The Notorious B1G – Week Two Review
Each week, after all the Big Ten games are through, Phil Harrison recaps the action in the weekly, off-the-wall Notorious B1G.
While week one held serve mostly, week two was a completely different story. We had upsets, surprises, hurricanes and wild-fires to contend with. Here we go with the week two Notorious B1G recap.
Airing of B1G Grievances
I will never name a child of mine Irma. I will never be friends with anyone named Irma. Heck, I might not even share a rather uncomfortable ride up a few stories on an elevator with anyone named I-R-M-A.
Yeah I live in Florida, and yeah I made the decision to relocate my family out of harm’s way because — well, that’s what parents do. But I didn’t like it one bit. It affected my ability to get this column out, and turned my college football watch party into a evacuation party, but that’s not what’s important.
Hurricanes suck, and so does every other natural disaster that takes human lives and makes living a big pile of crap. Hate sucks too.
I say counteract it all by getting involved. Volunteer and love those hurt by things beyond their control. I feel blessed that nothing happened to my home or family, so I’m going to Volunteer Florida to give my time.
I challenge you to do the same. We’ve already seen too much happen in Texas and Florida, and people in need, need people like you and I to run the darn thing into the end zone if we can.
Who knows, it might just be you next time. I hope not, but it touched my father-in-law this time around, and it threatened to take down everything I hold dear.
Go and make a difference in this world.
B1G Man on Campus
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin RB – If it’s Wisconsin, there’s a good chance there’s a running back carving up opposing defenses. Taylor continued to assert and separate himself in a very deep and talented Badger backfield, getting a whopping 26 carries for 223 yards and 3 TDs on the ground. The quality of opponent wasn’t quite top-shelf, but neither is mid-tier whisky, and it still gets the job done.
B1G Defender of the Week
Jonathan Celestin, Minnesota LB – I don’t know if P.J. Fleck downed the pre-game energy drink, or he passed it off to No. 13. The stat-line would say the latter, as the 6-1, 232 lb. senior had himself a day — racking up 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 QB hurries (unofficially according to WhiteSpeedReciever). Oh yes, there was also this teeth-altering hit (dentists look away):
B1G Team of the Week
Iowa Hawkeyes – Honorable mention goes to both Minnesota and Purdue, but what a whale of a game in Ames. Iowa vs Iowa State always seems to be a classic, and this was a game that the Hawkeyes had to have. Why you say? Because under Kirk Ferentz, the team seems to find a way to have a special season when it builds upon early success.
There are clearly some things to correct on defense, but did Iowa just find itself a quarterback? Nathan Stanley dropped 333 yards and 5 TDs through the air on the Cyclones.
Who saw that masterpiece being painted in Jack Trice Stadium? Dare I utter the word …D-d-d-d-ark Horse?
B1G gest Surprise
Ohio State vs. Oklahoma – I don’t think anyone was surprised to see the Sooners hang with the Buckeyes, but to beat them that badly? Especially after what happened in Norman last year? Fughetaboudit.
It was a beatdown in the ‘Shoe, and the score was not indicative of how mismatched the two were for at least one game. Ohio State couldn’t get much of anything going on offense, and Baker Mayfield lit up the OSU secondary.
He owned Ohio State so much so that he almost earned the right to plant the Oklahoma flag mid-field. I said almost … In fact, act like you’ve won a big game before there No. 6.
Needless to say, there are still a lot of questions about the OSU passing game that may not have a lot of answers.
B1G gest Disappointment
Staying on topic, It has to be Ohio State’s continued inability to get anything going in the passing game against the better defenses. It happened last year against Michigan State, Michigan and Clemson, and it made an unwanted entrance once again Saturday against Oklahoma at home.
There’s more to digest on this than what we have room for here, but bringing in coaches with a big pedigree in these types of things hasn’t worked, getting new crops of receivers hasn’t worked, and changing the play-calling hasn’t worked.
What else to do? There’s still time to figure it all out, but one starts to get the idea that the great Urban Meyer is at a loss for how to fix the thing that has ailed the offense the most since 2014.
B1G gest Clunker
Oh dear. Just when we thought Rutgers was making progress, and there was no Piscata-WAY they could lose to a directional MAC squad, it happened. The Scarlet Knights were just awful on offense. QB Kyle Bolin couldn’t get to the 200 yard mark through the air, yet he surrendered two picks.
Meanwhile, the other mode of transportation didn’t fare much better with only a total of 128 yards on the ground.
And let me remind you, this was against a MAC team not expected to contend for much this year.
BUT HEY … when all else fails, there’s always the consolation prize of being able to bring this back out there in the student section to take folks’ minds away from game. k
I mean seriously, do we really need a lifeguard here?
B1G Play of the Week
There was still more magic that needed to happen to completely seal the deal in Ames, but that doesn’t happen without Akrum Wadley’s superhuman effort to take a dump pass yards 46 yards for the tying score extremely late in the fourth quarter of the annual grudge match between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones.
It’s like a steak dinner beckoned in the end zone, and the 5-1, 195 pounder was not going to be denied. Would you like that rare, medium-rare, or well-done sir?
B1G gest Mistake
You had a feeling it was a dangerous proposition for really smart college students from Evantson to go south and play really smart college kids from North Carolina.
Under David Cutcliffe, The Blue Devils have made a living feasting on upsets at their place.
Meanwhile, back at the Fitzgerald compound, Northwestern has made a habit of living on the edge, with several personality disorders that leaves writers like me struggling to make sense of what we’ll see from week-to-week. Or game to game. Or quarter to quarter.
So, instead of a classic and close affair in Durham, of course we instead get a Wildcat team going back to Illinois with its tail between its legs after a miserable 41-17 defeat.
We won’t get into all the stats. All you need to know is that it was bad. Trust me on this. Also, trust me on the notion that Northwestern will now go out and beat Wisconsin, Iowa or Nebraska and drive us all nutty.
Most Bizarre Moment
Another week, another botched special teams play. Check out this beauty in Ann Arbor when, unbeknownst to Cincinnati punter Andrew Gantz, the snap is forthcoming and streaking past his long locks of hair in a slow-motion hair shampoo commercial kind of moment.
Undaunted, he races to the end zone and voluntarily whisks the football out of the play for a safety. That’s the right play, but I love how he struts off the field with his head held high — confident that he did the best job he could with the turd that was handed to him.
That my friends, is Notorious B1G for week two. Catch you next week.
Phil Harrison is the lead Big Ten writer for College Football News. Get his opinion and analysis all year long. Follow him on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFB