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Topic: ELA September 15 Breakdown

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ELA

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ELA September 15 Breakdown
« on: September 11, 2018, 12:15:09 PM »
Kent State Golden Flashes (1-1) at #11 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0)
NOON - State College, PA - FS1
Yes, it was Illinois and Howard, but Sean Lewis' offense seems to be working more quickly than expected.  The Golden Flashes are gashing teams on the ground, averaging 269 rushing yards on 5.7 ypc, both best in the MAC, and top 25 nationally.  If Woody Barrett starts to figure out his reads, they could really give some MAC teams problems.  Hell, they already gave one Big Ten team a problem.  But Penn State ain't Illinois, and they certainly ain't a MAC team.   The Nittany Lions allowed 28 points to Appalachian State in the 4th quarter alone.  In the other 7 quarters, plus overtime this season, they've allowed a total of 16.  Penn State shouldn't be challenged on Saturday, so what James Franklin wants to see is his team get off to a quicker start offensively.  Penn State scored 45 against Appalachian State, but only 7 over the first 29 minutes.  Against Pitt, they scored 51, but again, only 7 over the first 29 minutes.  McSorley has struggled at times to find a groove with his new weapons, barely hanging in the top 50 nationally in Total QBR, his lowest rating since seeing limited snaps as a freshman in 2015.  A guy he is not struggling to sync with is redshirt freshman receiver KJ Hamler.  The question was how the Penn State offense would transition from Saquon Barkley to Miles Sanders.  Sanders has not disappointed toting the rock, but Barkley was a weapon in so many facets of the game, and its Hamler, not Sanders, who has taken on that role.  Hamler already has 6 catches for 107 yards, and a pair of touchdowns, including the game tying touchdown against Appalachian State; a 32 yard touchdown run, and has been dynamic in the return game, namely the big kick return to set up his own touchdown two weeks ago.  DeAndre Thompkins already has a punt return touchdown to his name too, so Barkley's loss on special teams hasn't stung them so far.  Kent State's style of mad pace offense will make them a bear for certain teams with more talent, but against teams with vastly more talent, like Penn State, it is only going to make things even uglier.  There's a reason in basketball mid-majors typically try to slow pace down, and reduce possessions, going fast is simply not a recipe against much better teams.  The Flashes may break one, but I don't see Penn State's starters lasting beyond halftime, they should put up a ton of points in a hurry.
PENN STATE 55, KENT STATE 13

Ball State Cardinals (1-1) at Indiana Hoosiers (2-0)
NOON - Bloomington, IN - BTN
Any Hoosier fans getting nervous after seeing Ball State lose to Notre Dame by essentially the exact same score that Michigan did?  The Cardinals were one of the five biggest risers in the FPI this week.  Now the caveat.  That rise still didn't land them in the Top 100.  The offense has been far better than expected, but can the defense continue to hold up?  Holding the Irish to 24 points, and forcing 3 interceptions is the more remarkable part.  Ball State will continue to have to do that, give the offense short fields, and put opposing defenses in sudden change situations, because the offense will continue to struggle.  The Indiana offense hasn't been particularly explosive either, but you can forgive them a bit for Saturday night, playing in a wet Bloomington.  The big takeaway is that they found a ballcarrier in freshman Stevie Scott.  In the opener Scott was fairly lackluster, despite Indiana's continued feeding of 20 carries.  With the passing game bogged down, the Hoosiers' offense rode Scott heavily, and he delivered this time with 204 yards on 31 carries.  Workload starts to be a question.  Not accounting for quarterback sneaks, Scott had 31 of the 35 Indiana carries last week.  If Morgan Ellison returns from indefinite suspension, Indiana has a really nice 1-2 punch.  If not, you question how much of a beating an 18 year old back can take.  In fairness, he doesn't have the body of a freshman, instead a filled out 6'2", 236 lbs frame.  Granted the competition hasn't been outstanding, but Peyton Ramsey is off to a much more efficient start, which is what the Indiana staff was hopefully banking on in letting him take his lumps as a freshman.  His yards per attempt is up slightly, but his completion percentage is up 8%, and more importantly, he hasn't taken sacks.  Only 1 sack in 49 attempts, after getting sacked at a rate of once per 15.8 attempts in 2017.  This is a game that Indiana absolutely has to have.  Life right now in the Big Ten East for the rebuilding teams, almost mandates a 3-0 non conference record to reach bowl eligibility.  A win here also sets up what could be a pretty good environment the following week for a home night game against Michigan State, who will have had two weeks to dwell on their two score blown 4th quarter lead...something the Spartans did their last trip to Bloomington.  Also a night game.
INDIANA 34, BALL STATE 14

