About Last Week:
Sometimes it feels like all of your goals are ahead of you, then all of a sudden they’re above you, then they’re behind you, and you’re like, “the hell, goals?”
The Road Ahead:
Wisconsin (10-0, 7-0 B1G)
Last week: Beat Iowa, 38-14
Recap: Look, we could use this space to talk about Wisconsin. But Brian and Ace and Seth are more qualified than I to do such things, and my analysis would be superfluous at best, and objectively wrong at worst. No, instead, we’re going to use this space to talk about Iowa.
WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH IOWA?
the Hawkeyes beat Iowa State (who actually turned out to be good, because 2017 has gone full Honey Badger), and came within a fingertip of beating Penn State. Then they lost to Michigan State and Northwestern and beat Minnesota by a touchdown, all in awful, unwatchable games. Then they laid an unholy murderstomping on Ohio State where they put up FIFTY-FIVE POINTS and more than 500 yards at over 7 yards per play. Cool.
Then they put up 56 YARDS against Wisconsin. Fifty-six. With sacks included, their 28 pass attempts netted a total of 144 inches. Josh Jackson’s two pick-sixes covered about 40 yards more than Iowa’s offense for the game.
Iowa is that guy you know who is just awful with money. Like, he has a decent job, but he’s always broke. He gets his cable shut off pretty regularly, his credit is awful, and his diet consists primarily of off-brand ramen noodles purchased in bulk. But once per year he shows up with a new car, and when you’re like, “Kirk, how the HELL did you afford that,” and he’s like, “eh, I’ve been setting a little bit aside here and there.”
This team is as frightening as: A black diamond ski hill after you've managed to get your feet under you on the bunny hill. It's the same principles, but there's no way to know how your French Fry/Pizza skills will translate. Also, it's really cold. And reeeeeally white. Fear Level = 9
Michigan should worry about: Wisconsin is riding in with a 55-point transitive win over Ohio State over the last two weeks. That is many.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Alex Hornibrook threw 3 more interceptions on only 18 passes against Iowa, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns. Of QBs nationwide with 125+ pass attempts in conference play, Hornibrook’s 8.1% INT rate is way worse than any other QB, with second place at 5.7% (Temple’s Logan Marchi), and is more than 3% worse than the second-worst Power Five QB (Jeff George Jr. is at 5.0%). Only six QBs have a conference INT rate even half as bad as Hornibrook's. And now he gets David Long and (hopefully) Lavert Hill.
When they play Michigan: Just large humans crashing into large humans. They may forget that there is a football involved for stretches of the game.
Next game: vs. Michigan, noon, FOX (UW -7.5)
Ohio State (8-2, 6-1 B1G)
Last week: Beat Michigan State, 48-3
Recap: That was… comprehensive.
This is like one of those Rutgers games from last year where you can fold the box score however you want and it remains astonishing. Like, you could just crumple the box score up with your hands and it would still turn out looking like a perfectly formed crane wearing an Ohio State jersey peeing Calvin-style on a Block S.
- MSU averaged 2.8 yards per play. OSU averaged 8.1.
- MSU averaged 2.1 yards per dropback. OSU averaged 8.2
- MSU’s running backs ran 18 times for 57 yards. Mike Weber and JK Dobbins ran 27 times for 286 yards
- MSU took the opening kick and moved the ball 27 yards. The score was 28-0 before MSU had another drive that moved forward.
- OSU had scoring drives of 86, 73, 68, 25, 82, 72, 56, and 79 yards. MSU’s scoring drive covered 24 yards, and resulted in a sad field goal to cut the deficit to 32.
- Through 31 minutes, Ohio State had 7 touchdowns. MSU had 8 first downs.
I could go on. The stats lend themselves to rubbernecking. But we have other business to attend to.
What this means for Ohio State going forward is anyone's guess. Maybe they've figured it out. Maybe they will continue to yo-yo between pigeon and statue. But it's disconcerting to know that they still have this club in their bag, even if they have to wipe some Michigan State remnants off of it before they try to use it again.
This team is as frightening as: A team that has outscored their common opponents with Michigan (Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Nebraska) by an average of 35.6 points, whereas Michigan has outscored those opponents by an average of… 4 points. Fear Level = 9.5
Michigan can sleep soundly about: JT Barrett threw two more picks in this one, including one in the end zone, and one that led to MSU’s only points.
Michigan should worry about: …whiiiiich means Ohio State probably should have won this game at least 55-0.
When they play Michigan: Michigan will not lose by 45. But Michigan will also probably not put up 55 like powerhouse Iowa. So, there is at least a limited range of outcomes.
Next game: vs. oh god they’re going to do unspeakable things to Illinois, 3:30 p.m., ABC (OSU -all the points)
[AFTER THE JUMP: The rearview mirror had themselves some struggles this week]