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|College Football Recap||Monday, 2009 November 9 - 3:45 pm|
|Michigan ugh; N.C. State wins; Iowa, Oregon fall. |
Michigan 36, Purdue 38 We really have become Sparty, finding yet another way to lose a game. This time it was a missed extra point that turned out to be the deciding factor. Oh sure, there were the two Purdue touchdowns in nine seconds (the second one following a surprise on-side kick) due to the unrelenting suckiness of our defensive secondary. But a missed extra point; that just hurts.
I think I may be done grading the offense and defense for the season. The offense on the year has shown signs of greatness at times, and signs of desperately wanting to give the ball to the opposing team at other times. It's the sort of inconsistency you can expect with freshman quarterbacks; next year promises to provide an improvement. The defense, however, provides less reason to be hopeful. While we'll have some young players returning, and we'll hopefully get Donovan Warren back for his senior season, we'll continue to lack talent in the secondary, and we'll also be without monstrous quarterback-killer Brandon Graham. So next year will be another season of nail-biting shootouts and painful visions of 70-yard touchdown plays by the opposition. The only hope is that we'll come out on top more often because we won't turn the ball over five times.
As for the two remaining games this year... the outlook is grim. Wisconsin will look to pound their running game right at Michigan's gut, especially if 247-pound tailback John Clay is healthy for the game. If the tailbacks get past Michigan's defensive line, then expect big plays as a result of poor tackling by the Michigan secondary. I think Michigan will be able to move the ball and score against Wisconsin, but unless Wisconsin coughs up some turnovers, signs point to a double-digit victory for Wisconsin.
I actually have more reason to be hopeful for the Ohio State game. Ohio State played well against Penn State, but they'll be coming off their second tough game in a row when the play Iowa for the conference title this Saturday. Terrelle Pryor has been inconsistent, and is prone to being rattled if he makes a few mistakes. Michigan will need a little bit of luck and a whole lot of determination, but Michigan will have nothing to lose in this game, and maybe they'll finally go back to looking like that team that beat Notre Dame.
N.C. State 38, Maryland 31. N.C. State finally came in on the winning side of a shootout against an inconsistent Maryland team. Russell Wilson had another big day. Wilson is just a sophomore and will probably start for another two years for the Wolfpack, and N.C. State is a pretty young team overall. Next year should be an improvement. State still has a chance of making a bowl game this year, but need to win two out of three games against opponents who all have 6-3 records. The Clemson and UNC games seem winnable; Virginia Tech might be a stretch.
(#4) Iowa 10, Northwestern 17. There go Iowa's national championship dreams. My prediction that Northwestern was a dangerous team has finally come to fruition as they knock off the conference front-runner. Now granted, Iowa has always seemed like a house of cards, and they did lose Ricky Stanzi to injury early in this game. But Northwestern is a solid team and they deserved to win this game. Iowa can still win the Big Ten by beating Ohio State next week.
(#16) Ohio State 24, (#11) Penn State 7. Penn State's offense imploded in this game, and some long punt returns helped Ohio State to a crushing victory in Happy Valley. Penn State is mathematically eliminated from the Big Ten title race, having lost the head-to-head matchups against both Iowa and Ohio State. The Outback Bowl seems their most probable destination.
(#3) Alabama 24, (#9) LSU 15. Alabama holds off a good LSU team and clinches the SEC West. Auburn is the toughest remaining opponent on Alabama's schedule before a huge matchup against Florida in the SEC championship.
(#8) Oregon 42, Stanford 51. Stanford has been surprisingly good this year; they're still alive in the Pac Ten race with a 5-2 conference record.
(#22) Notre Dame 21, Navy 23. If there's any consolation for Michigan fans, it's the fact that Notre Dame still has moments like this. Media pundits and grumpy Michigan alumni may complain about Rodriguez, but I'm sure the grumbling is louder over Charlie Weis.
Posted by Ken in: sports
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