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Topic: ELA November 9 Breakdown

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ELA

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ELA November 9 Breakdown
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:48:39 AM »
Maryland Terrapins (1-5, 3-6) at #1 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 8-0)
NOON - Columbus, OH - FOX
This really feels like a pick your score game.  Maryland figured to be at the very least, a fly in the ointment to the Big Ten East plans early, with games against Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State down the stretch.  It feels ugly right now, but I don't think it's as ugly as it looks.  This team is still playing for Mike Locksley, they are still clearly fighting.  They played much better last week against Michigan than the score indicated, but allowed a kick return touchdown, and had two empty first half red zone trips, thanks to an interception and a missed field goal.  While the offense doesn't look like the machine we thought it was after two weeks, it is not bad, particularly considering they injuries they've had at both quarterback and running back.  They are averaging 5.1 ypp, just in Big Ten games alone, good for #8 in the conference.  The problem is a defense that is surrendering 6.4 ypp, second worst, and simply is on the field too much, surrendering a league worst 471 ypg, league high opponents completion percentage, league low in sacks, which as resulted in surrendering the most first down per game, with the league's worst third down and fourth down defense.  The offense just simply being fine isn't enough, with how bad this defense is.  And it's tough to imagine the offense getting much done, with an offensive line surrendering sacks 7.87% of the time, #94 in the nation, trying to block Chase Young and company.  Young needs another gaudy numbers game to stay in the Heisman conversation, and he should have a chance here, as the Terps should find themselves down early, and passing often.  Young himself has 8.5 sacks in 5 Big Ten games.  Maryland as a team has 5 sacks in 6.
OHIO STATE 51, MARYLAND 3

Purdue Boilermakers (2-4, 3-6) at Northwestern Wildcats (0-6, 1-7)
NOON - Evanston, IL - BTN
At this point I'm just going to throw my hands up about Purdue.  I can't seem to ever pick one of their games correctly.  At this point I'm sure they are actively hoping I pick against their team.  It looked like I might finally get it right last week, as the Boilermakers' first five drives last week saw more turnovers than first downs, with only 34 yards of offense, and a 10-0 deficit.  But, after that start, where he was 5-10 for 36 yards and 2 picks, Jack Plummer used his legs, with an 18 yard run, to spark himself.  For the next two quarters, Plummer was 20-24 for 206 yards, 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, and 53 rushing yards.  Then, he got hurt.  All Aidan O'Connell, who looked bad in relief the week before against Illinois, did, was complete 6 of 7 passes to lead Purdue down the field for David Bell to score the winning run with 1:08 to go.  Now all hopes are pinned on O'Connell, with Plummer's injury proving to be season ending, and Nick Sipe retiring due to injuries.  You have walk on junior Danny Carollo, and true freshman Paul Piferi.  We are at the point of the season where Piferi could see some action, and not burn his redshirt.  This might be the game to try that.  Northwestern's defense might be getting a little too much credit, because of how terrible their offense is.  This isn't Michigan State or Mississippi State's offense/defense from a year ago.  They are solid, #21 in SP+, but far from elite.  And considering how truly terrible their offense is, that's not enough.  The Wildcats have gone 13 quarters without a touchdown now.  In six Big Ten games they've scored (depending on whether you consider their scores against Wisconsin "garbage time") just one non-garbage time touchdown, against Nebraska.  They haven't been able to pass on anyone, but they have a shot here against a Purdue secondary surrendering 8.3 ypa, over a yard per attempt worse than anyone else the Wildcats have faced.  They also should get a little help for their own pass defense, which is only slightly better, allowing 7.9 ypa.  Their run defense has been very sound, but Purdue simply can't run the ball.  You'd like to lean on that, with your quarterback being the guy who went into the year competing with Nick Sipe for the #3 spot, but they simply can't.  King Dorue was serviceable last week with 71 yards on 4.7 ypc, but the Huskers have probably the worst run defense in the Big Ten, and he picked up 42 of those yards on 2 carries.  Other than him, their second leading rusher was their now injured quarterback, followed by a receiver who had 9 yards on one carry.  The Northwestern defense will be enough to limit Purdue's chances, and give their offense some opportunities, but nobody in the conference is better at taking advantage of the few opportunities they get, scoring on 20 of their 21 red zone opportunities, with no missed PATs and their only missed field goal coming from outside 50 yards.  For their part, Northwestern's red zone defense is second worst in the Big Ten.
PURDUE 21, NORTHWESTERN 20

