As we all know by now, UGA has lost 2 big commits in the last few days. Although the 1st reaction is to wonder to yourself “what’s going on in Athens” there’s still no reason to panic just yet. Kirby has shown time and time again that he might knows a thing or 2 about recruiting. Also let’s keep in mind that these upcoming high school seniors have not had the opportunity to visit campuses on officials since March of 2020, so these guys are finally getting the opportunity to have the red carpet rolled out for them. Let’s let these kids live it up for now and know the “G”, and one of the best closers in the business in Kirby, will be fine come signing day.
On the bright side, after UGA losing 2 5 ⭐️‘S they are still ranked ahead of Florida.
Those were all things I thought before I read this Tweet on Tuesday morning. That is not how any of this works! A player doesn’t get to decide if they’re “good” to play. It is literally why there is a concussion protocol.
Remember when Brady Hoke was coach at Michigan and he put Shane Morris back into a game after Morris CLEARLY suffered a concussion?
This is BRUTAL to watch. First of all, Morris should have come out at the beginning of the video after getting his leg rolled up, but Hoke leaves him in. Then Morris gets tattooed by a Minnesota defender and needs help standing from one of his linemen. Finally, a play later, he takes himself out of the game ONLY TO BE PUT BACK IN A FEW PLAYS LATER WHEN BACKUP QB DEVIN GARDNER’S HELMET COMES OFF AND HE HAS TO SIT FOR A PLAY!
WHAT THE SHIT?!?
So, that was terrible and Hoke was eventually fired after there were protests on Michigan’s campus about this. Dantonio not knowing whether or not his starting QB has a concussion or the fact that he didn’t insist that he get checked for one is concerning to say the least. It is dangerous and negligent and completely abandons everything a football coach that still gave a shit would do, in actuality.
Asked Mark Dantonio today if the sideline went through any concussion protocol after Brian Lewerke took a hit to the head Sat in the 4th Q. MD said that didn’t happen. Was looked at ‘very quickly.’ Lewerke said he was good and played the final series.
In comments after the game, Dantonio said they checked him, but that does not seem to be the case. Mark Dantonio can kiss my ass and hopefully after his team gets boat-raced by Michigan he never coaches football again.
S&P+ rank: Overall 19th, Offense 15th, Defense 35th, Special Teams 9th
Last week’s results: BYE
Biggest strength: The crazy bastards did it. They ranked Indiana.
None of the players on the team were even alive the last time Indiana was ranked. Good for them! #9WINDIANA FOREVER!
Biggest weakness: So, the NBA season is humming right along.
“just don’t talk to me about ben simmons’ jump shot – it’s like with a girlfriend, i accept him the way he is and support him when he tries to change” – my philly cab driver when i told him i was a sportswriter
For the sake of my sanity I need Ben Simmons to shoot a three pointer when he returns from his injury. I don’t care if it goes in. I don’t care if it becomes a meme on #NBATwitter. He just needs to shoot one. The fact that he won’t worries me. It worries me that he’ll never even become a below average shooter, which is all he needs to become to unlock the next level of his talent, and teams will continue to erase him from the offense in the playoffs.
JUST SHOOT ONE, BEN!
This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 4 Penn State, 11:00 a.m. CST, ABC
S&P+ rank: Overall 80th, Offense 65th, Defense 71st, Special Teams 128th
Last week’s results: (L) at No. 1 Ohio State, 73-14
Biggest strength: I couldn’t believe that Ohio State just kept scoring in this game. Every time this game came across the bottom line Maryland had given up more points. The Terps threw for 77 yards and ran for 62 yards in the first quarter. ::puts finger to ear:: I’m sorry, what’s that?
Those stats are for the entire game? All four quarters? Well…ok then.
Keandre Jones just got mobbed by his former Ohio State teammates. Then, Jones stopped them to say, “Hey, one thing. I’m proud of you boys. Go win the natty.” pic.twitter.com/WyisefcfqZ
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Michigan State, 11:00 a.m. CST, FOX
Michigan State Spartans
S&P+ rank: Overall 35th, Offense 84th, Defense 11th, Special Teams 108th
Last week’s results: (L) vs. Illinois, 37-34
Biggest strength:Brian Lewerke had a bad game. He threw three picks to one touchdown, but he ran the ball really well, scampering for 96 yards and a score. Elijah Collins ran for 170 yards and two scores.