Temple Owls (0-2) at Maryland Terrapins (2-0)
NOON - College Park, MD - BTN
After getting started a little slow it appeared that Maryland was suffering a full Texas hangover again.  Before the 2017 comparisons were even out of the pundits mouths though, the Terps exploded late for a runaway 45-14 victory, in a game they trailed 14-10 with about 19 minutes to play.  Over that stretch, Maryland outscored Bowling Green 35-0, outgained them 284 yards to 6, and forced as many turnovers (1) as first downs allowed.  There are always coachable moments though, and penalties continue to plague Maryland.  They maybe don't have the two costly ones that Purdue does, that truly may be the difference between being 2-0 and 0-2, but their 104.5 penalty yards per game is most in the Big Ten, and second most only to Texas Tech nationally.  That's the kind of thing that can kill a young team with little margin.  The good news was getting Ty Johnson back on track.  Texas shut him down, holding him to 30 yards on 2.7 ypc, but he went off against Bowling Green for 124 yards on 10.3 ypc.  He's never going to be a volume back, so he has to hit his home runs when he gets the chance.  The Terps seem to also have found yet another weapon in their insanely deep backfield in sophomore Tayon Fleet-Davis.  As for Temple, the farther they are removed from the Matt Rhule era, the more they seem to be reverting back into Temple.  While their 0-2 start has been by a combined 9 points, the losses have been to an FCS school, and a mediocre MAC team.  The Owls' three year bowl streak appears to be in serious jeopardy, with this trip to Maryland, and road games at Boston College, Navy, Central Florida and Houston down the line, in addition to home dates with South Florida and upstart Cincinnati.  Temple needs to somehow navigate that at 3-4, and not trip up anywhere else just to get to .500.  Frank Nutile took over as quarterback for the second half of last season, and played fairly well, but so far in 2018, he's been lousy.  He's already thrown 4 picks, and is barely completing 50% of his passes.  Villanova's defense was locked in on tailback Ryquell Armstead, looking to build on his 919 yard, 6.0 ypc junior season, and held him to just 31 yards on 14 carries.  The numbers against Buffalo looked a bit better, but only because he broke one 50 yard run.  Temple's 80.5 ypg on the ground is 8th worst nationally.  They struggled to run the ball last year outside of Armstead, but if he's struggling too, Nutile seemingly can't pick up the slack.  You never want to pull the plug in Game 3, but seeing their schedule, it's tough to imagine this season going anywhere.  I wouldn't be surprised if Anthony Russo, who got a series in the Buffalo loss, gets an extended look this weekend.
MARYLAND 37, TEMPLE 21