Illinois Fighting Illini (3-3, 5-4) at Michigan State Spartans (2-3, 4-4)
3:30 - East Lansing, MI - FS1
I'm not sure if it's momentum, or recent expectations, but man, these two two teams, with similar records, could not feel farther apart.  That what happens when you have a five week stretch of playing the conference's three best teams, two on the road, with a pair of bye weeks sprinkled in.  The last time Michigan State fans saw their team have a pulse was now 6 weeks ago.  The Spartans still sit 30 spots higher in SP+ than the Illini, who are in the midst of their first three game winning streak of any type since 2011, and their first three game Big Ten winning streak since the 2007 Rose Bowl team.  If they can beat a reeling Michigan State team, it's their first 4 game conference winning streak since the 2001 Big Ten champion team won their final 7 after a Big Ten opener loss at Michigan.  I think this comes down to whether Illinois' defense is actually good, or just fake good.  Prior to this three game winning streak the Illini were on a 4 game losing streak, that included giving up 34 points to an Eastern Michigan team that ranks #10 in the MAC in scoring offense, and surrendered 40+ points in the other three games.  So did they fix something?  Well, against Wisconsin, they still allowed 420 yards, and only forced 2 punts.  They just also forced three turnovers, and were able to force Wisconsin to kick field goals, 4 of them.  Then they played Purdue, and their backup quarterback, in a driving rain, and then Rutgers.  And well, giving up 10 points to a Rutgers offense that had scored 14 points TOTAL in their first Big Ten games combined isn't exactly outstanding.  But is Michigan State's defense good?  Yeah, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State are elite, but this defense held up against everyone last year, and just didn't get the offense to support them.  The Spartans defense looked in September to pick up right where they left off, but since the Indiana game, just haven't.  In conference play, the Spartans are #10 in scoring defense, #9 in run defense, #7 in pass defense, and #7 in total defense.  They are winning 1st and 2nd down, and then giving up 3rd down conversions at 43% of the time.  But, again that has been against 4 of the best offenses in the country.  If the Spartans can hang onto the ball, I think Illinois' defense is still bad.  Don't get me wrong, so is Michigan State's offense, but they've shown life, against Western Michigan, Northwestern and Indiana.  Not the stiffest competition, but probably better data points than Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.  The Illini lead the Big Ten in turnover margin, and lead the nation in takeaways.  If Michigan State doesn't turn the ball over, they should have enough offense, for at least this week.
MICHIGAN STATE 28, ILLINOIS 19

#18 Iowa Hawkeyes (3-2, 6-2) at #13 Wisconsin Badgers (3-2, 6-2)
4:00 - Madison, WI - FOX
Iowa's defense has come up with enough in their two big games, but their offense was a complete no show both times.  Wisconsin has abruptly gone from "best team in school history?" to needing to beat a ranked Iowa team just to avoid a three game losing streak, and already being out of the Big Ten West race with three weeks left.  Iowa's run defense is still good, but not up to the standard they set last year.  In those two losses, Penn State and Michigan didn't go crazy on the ground, but did do enough to keep Iowa's defense honest.  And those are not the most potent rushing attacks, ranking #6 and #7 in the Big Ten in ypc.  Bucky hasn't been quite as effective in recent weeks, but are still miles ahead of either the Nittany Lions or Wolverines on the ground.  The Wisconsin offensive line has something to prove after getting bullied around two weeks ago by the Buckeyes front.  Jonathan Taylor had a career worst day on the ground, and Jack Coan never even had a chance before the pass rush was in the backfield.  But I think we've also forgetten just how good the Wisconsin defense had looked, and this is an Iowa offensive line that has struggled all year.  Wisconsin probably doesn't have the defensive line of Michigan or Penn State, but their front seven as a whole might be better, and Iowa's line got pushed around by those fronts.  The Ohio State loss killed the Wisconsin defense invincibility talk, but even with that performance, Bucky still ranks #2 in the nation in total defense and ypp defense.  The Iowa offense has done nothing to evidence they can get enough done against good defenses.  Even in an easy win over Northwestern last week, Nathan Stanley failed to complete 50% of his passes. 
WISCONSIN 21, IOWA 16

