the giant noodle wearing an alternate jersey is way more terrifying than a 7.
Opponent Watch: Week 12
About last week:
It’s not your fault. Well, actually it might be partly your fault
Iowa (6-4, 3-3 B1G)
Last Game: BYE
Recap: BYE means they didn’t play football. So there isn’t much to recap. Instead, we can talk about Iowa basketball. The Hawkeyes are #25 in the Coaches Poll, and the first team out of the AP Poll. They haven’t exactly played a brutal schedule (UNC-Wilmington, Nebraska-Omaha, Maryland-Eastern Shore, and Abiline Christian), but they are 4-0. Aaron White is scoring 15.3 ppg on 71% shooting and grabbing 7.8 rpg, and Roy Devyn-Marble is averaging 15 per game with a 4/1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Oh crap, it’s still football season, isn’t it?
/deep, resigned sigh
It’s hard to know what to make of Iowa based on a meta-review of their season. They have some solid performances, and a couple of clunkers. They played Ohio State even through three quarters, but struggled to put away Missouri State. They played one solid half against Sparty, and one ugly half against Sparty. They turned in a decent but ultimately doomed performance against Wisconsin (think MInnesota’s game against Michigan; low variance, but opponent’s rock > their rock). They beat Minnesota soundly, but went to overtime with Northwestern in the midst of Pat Fitzgerald’s neverending tumble into pouting insanity. All in all, their record is probably a fair representation of who they are: 6-4, 3-3 in conference. Solid team, hardly a world-beater. They are #39 in FEI, just behind Michigan’s #35.
Everything about this team is generic but pretty okay; Jake Rudock is completing almost exactly 60% of his passes for just under 7 YPA. They average a solid but unspectacular 4.5 YPC. They have scored 125 points in conference play and have surrendered 119 points. They are average. The problem, of course, is that right now Michigan is trying to find average, and no one really knows where they are in that search at any given moment.
The good news is that Iowa doesn’t do any of the stuff that should really scare Michigan’s defense. They tempo a little bit, but they don’t TEMPO tempo, ya know (shut up, Hypothetical Straw Man Iowa Fan… going no-huddle and snapping the ball with 6 seconds on the play clock doesn’t count as “tempo”). They don’t spread the field very much; they’re lining up more spread out these days, but the offense remains largely the same as in the past. They rely on running between the tackles and setting up screens and draws. They ain’t Indiana. The BAD news is that Iowa’s run defense remains good enough that Michigan will probably be staring at 2nd and 9-to-12 all day. This is going to be so much fun to watch. Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.
This team is as frightening as: A giant noodle wearing an alternate jersey.
Fear Level = 7
Michigan should worry about: Those Iowa Tight Ends. We all know the history of the blitheringly open seam routes of recent Iowa games, and I worry about Joe Bolden’s pass drops and his ability to carry Jake Duzey or C.J.
Fiedorewitz Fadorawicz Fodoravitz the older guy down the seam.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Statistically speaking, it is unlikely that we will have to watch THIS unwatchable game for nearly as long as we had to watch LAST week’s unwatchable game.
When they play Michigan: Proper eye protection is a must.
Next game: vs. Michigan
[AFTER THE JUMP: Like it matters]
Ohio State Runnin’ Screw The ‘White After Labor Day Rule’ Rebels (10-0, 6-0 B1G)
Last game: Ohio State 60, Illinois 35 (W)
Recap: As they say, 25-point-wins are like snowflakes. No two are alike, and Illinois can’t stop them. In the present case, Illinois actually had the ball down 12 points mid-way through the 4th quarter before Ohio State put the game away with a couple of garbage time scores. Illinois was never really in this game (they were down 28-0, and never got within 12), but it was nevertheless a comparatively sloppy performance. The Illini put up 420 yards, including 334 total yards from Nathan Scheelhaase. Braxton Miller only threw for 5.2 YPA against a bad Illinois defense, though Carlos Hyde abused the defense for 246 yards on 24 carries.
