14.10.13

THE CASE FOR THE DEFENSE.

I've been exiled to Grading Siberia for the past few days.  Bluebooks and assignments have been scored, let the recriminations begin.

It's been a good weekend for homecomings not spoiled, though.  Start with Northwestern, which had its homecoming spoiled by Ohio State last weekend.  Their opportunity to spoil Wisconsin's homecoming fell short, though.  Wisconsin limited Northwestern to two field goals, took an early lead on a Bart Starr special, and unleashed the runners.  Northwestern's defense is much improved though: in the previous meeting of the teams Wisconsin put 70 points on the board, but only 35 last Saturday.

Later that day, Northern Illinois, off of spoiling homecomings at Purdue and Kent State, played to another full Huskie Stadium.  The putative spoiler was Akron, which battled to the very end of the game.  Earlier this year, Akron made a strong case that Michigan's Wolverines were over-rated.  Penn State completed the demonstration in four overtimes.  The Akron coaching staff is a demonstration either of the ability of former power conference coaches to turn a program around, or of the limits of nepotism, or you'd think Northern Illinois could have done more against a Terrell Buckley coached secondary.

Come Sunday, the Packers did spoil a homecoming for last year's champions, the Cleveland Browns now called the Baltimore Ravens because the Baltimore Colts are in Indianapolis.  Whatever.  The defense put up a goal-line stand worthy of Davis, Jordan, and Nitschke, then Aaron Rodgers found Jordy Nelson on a Bart Starr special, and Raven coach John Harbaugh is undefeated against National Conference teams at home, Nevermore.

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