Troy Trojans (1-1) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-1)
NOON - Lincoln, NE - BTN
The Scott Frost wind in the sails of the Nebraska program has been at least temporarily sucked out.  Not as far as any long term prospects go, but due to mother nature and a dirty play, the Huskers head into Week 3 winless and now likely without their starting quarterback.  I don't think that's a place any Nebraska fans expected to be.  It also remains to be seen just how good this Troy team is.  You don't learn anything from a 59-7 walloping of Florida A&M, but the letdown after a 36 point home loss in the opener to Boise State has to be palpable, particularly after a build up all off season as a game to perhaps determine the frontrunner to get the Group of 5 bid.  After seeing what Boise State did to UConn last week though, it's looking like maybe this could be Boise State's best team yet, particularly offensively, where they are an absolute machine.  This game should hinge on Nebraska's ability to run the ball vs. Troy's ability to stop it.  The Trojans run defense is holding opponents under 3 ypc, and even in the loss to Boise State, they shut down their run game.  A 44 yard run by Boise's backup quarterback in garbage time sort of tainted the stats a bit, but aside from that, they held the Broncos to 67 rushing yards on 2.8 ypc, holding 1000 yard rusher Alex Mattison to just 56 rushing yards.  Nebraska came out and ran the ball, just like anyone who saw Frost's offenses knew they would, the problem is how well it works without Martinez who was way better than even the most optimistic Nebraska fans could have hoped for.  He completed 75% of his passes, at 9.4 ypa, and led the team in rushing with 117 yards on 7.8 ypc, with a pair of scores.  But now the number one fear was realized and he was injured late in the loss.  Andrew Bunch is a walk on with limited mobility.  It changes the entire way the offense runs.  We saw how this personnel, with frankly a much better quarterback in Tanner Lee, ran last year trying to run a more traditional offense.  Nebraska has the receivers to make a shift, but do they have the line or quarterback to do so?  The running backs in general looked very good, namely JUCO transfer Greg Bell, but without the threat of the quarterback keeping the ball, they'll have to deal with more attention from a very good defensive front.  It's weird to say this as I pick them to fall to 0-2, but I actually think Nebraska is ahead of schedule.  If Martinez is playing and healthy, I think they win, if not, I think the Trojans hand Nebraska a home loss to a Group of 5 team for the second consecutive season.
TROY 32, NEBRASKA 31

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (0-1, 1-1) at Kansas Jayhawks (1-1)
NOON - Lawrence, KS - FS Local
This might be as good a pillow fight as we could possibly get out of the Power Five.  Start with these two, and you probably wouldn't have to go deeper than maybe Oregon State and Illinois in a discussion of worst Power Five programs right now.  Rutgers picked up an FBS win over lowly Texas State in Week 1, before getting run out of the stadium by Ohio State last week.  Kansas snapped a ghastly 46 game road losing streak, with a surprisingly comfortable road win at Central Michigan.  Granted the FCS Nicholls team they lost to in Week 1 lost by 25 points to Tulane last week.  So lets not start thinking Kansas has turned some corner here.  But they do have to be kicking themselves that if they could have just beaten a blah FCS team, they'd have a real chance to go to 3-0 this week.  They haven't done that since a 5-0 start in 2009 which included a September 12 road win at UTEP, which was their last road win.  For reference, the freshmen on this year's team was just starting 4th grade.  But now they return home with at least some positive vibes, for a program that has been sorely lacking them.  They may have found their offensive bell cow though, in redshirt freshman Pooka Williams, who got his first ever college action, after eligibility questions held him out of the loss to Nicholls.  Williams was a 4* recruit out of Louisiana, who turned down SEC offers such as LSU and Mississippi State to sign on to the dumpster fire in Lawrence, lived up to his billing, with 125 yards and two touchdowns on only 14 carries.  The Ohio State quarterbacks probably would have had less success passing against air than against the Rutgers defense last week, but the Scarlet Knights actually held their own on the ground, limiting Mike Weber to just 31 yards on 8 carries, and holding Dwayne Haskins to negative yardage.  Ohio State still averaged 5.6 ypc for the game, but considering the glaring talent deficiencies across the board, Rutgers run defense looked like a relative strength.  Considering they held Texas State to 69 rushing yards on 2.2 ypc in Week 1, I feel ok saying that isn't a particular area of concern.  Rutgers is still searching for a quarterback though.  After true freshman Art Sitkowski struggled to go 6-18 for 38 yards with a pick, Chris Ash turned back to senior Gio Rescigno, who had been the on and off starter the past two seasons, and he was 5-12 for 27 yards with a pick.  Ohio State's defense makes a lot of guys look bad, but quarterback has been an ongoing issue for years now in Piscataway.  That said, Rutgers has shown flashes, and looked legitimately improved in that win over Texas State.  Kansas got that monkey off their back, but that's a Central Michigan team that had a +4 turnover differential, and got a non-offensive touchdown the week before, and still lost by 15 points.  They are probably worse than the Nicholls team Kansas lost to in Week 1.  Rutgers can't have 6 turnovers, as Central Michigan did, but they do have the front seven to put the clamps on Williams.  Without him, I struggle to see how Kansas puts together much offensively, on anyone, even Rutgers.
RUTGERS 26, KANSAS 21