MSU used to win because Dantonio had an edge and a chip and his team played like it and was mentally tough enough to win the close games. Now…not. pic.twitter.com/P8lby4hTJQ
This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 14 Michigan, 11:00 a.m. CST, FOX
Ohio State Buckeyes
S&P+ rank: Overall 1st, Offense 4th, Defense 1st, Special Teams 16th
Last week’s results: (W) vs. Maryland, 73-14
Biggest strength: Three different quarterbacks combined to go 26-of-38 for 322 yards and four touchdowns. The rushing attacking had 56 carries for 383 yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers are a lot better than Maryland’s numbers, huh?
It’s almost like Ohio State was mad about something and decided to take it out on the next poor, hapless sap that happened to cross their path. If Young isn’t back this week we’re gonna need to send FEMA to the Rutgers/Ohio State game.
Biggest weakness: Giving up that many yards to Maryland is problematic.
I’ve seen some people try and explain away this loss for Penn State by saying the turnover luck was bad or some such, but when you’re leaving dudes this open you’re going to have a bad time. Journey Brown had 124 yards and two touchdowns and probably should’ve gotten more than 14 carries. K.J. Hamler had 119 yards and TE Pat Freiermuth had 101 yards and seemed basically uncoverable for most of the game.
Micah Parsons had 11 tackles and a sack for a PSU defense that got gashed by the Gophers through the air.
Biggest weakness: The passing defense left a lot to be desired as did the play calling on offense.
James Franklin must be a mind-bending coach to have for your favorite football team. Some of his decisions are just beyond explanation. A fade on fourth and goal to Hamler ain’t it, chief. At least he went for it there, I guess. Baby steps!
folks, we got a whole bunch of late game James Franklin
The Illini became bowl eligible after the biggest comeback in school history and I know I should hate Illinois for beating Wisconsin earlier this year but…I just can’t. I’m happy for the Illini and their long-suffering fans.
Brandon Peters threw for 369 yards and three scores (and one pick, but who cares!) and Josh Imatorbhebhe had four catches for an eye-popping 178 yards and two scores.
The defense had four guys record double digit tackles with Dele Harding leading the way with 14. They also forced four turnovers. Sydney Brown had two of the turnovers and ran one back for a touchdown.
Biggest weakness: The running game was awful (27 carries for 36 yards) and everything Bill C. lists below happened.
Went back and watched the Illinois comeback, and … they did EVERYTHING WRONG. It was spectacular. First TD was nearly an accident, they wasted a RZ TO, missed game-tying PAT, threw a 4th-and-goal fade, subbed and took their time with <15 seconds left … and it ALL WORKED OUT.
I hate playing Iowa. I feel like every game is like this one where I think Wisconsin should win handily and then all of a sudden the Hawkeyes are lining up for a game-tying two point conversion and I’m like…“what the hell?”
Iowa’s rushing game, on both sides of the ball, was awful. So was their third down conversion game, again, on both sides of the ball.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 17 Minnesota, 3:00 p.m. CST, FOX
Minnesota Golden Gophers
S&P+ rank: Overall 13th, Offense 7th, Defense 25th, Special Teams 92nd
Last week’s results: (W) vs. No. 4 Penn State, 31-26
Biggest strength:Tanner Morgan had his second game of the season where he completed 90% of his passes. He also threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns. A pretty masterful performance against a stout defense. Rashod Bateman has amazing. He caught seven passes for 203 yards and a score. Tyler Johnson had seven catches as well but only accumulated 104 yards and a score. Smh, Tyler.
I really want to doubt this Minnesota team and say “Penn State was overrated” and “they had fewer yards and first downs than PSU” and “they won’t average 17 fucking yards per pass again” and “they got lucky with turnovers” but all of that is just sour grapes.
Minnesota is 9-0.
