Early second quarter
It's another glorious football Saturday, and I'm clearly turning into a Penn State fan. [Sarcasm, but not as much as you might think] There's clearly a conspiracy against my team today. [/Sarcasm, but not as much as you might think]
Here's a synopsis of the first quarter-plus of the OSU game.
1) OSU has good field position on their first drive, but the offense gets called for a clip, turning it into a 1st-and-25, and the drive stalls. Crucial penalty call #1
2) Indiana's returner muffs the punt, OSU recovers and scores three plays later.
3) OSU has good field position on their third drive, but the offense gets called fora clip, turning it into a 2st-and-23, and the drive stalls. Crucial penalty call #2
4) Indiana gets the ball in good field position thanks to an interception, but OSU stops them on fourth down. IU gets another chance thanks to a roughing the passer call (not shown on replay). Crucial penalty call #3
. They kick a field goal.
5) Ted Ginn returns the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but it's called back for a personal foul "hitting a defenseless player away from the ball." WTF? They're Indiana! They're all
defenseless! Crucial penalty call #4
To be fair, the replay guy blew an easy one, overturning an Indiana reception despite clear evidence that the guy caught it, so IU has gotten screwed once, too. However, that turned a 3rd-and-2 into a 3rd-and-7 and it was deep in their own end. Not exactly the same as taking a touchdown off the board.
I've been watching a little of the Iowa-Michigan game (I'll watch it for real later), but so far it looks like Michigan is struggling to run it with Hart gimpy, they're moving it thanks in large part to penalties on Iowa, and Albert Young is slicing through the Wolverines like a hot knife through a crappy defense. But like I said, I've only seen bits and pieces, so I might be way off base.Early third quarter
I guess I have to take back the basis of my first half post, which was the anti-OSU conspiracy between the officials, the conference office and black helicopters of the government.
It turns out the officials are just incompetent, not crooked.
Indiana recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, but an official inexplicably blew his whistle in the middle of the play, giving the ball back to OSU. Later on that drive, a holding call brought back a 33-yard run by Antonio Pittman, and Ted Ginn's forward progress was clearly stopped for over a second before an IU defender stripped him, but the officials let the play go on, and IU returned it for a touchdown.
This is quickly turning into a three-way race between the officials, the ESPN-Plus TV crew (easily the worst non-local college football broadcast I've seen in years), and the Buckeyes' offensive playcalling (run it into the line on third-and-goal from the eight, then run it into the line on 3rd-and-15 from about the 32. Settle for two field goal tries--one of which was missed-- instead of exploiting the mismatches on the outside. Awesome!) to see which can ruin this game the fastest. The officials and TV crew are neck-in-neck right now.
It's great to see those resilient Spartans at their best today. It might be a horse race between MSU and UM to see who gets the Sun Bowl/Music City Bowl bid for the Big Ten.End of games
It looks like Ted Ginn and Steve Breaston might both be finally joining us this fall. From the little bit of the Michigan game I saw, Breaston looked like he's starting to become a part of the offense. Ginn had a punt return for a touchdown, plus a kick return for a touchdown that got called back on a ridiculous penalty that had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the play. Yes, it's just Indiana, and yes, Iowa's defense is a little thin right now, but if one or both of those guys can turn into retro-versions of themselves, it should really help.
Both teams have dicey road games next weekend. The Buckeyes should
be able to win against Minnesota because that offense is somewhat one-dimensional and the defense isn't great. Of course, given this team's proclivity for turning the ball over and pissing away chances to score, you never know.
I'm really, really glad the Buckeyes have Northwestern at home this year. They're probably not nearly as good as they looked today (I didn't see much, but can only assume that it had at least something to do with the Spartans being the Spartans), but with Michigan's somewhat shaky defense, that is a dangerous game, especially at night on the road.
Getting Long back in the lineup should make a huge difference for Michigan. It's not going to fix all of the problems on that line, but even at 80% (or whatever he is because of rust/injury), he's going to be a huge step up from the dynamic duo of Riley and Kolodziej.
This makes two weeks in a row that Carr has had that shit-eating grin on his face after a game. He really makes it easy to hate that whole program. I'm not going to be a happy camper if we see that on November 19.