My day started out in the bar watching the games between Ohio State & Michigan State and Wisconsin & Minnesota.
Michigan State @ Ohio State
Michigan State led the Buckeyes 17-7 when the wheels feel off for John L. Smith's Spartans. Instead of spiking the ball on third down to give the team time to set up for the field goal, the Spartan coaches called for the field goal unit to be brought out and kick a hurried field goal. This resulted in two things: (1) the field goal being blocked because there were only ten guys on the field and returned for a touchdown to cut the Spartans lead to 17-14 at half and (2) the best quote I have ever heard from a coach on National Television thanks to John L. Smith. When Smith was approached by the TV cameras on his way into the locker room he provided this gem for all to hear:
The kids are playing their tails off and the coaches are screwing it upThat quote got the entire bar where I was watching the game laughing hysterically. By far the best quote I have heard from a coach before or after a game since Roy Williams told Bonnie Bernstein that he did not give a [crap] about Carolina after Kansas' loss to Syracuse in the National Championship Game.
Wisconsin @ Minnesota
If you want to figure out how to lose a game that you should have won, watching Saturday's performance by the Golden Gophers would be one way to learn. Wisconsin outscored the Gophers 21-7 in the fourth quarter in their 38-34 victory in the Metrodome, but the strange blocked punt is what made this game. With 0:30 left on the clock, Minnesota lined up to punt near their own end zone. The snap to punter Justin Kucek was perfect, but he dropped the ball. Then, instead of doing the smart thing and taking the safety (thus preserving Minnesota's lead), Kucek attempting to punt the ball. It was blocked by Wisconsin, and they recovered for the game-winning touchdown.
The second set of games in the afternoon were just as exciting as the first set. USC at Notre Dame did not disappoint, and neither did Penn State at Michigan.
USC @ Notre Dame
Any time I can see Notre Dame lose a football game, a smile appears on my face. To see Notre Dame lose a football game like that makes me smile like I am CJ Jackson at Friday night's Illini Madness. Reggie Bush, the Downtown Athletic Club would like to speak with you, as Mr. Heisman is being readied for you to accept.
Penn State @ Michigan
All I can say to this game is wow. The game was boring for three quarters as the Nittany Lions and the Wolverines entered the fourth quarter with Michigan up 10-3. While I really would have liked to see Michigan lose this game and have their record sitting at 3-4 with a chance they could not make a bowl game this season, I was impressed with the way they came back to win the game on the final drive. Sure, a Penn State could say Michigan got as many beneficial calls as they did in Memorial Stadium on that fateful night, but it was the Nittany Lions special teams that cost them the game.
The major Illinois news this weekend was Friday night's Illini Madness. IlliniBoard.com has plenty of coverage on Illini Madness, so I will not repeat it here.
IlliniBoard.com's Illini Madness Coverage
- IlliniBoard.com Photo Galley Number 1: http://illinois.scout.com/2/453179.html
- IlliniBoard.com Slam Dunk Contest Videos: http://illinois.scout.com/2/453153.html
- IlliniBoard.com's Illini Madness Recap: http://illinois.scout.com/2/453310.html
- IlliniDog's Illini Madness Recap (A Fan's Viewpoint): http://illinois.scout.com/2/453318.html
While it is bad news for Penn State, Ron Zook got some good news before his game plan meetings this week, Penn State freshman WR Derrick Williams will miss the remainder of the season with a broken arm. This is one less weapon the Nittany Lions will have when they face the Illini, and that is a good thing for the Illini defense as I don't know how they would have stopped Williams with their corner backs, and with the lack of pressure the Illini defensive line has been known to get on opposing quarterbacks this season.
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