BYU Cougars (1-1) at #6 Wisconsin Badgers (2-0)
3:30 - Madison, WI - ABC
It's a shame that what could have been a really fun home and home series happened to land as BYU hit a low point.  The early returns on 2018 suggest that maybe the offense is at least quasi competent.  Compared to last year, that is a marked improvement.  Still, after seeing Arizona last week against Houston, BYU winning that game close looks iffy, and scoring only 18 on Cal suggests there's still a ways to go.  Tanner Mangum is experienced for sure, but at this point is he still BYU's best option.  He has regressed every season, and has been downright lousy the last two years.  Against Cal last weekened, he completed barely 50% of his passes, and had to throw 41 times just to get to 196 passing yards, under 5 ypa.  He hasn't had a running game to rely on.  Squally Canada is the team's leading rusher, and while he's getting a lot of touches (averaging over 20 per game), his 3.7 ypc, particularly against a pair of Pac 12 defenses is blah.  While the Badgers ran out to a 24-0 lead in their opener and then coasted, they made their fans nervous for a while last week, taking their first lead on their first touchdown just a couple minutes before halftime.  They scored six touchdowns over the final 32 minutes to pull away, but any sort of challenge New Mexico was supposed to present was with their offensive scheme, not on defense.  But Wisconsin's first six drives had 1 touchdown, 1 field goal, 2 turnovers, a three and out, and a turnover on downs.  They then scored touchdowns on five consecutive drives to close.  Jonathan Taylor is already leading the nation in rushing, but there are also only three running backs in the nation averaging more than his 25.5 carries per game.  With a brutal Big Ten schedule ahead, I don't think you want to enter league play with your best offensive weapon already having over 75 carries.  It would be nice to not have to use Taylor as much this week.  In a lot of ways BYU is facing a Wisconsin defense for the second straight year.  Justin Wilcox got the Cal head coaching job based on what he did with the Bucky defense in 2016, and while only in year 2, it was clear that there has been a philosophical flip in Berkeley.  Now the Cougars get to face a Wisconsin defense...with Wisconsin defenders.  If they only put up 18 on Cal, I don't see how they even come close to that this week.  Mangum may have a bit more time here than he did last year, if there's one area thus far, where Wisconsin's defense looks to have taken a step down from last year, it's in the pass rush.  It's unfair to make any kind of bold statements about that after having one of your games be against a New Mexico team, that isn't going to throw much, and when they do, won't be conventional about it.  So seeing them last in the Big Ten in sacks isn't truly indicative, but they are still only generating sacks on 3.57% of dropbacks, #81 nationally, and #13 in the Big Ten.  That is meant more as a "this is an offense to get right against" than a reason for concern though.
WISCONSIN 35, BYU 10