That isn’t something that just happens because you’re lucky. You also have to be good and I now think that Minnesota is good. Their hardest remaining game is this weekend at Kinnick Stadium, aka Where Dreams Go To Die Stadium, and if they make it out of there unscathed they’re probably going undefeated.
Nothing about playing an undefeated Minnesota for the Axe in the last game of the season in Minneapolis (with a top-four ranking on the line?) sounds appealing to me and I see few scenarios where the Badgers come out with win like that.
Will they give Ohio State a game in the conference title matchup? I doubt it, but I’ve doubted basically every single thing about the Gophers this year and here they are in the top-ten proving every idiot like me wrong.
I hate it so much.
This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 18 Iowa, 3:00 p.m. CST, FOX
S&P+ rank: Overall 57th, Offense 52nd, Defense 63rd, Special Teams 122nd
Last week’s results: BYE
Biggest strength: I hope that this spawns a whole new series of vulgar signs in foreign languages causing the ESPN censors to have to hire multiple translators.
After every Nebraska loss this year, and there have been many, some Huskers fan/reporter/both tweets something like this. That isn’t leadership, that’s being accountable to your teammates. Which, to be fair, is a part of leadership but isn’t the whole shebang. Adrian Martinez may be a great leader, I don’t know, but him stating a fact that he played poorly does not make him a “leader of men” like Nebraska so desperately wants him to be.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 13 Wisconsin, 11:00 a.m. CST, BTN
S&P+ rank: Overall 90th, Offense 126th, Defense 20th, Special Teams 115th
Last week’s results: (L) vs. Purdue, 24-22
Biggest strength: Look, I know Northwestern actually played a game and even scored some points, but I do NOT want to talk about Wildcats football if I don’t have to. And, well, this is my column…so I won’t.
I love Purdue, man. They are on their 11th string QB and still threw the ball 50 times! Aidan O’Connell had 271 yards, two TDs and two picks (electric stuff!) and lead the Boilermakers to a comeback win (his second game-winning drive in as many weeks) over an atrocious Northwestern team. David Bell had 14 catches for 115 yards and one of those touchdowns.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, and we had some moments where we looked really bad,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. A quote from the winning coach every time a game is played in Evanston.
Biggest weakness: This is a good joke. Stop worrying about spreading the wealth and start worrying about spreading the ball around to the skill positions IMO.
When Republican Purdue fans see that their QB this week is named Aidan O’Connell they will call him AOC and blame the loss on him.
Jonathan Taylor was amazing. Nobody had even rushed for 100 yards against Iowa’s defense this year and he ran for 250. Really weird that he didn’t get into the end zone, but it was nice of him to allow his teammates to score a few. Quintez Cephus looked good and caught a 52-yard pass. The defense was really stout, for most of the game, and Matt Henningsen got another sack.
Biggest weakness: Shouts to you, Kirk Ferentz!
I’d just like to take this moment to say I’m grateful for Kirk Ferentz playing it safe and “keeping the points on the board” by declining the running into the kicker penalty that would have made it 4th and 2 down 8 in the fourth quarter.
Letting Iowa get back into the game in the fourth quarter was annoying. The kicking game is REALLY annoying and the punting game wasn’t much better. Jack Coan was…ok. I wish the Badgers would call a couple of pass plays that resulted in a player getting the ball in the middle of the field with, potentially, some space to run after the catch.
This week’s opponent: Saturday at Nebraska, 11:00 a.m. CST, BTN
Of course, the Buckeyes remain atop the LGHL rankings.
Last Saturday, the LSU Tigers went into Tuscaloosa, Ala. and knocked off the Alabama Crimson Tide, so there was little doubt that the Tigers would remain in the top spot of the SB Nation FanPulse Top 25 this week. However, with the Tide’s loss, the Ohio State Buckeyes have climbed up a rung on the ladder and now sit as the second-ranked team in the country.
On the Land-Grant Holy Land side of the survey, the Buckeyes remain the top team (natch), followed by LSU and Clemson, and then those plucky, boat-rowing Gophers in fourth.