***BIG TEN GAME OF THE WEEK***
#4 Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 8-0) at #17 Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-0, 8-0)
NOON - Minneapolis, MN
Here it is.  Gameday missed a chance for what could be an absolutely electric atmosphere.  It's a noon kick, it's going to be freezing cold, it's some fresh blood, it's going to be a ton of fun.  I can't remember the last time I was this geeked for a non-Michigan State game.  Is Ohio State-Penn State going to be bigger if both are still undefeated?  Obviously.  Have there been bigger games in the conference, even in recent history?  Sure.  But this is undefeated Minnesota in November.  In a sport that is designed to keep the power consolidated in the few who have always held it, there is something extra special about a fresh face.  This is #15 Wisconsin hosting #3 Ohio State in 1993; #6 Northwestern hosting #12 Penn State in 1995; #16 Purdue hosting #12 Ohio State in 2000; #13 Iowa going to #8 Michigan in 2002; or #15 Michigan State hosting #4 Wisconsin in 2011.  Win or lose.  Fake or real, it's just nice to see an up and comer get their shot on the big stage.  The easy take I've been hearing all week is how this is destined to be a defensive slug fest.  The Gophers and Nittany Lions are 2nd and 3rd in the Big Ten in scoring offense, behind Ohio State, #2 and #5 in ypp.  The Penn State story has been just how strong their defensive line has been all the way across.  They don't have a Chase Young type, they don't have a single player in the top 7 in the Big Ten in sacks, but as a team are tied with Michigan in sacks per game.  That narrative has been reliant on some gawdy early numbers.  Recently, the production has not been so good.  They racked up 14 sacks in their first two Big Ten games, against Maryland and Purdue.  Just 5 in the three games since, and it's not as though Michigan State and Iowa have great offensive lines.  Over that three game stretch they have only recorded sacks on 3.66% of opponent drop backs, in the bottom 30 of the country.  They have to battle a Minnesota offensive line that averages 340 pounds per man, likely the largest in the country?  How does that big of a front, with a backfield that goes three deep without a dropoff wear on a team over the course of a game?  There is no surprise that Minnesota is #8 nationally, and #1 in the Big Ten at 10.4 4th quarter ppg.  That matters in a lot in a game like this that feels like Minnesota could jump out quickly with heavy home field momentum, and then spend three quarters trying to hold on.  The problem is the Gophers, while averaging a Big Ten best 10.8 ypa passing, simply don't pass the ball enough.  At just 33.7% of the time, on 7 schools in the FBS (and one in the Power 5) are more run heavy, and four of them are triple option teams.  Penn State's run defense is leading the nation, allowing just 2.2 ypa.  The Gophers are going to have to pass the ball more than 20 times to win, even if they jump out to an early lead.  While Minnesota is second in the Big Ten in rushing, the best run defense they've face to date?  Georgia Southern.
PENN STATE 30, MINNESOTA 21
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 12:13:50 PM by ELA »

ELA

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Re: ELA November 9 Breakdown
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 09:13:02 AM »
Maryland Terrapins (1-5, 3-6) at #1 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 8-0)
NOON - Columbus, OH - FOX
And it's tough to imagine the offense getting much done, with an offensive line surrendering sacks 7.87% of the time, #94 in the nation, trying to block Chase Young and company.  Young needs another gaudy numbers game to stay in the Heisman conversation, and he should have a chance here, as the Terps should find themselves down early, and passing often.  Young himself has 8.5 sacks in 5 Big Ten games.  Maryland as a team has 5 sacks in 6.
OHIO STATE 51, MARYLAND 3




Oops

bwarbiany

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Re: ELA November 9 Breakdown
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 09:48:27 AM »
Oops
It's still accurate. Just change the name to whatever 5* DE that was riding pine behind Chase Young. You know OSU has 3-4 of them ready to plug in. 

ELA

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Re: ELA November 9 Breakdown
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 11:16:22 AM »
Might be 51-4 now though

ELA

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Re: ELA November 9 Breakdown
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 04:02:22 PM »
Noon games in

ELA

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Re: ELA November 9 Breakdown
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2019, 12:14:13 PM »
All picks in

ELA

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Re: ELA November 9 Breakdown
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 01:38:12 PM »
I'm sorry Purdue fans.

bwarbiany

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Re: ELA November 9 Breakdown
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 02:05:23 PM »
I'm sorry Purdue fans.
It's not over yet. Nobody has heard my ex wife sing. 

 

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