SMU Mustangs (0-2) at #19 Michigan Wolverines (1-1)
3:30 - Ann Arbor, MI - BTN
If there was any team more ready to stop having to talk, and just play, than Michigan last week, I didn't see it.  Western Michigan has fallen sharply since Fleck moved on, but that was still impressive.  It's amazing how much smoother everything runs when the run game is working.  The passing game didn't have to do much more than just exist, and let Higdon do his thing.  As bad as Western Michigan looked, SMU could be even worse.  SMU hung around for a minute with TCU, but more due to TCU playing sluggish than anything SMU themselves was doing.  If you are looking for SMU to at least test the Michigan defense, even if perhaps their own defense would likely put up little resistance to Higdon and company, you haven't seen this SMU team.  Pony Express they are not.  At a paltry 8.6, Ben Hicks is dead last in the nation in Total QBR, and the run game is putting up 67.5 ypg, good for fourth worst in the nation.  So you got the worst quarterback to go with one of the worst run games in the nation.  Oh, and the offensive line has surrendered the most sacks of any AAC team thus far, 5th worst in the country.  They are converting a frighteningly bad 22% of their third downs, third worst in the nation.  It's only two games, but it's staggering to see an entire unit which has been this bad across the board.  Should be a recipe to get some guys some rest.  This is an offense that put up over 40 points in each of their final three regular season games last year, and going from Chad Morris to Sonny Dykes should not necessarily correlate to this level of regression.  Offensively, Michigan wants to continue to get work though.  Even though we won't learn anything until they face a real opponent, game reps are always a good thing.  It will be interesting to see how many meaningful snaps Harbaugh gives to his young tackles.  It's clear the vets are not up to snuff if this team wants to make noise in November, and unless you want them to get thrown to the wolves in October, you better start rotating them in more often now.  The SMU defensive front, relatively perhaps, has been probably the Mustangs' strength to date.  So while we won't learn anything about the progress of the Wolverine offense until they face a better opponent, SMU should at least provide a slightly better litmus test for the offensive line.  
MICHIGAN 41, SMU 14

South Florida Bulls (2-0) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0)
3:30 - Chicago, IL - BTN
Lovie Smith has coached in a number of big games in Soldier Field, three NFC Divisional Games, and a pair of NFC Championship Games, including one to send the Bears to their second ever Super Bowl.  This game will not be worth adding to that list.  Illinois has not played well, they have not faced good opponents, but they are 2-0.  South Florida looks like the expected dropoff from last year ain't coming.  But they are still a Group of 5 team, and crazy things sometimes happen.  If the Illini figure out a way, somehow, to get to 3-0, what does that do to change his trajectory?  As lousy as his tenure has been, this offseason it seemed like maybe he was gaining some traction on the recruiting trail, and just needed SOME on field success to light that spark.  The program's first 3-0 start since a 6-0 start in 2011 saw them reach #16 in the polls...before an 0-6 finish.  All that said, I don't see how it happens.  It took five years and three schools, but we finally get to see one time blue chip recruit Blake Barnett.  Barnett was a prize Saban recruit who left Alabama for Arizona State after landing #2 behind Jalen Hurts; and then left Arizona State for South Florida after landing #2 behind Manny Wilkins.  Since starring as a high school senior in 2014, Barnett had thrown only 24 passes, but if there was any rust, it hasn't shown yet.  He's completing 69% of his passes, at nearly 8 yards per attempt, with 5 touchdowns to go with 1 pick.  He also led the team in rushing last week in their win over Georgia Tech, with 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground.  He accounted for all three unanswered touchdowns in the final 12 minutes, at the Bulls turned a 10 point deficit into an 11 point win.  The real weapon though is Terrence Horne, who returned two kicks for touchdowns, both in the first quarter.  That put everyone on alert as he had 49 minutes, and plenty of chances, to become the first player to record three kick return touchdowns in a game.  Illinois has put 11 of their 13 kickoffs in for touchbacks, the second best percentage in the Big Ten.  They may want to continue doing that, but a lot depends on how cooperative the weather is inside the notoriously fickle Soldier Field.  Beyond that, it's tough to point to much.  Cam Thomas, who showed flashes last year as a freshman, and seemed a perfect fit for Rod Smith's offense, quit last week after losing to starting job to A.J. Bush...who was then knocked out of the game last week with a leg injury.  M.J. Rivers, who a week ago was the 3rd string quarterback, actually looked pretty good in relief.  But the defense remains among the worst in the conference...and that's playing Kent State and Western Illinois.  Sean McGuire completed 24-36 passes for 276 yards for the Leathernecks.  Barnett should have a field day.  The 20 point win looks well enough, but it took a 3-0 edge in turnovers, and a punt block touchdown to get there.  The defense gave up nearly 400 yards, after giving up over 400 to Kent State.
SOUTH FLORIDA 35, ILLINOIS 23

