathan Franklin's talented hands. Much maligned Zach Maynard had a great game for Cal, going 25/30 and tossing 4 TD passes, while CJ Anderson ran for another 151 and a score. The Golden Bears travel to Pullman to take on Washington State next week, where they could easily win or lose by 30.
UAB (1-4, 0-1) BEAT Southeastern Louisiana 52-3. Yay Trogdors!! UAB got just what the doctor ordered, a bad FCS team to smack around for a while, as the Blazers outgained the Lions 512-125 to pace the route. Austin Brown was 16/22 for 266 and a score, and UAB limited SELA to just 9 first downs. The Blazers travel to Houston next week to take on the Cougars.
Michigan State (4-2, 1-1) BEAT Indiana (2-3, 0-2) 31-27. If a team is coming off a tough loss and trying to climb back into the top 25, getting the daylights scared out of you by Indiana is not the way to go about it. The Hoosiers jumped to a 17-0 lead, and lead 27-14 at halftime before turning back into a pumpkin. The Hoosiers Cameron Coffman played very well against a stingy MSU defense, throwing for 282 yards and 3 TDs, with no interceptions, although he struggled to move the ball late in the second half. Le'Veon Bell rumbled for 121 yards and 2 scores, but he needed 37 touches to do it. The Spartans will need more wideouts to step up and help take the pressure off of Bell. Aaron Burbridge helped, with 8 catches for 134 yards. Michigan State will tangle with Iowa next week, while Indiana will host the Buckeyes.
Nebraska (4-2, 1-1) LOST to Ohio State 63-38. The Cornhuskers are off next week.
Purdue (3-2, 0-1) LOST to #25 Michigan 44-13. Dark horse Big Ten Title contenders should not get blown out like this at home. Denard Robinson continued to put up video game numbers, rushing for a jaw-dropping 235 yards, while adding another 105 and a score through the air, and Purdue was held 213 total yards and committed 4 turnovers. Denard is now the Big Ten's career rushing leader for quarterbacks. Robert Marve, he of the inopportune ACL injury, spelled a poorly performing Caleb TerBush in the second half, but couldn't spark a Boilermaker rally. Michigan will face a reeling Illinois team next week, while Purdue will face Wisconsin.
Penn State (4-2, 2-0) Beat Northwestern 39-28. Don't look now, but they're starting to play real football in State College. Trailing by 11 going into the 4th quarter, Matt McGloin sparked a rally where the Nittany Lions scored the game's final 22 points, spoiling the Wildcat's flirtations with the top 25. A swarming PSU defense never let the Wildcat passing game get going, and McGloin went 282 yards and 2 TDs. Zach Zwinak added 121 on the ground for Penn State, which is slowly rediscovering their running game Bill O'Brien has to be near the top of the list for Big Ten Coach of the Year right now, and the Nittany Lions will end up being a touch out for the Bucks. Northwestern is at Minnesota next week, while Penn State goes to Iowa.
Illinois (2-4, 0-2) LOST to Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1) 31-14. Remember when I said Illinois returned a strong defense and was my sleeper for the Leaders? Well, I'm an idiot. Montee Ball got back to his more efficient self (116 yards, 2 scores, 6.1 YPC), Joel Stave tossed 2 scores and Illinois could once again do nothing on offense, even with the return of a healthier Nate Scheelhaase. Running backs not named Scheelhaase added a whopping 11 yards, Wisconsin gave 3rd string QB Curt Phillips some burn in this game, singling they aren't thrilled with Stave at this point, and have less than zero confidence in Danny O'Brien. Probably not a good sign. Illinois battles Michigan next week, Wisconsin takes on Purdue.