All the other nightmarish games around the league...
Ohio St. 30, Illinois 0
Bad Juice is not an anomaly, or even a worn-out joke, Bad Juice is a very real person and he was doing what he does best in Columbus last Saturday.
He completed 13 of 25 for 77 yards, that's just 18 more than the total return yardage from the three interceptions McGee and Juice combined for.
Juice knows how bad this is:
"It's like a nightmare," Williams said of the offensive woes. "A nightmare from which you can't wake up."
Pryor doubled the Illinois average per attempt but still put up mediocre yardage: 8/13, 82 yards and a touchdown. It's hard to make any judgments, though, when the team is running the ball 78% of the time like they did against the Zooker.
Illinois is a complete train wreck right now on offense and has one of the worst defenses in the league. Ohio State seems to be comfortable with their usual approach: absolutely suffocating on defense and grinding on offense. They'll take care of every lower level team on the schedule this year, and as a Penn State fan you should be terrified of their defensive line right now.
Notre Dame 24, Purdue 21
Hey look, another overdramatic Notre Dame game against not-as-good-as-it-seems competition. Purdue took the lead with 3:41 left but somehow couldn't stop Jimmy Clauson's winning drive because, well, basketball on grass also includes playing NBA defense on grass.
Even with Danny Hope, Purdue is sticking to the tried and true strategy of playing no defense, throwing as much as possible, and relying on a talented but erratic string of quarterbacks that may or may not actually be an ongoing set of sons from the same family.
Joey Elliott is currently listed as the next
brother QB in line, he's sporting a 126 rating but a 7/6 ratio. It's Purdue, so they have losing record but a QB on pace for around 3,000 yards passing.
Notre Dame is now 3-1 with a comfortable win against 0-3 Nevada and two absolute squeakers against 1-3 Big Ten teams. So naturally it's time for this:
Don't go changin' Notre Dame.
Wisconsin 38, Michigan St. 30
When people talk about the Big Ten being down, what they really mean (or what they should really mean) is that there is an absolute cliff after the top teams in the league. That cliff exists because Wisconsin and Michigan State simply aren't competing like they should be.
This game was as unexciting as I'm trying to make it sound. Wisconsin rolled early and the score only looks close because of two long TDs late; Wisconsin led 28-17 with 2:07 on the clock.
The Badgers think they have a quarterback while the Spartans are probably wishing for a little more definition between Cousins and Nichol.
How bad is it for Michigan State fans? Well, after being picked by the all-knowing media to finish third in the league, the MSU blog TOC has rattled off two basketball posts in a row after a 1-3 start. Oh, and they are somehow leading the Big Ten in total offense, which of course means they (statistically) have one of the worst defenses of the whole lot.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, has very quietly rolled to 4-0 in their typical harmless fashion. There are 13 one-loss teams in the current Top 25, yet the undefeated Badgers are several spots down in the "other receiving" category. This is probably fair.
Michigan 36, Indiana 33
Sneaking by Indiana, we've been there, it's not a pretty feeling. But: it's so much better than losing to the Hoosiers, or so I'd imagine.
Michigan probably should have lost this game. IU outgained Michigan by almost 100 yards and won the turnover battle 2-1. It's clear that the RichRod strategy right now, the one he's forced to play, it to simply try to out-shoot everyone else. So far it's working, even if just barely.
And of course it wouldn't be a close Michigan football game without them getting a late gift call. Indiana had given up the go-ahead touchdown, threw down field, and had to deal with the refs taking the ball away from them despite the clearly stated dual possession rule. This was all worth it, though, because Bill Lynch threw his gum and it was awesome:
It's too bad a call is part of the conversation, though. It was a wildly entertaining game, with big plays and lots of scoring so all the folks down south would stay tuned in.
Minnesota 35, Northwestern 24
Easily the most forgettable game of the day and the only one reserved for the truly special treatment that is the BTN. I'm sure the broadcast missed several first down plays for cheese dip commercials as per usual, but they did deliver this now well recited gem:
As for the game, Northwestern actually has to be a bit upset. They out-gained the Gophers by 21 yards but gave up two fumbles to Minnesota's zero. That'll do it to you.
Decker continues to be an absolute freak: 8 receptions for 84 yards with two touchdowns. He might be the best offensive player in the league. Northwestern established themselves as a bunch of interchangeable parts: they threw to 9 different guys during the noon game, although maybe that's a product of having no rushing attack (a 2.2 yard average on the day) and Kafta getting 47 attempts.