Opponent Watch: Week 4

Submitted by Heiko on September 27th, 2012 at 11:38 AM

About Last Saturday:

Happiness - 6, Unhappiness - 13. 

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

------------------------------

The Road Ahead:

Purdue (2-1)

Last game: Bye.

Recap: This was the B1G’s best performance last weekend in which cruelty to animals was not involved.

Next game: vs. Marshall

------------------------------

In case you were wondering, this was a fumble recovery.

Illinois (2-2)

Last game: Louisiana Tech 52, Illinois 24

Recap: The Michigan offense can join the Illinois offense in a moment of mutual understanding during which they commiserate about their penchant for giving the football to the wrong team.

Like the Wolverines, the Illini turned the ball over six times last Saturday. QB Nathan Scheelhaase played a quarter but was rusty (had been out with an ankle injury), so Reilly O’Toole came in and … did pretty okay, actually. He went 19 of 25 for 120 yards. QB play wasn’t the problem, though. Of the six total turnovers, five were fumbles. Need more glue. 

Illinois’s defense didn’t fare very well against Louisiana Tech’s prolific offense, which is understandable given the turnovers but disappointing nonetheless considering that they have three potential NFL early-rounders on that unit. Trailing 21-17 at the half, Illinois got blown out in the second half as both offense and defense conspired to ensure that anyone actually following Illini football would have such bad PTSD that they never do such a silly thing ever again.

Meanwhile, Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien thinks Illinois head coach Tim Beckman is a big butthead, but is too polite and mature to say so.

This team is as frightening as: A real gun! No wait, it's just an airsoft gun. You can tell by the orange paint. Pew pew! Fear level = 3.

Michigan should worry about: Turning over the ball.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: They’ll give it right back.

When they play Michigan: Win No. 899???? 888?? Sigh.

Next game: vs. Penn State

------------------------------

No. 20 Michigan State (3-1)

Last game: Eastern Michigan 7, Michigan State 23 (W)

Recap: While this wouldn’t be the first time over the last two seasons a BCS team has struggled to put away feisty Eastern Michigan, you would hope that a B1G division favorite would be up by more than -- wait, scratch that -- you’d expect them to not be down 7-3 at the half.

Such is the B1G. Michigan State tried to get a passing game going for much of the game. This (Andrew Maxwell: 16/29, 159 yards, 1 TD) didn’t work so well, and I had a good time on the ride to South Bend watching Maxwell’s ypa fluctuate between 2 and 3 on my phone. A couple late bombs to TE Dion Sims (6 rec, 112 yards, 1 TD) made his numbers look better, but there’s no escaping the fact that Sparty has a lot of work to do. So they gave the ball to Le’Veon Bell, who was stopped often enough when it mattered by the Eagle’s fearsome front seven despite carrying the ball 36 times for 253 yards and a touchdown. Keep in mind that going into the fourth quarter Michigan State had just three field goals and no touchdowns.

On the other hand Sparty’s defense is Sparty’s defense. Not a whole lot can be learned from playing Eastern Michigan though.

This team is as frightening as: Michigan State wins the rock sweepstakes this week. I feel this is pretty self-explanatory. 

Fear level = 5.

Michigan should worry about: What if this isn’t the game that ultimately determines the division title? 

Michigan can sleep soundly about: I’d totally be okay watching Northwestern and Minnesota duke it out.

When they play Michigan: Michigan should be just fine if it kicks a field goal every time it makes it into the red zone.

Next game: vs. No. 1 Ohio The State

------------------------------

No. 22 Nebraska (3-1)

Last game: Idaho State 7, Nebraska 73 (W)

Recap:

Next game: vs. Wisconsin

------------------------------

Minnesota (4-0)

Last game: Syracuse 10, Minnesota 17 (W)

Recap: So … Minnesota kinda sorta beat a real team, which means ... The Gophers are undefeated. They held a team that put up 41 points on Northwestern and 29 points on USC to 10 points. They sold out their stadium.

I quit.