Miami(Ohio) RedHawks (0-2) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0)
3:30 - Minneapolis, MN - BTN
I thought Miami was going to be much improved this year, and locked in a real battle with Akron and Ohio for the right to go to Detroit.  It's early, but that seems off.  Granted, maybe Fickell has the Bearcats primed for a bigger jump in Year 2 than I expected, but to get shut out by Cincinnati is not a good look.  The offense was every bit as bad as the shutout would indicate, failing to hit 200 yards, and basically handing Cincinnati the win with an interception returned to the 1 yard line early in the 4th quarter when it was still a 7-0 game.  So the upside is the defense holding Cincinnati to 45 passing yards, on on 6-11 passing.  That's the good sign after watching Marshall pass all over them with a freshman quarterback making his first career start, throwing for 272 yards, on 65% passing, with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.  But how can the offense hope to generate anything?  The Gopher defense has done a good job playing bend but don't break, forcing turnovers, and getting off the field on first down, but their overall numbers aren't quite as good as their scoring numbers might indicate.  One thing seems likely, a lack of sustained drives.  Minnesota's defense is second in the Big Ten at getting teams off the field on third down, at only 25.8%, but their offense is the worst in the conference at picking up the sticks themselves at 34.5%.  What will their offensive identity be now?  The question marks at quarterback were known all offseason, but the reliance on arguably the best 1-2 tailback punch in the conference outside of Columbus was supposed to shoulder most of the weight.  Shannon Brown suffered an injury in the spring and is redshirting, and now Rodney Smith is out for the season.  The Gophers relied on freshman Bryce Williams to pick up the slack in the win over Fresno State, but he looked right now like not much more than a warm body.  Good for him having 25 carries in him, but his 3.5 ypc is far from inspiring.  Can Zack Annexstad handle more will help determine where this team goes from here.  They have not been as conservative with him as I thought they would be, and his completion percentage bears that out, but he also hasn't thrown a pick through two games.  I guess it's time to see just how far the staff trusts him, because I don't see a back on the two deep this week that can be the focal point of an offense.
MINNESOTA 34, MIAMI(OHIO) 10

Missouri Tigers (2-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (2-0)
7:30 - West Lafayette, IN - BTN
I think most Purdue fans recognized that the 2017 team was ahead of schedule, namely because for all of his faults, Darell Hazell did leave a number of very good senior defensive players.  That a half step backwards while the program took a full step forwards was maybe a necessary part of the process in 2018.  But even with that a big home opener against a Northwestern team with quarterback health issues, followed by perennial FBS doormat Eastern Michigan meant that maybe there was still the chance to build some early momentum.  Hell, in my game by game preseason picks, I had Purdue sitting at 5-1, ranked in the top 25 with a potential Gameday hosting of Ohio State on October 20.  Instead the Boilermakers find themselves needing to pull a home upset this week just to avoid 0-3.  Not to mention next week they host what appears to be a very good 3-0 Boston College team, followed by a trip to Lincoln.  You want to test how fragile a rebuild is?  Throw 0-5 at them and see what happens.  That's putting all of the carts before the horse though.  As tough as 0-2 is, they aren't that far from being 2-0.  Given the competition, that's not saying much, that they COULD be 2-0, but it is what it is.  Part of a rebuild is changing systems and overhauling the roster, and another part is overhauling the mindset.  That's what has cost Purdue, with two incredibly stupid personal foul penalties that cost them a chance to win against Northwestern, and would have nearly sealed the win against Eastern Michigan.  The next step for Brohm & Co. is to clean that up.  The margin in West Lafayette is too thin to be making those kinds of mental mistakes.  Last year Purdue announced they were going to be solid with a convincing win on the road at Missouri.  They did it with stifling defense, holding the Tigers to just 3 points.  It would take a monumental overhaul from what Purdue has looked like defensively to repeat that performance.  Pretty much since that game, Drew Lock has been as good as any quarterback in the SEC.  He's second in the league in passing right now, averaging 344 ypg, and his favorite target, Emanuel Hall, is 2nd in the nation, averaging 171 receiving yards per game.  Purdue thus far, has the worst defense in the Big Ten, giving up 408 ypg.  They've accomplished that while playing Eastern Michigan, with a brand new quarterback, and a Northwestern team that just put up 7 points on Duke.  Missouri might be the best offense Purdue will face all season outside of the Dwayne Haskins machine.  So how can they slow down the nation's second most prolific pass-catch connection, with a secondary giving up a Big Ten worst 8.2 ypa?  I don't know, but the front is getting enough pressure, the secondary is simply struggling in coverage.   Purdue needs to ride what should still be a solid home field crowd.  They were electric in the opener, and I don't think 0-2, considering where they've been recently, is enough to fully deflate them.  It's an SEC team coming in for a night game.  Should be good.  Then they need to control the clock.  I know Brohm wants to pass, and the quarterback play should be a strength.  But right now, the fewer possessions the better, and the running game is simply ahead of the passing game right now.  The Boilermakers are passing it third most in the league, despite having the second worst yards per attempt; while running it the least (33.5 apg) despite having the best ypc in the conference (8.1).  I know he's trying to shape this team to fit his identity, but the fact is right now, that is a recipe for 0-3.  I think with that home crowd, and IF the coaches are willing to commit more to the run, Purdue can pull this upset.  But I'm concerned they are too stubborn to do so, and I still don't see how this Purdue secondary does much to slow down Lock.
MISSOURI 31, PURDUE 26

