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Big Ten Review-Recap Week 8: Maryland Is A Friend Of The Gnomes

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Welcome back to the best gnome moderated Big Ten recap on the internet.

Illinois

BYE WEEK.

Did you hear you that the Illini are wearing special unis for Minnesota? Because they're wearing new unis for Minnesota. The Champaign Room has details:

The uniforms intend to honor the 90th anniversary of Red Grange's performance in the inaugural contest at Memorial Stadium. Grange, who's widely regarded as the greatest college football player of all time, scored four touchdowns and racked up 262 total yards in the first 12 minutes of the game against Michigan.  He also ran for a fifth touchdown and threw for a sixth later in the game to help Illinois hand the Wolverines their first loss in two years.

The gnomes were hoping for something a little more spooky.

08-IL ghost

In other news, the uniforms aren't going to help much. Maybe they would if they were uniforms that announced the firing of Tim Beckman or the Lazarus like return of Wes Lunt. But uniforms that might match the sky on Saturday? Ehhhhhhh...

Indiana

Purdue scored more points against Michigan State than you did. Tevin Coleman's talent is being wasted. You're looking at another season without a bowl game. All that said, you guys are crazy if you fire Kevin Wilson.

08_IU_fire

Seriously. That's not snark from the gnomes. They really do think he's your best shot right now. Give the man a little more time.

Crimson Quarry is dealing with the fact that things look grim:

This certainly wasn't the way Zander Diamont envisioned starting his collegiate career. The son of a soap opera star was not able to provide much drama yesterday, and after the third quarter, he was 4-for-13 with negative-2 pass yards. Diamont showed some legs as he ran it in for a touchdown that briefly put the Hoosiers ahead in the second quarter, but his passing looked like it still needed much work. To be fair, he was going up against a tough MSU defense; however, there were not many positives to take away from his performance. In addition, seeing the offense struggle was particularly frustrating, because entertaining offenses have been a highlight of the Kevin Wilson era.

The other side of the ball was not much better. The Spartans showed why they were ranked fourth in points per game score going into this season, and their balanced attack put up 662 total yards. While he struggled at times, Connor Cook finished 24-for-32 with 332 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Many of the rushing yards came in garbage time; however, the Spartans still had two 100-yard rushers in Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford on the game.

Bye week upcoming, which probably just means more "FIRE EVERYONE" angst. Sorry Hoosier blogger bros. In other news, that's a wonderfully comprehensive recap post I linked to. Nice work TCQ!

Iowa

You lost to poopy looking turtles! TURTLES! The gnomes never thought they'd like the turtles, but THEY LIKE THE TURTLES! This is what you've done Kirk. I'm sure Black Heart Gold Pants is proud:

Iowa was supposed to out-physical Maryland Saturday. And then the opposite happened.

Good lead. Not very proud of the performance yet, but that's ok.

Iowa defensive end Drew Ott picked off Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown on the first play of Saturday's game between the Hawkeyes and Terrapins, leading to a Mark Weisman touchdown after a five-play, 32-yard drive.  After a defensive stop, Iowa's offense again sliced through Maryland, needing just seven plays to cover 80 yards and give the Hawkeyes a 14-0 lead.  We didn't know what to do.  We were having bad thoughts.

And then Iowa ran out of offensive plays.  It was the first quarter.

That last line looks promising. Go on...

Over 13 offensive series in the following 44 minutes, Iowa's offense managed just 148 yards and seven points, punting the ball nine times and turning it over twice.

Maryland series

Over that same period, Maryland scored 38 points, racked up 397 yards of offense, intercepted one of the stupidest passes in the history of the game and returned it for a touchdown, and did it all despite having horrible field position throughout.  Maryland was markedly better than Iowa on offense, on defense, and on special teams.  It dominated both Iowa's offensive and defensive lines.  It wholly and completely controlled the game.  The superiority was total, and it was obvious.