There was much tumult on the Internet after this game over “style points.” Ohio State fans pointed out that they won by 25. Everyone else pointed out that it wasn’t that impressive, and they were playing an abominable team. Ohio State fans responded that it isn’t fair that they have to blow everyone out to get a shot at the title game just because they play crap teams. In other words, Ohio State has become Boise State. So, to help everyone, I’ve broken the games down to three categories:
- Throttlings (baby seal territory): San Diego State, Florida A&M, Penn State, Purdue
- Solid wins (wins by multiple scores in which the opponent put up somewhat of a fight): Buffalo, Cal, Illinois
- Tight games (one score games or games tight entering the 4th quarter): Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa
Now, do the same thing for Baylor:
- Throttlings: Wofford, Buffalo, UL Monroe, West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas,
- Solid Wins: Oklahoma (42-12; almost a throttling), Texas Tech (63-34; also probably a throttling)
- Tight games: Kansas State
And Florida State:
- Throttlings: Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Maryland, Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse
- Solid Wins: Miami (41-14; almost a throttling), Boston College
- Tight games: [None]
Style points: you don’t haz them.
This team is as frightening as: The third or fourth best team in the country. Fear Level = 9.8
Michigan can sleep soundly about: The new hand-checking rules are really going to hamper Aaron Craft’s defense.
Michigan should worry about: The football stuff.
Next game: vs. Indiana
Objects in the Rearview Mirror:
Central Michigan (4-6, 3-3 MAC)
Last game: Central Michigan 27, Western Michigan (W)
Recap: Fire up Chips and whatnot.
Next game: vs. Umass
Notre Dame (7-3, JOIN A CONFERENCE)
Last game: BYE
Next game: vs. BYU
Akron (4-7, 3-4 MAC)
Last game: Akron 14, UMass 13 (W)
Recap: Akron has won three of four. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. GO CRAZY.
Next game: BYE
UConn (0-9, 0-5 MAC)
Raise your hand if you could probably still run roughshod over UConn
Last game: SMU 38, UConn 21
Recap: Eric Dickerson and Craig James both scored twice, and
Jim McMahon Lance McIlhenny threw for 300 yards and a score as SMU cruised past Dan Orlovsky and the Huskies.
[ED: Stupid 1980 Holiday Bowl quarterback transposition...]
Next game: @ Temple
Minnesota (8-2, 4-2 B1G)
Last game: BYE
Next game: vs. Wisconsin
Penn State (6-4, 3-3 B1G)
You five should feel really bad about this
Last game: Penn State 45, Purdue 21 (W)
Recap: Penn State has found ways to take a great deal of the joy from MGoBlog this year, and they found a new way this week: but TOTALLY screwing with Boilerquest. The Nittany Lions outgained Purdue almost 2-to-1, but gave up a 100 yard kickoff return late in the first half. Purdue actually managed to cut this to a 7-point game in the 3rd quarter before the inevitable LOLBoilerz.
Zach Zwinak ran for 149 yards and 3 scores, and Penn State outrushed Purdue 289-41. Purdue sucks.
(FWIW, Purdue takes on Illinois this week. Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to watch this game).
Next game: vs. Nebraska
Indiana (4-6, 2-4 B1G)
Lather, rinse, repeat
Last game: Wisconsin 51, Indiana 3 (L)
Recap: As it turns out, trying to wear a running back down by making then run really really far is a poor strategy. Wisconsin rushed for 323 yards… in the first half… on the way to 554 yards for the game. James White gained more yards on the first play from scrimmage (93) than Indiana gained in the entire first half (79). Three Badgers cracked the 100-yard mark: White (205), Melvin Gordon (146), and Corey Clement (108). Hell, Jared Abbrederis rushed for 86 yards on 3 end-arounds. Wisconsin scored on 9 of their 12 drives.
Wisconsin’s offensive success was not surprising because of the general Indiana-ness of Indiana’s defense. What WAS somewhat surprising was that Indiana generated absolutely nothing against Wisconsin. Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson combined to go 12/30 for 122 yards (4.1 YPA), and the team averaged 3.1 YPC on the ground. This one… was not close.
The dream of a Hoosier bowl game seems pretty well kaput, as they’d need to beat Ohio State at the Shoe this weekend to have a shot. I know Ohio State is vulnerable to a well-organized aerial attack, but they’ll have to put up 60 to beat Ohio State, and Ohio State hasn’t given up more than 35 points all year.
Next game: @ Ohio State
Michigan State (9-1, 6-0 B1G)
Last game: Michigan State 41, Nebraska 28 (W)
Recap: Ladies and gentlemen, you Legends Division champions. Whiskey tiiiiiiiiime…
Nebraska actually outgained Michigan State, but they turned the ball over five times. And these weren’t the Shilique-Calhoun–destroying-a-QB-from-the-blind-side turnovers. These were 2008 Michigan turnovers. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, they probably played well enough to win.