For what appears to be Big Ten allegiance-related reasons, we Ohio State fans have P.J. Fleck’s crew three spots higher than the rest of the country does. Similarly, the LGHL poll has the Indiana Hoosiers two spots north of where the collective SBN voting body has them.
Check out both the LGHL and SBN polls:
In addition to the Top 25 poll, the FanPulse survey also asks additional questions every week, and this time around they asked who respondents felt was the favorite in the Heisman Trophy race. I have a few thoughts:
This whole Chase Young absurdity is a travesty. He is the best player in college football, and if it wasn’t for antiquated, hypocritical rules from a governing body that has long outlived its usefulness, I would have been pounding the table that he deserved top billing in this poll.
WHERE. IS. J.K. DOBBINS?
Also, every week, FanPulse gauges the level of confidence that fans have in the direction of their specific program. This week, for the ninth time on the season, LGHL’s readers said that they were 100 percent confident in the direction of the OSU football program, which is pretty impressive.
Still not over numskulls who weren’t confident early in the season, but I at least appreciate their willingness to see the error of their ways following Week 3.
The defense. Oregon State went one for 13 on third downs. OSU only ran five plays in Washington territory, the deepest of which was on the the 37-yard line. Washington held OSU to 119 total yards of offense. That is a dominating defensive performance! That’s the least amount of yards the Huskies have given up in a Pac-12 road game since 1991. The defense also pitched a shutout against the Beaver’s offense, although a Jacob Eason pick-six let them sneak onto the scoreboard.
The secondary across the board had a great game, limiting OSU QB Jake Luton to 88 passing yards. A special kudos goes to Elijah Molden for his pick near the end of the first half:
Edefuan Ulofoshio the redshirt freshman walk-on linebacker continues to make a name for himself. “Eddy” finished the game with a team high nine tackles, as well as 1.5 sacks, and 1.5 TFLs. He and fellow redshirt freshman linebacker Jackson Sirmon played a majority of snaps at ILB against OSU and brought an effective and physical performance to the game.
Joe Tryon had his best game as a Husky. At 6’5” with arms the length of legs, Tryon is a physical specimen that coaches and fans alike have been waiting to see go off. He’s flashed his potential on and off the last season and a half, but on Friday he put on a dominant performance. He ended the night with seven tackles, two sacks, and 4.5 TFLs. Without taking too much credit away from him, this performance did come against a mediocre Oregon State offensive line and we’ll need to see more consistency from him moving forward. But regardless, this was a great showing and hopefully just an example of what’s to come for the third-year sophomore.
The running game. Salvon Ahmed had a fantastic game, rushing for 174 yards with an average of 7 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Combined with Richard Newton and three other ball carries who combined for four total carries, Washington rushed for 245 yards on 48 carries. The offensive line blocked very well tonight, opening up some large holes for Ahmed in the second half. Ahmed gets some extra credit in this game for running through several tackles and playing with a more physical running style than we have seen from him in the past. Perhaps it can be attributed to the return of Newton, whose running style could be described as “violent” and may have rubbed off on Ahmed.
Hunter Bryant. Despite making what was nearly Washington’s best offensive play of the game (it was still very good), Bryant ultimately had a disappointing day. He had at least four dropped passes and was only able to haul in five of his 12 targets. A couple of those incompletions were balls that Eason overthrew, but overall Bryant looked remarkably inconsistent on Friday.
Jacob Eason. It might not be entirely fair to claim that Eason belongs exclusively in the bad category for this game. He did some good things and the insane number of drops from his receivers (a season long issue) certainly negatively impacted his numbers and overall performance. But, his two interceptions were avoidable and he overthrew guys a number of times. He ended the night with 175 passing yards while completing just 50% of his 32 pass attempts, well below his season average. It’s likely that this is more than just an Eason issue, as Washington’s general passing game has been a problem all season long.
Coming into the game, Peyton Henry was a perfect 16/16 on field goals this season. However, he only made two of his four field goal attempts on Friday, and one of those field goals comes with a bit of an asterisk. OSU had a defensive holding penalty on a field goal that Henry initially missed, giving him a second chance to hit it, which he did.
