B1G Week Eight Review

The B1G conference had an interesting mix of games this past weekend. Nothing significant really happened, but with all of the upsets the conference now has four teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll and three in the first BCS poll of the season. Let’s hope more teams enter the top 25 for the sake of the conference.

Michigan State 14 Purdue 0

This was by far the most boring game in the B1G this past weekend and arguably the country. Purdue is horrible and Michigan State is offensively challenged, so going in you knew it wasn’t going to be a thrilling match-up. Michigan State does have a great defense and it was certainly on display. The Spartans’ defense forced two turnovers, including a 45 yard fumble return for a touchdown by senior linebacker Denicos Allen. Other than running back Jeremy Langford who rushed for 131 yards, the Michigan State offense was pretty lackluster. This was surprising considering the competition they were going against. Michigan State’s defense will easily win them games against inferior opponents like the Boilermakers, but if they want to win the B1G Championship their offense has to step it up a notch.

Minnesota 20 Northwestern 17

I think Ohio State and Wisconsin broke Northwestern. This isn’t the same team that stood toe-to-toe with the #4 team in the country a couple of weeks ago. It doesn’t help matters that star players Kain Colter and Venric Mark are out with injuries too. Northwestern turned the ball over three times against Minnesota and was ultimately the downfall for the Wildcats. Give credit to the Minnesota defense though too. They picked off senior quarterback Trevor Siemian twice, including a 24 yard interception return for a touchdown by senior linebacker James Manuel. If Northwestern doesn’t turn the ball over three times, then they probably win this game because their offense still had more total yards than the Golden Gophers (328-299 advantage). It doesn’t get any easier for Northwestern as they have to face a solid Iowa team on the road. Minnesota has a surprisingly good, 5-2 record and has a great shot at achieving bowl eligibility. But they face their toughest test yet against Nebraska this Saturday.

#25 Wisconsin 56 Illinois 32

Wisconsin jumped on Illinois early, building a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Illinois put up a nice comeback in the second quarter to make it only an 11 point deficit at the half, trailing only 28-17. The Badgers though didn’t let them get any closer, scoring 14 points in the third to put away Illinois for good. Badgers running back Melvin Gordon continued his reign of terror on opposing defenses, rushing for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Backup James White also rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Joel Stave had another solid game too, completing 16 of 21 passes for 189 yards and two scores. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 249 yards, but the Wisconsin defense prevented him from throwing a touchdown (Scheelhaase did have a rush touchdown though). Wisconsin is expected to win the rest of the way and with the rash of upsets seemingly happening every weekend now in college football, the Badgers should be in a great position to get an at-large BCS bowl bid. In fact many “experts” around the country put Wisconsin in a BCS bowl in their bowl predictions. But winning out is easier said than done.

Michigan 63 Indiana 47

Wow! Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense has really taken off in Ann Arbor. Wait a minute…you’re telling me Brady Hoke is coaching the team? And this is his third season? You would never know it by looking at this game. Michigan’s offense put up a staggering 751 total yards, while the Indiana offense put up an impressive 572 total yards. Wolverine wide receiver Jeremy Gallon caught 14 passes for 369 yards and two touchdowns, shattering the B1G record for receiving yards in a game. Gallon was only 36 receiving yards shy of the NCAA record set by Louisiana Tech wide receiver Troy Edwards (405 yards). Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner threw for 503 yards (school record) and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 81 yards and three touchdowns. And don’t forget about running back Fitzgerald Toussaint who rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns. I could list several more players who put up gaudy numbers for both teams, but if you want to see those numbers click here. Let’s get to what I’ve taken out of this game and season so far for Michigan: How different is 2013 Michigan compared to Rich Rodriguez era Michigan? I quite frankly don’t see much difference. Wolverine fans complained about Rodriguez’s style, being all about offense and having no defense whatsoever. You can say the same thing about this year’s team. Where’s all of the Hoke bashing? Does being a “Michigan man” give you magical powers and shield you from criticism? Having a flashy offense will win you some games. But defense wins championships and right now Michigan has hardly any defense.

Comments

  1. All the teams in Michigan are GROSS. The directionals are awful, State is one-sided and boring and the Wolverines are just BLECH. Seriously let’s just sell that festering state to the lowest bidder.

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