Ameer Abdullah rushed for 123 yards on 22 carries, and Amani Cross scored on a 51-yard carry early in the 2nd half, but Jeremy Langford was probably just as good. After the offseason of laughing at Sparty's running back depth chart (and can you blame us, with the whole RILEY BULLOUGH WILL LEAD US TO FREEDOM thing), Langford and Delton Williams have turned into a depressingly effective tandem, with Langford looking like one of the best backs in the league.
You may now return to your whiskey.
Next game: @ Northwestern
Nebraska (7-3, 4-2 B1G)
Last game: Michigan State 41, Nebraska 28 (L)
Recap: I saw this online yesterday, and it was too astonishing to believe. It’s a chart of turnover differential versus winning percentage since 2007, provided by Nebraska blog Hail Varsity. And it is befuddling.
That little red circle? That’s Nebraska. They have won a remarkable number of games considering the fact that they’re giving up more than a half a turnover per game.
Next game: @ Penn State
You mean the Akron nail biter may have been b/c Akron is a good football team? Does that mean we are good at football?
Because there was a UConn nailbiter, which apparently was worse.
Well thanks for $hitting in my cooler :( Minnesota is a good team with championships on its minds!
Yeah, I actually thought Akron would have this type of season under Bowden: start off slow, then pick some teams off as the season progressed. But then UConn happened and kind of invalidated any positive I could take from the close call against the Zips.
I think the best part of that Fitz gif is the eyes of the player standing next to him.
Thanks I needed that laugh.
There is a CJ reference in this without hookers anywhere to be found
Of course the hookers are nowhere to be found. Just as James planned all along...
Nebraska actually outgained Michigan State, but they turned the ball over five times. And these weren’t the Shilique-Calhoun–destroying-a-QB-from-the-blind-side turnovers. These were 2008 Michigan turnovers. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, they probably plated well enough to win.
Sparty Iron Chef?
Seriously though, I find spelling errors in almost every post I read on this site. Does this site have spell-check, or a copy editor?
1) Spell-check wouldn't catch that error, because (as you pointed out) "plated" is a word. It was even grammatically correct. It just wasn't the right word.
2) By my count, the staff here put up about 18,000 words yesterday. And yesterday was pretty average. They have three full-time staffers, one part-time intrepid reporter, one mathlete, and one snarky golden retriever. Methinks a couple of spelling errors are going to happen.
That there should be more spelling errors. I mean, when the fuck did dogs learn how to internet so well?
one snarky golden retriever
OCD much? Seriously, who cares? It isn't like Brian is getting rich off of this. He is providing us with a service that many find wildly entertaining and informative at no cost to us. I can deal with a typo here and there. Go edit Mlive if you want to make a difference.
Are you offering your services?
mcmahon played for byu, else i don't get the joke.
Holiday Bowl mental switcheroo. Fixed, thanks.
Who wants an orange whip?
"We'd also like to welcome all the representatives from the Illinois law enforcement community, who have chosen to join us here tonight."
Is the 2011 Iowa game theory still under consideration that the offense spends each week imitating the opponent's offense in order to help the defense? It seems like the PSU and IU games add some support.
anyone else notice that our last 3 road games MSU, Northwestern and Iowa have all been coming off a bye week in preparing for Michigan?
B1G totally screwed the MBB team last year in scheduling and it certainly looks a little suspicious in football too. and MSU doesn't play ohio or Wisconsin ?
Michigan State played Illinois the week before we played them. In fact, we had a bye that week. Stop trying to blame the B1G because we shit the bed.
as a bye ....
Hold on a sex there. MSU is not the Legends division champs yet...
If Minnesota wins out(beat Wisconsin and MSU), and MSU loses to Northwestern this weekend, Minnesota is the Legends division champs!
MSU is your Legends division champ.
Gopher quest till I die muthafucka's!
About Iowa Hawkeyes!
Looking forward to the Iowa game. I'm going to treat this one as a throw back, a three yards and a cloud of dust throw back. I'm going to dress 60's and listen to it on the radio.
Classic Simpsons reference. That is one of my favorite episodes.