Happy Tuesday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. We’re all in different places following the loss to Penn State and there are plenty of takes out there on what went wrong and how to fix it, so I’m going to do a link roundup again today rather than add to the noise. We start off this morning with two football related stories before checking in with some non-rev. teams and then taking a look at what’s making news around the Big Ten.
Let’s get to it:
Grant Newsome again has words for Michigan fans
Despite being unable to play this year, Grant Newsome is taking a leadership role inside and outside of the team. For the second time this season, Newsome has a message for fans. On Sunday morning he tweeted, “Everyone take a breath. We got whooped. It hurts for us too. We will get better and be back stronger. The sun came up this morning.” He’s right, this team will grow after this loss, and this is your reminder that you should never, ever tweet players or recruits. They’re just kids.
Michigan failing to meet Harbaugh-inspired expectations
This one is from Ralph Russo over at AP, and there are a lot of things I think he gets right. Russo brings up and, rightfully, dismisses the “year three” argument and laments, “As is standard in college football these days, two losses equates to a crisis.” He then goes over the struggles in the offense, accounts for the defense, and tees up the rest of the schedule. If you want a level-headed take on the season and the rest of the year, click the link above. If you want to rend your garments and bemoan the failure of the Harbaugh era, maybe don’t read this one.
Michigan field hockey wins B1G outright, secures No. 1 seed in B1G Tournament
Last Thursday I told you that Michigan field hockey had clinched at least a share of the B1G regular season title and had a game on Friday to win the title outright. Well, the Wolverines won, beating No. 8 Northwestern by the score of 1-0. This is the program’s ninth B1G title, and their first outright title since 2011. The Wolverines continued their winning ways on Sunday, topping No. 7 Louisville by the score of 6-2 for their 12th straight win. They’ll finish the regular season this afternoon at 4 p.m. against Central Michigan. The B1G Tournament begins on Friday. Michigan will play its first game on Sunday.
Hockey tops Vermont 4-1, 3-2 to christen the newly named Red Berenson rink
On Thursday, the University Regents approved naming the ice rink at Yost in honor of recently retired Michigan coaching legend Red Berenson. On Friday, the Wolverines cruised to a 4-1 win, with two goals each in the second and third periods, to christen the newly named ice. Saturday’s game required some heroics, but resulted in a win nonetheless. Going into the third period down 2-1, Michigan tied it up with 4:53 remaining and then netted the game winner with 0:54 remaining. The Wolverines now hold a record of 3-1 in Mel Pearson’s inaugural season.
News from around the Big Ten:
Mark Dantonio shrugs off LJ Scott’s seventh arrest
You may have heard last week that LJ Scott, Michigan State’s starting RB, had been arrested on his seventh driving citation in the past year or two (sources differ). Scott was benched for the first series against Indiana before racking up 22 carries for 87 yards and a TD in the Spartan’s close game against Indiana. After the game, Dantonio shrugged off questions and criticism of Scott’s slap on the wrist saying, “I watched him parallel park, so it's not like we weren't on it." Cool story, Mike.
Rutgers tops Purdue 14-12 for second B1G win
Well, this one isn’t going to do Michigan’s strength of schedule any favors. Rutgers beat Purdue on Saturday for their second B1G win in a row. It appears that things are indeed on the upswing for Chris Ash’s program. Purdue doubled up Rutgers in terms of offense, but penalties and turnovers kept the Knights in the game. Purdue scored with 25 seconds left, but the two-point conversion failed. Michigan plays Rutgers next week when the Knights will try to make it three conference wins in a row. Michigan opened as 23.5 point favorites.
Northwestern has the punt of the week
I’ll be honest, I threw this one in just to prove that the sub .500 B1G West (when you exclude Wisconsin’s 7-0 record) is still playing, you know, football. Hunter Niswander, Northwestern’s punter and owner of a pretty solid last name, dropped an 80 yard beauty on Iowa. To Iowa’s credit, or not, the kick benefited from about 17 yards of roll - but still, it would have been a 63 yard boomer even if Iowa’s returner had fair caught it instead of running away, changing his mind and running toward the bouncing ball, and then changing his mind and running away again. So congrats to Northwestern. With their win over Iowa, their path to bowl eligibility looks pretty decent.