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|College Football 2018 Week 7 Recap||Saturday, 2018 October 20 - 9:16 am|
|Michigan stomps Wisconsin; Penn State loses another heartbreaker.|
Michigan 38, Wisconsin 13
This game didn't feel like a butt-whoopin', except that it kind of... was. Early on Wisconsin was running the ball with success; an early touchdown drive featured four runs for a total of 71 yards, and I was feeling uneasy.
But gradually, it became clear that Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook was not going to have a good day. He had all of 25 yards passing before a garbage-time drive in the fourth quarter, and the Michigan offense built enough of a lead that Wisconsin couldn't afford to just run the ball all day.
The offensive game plan was a bit of genius: Michigan came out in a mostly shotgun spread offense, kind of what they showed against Notre Dame, except with more practice reps. We saw a bunch of stretch and pin-and-pull zone blocking from the offensive line, a wrinkle for which Wisconsin seemed totally unprepared.
It didn't feel like the Al Borges kitchen-sink offense of trying to everything and succeeding at nothing. Michigan clearly emphasized these concepts all week and didn't try to run most of their usual power or iso blocking. But now we see that Michigan's offense can change personalities from week to week and still be successful, and that's extremely encouraging for the future. It's also got to be extremely worrisome for upcoming opposing defensive coordinators, who really won't know what to prepare for.
Now granted, Wisconsin's defense was banged up. But it's still nice to see Michigan perform well against a quality team. The much-maligned offensive line performed spectacularly, especially the tackles, who were a weak spot early in the season.
NC State: Bye.
Penn State 17, Michigan State 21
Penn State blew another four quarter lead, this time thanks to an eight-play drive from MSU featuring all pass plays. Up to that point MSU QB Brian Lewerke was having a rough day, getting about 4.8 YPA but still managing to be responsible for most of the MSU offense. Suddenly he becomes Tom Brady and leads MSU to a game winning TD.
Meanwhile, Trace McSorley was decidedly not Tom Brady. The inability to convert third downs was frustrating, and kept MSU in the game despite Penn State keeping the MSU offense pretty well contained.
MSU converted a fake punt that might have been the difference in the game; and even with that, the Spartans still only managed 123 yards rushing on the day.
Penn State's post-season hopes are pretty well dashed now, and they still have three fairly daunting opponents on the schedule (Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin). There's still a chance for a winning season and a New Year's Day bowl, but the expectations were much higher coming into the season, and it's got to be disappointing to be knocked out of the Big Ten and CFP race.
It was an upset-ridden day as multiple top-ten teams fell.
#2 Georgia headlined the losses, falling to #13 LSU 36-16. Not too big a surprise, as I noted in last week's preview, except for perhaps the final margin.
#6 West Virginia got whomped by Iowa State 30-14, and this one was a surprise. But looking back, Iowa State was competitive in three losses against quality opponents, so maybe they're sneakily good.
#17 Oregon beat #7 Washington 30-27, and it looks like the Pac-12 is playing themselves out of a spot in the CFP. Again.
Virginia beat #16 Miami 16-13, and it's always good when Miami loses.
USC beat #19 Colorado 31-20, finally ending Colorado's unbeaten season. USC still isn't a great team, but is a dangerous possible spoiler for Notre Dame at the end of the regular season.
Tennessee beat #21 Auburn 30-24, and the wheels really seem to be falling off for Auburn after a lofty ranking to start the year.
Northwestern extended Nebraska's misery in especially painful fashion, coming from 10 points down in the fourth quarter and winning 34-31 in overtime.
Ken's Top 10
#1. Alabama 7-0
#2. Ohio State 7-0.
#3. Clemson 6-0.
#4. Notre Dame 7-0.
#5. LSU 6-1.
#6. Michigan 6-1.
#7. Florida 6-1.
#8. Georgia 6-1.
#9. Texas 6-1.
#10. Oregon 5-1.
Posted by Ken in: sports
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