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On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Ken said:
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good b...
On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Dan* said:
I'm not sure how I feel about this game. On one hand, I feel pretty optimistic that we have the tale...
On College Football 2022: Week 1 Preview
Dan* said:
Glad to see you'll be back writing football again, Ken! Congrats on the easy win today. You didn't ...
On College Football 2021: Week 10 Recap and Week 11 P...
Ken said:
Yeah, sorry one of our teams had to lose. I've come to appreciate Penn State as a classy and sympath...
On College Football 2021: Week 10 Recap and Week 11 P...
Dan* said:
Hey Ken, congratulations on the win yesterday! Some really odd choices by our coaching staff in that...

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Big Ten Football 2020: Week 5 Recap and Week 6 Preview
Tuesday, 2020 November 24 - 2:52 pm
Michigan defeats Rutgers (yay?). Penn State loses to Iowa.

Michigan 48, Rutgers 42 (3OT)
Michigan went down 17-0 in this game before benching QB Joe Milton and putting in Cade McNamara. Michigan went on a 35-10 scoring run and was up 35-27 late in the fourth quarter, but Rutgers scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion to send the game to overtime.

Overtime was largely a comedy of errors by both teams (the first OT featured field goal misses by both kickers) but Michigan held on to win by intercepting Rutgers' last-ditch touchdown attempt.

What can we learn from this game? Probably not much. McNamara was a spark again for Michigan, but the change in the offense's success was probably more due to a change in play-calling than anything else. Still, it's hard to overlook how much more decisive McNamara seems to be. His reads seem faster, and he seems to have one skill that Milton doesn't: the wherewithal to throw the ball away instead of taking a sack.

The defense is still a disaster. It didn't help that one of the best players who's still healthy, Daxton Hill, seemed to be loafing on a lot of plays. The backup defensive line got crunched. Surprisingly, the corners held up decently. Maybe if Michigan gets healthy then they'll...

Oh, there I go again, finding hope. In reality, it might have been better if Michigan had lost this game, bringing about needed changes sooner instead of prolonging the inevitable. Some people say it's easier to make improvements after a win, and maybe that's true. But it also might make the coaches blind to the wholesale changes that are desperately needed.

Penn State 21, Iowa 41
This game was statistically close (Penn State had 342 yards to Iowa's 361), but I don't think that really reflects how dominant Iowa's defensive and offensive lines were. Penn State only managed 1.8 YPC on the ground.

But the real story, again, is mistakes. Penn State turned the ball over four times. Will Levis' second fumble got him benched, but Sean Clifford didn't fare much better. The game was sealed when Clifford threw an interception to a defensive lineman and couldn't run him down to make a touchdown-saving tackle, to boot.

Meanwhile, star TE Pat Freiermuth will have season-ending surgery for an injury suffered three weeks ago, which will have a definite impact on the Penn State offense. Freiermuth's playmaking abilities aside, we'll have to see what effect his loss, plus an 0-5 record, has on the psyche of this team. Which brings me to...

Michigan vs. Penn State, 12:00 PM ABC
It's not the situation we expected for this game. Before the season, it was conceivable that we'd see two unbeaten teams here, or maybe two one-loss teams. But now we have two demoralized teams struggling to stay out of the Big Ten cellar.

There are plenty of unknowns here. Michigan has two wins, yes, but they were against bad teams; Penn State has unquestionably played a tougher schedule so far. Michigan has a number of injured players and getting healthy might lead to more improvement; but will those players be back for next week, and will they have had enough practice reps to make a difference? Penn State seems like a more experienced and physically superior team, but they're also injury-depleted and probably suffering from morale problems.

It will probably come down to coaching, and that's a bit funny because coaching has been pretty lousy for both teams. Will Harbaugh run six plays during a two-minute drill because of poor clock management? Will Franklin punt the ball from the Michigan 35 yard line? Who knows.

Prediction: Michigan 25, Penn State 25, and somehow both teams lose.

Games to Watch on TV
Our game is at noon on ABC, I guess. NC State plays Syracuse on ACCN at that time too, and NC State is quietly having a pretty good year.

#1 Alabama plays #22 Auburn at 3:30 PM on CBS. #11 Northwestern plays Michigan State on ESPN2.
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