Clock management! This is maybe the fourth time this season there has been a glaring head scratcher of a decision in regards to clock management. While this one ultimately had limited negative implications for the final outcome of the game, if things had ended differently, it would have been a much bigger issue. Specifically, at the end of the first half with time winding down, Washington had one timeout left with eight seconds on the clock on OSU’s 11 yard line. But instead of using their timeout, Washington decided to spike the ball when the clock was down to four seconds. They ultimately wasted an opportunity to take one more shot at the endzone and instead ended up missing a field goal to end the half.
So what’s up with Ty Jones? He played in his first game of the year and saw five snaps, but didn’t get a target. Presumably the coaching staff is easing him back into things. Given the new redshirt rules, Jones can play in the final two regular season games and the bowl game, while still maintaining his redshirt.
Sean McGrew? It appears that McGrew is still recovering from a lingering injury. After getting a pretty regular workload as the number two or three back in the first half of the season, he was sidelined for the past few games. He saw action on special teams against Oregon State, but didn’t have a single carry.
ILB Brandon Wellington appears to have suffered a head injury in the first half of the OSU game and was seen wearing street clothes on the sidelines in the second half. He’s presumably under concussion protocol and will be week-to-week moving forward. Does this mean that Ulofoshio and Sirmon will be the two starting inside linebackers next week? We’ll see what the coaching staff does with Kyler Manu, but it’s looking like a strong possibility.
The Arizona State Sun Devils announced on Tuesday that they will plan the Florida Gators in 2028 and 2031. On September 16, 2028 the Gators will travel to Tempe, while the Sun Devils head to Gainesville on either September 6 or 13 in 2031.
Athletic Director Ray Anderson announced the plan.
“This agreement with the University of Florida provides our fan base with yet another elite series with a Power 5 opponent,” Anderson said in a statement. ”The addition of Florida complements our future schedules, which already include series with LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State and BYU. We are proud of our future football schedules and of the fact that we can produce quality and interesting matchups for our fan base to enjoy.”
This is another addition to a pretty good list of conference opponents for the Sun Devils coming up that have also arranged Home/Home series.
With no major changes to this week’s depth chart, the Tigers seem content with running it back with the same group as Florida comes into town.
Missouri released its 10th official depth chart on Tuesday following its third straight conference loss, this time to Georgia, on Saturday. The next game won’t be any easier as the Tigers face No. 11 Florida, but at least they get the Gators at Faurot Field, the place where Missouri is 5-0 this season.
Here’s the full depth chart with some quick reactions following it:
87 Cade Musser 5-9 200 RSFr. Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs)
Depth chart analysis
Bryant still QB1, no movement at backup
Though he didn’t play against Georgia on Saturday due to a lingering hamstring injury, Kelly Bryant is still atop the depth chart at the quarterback position.
Bryant was also the starter on last week’s depth chart, though last Tuesday he said his hamstring was only at about 75%. He warmed up with Missouri prior to last week’s game, but Taylor Powell ended up starting instead. Head coach Barry Odom said post-game that he expected Bryant to be healthy by the time Florida comes into town this Saturday, so it makes sense that the Tigers would keep him at No. 1.
He may not be healthy just yet, but with five more days still to recover, Missouri is expecting Bryant to be good to go against the Gators.
Meanwhile, Powell remains the top option as Bryant’s backup. He had a lackluster performance against the Bulldogs, leading the offense past midfield just once in over three quarters of playing time. Powell doesn’t deserve all of the blame, though, thanks to the play of the pass catchers, offensive line, and running backs, who all had poor performances.
However, third-string quarterback Connor Bazelak was impressive in limited time when he replaced Powell in the fourth quarter, completing 8 of 12 passes for 64 yards while almost leading the only scoring drive of the night for Missouri (he and Dominic Gicinto couldn’t connect on fourth and goal for a touchdown).
There’s been speculation that Bazelak could see an uptick in playing time after his performance, and perhaps eventually move into the backup role.
But, as the depth chart shows, Odom and offensive coordinator Derek Dooley still have faith in Powell for the time being.
‘Or’ distinctions gone
Missouri removed ‘or’ distinctions throughout the depth chart, meaning there will be no co-starters this week against Florida.
