B1G 10 Week 5 Talking Points
5 weeks into the B1G 10, we are at the point where teams should know what they are. The sample size is big enough, and athletic directors seem to agree – yet another Big 10 coach got his marching orders in the wake of Saturday’s action.
So what have we learned? We know that Ohio State and Michigan are good. We think Penn State are too? At least the AP poll does. We know Chase Brown can run it on anyone. We know that Iowa are the most lopsided outfit in all of college football. And we know that Mel Tucker is not justifying his mega contract right now – that Spartan secondary is woeful!
Paul Chryst is out at Wisconsin. The Badgers have decided to move in a new, as yet unspecified direction after a 2-3 start to 2022. Chase Brown and his Illinois teammates struck the final blow, routing Wisconsin 34-10. The Fighting Illini stripped away what makes Wisconsin who they are fundamentally. The Badgers were outmuscled, physically beaten all over the field and most pertinently in the trenches. Wisconsin managed a ridiculous-sounding 2 rushing yards all day. 2! Sure, that takes sacks into account but Wisconsin are an historic, physical, punishing run team on offense. Devy managers everywhere are starting to sweat on Braelon Allen’s outlook. Personally I’m not worried yet, but it’s a situation to keep an eye on for sure.
Chase Brown on the other hand is doing his draft profile all kinds of favours. Brett Bielema returned to Camp Randall stadium as an opposition coach with a very Wisconsin-like gameplan. Illinois dominated the line of scrimmage, moving lineman up and down, side-to-side and any which way they wanted! They opened holes for their star running back again and again, resulting in Brown’s 6 game in a row over 100 rushing yards.
Saturday was clearly not good enough and Chryst finds himself with his P45 having entered the season with pretty solid job security. The axe falls on a head coach who achieved a 67-26 record over and 3 Big Ten West titles in his tenureship – at the very least Chryst leaves having set a very high bar for success at Wisconsin.
Pork Chop on the menu in Columbus
‘Fat Boy’ to ‘Meatball’ to ‘Pork Chop’. The evolving nicknames of Miyan Williams over the last year at Ohio State underlines the level of physical transformation the running back has gone through. Williams has worked hard with his strength and conditioning coach to trim down and muscle-up, earning himself more gametime and added responsibility as a result. The leaner, meaner Miyan shouldered the Buckeyes rushing attack with superstar Treyveyon Henderson held out with an undisclosed issue.
Pork Chop took full advantage against a weary Rutgers defense, punching through the line again and again. Williams ended the day with 189 yards and a school record-equalling 5 touchdowns on the ground! That is quite a day at the office!
Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan absolutely took it to Iowa, and wore down their elite defense. This was the sternest test of the Wolverines season to date and they passed with flying colours to cement themselves as a playoff contender. Blake Corum was busy again, but the attack was much more balanced than recent weeks.
JJ McCarthy emerged from his first big road game with a solid stat line of 18 completions from 24 attempts, 155 passing yards and a touchdown. Most crucial of all, there was a big fat 0 in the interceptions column. The Hawkeyes thrive on turnovers, and with a mistake-free performance McCarthy was able to overcome the intimidating atmosphere and top level defense. He has a solid group of recievers around him – nothing too flashy, but plenty of talent all over the field. The young signal caller took advantage, spreading the ball around and keeping the Iowa secondary on their toes all day.
Another one bites the dust
There are now no undefeated teams in the West. Purdue took down Minnesota with yet another top 25 ‘upset’ added to Jeff Brohm and the Boilermakers’ resume. Purdue took over the 4th quarter to take this one away from the Golden Gophers, who were missing their talisman Mo Ibrahim through injury. The Big Ten West is wide open, and right now runs through Champaign! Who would have thought it, eh Illinois?!
Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 314 yards on a now fully confirmed BAD Michigan State secondary. Maryland shut out the Spartans completely in the second half, cruising to victory. Mel Tucker needs to get to work fast to stop his team’s season slipping away into obscurity. If they can’t buck their ideas up and fast, the year could ride on the rivalry game against Michigan as the only thing to play for. And on current form, that won’t go very well for Michigan State!
Nebraska beat an FBS school for the first time in 10 attempts! That is a ridiculous statistic, and a damning indictment of what the Scott Frost era had become. Trey Palmer broke out against Indiana to lead the Cornhuskers to victory with 157 yards off 8 catches, 1 of which ended in a touchdown. The defense mirrored Maryland and threw a blanket over Indiana, tucking them into bed as they were done for the day. No more points for you Connor Bazelak!