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On Big Ten Football 2020: Week 4 Recap and Week 5 Pre...
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Ooof. What a horrible season for both of us so far.

At this point, I've mostly lost interest in thi...
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I stand corrected. I looked at the ESPN play-by-play to count IU's timeouts and they must have not i...
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C...
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Big Ten Football 2020: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Preview
Wednesday, 2020 December 2 - 5:04 pm
Penn State beats Michigan in a largely meaningless game.

Michigan 17, Penn State 27
Well, it didn't turn out exactly like I expected. Harbaugh was the one who decided to punt on fourth-and-short in Penn State territory, while Franklin was the one who managed the game clock poorly with an unnecessary spike on first down in the second quarter. But nonetheless, the game played out pretty much like it should have: Michigan was physically outmatched, particularly on the defensive line, and had the larger share of the carnival of failures that the entire game featured.

I honestly don't know what to say about Michigan's defense. It seems like someone is at least five yards out of position on every play. No one knows how to set the edge on a running play. Linebackers and safeties regularly abandon their assignments. Maybe everyone has just given up.

Michigan QB Cade McNamara got the start, but was injured mid-game and clearly couldn't throw the ball deep after that. That limited Michigan's play-calling options and Penn State pounced on that.

Oh, and it turns out Michigan can't execute a QB sneak, either. Rule #1 of QB sneak: do not allow penetration between the guard and center. Christ.

It's not that Penn State played all that great a game either, but they were efficient when they needed to be, and just letting Michigan implode was really enough to win. A crucial muffed punt return by Giles Jackson late in the second quarter was probably the game-defining moment.

Michigan vs. Maryland: Canceled
Well, word has just come in that Michigan is canceling its game against Maryland this Saturday due to positive COVID tests. Really, the only drama left for me this season is whether Michigan cancels the succeeding game against OSU, which would hilariously disqualify OSU from the Big Ten championship game. No, it's not sportsmanlike and it's not good for the players. But spite is all I have left. That and speculation about who might coach Michigan next year.

Penn State at Rutgers, 12:00 PM FS1
Penn State can't be feeling all that great going into this game, against a team that took Michigan to overtime and then went on to beat Purdue. With injuries piling up and nothing much left to play for this season, it's hard to see how the players really get motivated to give it their all. Rutgers, meanwhile, is playing with energy under Greg Schiano despite their 2-4 record.

Still, on paper, Penn State is the better team here. Penn State has played ten points better against all the common opponents than Rutgers. So despite my pessimism about all things football these days, I'm gonna go ahead and predict a Lions win. ("Lions win" is something no one in Detroit is used to hearing either.)

Prediction: Penn State 34, Rutgers 24.

Games to Watch on TV
The Penn State game is at noon. Michigan is cancelled.

I hate to say it, but Ohio State vs. Michigan State at noon on ABC might actually be a watchable game? MSU just knocked off #8 Northwestern, which makes no sense at all, so who knows what's going on there.

#12 Indiana plays #16 Wisconsin after that, at 3:30 on ABC, and Indiana might be in trouble having lost their quarterback Michael Penix for the season.

N.C. State closes its season against Georgia Tech at 4:00 on ACCN, hoping to finish at a respectable 8-3. Comedy note from N.C. State's last win, against Syracuse: the Syracuse QB spiked the ball at the end of the game not knowing it was fourth down.



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Posted by Ken in: sports

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