Hard to believe we’re already at the midway point in the season! Here are my Week Seven Midweek Musings:
The weekend got off to an exciting start Friday night as Miami, now with N’kosi Perry under center, upset No. 20 Virginia. The ‘Canes were nursing a 7-3 lead after three quarters and put together long drives on their last two possessions, resulting in 10 points. The Cavaliers scored on two of their last three drives as well, but only managed field goals.
However, UVA’s biggest loss may not have been the one on the scoreboard. Cornerback Bryce Hall suffered what looked to be a serious leg or ankle injury in the second quarter. The preseason All-American and projected first-round draft pick was carted off wearing an air cast; it’s probably safe to assume he’s done for the year.
Ditto for BC, where quarterback Anthony Brown suffered a leg injury at Louisville on October 5. Brown is officially out for the year. He’ll be replaced by sophomore Dennis Grosel, who looked very good in relief in the Louisville game.
Just when you thought the Wolverines had things figured out, they came within minutes of an epic implosion. Michigan had rushed for over 100 yards seven minutes into the game. The score at halftime was 28-7, and the Illini had not converted on a single third-down. Safe to change the channel, right? To quote Lee Corso (or Corseaux, as the sweater an LSU fan gifted him read), “not so fast, my friend!”
Michigan’s first three possessions of the second half ended in a punt, a turnover on downs, and a fumble. Illinois’ ended in a field goal and two touchdowns. Michigan scored on their next possession, and the Illini ended their next two by losing fumbles; another Michigan touchdown late made the score look more respectable.
Michigan, by the way, has now fumbled 17 times and lost nine of them. They have not played an unusual number of games in bad weather. I’m not sure they’ve played any games in bad weather. How on earth does that happen?
Red River Showdown
After a scuffle in warmups, the refs decided to give every single player an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, meaning that any player who received one during play would be receiving his second one, and would be ejected. I think this was an excellent solution to the problem of emotions running very, very high. And you know what? It worked. The only ejection during the game was for a targeting foul. Definitely something for officials to keep in their back pocket when there are issues during pregame. You can read our full article about the game here.
After the racist letter sent to Penn State’s Jonathan Sutherland, which I covered in last week’s column, the players decided to warm up in custom t-shirts this week. The shirts read “Chains, Tattoos, Dreads, & WE ARE”. However, the players don’t appear to have received permission to wear said shirts, and Penn State personnel took them away. The school claims to have been worried about potential NCAA violations. (As much as I hate that the players couldn’t wear the shirts, the school was probably smart to have them removed- when it comes to violations, better safe than sorry).
And those are my Week Seven Midweek Musings! Apologies for the shorter-than-usual column, but I spent much of Saturday evening at a family party and, as a result, ended up with shorter-than-usual notes. Enjoy the Week Eight games!