How is the season nearly over already? I feel like it just started, and yet here I am with my Week 12 Midweek Musings:
The Buckeyes survived another scare in what should have been a blowout, needing OT and a failed two-point attempt to beat Maryland. (Maryland also missed a field goal early in the game, which certainly came back to haunt them). The Terps’ Anthony McFarland ran roughshod over the Buckeyes, gaining 298 yards and two touchdowns.
I can’t imagine Ohio State being so sloppy this weekend. In fact, I wonder if part of the problem was that they were looking past 5-5 Maryland to The Game. Which brings me to…
The Wolverines had struggles of their own this weekend, trailing Indiana 7-3 at halftime. It wasn’t until the third quarter that Michigan took the lead for good. Unfortunately, this game was memorable primarily for two scary moments. Scary from a human perspective was the targeting foul that injured sixth-year senior Berkley Edwards. Edwards was down for several minutes before being taken off via stretcher. Coach Jim Harbaugh told ESPN that Edwards has a “pretty good-sized concussion” but that he was talking and has full movement.
Scary from a football perspective was the fact that Chase Winovich left the game and didn’t return. The senior lineman is the star of the defense, but Harbaugh wouldn’t give the Detroit Free Press any indication of whether he’ll be available for Saturday. (I suspect this is at least partly gamesmanship.) If you’d like to read more about Winovich, our Lukas Weese profiled him a few weeks back; you can find the article here.
The Mountaineers have taken their collective foot off the gas in the second half of games a couple of times this season, and it finally cost them. Leading 31-14 at halftime, Oklahoma State knew the fat lady hadn’t sung yet. They added ten points in the fourth quarter, holding West Virginia off the board, to set up fireworks in the fourth. Three Taylor Cornelius touchdowns- two passing, one running- gave the Cowboys a 45-41 lead, with 0:42 on the clock. Quarterback Will Grier completed some passes, including one for 33 yards to Gary Jennings, Jr., but it wasn’t enough.
The Mountaineers face Oklahoma on Friday night, in what should be a very good game.
Speaking of the Sooners, firing defensive coordinator Mike Stoops clearly has not solved all of their defensive woes. In their last three games, Oklahoma has allowed 46, 47, and now 40 points. Forty points to Kansas. Of course, having the Sooners’ offense means you can afford to be iffy on defense at times.
The Longhorns beat Iowa State, but they may have suffered a loss as well. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the game with an apparent arm or shoulder injury before halftime. Head coach Tom Herman told ESPN on Monday that Ehlinger had aggravated a previous shoulder sprain and he was “hopeful” the sophomore would practice Tuesday. Fortunately for Texas, they have a more-than-adequate and experienced backup in junior Shane Buechele.
Best of the Rest
With their win over Colgate, Army secures their second consecutive nine-win regular season. The last time they did that? The mid-1940’s.
With their seventh victory of the season, the Panthers have wrapped up the ACC Coastal. They’ll face Clemson in the ACC Championship in Charlotte on December 1. This may seem like a mismatch, but keep in mind that Clemson’s one loss on their way to the National Championship in 2016 was to Pitt.
The Jayhawks appear to have a new coach. All indications are that Les Miles, who won a national title at LSU in 2007, is on his way to Lawrence. Time will tell if “The Hat” can succeed at a school where the recruiting and facilities will not be what he experienced in the SEC. At the same time, Miles has experience with the Big 12; before taking the helm at LSU, he was the head coach at Oklahoma State.
Those are my Week 12 Midweek Musings. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody, and enjoy the football!
Embed from Getty Images