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Recent Comments
On Big Ten Football 2020: Week 4 Recap and Week 5 Pre...
Dan* said:
Ooof. What a horrible season for both of us so far.

At this point, I've mostly lost interest in thi...
On Big Ten Football 2020: Week 1 Recap
Ken said:
I stand corrected. I looked at the ESPN play-by-play to count IU's timeouts and they must have not i...
On Big Ten Football 2020: Week 1 Recap
Dan* said:
Hi Ken, good to see you back for another season of commentary! Looking forward to some football.

C...
On College Football 2019: Final
Ken said:
Hey Dan, thanks for being my only subscriber! Yeah I'll be rooting for Penn State (Memphis is a weir...
On College Football 2019: Final
Dan* said:
Thanks for the great articles this year Ken! I hope the Big 19 kicks ass in the bowl games. See you...


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Big Ten Football 2020: Week 3 Recap and Week 4 Preview
Monday, 2020 November 9 - 5:44 pm
So, uh, are we ready to stop watching football yet? Michigan and Penn State both lose in alarming fashion.

Michigan 21, Indiana 38
Michigan entered this game minus its two starting offensive tackles, and the impact was severe. Michigan only rushed for 13 yards on the day. THIRTEEN. But it's not just on the backup tackles: for some reason, Michigan refuses to make Joe Milton into a running threat. The cardinal rule of inferior teams running a spread offense is that if you can't block a defensive lineman, option him. That's what the zone read is all about, and Michigan stubbornly refuses to embrace it. That's entirely on Jim Harbaugh.

On defense, Michigan desperately tried to go to a zone defense to cover up its cornerback issues, and very much looked like a team that's only practiced zone defense for five days. The defensive problems run deep, and they're only going to get worse with star DE Aidan Hutchinson out for the rest of the regular season with a broken ankle.

Joe Milton had an okay day passing, especially considering he had no functional running game around him to rely on. It's increasingly looking like Milton flinging balls into tight windows is the only thing this team has going for it, and that's not going to win a lot of games.

Michigan vs #13 Wisconsin, 7:30 PM ABC
Next week Michigan gets Wisconsin, if the Badgers can remain COVID-free enough to play. Badgers QB Graham Mertz might not get a lot of practice in, but frankly I doubt it'll make much difference. Remember this was a guy who went 20 for 21 and had five touchdowns in his first game. If Michigan doesn't figure out something fast (I dunno, maybe play with seven defensive backs on every play), it could get ugly.

Prediction: Michigan 12, Wisconsin 45.

Penn State 19, Maryland 35
Taulia Tagovaiola is starting to look like his big brother; he passed for 282 yards and three touchdowns on just 26 attempts. Sean Clifford had 340 yards for his part, but that came on 57 attempts as Penn State struggled to run the ball. Meanwhile three Penn State turnovers were enough to make this a blowout. It only looked semi-respectable on the scoreboard when Penn State scored two late touchdowns.

Penn State at Nebraska, 12:00 PM FS1
Next week Penn State maybe gets a bit of a breather against 0-2 Nebraska, though it should be noted that Nebraska's two losses came again 3-0 Ohio State and 3-0 Northwestern. It's not going to be a gimme.

Prediction: Penn State 21, Nebraska 20.


I dunno, man. Michigan and Penn State are sitting at the bottom of the Big Ten with a combined 1-5 record. At least one team will get another win because they have to play each other. But for the rest of Michigan's schedule, only Rutgers seems plausibly winnable, and remember that's a team that beat Michigan State. 2-6 seems highly likely.

Penn State has a slightly easier road ahead with Nebraska, Rutgers, Michigan, and MSU all seeming like winnable games. But Iowa, who just crushed MSU 49-7 might be a tough out. 4-4 is looking like the optimistic end of the spectrum.

I'd long been a defender of Jim Harbaugh, thinking that better options were likely to be hard to find. But man. Watching him stubbornly cling to power running concepts that are simply not working is painful. And Don Brown, who we all thought of as a genius for many years, has got to face judgment for getting torched by OSU and every other halfway decent team lately. Who could Michigan get that would be better than Harbaugh? I dunno. But if we do indeed end up with a 2-6 season, I think we might be getting ready to find out.

Games to Watch on TV
There are zero games feature two ranked teams next week. Maybe it'll be a good day to go for a picnic.
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Posted by Ken in: sports

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