08_IA

Perhaps that is the most disappointing aspect of Saturday's loss: Iowa was not beaten by finesse and speed as we had feared, but by brute force in the trenches. An offensive line that prides itself on being the "Bullies of the Big Ten" got shut down by a three-man front and a stiff breeze.  The hard-hitting Iowa defense took more hits than it gave.  There is no room for grandstanding or hyperbole after a loss that comprehensive.  There is only acceptance of where we are: The middle of a poor conference, at best, and sliding.

Also, Jim Delany would like a word Iowa...

Jim Delany Deal With It

Maryland

Gnome Welcome Friends

The gnomes heart you Maryland. It won't last, so enjoy it now.

Talk to us Testudo Times:

Saturday's football game highlighted a BIG team that was methodical, unflashy, physical, and in control of both sides of the line. And Iowa was there too.

That's some quality trolling out of the gate.

Michigan

Even on a bye week you're adorable Michigan. We went to Maize n Brew to see if they fired Hoke yet. Spoiler, the answer was no. However, they did get pants'd in hockey over the weekend:

Facing a team with no proven secondary scoring options, an underclassmen blueline and a freshman goaltender, Michigan fell into the finesse style of hockey that plagued them last season. The Wolverines knew that they had to win the possession battle, slow the pace down and get bodies to the net; instead they tried to play a high tempo transition game that New Hampshire loves to play and got punched in the mouth.

Brady Hoke is proud of you hockey team. Real ManPuck work there.

Michigan State

Well, it's clear you weren't about to be made the fool by two Indiana based squads in a row.

Congrats on earning that 8-bit turkey dinner Spartans. The Only Colors has thoughts:

After three 11-win seasons in the last four years, I ask this question as a proud Michigan State alumnus.

Are we getting too greedy?

On the surface, Saturday's 56-17 dismantling of Indiana, which was highlighted by the offense piling 662 yards of total offense in the midst of scoring 42 unanswered points to turn a 17-14 deficit into a 56-17 rout, looks like business as usual.

But, to me, there's still an issue that continues to creep up and if it isn't addressed, the Spartans may certainly pay for it later on.

The defense's propensity to be absolutely gashed in the running game at times has been a recurring problem throughout the year and Saturday was no different as Indiana's Tevin Coleman, the nation's leading rusher, had 132 of the Hoosiers' 213 rushing yards, an output aided by a 75-yard TD run from Shane Wynn that brought Indiana to within 14-10 early in the second quarter.

While I'm not jumping off the ledge regarding the defense, I know that, in three weeks' time, errors and miscommunications like that might not be so forgiving.

The 2014 Michigan State defense isn't the 2013 Michigan State defense. I think we can all agree on that. It doesn't have to be, though.

All I can continue to do is hope that the cohesiveness and rhythm of the defense will get better as the calendar turns from October to November.

The gnomes aren't sure if they're supposed to care about you beating Ohio State to keep in the running for College Football Playoff. So they probably won't. Care that is.

Nebraska

Well played Huskers. But the gnomes have to wonder what Bo Pelini has against this, the most exciting series in college football? Corn Nation dissects the win:

At halftime, Northwestern not only led on the scoreboard, but also on most statistical measures, outgaining the Huskers 262 to 227 yards.  But that was the extent of the highlights for Northwestern on the evening, as Nebraska dominated the second half.  How dominant?  Nebraska gained 241 yards; Northwestern gained just 28 yards.  Siemian was a net negative as he threw for 25 yards and lost 37 yards on sacks.  Jackson was held in check as well, gaining just 30 yards.

Also, this happened:

DAYUM.

Northwestern

Well, the first half was pretty good. Inside NU thinks the sucky second half was predictable and not worth watching:

My friends never leave early. They've seen some pretty rough Northwestern football games, but they're always there until the end. The one time they did leave early before Saturday night? The rainy blowout loss to Michigan State in 2013 when it "felt like" 10 degrees outside.

When it comes to Northwestern students, my friends are about as diehard as they come. Saturday's game was my first time in the student section, and I never anticipated leaving early. But when Nebraska went ahead 38-17 with a little over three minutes left, we decided to head out.

One friend's justification? "They don't deserve us if they play like this."

...

