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Wha Happened? Week Seven

Things shockingly got even worse for The Zooker, The Terrelle Pryor Experiment took another bodyblow, and Michigan beat the holy bejesus out of a team... read on to find out exactly Wha Happened? in Week Seven in the Big Ten.

Obviously, a TOTALLY REPRESENTATIVE AND ACCURATE look at OSU fans' feelings about yesterday's result.

Purdue 26, Ohio State 18
Oh, LOLeyes.  Clinching the Big Ten record for most consecutive road wins?  UR DOIN IT WRONG.  In hindsight, perhaps the warning signs had been staring us in the face for a while.  They blanked Illinois, but since the Illini may be the worst BCS team of the year, that win is looking a lot less meaningful (and Pryor was a dreadful passer in that game, foreshadowing his future woes).  They beat Indiana decisively, but Pryor was unable to light up a middle of the road Hoosier defense that true freshman Tate Forcier shredded a week earlier.  A week ago, the LOLeyes beat Wisconsin in one of the most statistically deranged games you'll see this year; Pryor was again dreadful, but the defense and special teams bailed him out.  Well, three weeks of average-to-poor play out of him finally caught up to the LOLeyes and yesterday no one could bail him out: not the defense (they gave up 361 total yards, including 281 through the air to Joey Elliott), not the special teams (no return touchdowns or blocked kicks), not the running game (66 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries).  Pryor, meanwhile, was fairly miserable -- he threw for 221 yards, but only on 17/31 completions, and had two interceptions and two fumbles.  Terrelle Pryor's improvement as a quarterback in whatever mishmash of an offensive system Ohio State is running continues to be virtually imperceptible and as beastly as the Ohio State defense has been, even they can't cover up the offense's crippling ineffectiveness indefinitely.  So what now for the LOLeyes, on the heels of the worst loss of the Sweatervest Era?  Good news!  The even-more-offensively inept Minnesota Golden LOLpher attack is coming to town. 

Meanwhile, we would be remiss if we did not doff our preferred headgear of choice (this, if you must know) to the Fightin' Danny Hopes of Purdue University.  Coming off the heels of back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back gutpunch losses in which they treated the football as if it was radioactive rather than an important implement in scoring points and winning football games, it would have been easy for the Boilermakers to check out on this season and start plotting how to get the good seats for the basketball team's MURDERDEATHKILL quest for a Big Ten championship (hey, it could totally happen).  Especially against a top ten opponent who had been unbeatable on the road for almost four years. Instead, the nattily-mustachioed Danny Hope (his 'stache has neither the smooth curves nor the warm bushiness of the Tiller 'stache, but it has a firm tidiness that connotes determination, grit, and other manly qualities; Conrad Hilton would no doubt nod approvingly and ask for a stiff drink before making some completely batshit request... but we digress) rallied his train-loving troops to play two spirited halves of football, be the turnover forcers rather than the turnover forcees (although they did cough up the ball three times; old habits die hard), and generally outplay and outhustle the vastly more talented LOLeyes.  Enjoy this win; a bowl may be an improbable dream this year (though if they can take wins from Illinois and their Hoosier state arch-rivals, they'd only need to steal two of three from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Michigan State... difficult but perhaps not impossible), but a win over a top-ten opponent will be a sweet memory for years to come.

An apt metaphor for the Ron Zook Era.

Indiana 27, Illinois 14
By all the evidence on display, Ron Zook has apparently forgotten that he's supposed to be coaching a football team this season; instead, he's intent on becoming the limbo champion of Middle Western America.  "How low can you go, " indeed.  A year ago, substantially this same Illinois team beat Indiana to the tune of 55-13.  Juice looked good (16/22, 271 passing yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions) and Jason Ford looked like the future of the Illinois running game (19 carries, 172 yards, three touchdowns).  Heady days.  Since then, Illinois has gone 1-9 against BCS-level competition (don't ask us about the one win; it just makes us sad).  In fact, this year in five games against BCS-level competition, Illinois has scored a combined 54 points.  This isn't just a bad team... it's increasingly looking like a historically bad team.  And that's before you even factor in the shocking "Rose Bowl to Big Ten cellar in two years" fall from grace or the much-touted recruiting classes that were supposed to take Illinois to the promised land.  In 2009, "massive disappointment" is spelled F-I-G-H-T-I-N-I-L-L-I-N-I.  As for Indiana... good show, sport.  Illinois is only nominally a BCS-level opponent, but, hell, any port in a storm after the 47-7 failstorm that happened last week against Virginia. 

Like the Penn State defense, an effective means of eradicating Gophers.

Penn State 20, Minnesota 0
FUN FACT!  Did you know that Minnesota and Penn State play for a trophy?  It's true -- it's called the Governor's Victory Bell.  Minnesota hasn't held that trophy since 2004.  FUNNER FACT!  Minnesota is 3-17 in their last 20 games played for a trophy.  The last time they won one was Iowa in 2006, also known as the "Drew Tate Loses His Fucking Shit and Tries to Murder Herb Grigsby Game."  Anyway, this game.  Unless you have a defense and special teams unit that can score touchdowns on their own (see: Ohio State a week ago) or possess a hyper-efficient and prolific offense led by a sure-fire Hall of Famer (see: the Indianapolis Colts' Week 2 win over the Miami Dolphins) , it's generally a good idea to at least stay reasonably close when it comes to total offensive yards gained and time of possession.  The Gophers don't possess a playmaking defense or an explosive special teams unit.  They also don't have a legendary quarterback or an offense loaded with elite weapons.  They have the mysteriously regressing Adam Weber (on pace for by far his worst year in three years as a starting quarterback) at quarterback and one (1) elite offensive weapon, Eric Decker.  So letting Penn State roll up well over three hundred yards more than the LOLphers gained and control the ball for 42 minutes was, in hindsight, a bit of a bad idea.  Well, like Coach Brew always says: TRY FIGHT WIN GET BITCHMADE. 

More rockin' than anything about the LOLcats this season.

Michigan State 24, Northwestern 14
justNorthwestern scored the first and last touchdowns yesterday; unfortunately, they let Sparty rattle off 24 straight points in-between those scores.  For the umpteenth game in a row their running game was a complete non-entity; their running backs combined for 34 yards on eight carries.  The existential wonderboy, Mike Kafka, had yet another efficient day passing (34/47, 291 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions) and was the LOLcats' leading rusher (42 yards on 18 carries) as well.  As for our next opponent... they didn't exactly put on a masterclass in running the ball, either -- Larry Caper went for 63 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Edwin Baker carried 12 times for 45 yards.  As they have all year, they were carried by the passing game; Kirk Cousins went 21/31 for 281 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.  The main beneficiary of his aerial profligacy was Blair White (12 catches for 186 yards, two touchdowns); Mr. White, meet Mr. Spievey.  I'm sure you'll get along famously. 

Only marginally less disturbing than watching the Michigan-Delaware State game.  (NSFW - language)

Michigan 63, Delaware State 6
Michigan scored 60+ for the first time in 17 years, racked up a school-record 727 total yards (including 461 rushing yards), had eight different players score touchdowns, and rested Tate Forcier after one series.  Oh, and their best two running backs (Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor) didn't even play.  Delaware State was such a whore for the $550,000 payday that this game provided that they didn't even care how bad their john beat them up (or even that taking this game would also require them to forfeit a conference game previously scheduled for yesterday), so long as the money was there.  No word yet on whether Michigan sent them a check or just left a stack of rumpled cash on the dresser while they took a shower.  Let us never speak of this game again.