That means that Jalen Knox, Larry Borom and Devin Nicholson are the confirmed starters at wide receiver, right tackle and middle linebacker, respectively, heading into Saturday.
Despite an impressive freshman year, Knox has disappeared for most of the past couple of months. He hasn’t caught more than a single pass in a game since Week 3 against SEMO, and has no more than eight receiving yards in a game in the same time span. Borom has been okay on the offensive line, but he’s picked up his share of holding penalties throughout the current losing streak and hasn’t done much to correct the issues that have plagued the line since after Homecoming.
Nicholson, on the other hand, has played a huge role in keeping the defense afloat after losing Cale Garrett. A true freshman, Nicholson has produced six total tackles in both the loss to Kentucky and the loss to Georgia. Though the defense still has trouble with mobile quarterbacks and strong run games, Nicholson has helped take control of the middle of the field alongside Nick Bolton.
It remains to be seen what each player has done to earn sole starter status. Perhaps they’ve shown in practice that without a doubt they are “the guy” at the position, though it’s possible the coaching staff decided having that uncertainty on the depth chart wasn’t something they wanted in the face of so much adversity.
Yes, this is an entertaining digression. And it’s also not going to happen. Sure, Sanders was arguably the greatest Seminole to ever wear the garnet and gold. But running fast and running a program are two very different things. With zero college coaching experience — much less as a head coach — Sanders is far better suited for his current role as an on-air personality.
But of course, people had to run with this.
Man it would be so dope and just seems PERFECT for Prime Time @DeionSanders to be the HC of FSU! I mean right?? One thing about it he would get in any household on the planet to talk with a kid/parent/s. #ItsTimeforPrime
Mannnnnn!!!!! @DeionSanders gotta be the HC at FSU! It’s only right. What’s right is right. That’d be great for the university, fans, football, and most importantly the student athletes. I’d send my sons to play for Coach Prime fr fr! #ItsTimeforPrime
And drew a playful jab from a former Seminole player.
BREAKING NEWS: Sources close to me confirmed that Alvin and the Chipmunks have emerged as candidates for the FSU head coaching position. Alvin will take the HC job with Theodore and Simon handling the play calling. This how y’all sound with the click bait… https://t.co/qXDi21x3t0
As an aside, I’d just like to re-emphasize that the Sanders-to-FSU thing originated with Rapoport and Mike Garafolo: his colleagues at NFL.com. If having your coworkers start a rumor about you is all it takes to make news, I do hope nobody at Tomahawk Nation goes public regarding my tawdry affair with Emma Stone.
The South Carolina Gamecocks enter Senior Night’s contest against Appalachian State in fairly good health for this time of year, although the backfield continues to struggle with having all hands on deck. Let former and oft-banged up cornerback Akeem Auguste guide you through a lengthy report which, thankfully, contains mostly good news.
The Clemson transfer who came in and made exactly the kind of instant impact Gamecock fans were hoping for is currently down for the count with a groin injury. This is unfortunate, since he and Rico Dowdle together have rejuvenated South Carolina’s rushing attack and made quite the duo when both were healthy.
It’s not exactly clear what Turner’s status is, but the running-back-corner-back utility player is still nursing a hamstring injury and those are notoriously difficult, so I wouldn’t expect to see him this week.
The junior wide receiver joins Turner in dealing with a hamstring pull. He’s officially considered questionable, but it sounds like his availability will ultimately be a game-time decision.
Rico Dowdle — Zero Augustes
But here’s the good news! Dowdle, who has struggled with a snake-bitten injury history throughout his career, suffered another blow to his ankle a couple weeks ago. Fortunately, he’s back to full speed and will be ready to go against the Apps.
The senior defensive lineman has been absent all season while battling a lingering infection after offseason ankle surgery. Coach Will Muschamp has given him the green light, but I’m not sure how much we’ll see him, given his prolonged recovery.
We’re still doing this. Northwestern (1-7, 0-6 Big Ten) is actually favored for the first time since UNLV as they ready to play host to Purdue (3-6, 2-4). But will the Boilermakers’ injuries get the better of them, or will it be the Wildcats who fail to capitalize on a winnable 11 a.m. home tilt?