Akron Zips (1-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (1-0, 1-1)
7:30 - Evanston, IL - BTN
Sigh.  Another Northwestern September clunker.  Meaning another year of Northwestern being written off early, only to look a lot better late, and be used as a referendum on the Big Ten.  Not sure why it is, but every single year the Wildcats seem to stumble out of the gate.  If Thorson is supposedly a high NFL pick, he sure didn't show it last weekend, completing under 58% of his passes, at barely 5 ypa, and getting sacked 3 times for 19 yards, with no positive rushing attempts.  Duke's best defender, a preseason All-American, cornerback Mark Gilbert, was lost early to an injury.  All-American defenders don't exactly grow on trees for teams like Duke, and you'd never know it from how Northwestern's offense floundered.  The Wildcats then knocked out star quarterback Daniel Jones, but weren't able to mount a comeback.  It's clear at this point, and I'm not sure it ever wasn't clear, that if the quarterback rotation is about anything other than Thorson not being able to play a full game, it needs to stop.  It kills any rhythm the team has, and frankly, it's not as though T.J. Green has done anything to look like he has to be included.  His 9-18, 84 yards, 1 interception, -4 rushing yard performance on Saturday garnered a QBR of 3.6.  For those keeping track at home, that is the second lowest mark of any quarterback so far this season, ahead of only Ben Hicks' performance for SMU against North Texas.  Morgan State is lousy, but Akron sure didn't look like a team who had their opener pushed back a week.  The biggest revelation was Kato Nelson, who looked really good, after looking horrible in limited action as a freshman a year ago once Woodson got hurt.  He looked more like the quarterback who threw for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns in the upset win over Ohio than the one who went a combined 23-53 for an average of 108 passing ypg over the Zips final 3 games (including losses in the MAC Championship Game and Boca Raton Bowl).  When you've only played one game, and it was against an overmatched FCS opponent, you are bound to have impressive defensive stats, and Akron does.  But Jeremy Larkin looks every bit the back we thought he was, and Morgan State didn't exactly roll anyone out like that.  I expect a heavy dose of him on Saturday night.  The Wildcats' secondary has looked shaky enough though that Nelson could exploit it.  It's not like Purdue and Duke are loaded with weapons on the outside, Rondale Moore aside.
NORTHWESTERN 35, AKRON 13

Northern Iowa Panthers (0-1) at Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0)
7:30 - Iowa City, IA - BTN
IOWA 35, NORTHERN IOWA 3