Rather than try to win by as much as possible, NU did the "safe" thing — which, ironically, is not the safest idea — and tried to control the game. Failed drive after failed drive due to ultra-conservative play-calling and bad execution kept the defense on the field longer and longer, and whoosh, the lead was suddenly a blowout. As I wrote last week, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but against all of our hope, it happened again: A boring, frustrating game, and another reminder that Northwestern is entirely irrelevant on the national scene.

Gnome Feel The Excitement

It's palpable.

Ohio State

BYE WEEK. Wait. That's not right.

BEATDOWN OF RUTGERS.

Nothing else to be said. We'll let Land Grant Holy Land say more anyhow:

From just about the opening drive -- in which OSU forced a Rutgers three-and-out -- on through the final whistle, the Buckeyes' welcoming of Rutgers to the Big Ten wasn't particularly merciful. The Bucks continued to look like a burgeoning, potential playoff side, where as Rutgers undid much of the good will they'd earned in an upset of Michigan in the Big House two weeks prior. Ohio State accrued well over 500 total yards, while it took garbage time for Rutgers to crack 300.

Penn State

BYE WEEK. And now you get the chance to lose to Ohio State. What do you think about that Black Shoe Diaries?

Let's talk about the three most likely possibilities for this weekend, shall we?

Scenario #1: Penn State gets blown out

After watching the Nittany Lions most recent losses, this seems to be what most of the fan base is anticipating. There are plenty of reasons to agree with them. Ohio State is playing masterful football right now. JT Barrett looks like a seasoned veteran, not a freshman. The defensive line is playing up to their monster potential, even without Noah Spence. Urban Meyer even recently stated that this upcoming night game on ABC will be a chance to make a statement on national television.

Penn State is truthfully not prepared to handle this team.

Purdue

This is a snark free zone. You earned it Purdue.

Hammer and Rails has thoughts:

While it is encouraging to play a good team like Minnesota close in their home stadium, it is not a win. In consecutive weeks now we have played the teams that might play in Indianapolis for the Big Ten title and taken them down to the end. There is no question this program has moved forward, but the key is not being complacent. A year ago at this time we celebrated a 14-0 loss to Michigan State. Today we lost by a point to Minnesota. Both sucked, but today was a sign that Purdue has moved forward.

Rutgers

Welcome to the Big Ten.

On The Banks:

Sometimes, you have one of those games where it's simply brutal to have to sit through, and then write about it after. This is one of those games. Ohio State completely dominated Rutgers on Saturday, piling up 585 yards of total offense in the game. Buckeye QB J.T. Barrett was magic once again, throwing three touchdowns on 19 of 31 passing for 261 yards. Barrett was OSU's leading rusher as well, running for 107 yards and two scores.

The Scarlet Knight defense simply failed to show up in this game. They could not get consistent pressure at all on Barrett, and whenever OSU's receivers were covered, Barrett would scramble for a first down with ease. Poor tackling was a pain point for Kyle Flood once again, as the Buckeyes feasted on yards after the first hit. It's tough to say what exactly the factor was for the poor showing, whether it was the home field advantage of Ohio Stadium or the difference in talent for RU, but the Knights just didn't have the intensity in this game. The best plays in the first half were false starts by Ohio State or missed passes by the quarterback. Quite simply, it looked way too easy for OSU to find the end zone on each and every drive.

Wisconsin

BYE WEEK. Poopy turtles are up next. But enough about that. Let's talk hockey...

Gnomes Cackle With Excitement

Bucky's 5th Quarter?

In its worst start since the 2008-09 season, the Wisconsin men's hockey team has quickly fallen to 0-4.

Go on...

After losing Friday's contest 2-0, the Badgers didn't have much of an answer for NMU on Saturday, dropping the series finale to the Wildcats, 4-1.

In front of an announced crowd of 4,559 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin was able to out-shoot Northern Michigan by a 25-18 margin, but once again struggled to put the puck in the back of the net. One major reason for the ineptitude on offense has been the lack of chances generated by a power play that has gone a staggering 0-18 to start the season.

...

uw hockey fail

The gnomes hope it doesn't.