Here’s how our staff sees things playing out on Parents Weekend in Evanston:
Joe Weinberg: Northwestern 10, Purdue 9
Lake the fucking posts.
Noah Coffman: Purdue 17, Northwestern 16
I really want to pick the Wildcats this week. I even think they’ll score a touchdown! But Aidan O’Connell, in limited action so far this season has seemed pretty solid for a third-string quarterback. He will outplay his fellow Aidan (or Hunter Johnson, we still don’t have an injury report) and Purdue’s complete lack of a run game won’t be enough to sink them.
With NU’s postseason hopes dashed, and Johnson nursing another injury, I hope the coaching staff will stay away from risking his health (but who knows at this point?) Aidan Smith will throw a touchdown, but Aidan O’Connell and the Boilermakers will dominate time of possession, and win the game easily.
This offense is not going to suddenly break through and muster enough points to win Big Ten games. Things don’t change as much as people would like to believe. As much as everyone wants to talk themselves into something like a 17-10 ‘Cats win, that’s just not what this team is this year. I don’t enjoy ripping on a team that’s filled with some really great people, but in 2019, they just aren’t good enough at football.
Mac Stone: Northwestern 13, Purdue 7
Northwestern is bad. Really, really bad. Purdue is also bad though, and will be without their best player in Rondale Moore, who went down in late September with a leg injury. This is going to be an eyesore of a game. The low score won’t be the result of good defense, but horrific offense. If you’re in Vegas, you’re betting your life on the under (the total is currently 39.5 points, who did the math on that?)
Colin Kruse: Purdue 9, Northwestern 6
Both teams are going to struggle immensely on offense, and the special teams units will have field days. Star turns from Andrew David, Trey Finison, and Kuhbander are incoming. Neither Aidan will lead their respective offenses to touchdowns, but, because the world is a cruel place and nobody can have nice things this season, the Boilermakers somehow will prevail. Take the under, folks.
Eli Karp: Purdue 16, Northwestern 10
I picked Northwestern the last two weeks to try to move up in the standings. I’m done now. The touchdown drought ends, though!
Buffs look to avoid a sixth straight loss and bowl game elimination in Mel Tucker’s first season
For the first time since 1904, the Colorado Buffaloes (3-6, 1-5 Pac-12) will face a Stanford Cardinal (4-4, 3-3 Pac-12) team past the first week of November. Both teams are fighting for postseason hopes late in the season with no room for error. It’s not an easy road for either team considering Colorado needs to win out after losing five straight games, and Stanford needs two of the four remaining games with two them coming on the road, along with facing 15th-ranked Notre Dame in the season finale at home.
A season that started out at 1-3 for Shaw’s team improved to .500 with back-to-back wins at Oregon State and vs. No. 15 Washington to open October. Since that point, the Cardinal gave away a 34-16 loss to UCLA and took a 41-31 win over Arizona two weeks ago to remain even on the year. Stanford is one loss away from matching the worst record in Shaw’s tenure in Palo Alto— a 9-5 season that produced a Pac-12 North title in 2017 for the then 20th-ranked Cardinal.
Stanford struggled to make the postseason with a total eight bowl appearances prior to the Jim Harbaugh era. Since Shaw arrived in Palo Alto in 2011, the Cardinal have never missed the postseason and are trying for an extra game for the 11th year in a row as the most consistent team in the Pac-12, including four straight BCS bowls between 2010 and 2013 to make Stanford the winning-est conference program of the decade. The Cardinal has won 98 games since the start of the 2010 season, tied for the sixth-most in college football. Just five programs have reached 100 wins this decade.
However, Shaw’s focus isn’t looking ahead to December, but rather taking it one week at a time. “I’m not even thinking about bowl games,” Shaw said this week. “Our charge every week is to play our best football. We’re chasing that great game where you walk out of the stadium saying, ‘Guys, that was our best game.’ That’s what we want. The bowl game stuff will happen however it happens, but our focus is just on what happens on game day.”
