The Whistlestop Tour: Big Ten Football Week 3
It was a very interesting conference weekend with lots of ‘prove it’ games. Teams like Minnesota and Penn State have proven it. Teams like Indiana and Purdue didn’t. Let’s get on the train and attack the whistles.
our Lady 27, Purdue 13
Brian Kelly earned his first Notre Dame victory over Purdue and is now tied with Knute Rockne thanks to his victory over Purdue:
Brian Kelly will soon be the leader of all time, and that should be enough to place his name among the greatest of all time at Notre Dame forever. In a ridiculous way, he’s already done it, but the record helps the narrative. If BK ever won a title at Notre Dame – nowadays – then we don’t need any preambles. He’s just awesome.
Maryland 20, Illinois 17
This Friday game was silly at times, but Maryland got 10 points in the dying minutes to steal the win:
Maryland’s offense is receiving a lot of attention as the better of both sides of the ball, and rightly so given their excellent performances to open the season. However, that was not the case against Illinois, as the Terps scored just three points in the first half against an Illinois defense that has struggled to secure saves in recent weeks.
Purdue’s next opponent is the Illini, who is definitely not doing well:
But mostly he was the same old, same old offensive dreck – it’s now been four straight games without a goal in the first quarter. Other than a big win on a somewhat missed pass to Josh McCray, a dart to Isaiah Williams, and an onscreen pass with some fancy footwork along the border by Chase Brown, there was next to nothing note in the first half. Brandon Peters went 6 for 17 in the first half on his return from injury. BP wasn’t much better in the second, finishing 10 of 26 for 185 yards and an interception. And super senior QBs need to know how to not hold the ball too long, grab a sack, and throw the ball to YOUR GODDAMN CENTER.
Michigan State 38, Miami (FL) 17
The Spartans really controlled this game and opened it late with a 21-3 fourth quarter:
The Spartans only passed the Canes by 454 yards to 440 yards and won six fewer first downs (23-29). But, the Spartan defense forced two fumbles and two interceptions, while keeping Miami just 52 yards on the ground. Kenneth Walker led all rushers with 172 yards on 27 carries.
Oklahoma 23, Nebraska 16
This one was at least closer than originally thought, but like Purdue, Nebraska couldn’t take advantage of their chances:
On the one hand, Nebraska made quite a few mistakes. Lots of penalties, although we overcame them most of the time.
Obviously Connor Culp missed a few field goals and the sent off special teams were a mess.
Connor Culp was not the problem. Missing field goals was not the problem. These are just symptoms.
The PROBLEM was not marking in the red zone. Nebraska does well when moving the ball across the field. Inside the 20, not so much.
Iowa 30, Kent State 7
It’s Iowa football! The Hawkeyes started the week safe, which is always great:
The Iowa No.5 Hawkeyes got all they could manage from the Kent State Golden Flashes, but another strong performance from the defense and timely offensive play (still struggling) proved to be enough to propel Iowa into the winning column with a 30-7 victory at Kinnick Stadium.
Cincinnati 38, Indiana 24
The Bearcats spotted the Hoosiers with a 14-0 lead, then woke up and dominated the second half:
Michael Penix Jr. and co opened the scoring with two first-half touchdowns against strong Bearcat defense. Penix Jr., who ended up 17-40 for 224 yards, two touchdowns and three INTs that day, recorded those two (lone) first-half scores against Peyton Hendershot and Stephen Carr.
His defense held home for most of the half, keeping the Bearcats’ offense at zero points for the first 25-plus minutes of the scrimmage. But Cincinnati – led by all-rounder Desmond Ridder – showed no signs of concern in the dying moments of Act I. The offense responded to the opposition’s “overdone” chants with a quick ten on the board, firing back first through a six-yard TD. of running back star Jerome Ford.
Ohio state 41, Tulsa 20
Tulsa, who lost to an FCS team, threw for over 400 yards and only lost one touchdown with 5 minutes left:
When Ryan Day became the head coach of Ohio State, he immediately brought a totally different energy to that of Urban Meyer. His team were aggressive both on offense and defense as he trusted his players to execute creatively designed games.
This has slowly, but certainly, faded over the course of his more than two-year tenure at the helm, and he is hitting rock bottom here in 2021. Clearly, Day is calling the pieces on the attack (despite this as literal idiots Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman told you on the show), but the head coach is also responsible for the defense philosophy.
Michigan 63, Northern Illinois 10
Passers-by were amazed at the unusually large amounts of blood:
The Michigan Wolverine moved to 3-0 in the 2021 football season with arguably their most impressive win to date, a 63-10 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies. This team got back into shape and proved in the first quadrant of the season that they had much higher expectations than other people had set for them before the season.
Minnesota 30, Colorado 0
A week after the Buffaloes brought Texas A&M to the brink (and scored just 7 points), they are ruled out at home:
An almost perfect day with the sun shining and the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop for a college football game between your Golden Gophers and Colorado. The day was so perfect that you almost forgot there was a game to play. Of course there was and perfection continued for your (almost) Gopher football team. As the Gophers entered a road, they beat Colorado 30-0 by shutout.
The Gophers got their first road shutout against a Power-5 opponent for the first time in 44 years. The last such event was a 21-0 win in Illinois in 1977.
Rutgers 45, Delaware 13
Don’t look now, but the Scarlet Knights are 3-0:
Rutgers did what the good teams do and that doesn’t leave the underdog hanging around. The Scarlet Knights didn’t allow the Blue Hens to gain confidence or believe the Glass Slipper would be suitable for this game and that was important. I thought it was going to be a closer game and the way Rutgers started the game was the reason it wasn’t. The offense has played its better half of the season and the defense has not allowed any big play.
duke 30, northwest 23
What a mess of the game, as Duke led 27-0 in the second quarter and failed to score in the second half after a 50-yard field goal to end the half:
It was a valiant comeback effort, but for the second time this season Northwestern dug into a hole that was too big to overcome.
The Wildcats (1-2, 0-1 B1G) fell 30-23 to the Duke Blue Devils (2-1) on Saturday afternoon in a clash featuring three quarters on the depth chart, a deficit of 27 points in the first half and eight total turnovers.
Penn State 28, Auburn 20
So that’s what happens when Auburn doesn’t start sprints at you:
This game was, in a word, cathartic. It had been 2 years since a White Out had taken place, and every ounce of crowd energy was needed to help the Lions defeat the pesky Tigers. Serious props in Auburn, they came to play today. In the end, the Penn State offense was able to do just enough against a strong Tiger defense, and the PSU defense was able to ride the crowd’s energy to secure a top 25 victory.
Penn State is 3-0, having played one of the toughest schedules in the country so far, and must thank the White Outs for their last victory. Great job, Penn State fans, you brought the noise and ultimately the victory.
Opponents outside the conference:
Oregon State 42, Idaho 0 – The Beavers picked up an easy win at home to move up to 2-1.
Army 52, UConn 21 – UConn eventually scored in an FBS level team.