***BIG TEN GAME OF THE WEEK***
#4 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0, 2-0) vs. #15 TCU Horned Frogs (2-0)
8:00 - Arlington, TX - ABC
If Ohio State was supposed to miss Urban Meyer, they've shown exactly zero signs of it thus far, an absolute offensive juggernaut, rolling over arguably the two worst Power 5 teams in the country.  The competition is about to turn up a notch.  While TCU will offer some resistance, the Buckeyes sure didn't look like merely a product of the opposition.  As good as Meyer has been in Columbus, you could argue he has yet to have quarterback play as good as he had at any of his previous stops.  Tim Tebow, Alex Smith, and maybe even Omar Jacobs are probably better than what he's had at Ohio State.  Now nobody is going to shed a tear about having to win games with the likes of Braxton Miller, JT Barrett or Cardale Jones, but I think we are now seeing that when his offense has an elite player under center, good lord.  I've already said I think the best quarterback Meyer has ever had, by the time he leaves school, is the kid starting for him right now.  After last week, I'm not so sure his backup isn't the second best.  I'll say a couple hail marys or something for blaspheming at the altar of Tebow.  Gary Patterson can coach some defense though, he's proven that time and time again.  Two games in, he has the Horned Frogs leading the Big XII in both total defense and scoring defense.  It's mentioned above just how terrible SMU's offensive numbers currently are.  Well you can also note that those numbers are 50% the result of playing against this TCU defenselast week.  The problem is Ohio State is averaging 65 ppg, and I'm simply not sure how many points TCU can muster.  The Horned Frogs could hold the Buckeyes to FIVE TOUCHDOWNS below their season average, and still have to put up over 30 points themselves to win.  They needed touchdowns from their special teams and defense last week to get to 42, and handed SMU 2 points with a safety.  TCU is going with an undersized defensive front, sacrificing beef for agility and speed.  In the Big XII that makes sense, against Ohio State, that could lead to some issues.  Yes, Urban is going to spread you out and attack the gaps, but Ohio State's running game isn't built on beating guys to the outside, it's a lot of zone plays up the middle.  A lot of the stunting that Patterson runs effectively to create pressure in the pass happy Big XII, may lead to losses in gap integrity, and a lot of big holes.  Shawn Robinson needs to be a lot better in the passing game than he was on Friday night.  He took what was there, and was fine, but TCU needs to take some shots.  Patterson is still a defensive guy, but he has opened it up more in recent years, so TCU is not uncomfortable getting into somewhat of a shootout.  But as I said earlier, Ohio State has to fall so far short of what they are averaging offensively just to be in the ballpark where someone could catch them.  Right now, that doesn't seem likely.  The risks TCU is going to have to take to get pressure on Haskins is going to open up some big runs for the backs, and Weber has a solid bounceback game.
OHIO STATE 41, TCU 28
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 02:25:32 PM by ELA »

FearlessF

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 12:49:52 PM »
you really think the Hawks can score 35?
"Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport."

fezzador

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 01:08:25 PM »
With a pick 6, a blocked punt, and a few short fields, yeah, it's possible.

Big Beef Tacosupreme

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 01:56:27 PM »
Trace McSorely's receivers have dropped 8 balls so far this year.  5 in the last game.  It was a torrential downpour, but that's a crazy high number.

He's more accurate than ever so far, but doesn't have the WR crew of 2017. 

ELA

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 05:17:23 PM »
All the MACtion is in

iahawk15

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2018, 06:33:18 PM »
you really think the Hawks can score 35?
They put up 33 on a much better defense. That said, IF they get to 35, I'd expect 21+ to come in the second half.

ELA

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 04:29:11 PM »
All the MACtion is in
And now the AACtion

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 04:42:18 PM »
The illini are going to prevent a conference sweep?
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

ELA

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2018, 02:50:00 PM »
All the current and former Big XII games in

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 10:48:08 AM »

1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

ELA

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 11:43:07 AM »
Just have Purdue-Mizzou left.  So much easier once we get into conference play and this is cut in half.

ELA

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 02:25:48 PM »
Got em all in ahead of the clock

ELA

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Re: ELA September 15 Breakdown
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 10:16:20 AM »
Good work by me to pick Troy to win, but not use my Upset Pick on them.  :'(

 

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