The last time Colorado and Stanford meet on the gridiron was 2016. A defensive road battle decided by 10-5 score in favor of the Buffaloes and helped secure a bowl bid for the first time in a decade during “The Rise.” Since that time, CU has gone 9-20 against conference opponents including a 31-point blowout in the 2016 Pac-12 Championship at the hands of 4th-ranked Washington. Colorado has allowed 30+ points in 14 straight games going back to last season, the longest streak in FBS. On the other side, Stanford has surpassed the 30-point mark just twice this season both resulting in wins. Although, one thing to watch in the meeting between the Buffs and Cardinal is the 40-point mark. Stanford is 31-0 under Shaw when scoring 40-or-more points.
While Colorado’s defense has taken a beating as of late, the offense hasn’t produced outstanding numbers either. The Buffs averaged 34.6 points per game thru the first five contests of the season and a low 14.5-point average in the four games since. A look at the stat line over the past month tells a story of the past 16 quarters. A total of 49 offensive drives (not including end of half) resulting in 22 punts, 12 turnovers, 7 touchdowns, 5 missed FGs and 3 made FGs for the Buffs.
The Cardinal have done well defensively this season allowing 28.0 points per game, but still manages to be one of the seven Pac-12 teams to give up over 400+ yards a game. What offsets the lack of discipline is Stanford’s ability to score on both sides of the ball. The Cardinal is currently 15th in the nation and has scored three non-offensive touchdowns this season.
A shuffle for Stanford at quarterback with K.J. Costello returning in the win over Arizona after missing three games due to a thumb injury. The senior starter takes back control of Cardinal offense after backup Davis Mills passed for 890 yards and five touchdowns to an interception in Costello’s absence. Mills’ relief effort was the best start by a Stanford QB in their first three games since 2003. In 24 career starts, Costello has led the Cardinal to a 15-9 record. His 48 career touchdown passes are tied for sixth-most in school history.
After Bryce Love’s exit to the NFL, Stanford’s workhorse out of the backfield this season is Cameron Scarlett. The fifth-year senior from Portland, Ore has rushed for 700 yards and five touchdowns this season, and is 39 yards shy of matching Love’s rushing yard total from last season. Through eight games, Scarlett is second behind Mills with 859 all-purpose yards.
News and notes
Second Half Hustle: “Stanford is 75-7 when leading at halftime under David Shaw and has won 59 of its last 62 games when leading after three quarters.”
Showing up early and often: “Colorado’s attendance of 48,913 for the Southern California game pushed the season number to 203,593 for four games, including two sellouts (against Nebraska and Arizona State; the last time CU exceeded 200,000 for its first four home games was in 2011 (203,666), CU’s first year in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes are at 101.4 percent of capacity at this point, one of the top figures nationally (CU’s final season ticket count for the year was 20,414, while students purchased the full allotment of 12, 254 sport passes).”
No DirecTV— A big deal: Stanford’s David Shaw shared his thoughts about the Pac-12 needing a deal with DirecTV before the season. Here’s what he had to say.
From the desk of Dave Plati:
“Stat of the week: Third Down Successes. Colorado has been fairly proficient on third downs this season, especially when it comes to third-and-short (third-and-four or less). The Buffaloes are 38-of-55 in such situations, which translates to a 69.1 percent conversion rate (CU is 28-of-37 on third-and-three or less, 75.7 percent, and has earned a first down 10 of 12 times on third-and-one). Against UCLA, the Buffs converted all five times when faced with third-and-four or less. When CU has called a running play on third or fourth down, it has converted 33 of 45 times (73.3 percent), with WR Laviska Shenault leading the way (8-of-8), followed by TB Jaren Mangham (10-of-12) and TB Alex Fontenot (9-of-13).”
Colorado welcomes Stanford into Folsom Field for the first time since 2015 on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. MT. The Cardinal have won two of the past three over the Buffs, despite losing the most-recent meeting in 2016. Stanford holds a 6-4 all-time advantage over CU, 3-1 as members of the Pac-12.
TV: Pac-12 Network (except DirecTV)
Radio: 850 KOA (Regional) Mark Johnson (play-by-play)/ Gary Barnett (color)