Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Midwest Madness: Week One

My attempt to wrap up the week's games in the Big Ten

Excitement was hard to come by if you surveyed the Big Ten schedule for week one, but such is life in the non-conference schedule weeks.  Props to Michigan and Purdue for playing team's with a pulse   and I suppose props to Illinois for even showing up at all.  So the Ron Zook death march begins.

Instead of full wrap ups from each game, I am just going to pull one interesting stat or fact from each game.  You'll get more when the games start to matter.  If most of the conference isn't going to try this week, why should I?

Ohio State 45 - Marshall 7
17 for 25, 247 yards, 3TD's - Terrelle Pryor's stat line   looks like a real quarterback's, doesn't it.  However, 8 rushes for 17 yards is very unlike the fleet footed Pryor.  As I said earlier today, Pryor will have a good opportunity to prove he has taken the next step against a good Miami (FL) team this week.  The development of everybody's favorite Heisman candidate will be an interesting storyline all season.

Indiana 51 - Towson 17
392 to 360 - That is Towson's 32 yard edge in total yardage in a game that wasn't even close.  The three Towson INT's help tell part of this story, but for the life of me I can't figure out where Indiana managed to find 51 points while being out gained on offense by an FCS team.  Word of caution, Indiana will sneak up on someone this year, mark that down.  Let's just hope it isn't Michigan.

Tim Brewster: finding ways to torture the
Minnesota fan base since 2007.
Minnesota 24 - MTSU 17
10 - That is the number of points Minnesota scored in the 4th quarter (compared to 0 for MTSU) to avoid losing to a Sun Belt team.  Tim Brewster doesn't like to do anything easy, does he?

Michigan State 38 - Western Michigan 14
8.0 - The YPC average for a Michigan State team that came into the season with serious questions on the offensive line after losing three starters from last years middle of the road unit, as well as three underclassmen running backs.  Is WMU's defense that bad or MSU's running game that good?  Stay tuned.

Penn State 44 - Youngstown St. 14
40 - The total rushing yards gained by Evan Royster.  When looked at in comparison to the game above, this number seems downright scary for Penn State moving forward   I think it's safe to say WMU's defense > Youngstown St.'s defense.  With a true freshman under center and questions marks all over the offensive line, Royster is going to be depended on heavily this year to produce without much help.  Penn State fans, worry now.  I think the team PSU plays next week knows a little bit about stopping the run.

Iowa 37 - Eastern Illinois 7
70,585 - The number of hearts that stopped when Ricki Stanzi went down awkwardly on his ankle in the second quarter.  Bonus stat:  0 - The number of "Rick Sixes"* thrown.

* Rick Six has now replaced Stanziball as the preferred name for any Ricky Stanzi interception that is returned for a touchdown.  Keep an eye out for the Rick Six watch, coming shortly.

What do Ron Zook and the teacup ride have in common?
They both make Illinois fan's queasy.
Missouri 23 - Illinois 13
11 - Games until Ron Zook is run out of town.  That is all.

Notre Dame 23 - Purdue 12
15 - Yards assessed on the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on Robert Marve as he dove into the endzone on the only Purdue touchdown.  This stat could also have been 0/2, Marve's touchdown to interception ratio.  Keep it classy Purdue.

Northwestern 23 - Vanderbilt 21
304 - Yards of offense that Dan Persa produced by himself (222 of them on 19 of 21 passing).  Apparently Pat Fitzgerald has focused some of that massive NU endowment on building an underground lab somewhere on campus where scientists produce ridiculously accurate spread quarterbacks in an attempt to torment Iowa fans everywhere.

Wisconsin 41 - UNLV 21
8 - The number of people who actually paid attention to Wisconsin's easy win over UNLV at 11pm on a Saturday night.  The fine people of Wisconsin don't give up Saturday beer and cheese nights for anything, not even their beloved Badgers.

Nebraska 49 - Western Kentucky 10
49 - Seriously?  Nebraska scored 49 points?  I mean, I know it is just WKU, but some things just have to be seen to be truly believed.  This offense was terrible last year.  However, true to form the Cornhuskers turned the ball over twice.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Join us next week as the Big Ten faces off against perennial powers such as Florida Atlantic, South Dakota, Southern Illinois, and, uh, some team from Alabama.

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