1) Indiana just missed a golden opportunity
The Hoosiers have been looking for a defining, turn the corner win since the early 1990s and they had that chance slip through their grasp on Saturday. Coach Tom Allen has done a good job this season but with an opportunity to pin the Nittany Lions inside their own 20 early in the 3rd quarter he made a fatal mistake. The Hoosier’s first drive of the second half stalled out and it was time to punt. But Indiana head coach Tom Allen didn’t want to give the ball back and the game changed dramatically because of his decision. The Hoosiers lined up to go for it on 4th and 1 and were then forced to use a timeout. When play resumed IU was now in punt formation, but a direct snap to tight end Peyton Hendershot for an apparent fake went nowhere. Now in the situation, the Hoosiers were in I don’t think you were going to catch Penn State off-guard. I think if you want to go for it then do it with your offense.
Penn State took over on downs and moments later took control of the game when on the second play of the ensuing drive, running back Journey Brown ran 35 yards to the end zone. The Nittany Lions suddenly led 27-14 early in the third quarter.
I know you want to play to win the game but this was not the time or the way to take that chance. I know with the euphoria of a close loss to Penn State that people are clamoring for a big extension for Allen and he has done a solid job, but can we slow this roll a bit? My point is the Hoosiers have beaten nobody and they lost to Michigan State who has turned out to be really bad ever since. So how about this, Indiana beats Michigan next weekend and Indiana can then give the extension to Coach Allen.
2) Crucify Nick Saban! No, wait a minute!
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a hip injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s game at Mississippi State. The star signal-caller was taken to Birmingham to undergo CAT scans and MRIs. Head coach Nick Saban said the severity of the injury, which is not yet known, is not “related to any other injury that he has.”
“It’s kind of a freak thing that you seldom see,” Saban stated after the Crimson Tide’s 38-7 win.
Tagovailoa was a game-time decision entering Davis Wade Stadium after he dealt with soreness in his right ankle following last week’s LSU game. Tua played all 60 minutes against the Tigers only 20 days removed from a tightrope surgery to repair a high ankle sprain he suffered in the Tennessee game back on Oct. 19. Tagovailoa was limited in practice this past week, doing more as the week progressed, and then looked good enough during pregame warmups on Saturday to lead Saban to play him.
Now I hear people blaming Saban, but in his defense, it seems this injury is unrelated to the high ankle sprain. I think playing Tua today was a bad idea also but with that being said, if he is cleared to play and wants to play, and this injury is unrelated to the previous injury, I would think maybe we could slow the judgment on Saban down a little bit.
3) Minnesota exposed
The Gophers beat Penn State last week and everybody was going nuts about the Gophers, but now it seems after a loss in Iowa that the Gophers were now exposed! Come on! We all knew that they were going to be exposed as a notch below the top 10 teams, and it was happening sometime between today and the Big Ten Championship game against Ohio State. Just remember this though, I just said Minnesota was a notch below being a top-10 team. What P.J. Fleck has done has been nothing short of remarkable and don’t be surprised if the Gophers being a Big Ten contender becomes a common occurrence.
4) Texas coach Tom Herman is in deep trouble
The Longhorns have now lost this year to LSU, TCU, Oklahoma, and now Iowa State. Herman was the supposed savior of the Longhorns program but the savior is headed towards the door. I think Herman is a very good coach, but more is expected at Texas. Is that unfair? Yes! Is it surprising? No! The rest of the schedule is daunting, to say the least, as the Longhorns will finish up the season playing at Baylor, a team that will be angry after blowing a huge lead at home against Oklahoma. Then they finish with Texas Tech. If they win both, the Longhorns could make it to the Big 12 Championship game against either Oklahoma or Baylor.