In fact, just give the entire offense game balls. MSU came out the second half hitting as hard as you can legally but the line kept holding off their blitz, Conteh kept fighting for yards, CJ kept his cool and Peterman, Ross, Thompason, Yarborough and Ward kept making the clutch 3rd and long catches.[The] wild race keeps getting more bizarre in the Big Ten.
This wasn't bad D by MSU, though they were sloppy at times. This was precision execution by as focused an offense I've seen in awhile in purple. McGee really seems to be finding a rhythm as a play caller these last two weeks and the execution and poise is right where it needs to be.
We needed this one. After blowing the Duke game, getting whacked at OSU and giving away Michigan, we showed a lot of heart here.
So now we're 3-3 and staring at a second half where there are certainly no gimmes, but where all games are winnable if we play like we did on offense today and shore up the tackling on D to Michigan game levels.
Let's start next week by mashing Minnesota for homecoming.
But first, because it can't be said enough, some stats from today's game for CJ Bacher.As for the league itself ...
* 13 of 19 on third down - and most of those were 5+ yards (in fact, most of the ones I remember not making were the short ones). BTW, it wasn't all bad for the D as MSU was 4 of 10.
* 612 total yards of offense - following 417 against Michigan and 506 yards against Duke two weeks prior to that. In fact, aside from that abysmal OSU game (how good is that D looking now?), we're 400+ in every game this year on offense.
* 522 yards passing on 38-49 accuracy. Nice.
* And to give the O-line a little love (and the OC some credit in play calling), only two sacks for -4 yards, meaning they were more scrambles than real sacks.
* Seven receivers had multiple catches, nine touched it overall.
All I can say is that I bet I know who the Big Ten's offensive player of the week will be!:)
* HUGE win for ILLINOIS today against a Bucky team that finally played with fire and got burned. They just out-physicalled the Badgers. If the Illini had held on to the ball in the opener, they'd be 6-0 right now. Everyone thought it would come down to the final 2-3 weeks in the Big Ten when OSU/UM and UW played each other ... but now that Nov. 10 Illinois @ Ohio State game is looking like the biggie.Things have sure changed in a couple weeks. Michigan's gone from flop to back to a contender ... to questionable again. Wisky and PSU have dropped while the young Bucks and Illini have risen. It looks like everyone but the Gophers and Hawks should be in the hunt to go bowling in November. But that could change too.:)
* As for the Badgers, they can't sulk too long with a visit to Happy Valley next. But after that it's NIU and Indiana at home before those Michigan and OSU games.
* Nice win for INDIANA as well to go to 5-1. If they can catch MSU moping next week, they could have that magical sixth win before mid-October and still have Ball State and Purdue left at home along with a road trip to Evanston.
* As for the Gophers, let's try and slam the bowl door for good on them next week in Evanston.:)
* OHIO STATE still looks like the class of the league - based largely on their defense being heads and shoulders above anything else. If they can get by tricky night games at Purdue and at PSU to begin and end October, they could be a MNC sleeper with the rugged SEC and Pac 10 slates taking tolls on the teams above them. Their November is Wisky and the Illini in the Shoe and then their usual Michigan game.
* Purdue gets a once-again vulnerable looking Michigan at the Big House next week and then really only has a visits to PSU and Indiana left as road blocks with the Illini and Badgers off the schedule.
* PENN STATE needs to stop the bleeding this week as the Nits have a brutal four-game stretch ahead with visits from Bucky and Brutus with a trap road trip to Indiana in between before a final visit from Purdue.
* As for Iowa, if they don't win today, they could be out of any bowl hunt by November with the Illini and Boilers coming up next.
Stephen J. Truog, former NU Marching Band member and now educator in Arizona, comments on the Wildcats from both the sidelines and his couch He has his own NU oriented Web Site - Visit SjTonline
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