The Hybrid is a weekly Big Ten football preview, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate
It was 2:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Saturday, October 28, 2017, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the Big House.
And Michigan football was dragging ass.
I'm not talking about their typical style, either. This wasn't "blowing a game late," "square peg in round hole offense," or even "old school arrogance with no payoff whatsoever." This felt different, even for them.
QB2 John O'Korn, now the regular starter due to Wilton Speight's injury earlier in the year, was struggling. Now, O'Korn seems like a really good dude and is 10x the athlete most of us will ever be... but it flat out looked like sabotage. A pick, two fumbled snaps, throwing low to 6'6'' guys being covered by 5'10'' DBs. It was all there. It almost reminded me of the Rex Grossman Chicago Bears before actually starting to feel like the Jonathan Quinn/Craig Krenzel outfit.
It was at that point my buddy Ricky texted something that'll probably stick with me longer than it should: "Anytime you gotta compare a quarterback to two different '04 Bears QBs, you know you're in terrible, horrible hands."
Michigan was stuck. The crowd was lifeless. Stupid Harbaugh just wouldn't make the change. But why?! This wasn't some unrealistic expectations thing. The bar was the ground. There was no standard to meet. Make the change, Jim. MAKE THE CHANGE WHY AREN'T YOU MAKING THE CHANGE.
But then, fate seized the reigns, and he did make the change. Why did that sentence rhyme.
Enter: QB3, Brandon Peters. Now, I don't know a ton about this dude other than some basics:
- From Indiana
- Redshirt freshman
- 4-star recruit, pocket passer
- First guy to play QB at Michigan who Harbaugh actually recruited
- Wears No. 18... oh god, it's in honor of Pey Pey, isn't it?
Really, that's about it. But when that young man took the field, he might has well have been a Wet Republic in the middle of the Sahara. I shot up off my couch and watched him do things that Nate Stanley has already done a million times in his short career. Peters felt out the pocket, completed some intermediate throws, even hit a guy on a roll out right past the sticks.
It wasn't next stratosphere stuff. But man, it felt like he was reinventing the wheel. The crowd went from library to frenzy. If you had no context of the situation, you would have thought these people were rooting on a game-winning fourth quarter drive. But the home team was up 14-7 in the second quarter -- that's all.
Did I... mention this was all against Rutgers? Yeah, shut up.
At some point late into Q2, homie found the end zone. His wheel route throw was probably an A-, but I'll remember it as an A+++++++++.
Brandon Peters throws his first touchdown pass as Michigans QB. pic.twitter.com/1ssdP38Ms0— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 28, 2017
As MGoBlog's Ace Anbender put it, "Nitpickers will note it was a little short. Most Michigan fans, however, saw the skies part and heard angels sing."
Yeah, so that's where we are at with this.
Though I typically make it a goal to not link any local Michigan newspapers in this space, Nick Baumgardner summed it up well:
Peters entered the game and, suddenly, this looked like an offense again. Not because he was re-writing the book on how to play quarterback, but because he was delivering timely throws to open targets and forcing the defense to play honest. Michigan, no longer forced to play with one hand tied behind its back, then let its offensive line churn.
After this went down, Michigan spent the bulk of the day running the ball and blocking and playing sound football... pretty boring/borderline horrible, but Peters' potential allowed them to do that. And that is the name of the game here: potential. That's why having a young QB leading your team is so god damned great. I mean, shit, this is basically a lost season: Michigan got edged by MSU, pwn'd by PSU, and will lose to Ohio State by 31-47 points. But tomorrow always, always presents another day. So watching Brandon Peters play football reminds me of the Notorious B.I.G.'s eternal lyric:
"All I see is the future"
In conclusion... did the thing where I prematurely changed my phone background because the aftermath of the moment had me buzzing, and I'm a horrible person.
I am sorry, Brandon Peters.
"Reality gives nothing back and nor should you."
Central Michigan at Western Michigan: Well, except former banana boy "Sugar" Shane Morris being a banana boy elsewhere:
Penn State (7) at Michigan State (24): Ben?
Don't we all pic.twitter.com/YZ205jTLFa— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 28, 2017
Haha. Let's jam.
This Penn State call signal rocks. pic.twitter.com/7HZTjHvF32— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) October 28, 2017
Man, did they ever blow it last week.
* * *
Speaking of blown games... did we not give enough 'loss blame' for MSU having to drive to the game last week?
Mechanical issues ground Michigan State's plane, Spartans take buses to Northwestern: https://t.co/m9ZhOgqZrA— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 27, 2017
What's that? You don't care at all? Oh.
Well, at least these bros made it:
"Alright, Brian, we're all gonna be furry mammals, right? Dogs, bears?"— RossWBoo (@RossWB) October 28, 2017
"...i'ma be a crawfish."
"Dammit, Brian." pic.twitter.com/1pXN3YUcyw
Speaking of bros... two of you are still alive in the MSU over/under, which I'm too lazy to paste and format this week.
Wisconsin (9) at Indiana: ...
The greatest of all football plays. pic.twitter.com/RG4UbClFwg— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 28, 2017
The good news is I met a Sconnie fan at Halloween party in Chicago last weekend, and he spent a decent chunk of time explaining how bad their schedule was, how overrated they are, and how they're gonna get exposed in the Big Ten title game. His disdain nearly matched mine when it came to my teams; pretty glorious.
Florida at Missouri: James McElwain? HE GONE.
How many points does Florida have pic.twitter.com/cjQCxkcbz7— SB Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) October 28, 2017
(That happened a lot.)
Historically, I never really had a problem with the dude. Colorado State was cool, he seemed to bring a professionalism to the head coach position, and he definitely found niche success at Florida (winning the division, never winning the conference).
But then his offense sucked. Then he yelled at a guy.
Then the shark incident happened. In a weird way, it marked the beginning of the end. He took it too seriously, the offense stopped moving even more, and they lost to the banana boys, for Pete's sake. Wasn't meant to be.
Goodnight, sweet prince. And time for Florida fans to do some soul searching.
Baylor at Kansas: Don't worry, Kansas -- we are not here to make fun of you.
Pretty good -- we should do that more.
Illinois at Purdue:
What downs?! Are you hurt?! Are you alive?! What is happening?!?!?!?
South Carolina at Georgia (1): Wait, Georgia got No. 1 in the CFP rankings? Pretty cool!
CRAZY UGA ricochet interception! pic.twitter.com/XLLSXq81Rq— CFB Gif'er (@CFBgifer) October 28, 2017
Muschamp: It's red zone and third down day. It's not Halloween.— GoGamecocks (@gogamecocks) October 31, 2017
Wake Forest at Notre Dame (3): Notre Dame did some undeniably bad ass stuff last week...
Notre Dame ranked 6th in rushing.— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) October 30, 2017
Obviously credit Adams, Wimbush and the OL. But look at the physicality by WR's:pic.twitter.com/AxNKkEA6K5
/runs away from all ND wide receivers
Don't worry, the fans are still weirdos.
Notre Dame Stadium's Steve Jobs Mob is really starting to freak me out. pic.twitter.com/SDQDN536xO— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) October 29, 2017
siri show me the opposite of sex https://t.co/QI8bVhVky7— BUM CHILLIPS (@edsbs) October 29, 2017
Montana Tech: Not sure if y'all thought the Montana Tech stuff from last week was jest, but it really wasn't. The coach who initially reached out sent me a link to the game stream, and I checked it out.
The problem is I forgot college football doesn't even let your bandwagon/fun/handpicked squads succeed.
My new team, Montana Tech, just lost on a FG as time expired. You cant make this stuff up. College football finds you. pic.twitter.com/w9sORCnv2H— Bobby L. (@bobbystompy) October 28, 2017
/leaves Montana Tech in shame
Clemson (4) at NC State (20): Nothin' from Clemson Tom this week, so let's take a moment to admire how right all of us were about Deshaun Watson's NFL career.
Ohio State (6) at Iowa: We clown on Ohio State a lot (because they're hell incarnate), but there isn't much you can say other than "holy fuck" after what J.T. Barrett did in crunch time vs. Penn State. The dirty little secret about hating the Pizza Buckeyes is how undeniably likable so many of their signal callers have been: Cardale, Braxton, Pryor (sometimes), Troy Smith, the immortal Kenny Guiton... pretty much everyone except Joe Bauserman and Krenzel*. Last week, Barrett was like a football version of Steph Curry, flames and all. I'm not sure there's a player in college football -- outside of Baker Mayfield... and Lamar -- whose peak can touch that.
I know the easy answer is Saquon, but you typically can't have such a consistent, drive-to-drive impact from the RB position. I'm honestly going to miss this dude once it's said and done.
/fire hoses the filth off
when papa john's runs out of pepperoni pic.twitter.com/u9SpRyZvKT— RossWBoo (@RossWB) October 28, 2017
Hey, Iowa hasn't been so bad lately. We tailgated a bus shelter...
Iowa fans tailgating in a bus shelter? Iowa fans tailgating in a bus shelter. pic.twitter.com/Iysc0fjKWM— Ben Dawson (@BenjaminJDawson) October 28, 2017
Broke a mascot's spirit...
Goldy is shook pic.twitter.com/UdeuFNcWFy— Go Iowa Awesome (@IowaAwesome) October 29, 2017
Find someone who looks at you the way Miles Taylor looks at Floyd pic.twitter.com/ZyzD571n4W— David Scrivner (@davidscrivner) October 29, 2017
Got -- /gasp -- pretty cool alternates?!
This is not my school. Is this my school? This is not my school.
Lastly, a Drew Tate party anecdote to remind us how great '04 was.
Talked to Drew Tate today about Iowa's 2004 win over OSU. Told me he started thinking about the bars they'd go to after the game in 3Q— Courtney Baumann (@cbomb12) November 1, 2017
(* - cannot believe that nerd got two mentions today)
Iowa State (15) at West Virginia: CLOOOOOOOOOOOOONES. Hell yeah. How did this happen? What is going on? How did we beat them earlier this year? How?!
ISU AINT SCARED pic.twitter.com/Qh80L5org7— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 28, 2017
You don't want 'Bama.
* * *
My buddy Ryan sent this, and it killed me.
Stanford (21) at Washington State (25): Last week, I still had light hopes of Wazzu making the Playoff. This week, I'm dubious they can wrestle away the Chocolate Milk Title Belt from David fuggin' Shaw. Times change quickly, man.
Mike Leach showing up to his postgame presser after 58-37 loss to Arizona: pic.twitter.com/zFxYQq29M9— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 29, 2017
The Cardinal (/vomit), you ask? They... eeked out a 15-14 dub against Oregon State last week, winning on a god damn fade route.
Stanford escapes in Corvallis!— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 27, 2017
The Cardinal's first and only touchdown of the night is the game-winner. pic.twitter.com/YpMmOFjfy0
David Shaw was put on earth to troll us all.
Everyone's happy in the Pac-12: pic.twitter.com/7z5fF9WGo4— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 29, 2017
Maryland at Rutgers: Terps making a massive push to be the new banana boys.
It's the helmet that really seals the deal.
Northwestern at Nebraska: /David Shaw sneaks into this section to steal the tweet for himself
Northwestern just punted from the Sparty THIRTY FOUR YARD LINE— Brian Beebe (@bbeebe) October 28, 2017
Oklahoma (5) at Oklahoma State (11): BEDLAM.
Is the mullet ready?
good morning, Mike pic.twitter.com/PrFGpKxNpP— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) October 28, 2017
Seems ready. Man, that thing, even when you expect it, finds a way to surprise.
Baker might be ready to switch sides...
...or maybe it was just a Halloween thing.
Coastal Carolina at Arkansas: Dude... it might be time to go.
Berts gotta get out of there, no punchline. This isnt even five years. pic.twitter.com/6Uyx3quK5S— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) October 28, 2017
It... really might be time to go.
Bert Bielema Ball pic.twitter.com/1DjehNaLBW— Skye Underwood (@SkyeUnderwood) October 28, 2017
UCF (18) at SMU: Glad we were able to hop aboard the UCF bandwagon just in time for USF to crash out.
Minnesota at Michigan: Minnesota was a buncha punts last week.
mmm B1G football pic.twitter.com/KFty2YO3Ab— RossWBoo (@RossWB) October 30, 2017
/ignores all tigerhawk logos in picture
But then they waved and won me right back.
Classy move by the Gophers! pic.twitter.com/zqG04fGzKm— Gary Dolphin (@GaryDolphin) October 28, 2017
Seriously, I love the wave. I love this as a tradition. It's so simple. Between that, the logo at midfield, and these alternates... it's like Iowa is pitching a no hitter with PR moves this year.
/realizes I'm probably forgetting some horrible scandal that happened
Let's move onto the banana boys.
DL mega killer Mo Hurst had this to say on Twitter...
...and was immediately called out by his teammate:
Lets act like we are laughing. Then Im going to find the picture and tweet out something stupid like caption this— Henry Poggi (@The_Hank_Poggi) October 30, 2017
Chemistry, my friend.
LSU (19) at Alabama (2): Rolllllllllll tide.
Remember when this game used to mean something? No seriously, it was like the one time every season you could convince yourself the Tide might get got. Ole Miss sorta took that torch for a while, but now they're long dead, and no one really replaced 'em. For shame.
Virginia Tech (13) at Miami (FL) (10): My buddy/Miami of Ohio album Z.W. Martin yelled at me about his alma mater being the 'first' Miami, so I was very quickly guilted into adding the (FL) back to The U. Sorry, cooler Miami.
The cheer up? My friend Paige reminded me the other day of the time this happened:
Seriously maybe my favorite college football play in existence.
Also, were we all aware of the turnover chain?
Miami made such a major upgrade in terms of Golden neck fashion pic.twitter.com/1Y4O9wgGr3— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) October 28, 2017
I was not and want to know everything. Does someone wear it to start the game? Who bought it? Is it real bling? Do the coaches take it back after the game?
lol, "is it real bling?"
Colorado at Arizona State:
This pick-six is about as long as you can get.— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 28, 2017
Watch the Buffaloes go from end zone to end zone in this Coca-Cola Instant Replay. pic.twitter.com/Am2qaqwCBk
San Diego State at San Jose State:
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! pic.twitter.com/yWmvzyNp8N— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) October 29, 2017
Arizona (22) at USC (17): Southern Cal took the "turning football into basketball" torch from Penn State real quick.
Best box out from a football game I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/I5DktWlcas— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) October 29, 2017
Wrapping It Up...
Gonna see the boys tonight...
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.