This team is as frightening as: Remember that small animal you ran over last year? Turns out he wasn’t dead. He wrote down your license plate and he's pissed. Fear level = 5.

Michigan should worry about: A real road game. ?

Michigan can sleep soundly about: Minnesota beat Syracuse largely because of turnovers; the Gophers were +4 on the day. Now if Michigan can somehow not turn the ball over …

When they play Michigan: Like I said, I quit.

Next game: @ Iowa.

------------------------------

Northwestern (4-0)

Last game: South Dakota 7, Northwestern 38 (W)

Recap:

Next game: vs. Indiana

------------------------------

Iowa (2-2)

Last game: Central Michigan 32, Iowa 31 (LOL)

Recap: It’s the same old story. B1G team trails MAC team for three quarters. B1G team finally pulls ahead of MAC team by eight points. B1G team allows MAC team to score touchdown. B1G team stops MAC team’s 2-point conversion. B1G team rejoices prematurely. B1G team runs away from onside kick. B1G personal foul allows MAC team to kick game-winning field goal. B1G team collapses in heap of self-loathing misery.

While I’ve generally stayed away from all things Michigan- and/or football- related on the internet, I have found a sanctuary of sorts at Black Heart Gold Pants. Best cure for depression = someone else’s depression.

This team reminds me of: Vanilla ice cream, except instead of ice cream it's sherbet, and instead of vanilla it's lemon. Fear level = 3

Michigan should worry about: Iowa's walk-on fullback sensation Mark Weisman ran for 200+ yards.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: Iowa's walk-on fullback sensation Mark Weisman ran for 200+ yards.

When they play Michigan: Can we bring AIRBHGAPALOOZA to Ann Arbor?

Next game: vs. Minnesota

------------------------------

No. 1 Ohio The State (4-0)

Last game: vs. Animal Cruelty (W)

Recap: Appalled by the egregious displays of cruelty towards baby seals around the league, Ohio State took it upon themselves to demonstrate the humane way to treat baby seals, i.e. build them up, let them hang around for a while, and then pat them on the head before putting them away gently.

Next game: vs. Littering

------------------------------

Objects in Mirror:

Alabama (4-0)

Last game: Florida Atlantic 7, Alabama 40 (W)

Recap: I love garbage time TDs that ruin Alabama's shut-out streak.

Next game: vs. Ole Miss

------------------------------

Air Force (1-2)

Last game: Air Force 35, UNLV 38 (L)

Recap: UNLV is doing wonders for Minnesota's SOS.

Next game: vs. Colorado State

------------------------------

UMass (0-4)

Last game: UMass 16, Miami (OH) 27 (L)

Recap: Losing by fewer than two scores is a win for UMass. Mike Cox (30 carries, 188 yards, 2 TDs) !

Next game: vs. Ohio The University

Comments

DPUblue

September 27th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

The snark-o-meter is at optimum levels in these posts...and I can't get enough.  

 

" A real gun! No wait, it's just an airsoft gun. You can tell by the orange paint. Pew pew! Fear level"

 

BAM.  Snarkization.

Phil Brickma

September 27th, 2012 at 12:23 PM ^

Heiko! Thanks again for my favorite weekly posts on the blog. But you topped yourself this week. Using the leprechaun sketch as the ND logo is the funniest thing I've seen here in a long time. You win all the MGoPoints!!!

dragonchild

September 27th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

According to ESPN's play-by-play, UMass' Christian Birt had 10 tackles.  For being on a really crappy team, that dude can play.

For those who missed it, he's the #9 that kept showing up in the Offense vs. UMass UFR.  Also was the "linebacker" who prevented Dileo's TD and pick-sixed Denard.

I think I'm gonna be a fan.  If he's not a senior, someone get that dude a transfer invite to Michigan!  This is Kovacs' last year anyway; we need another safety.

dragonchild

September 27th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

They scheduled a home-and-home, but they couldn't decide which arena should host the black players vs. the white players.

Here's the official statement from Ohio about its fall-out with Apartheid:  "We value our annual rivalry with Apartheid but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series. This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries."