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Tuesday Morning Brews (9/23/14)

Checking in on the B1G's running backs.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Still the Best (at Running Back)

In a successful weekend for the conference, the headliners were still, without a doubt, the stud running backs. Only three quarterbacks put together 200 yard games - in part because of blowout wins and plenty of yards to be found on the ground - while three running backs ran for 200 yards, Josh Ferguson got another 190, and Tevin Coleman touched the ball 19 times for 132. It's a talent-laden field at running back.

It was also a resurgent weekend for dual-threat QBs. Gone are the days of Terrelle Pryor, Denard Robinson, and Taylor Martinez, but a new crop has come to replace them: Minnesota QB Chris Streveler ran for 161 and completed only one forward pass, Tanner McEvoy ran for 158 and threw for 112, and Tommy Armstrong got 96 and threw for 113. As offensive innovation goes, it's not much, but it will do in the meantime for putting up points.

It's also evident that this kind of offense will not fly against better defenses of the Power 5. Statistically the Big Ten has three of the top 5 running backs in the country in Abdullah, Cobb, and Coleman, and there's plenty more talent than that (see: Curtis Samuel, 6.3 ypc, Penn State's Akeel Lynch, 7.7 ypc, Nebraska's Imani Cross, 9.6 ypc). But if this was a weekend in which the conference did its job, it still held all the echoes of failures past. No team will be able to consistently win when throwing for so few yards, and it wasn't just Minnesota, with their grand total of 7: all told, nine of the thirteen teams playing passed for under 200 yards. This isn't complete football, and that just doesn't hold up against solid teams.

If this trend holds true, it would at least bode well for Michigan going into its matchup with Minnesota. The Gophers have lately been a team that, like Oregon, is pushing the boundaries of football, but doing so in the opposite direction - from football-basketball to football-rugby. Unfortunately for Michigan, they at least do the running game proud, and Michigan's superior passing (46% completions against Utah, 0 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 4.4 yards per attempt) can't really boast much better.

Hitting the Links Is Hiking Europe Until We Win

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So, Notre Dame was rock bottom. Then going into halftime on Miami (Ohio), 17-10, was rock bottom. Then Utah was rock bottom. Then this happened.

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Nick Baumgardner pulls out his red pen and hands out three F's.

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SportsCenter has some great commercials, and this is definitely up there.

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...Michigan edged out Illinois, Purdue, and Northwestern.

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Stat of the week: Marcus Mariota has yet to throw a pick; he leads the nation by far in passer rating, has 16 total touchdowns, and has the best completion rate of his career (74.0%).