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B1G Dawg & Pussycat this week



Each week I will bring you the Dawg/Pussycat of the week from the Big 10. This could be a player, coach, or school who had an outstanding performance, a great recruiting week, or just an amazing week in general. Opposite of that will be the pussycat of the week. This will be the player, coach, or school who failed to get the job done from the prior week. The only rule is it must be an event that has happened inside the B1G (including the teams joining in 2024) from the previous week.


Awards for the week of September 18th to the 24th, 2023:


The B1G Dawg of the week is Darius Taylor, Minnesota’s running back.


Head coach P.J Fleck has found his workhouse in Detroit, Michigan native freshman, Darius Taylor, who now leads the Big 10 in rushing yards. After being named Big 10 freshman of the week the last two weeks most recently for his game against UNC where he had 138 yards on 22 carries and 1 TD. Taylor decided to follow that up by taking home the honor again for the third straight week, this time for his performance against Northwestern. Taylor carried the ball 31 times in the contest for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns.




Taylor’s first touchdown of the game came in the second quarter on a 3rd and goal on the 1-yard line. Taylor took the handoff, bounced off a few defenders, and ended up in the endzone to make it 14-0. The impressive part of the run was that there was nothing there and Darius still found a way to score the touchdown. Darius capped off a 9-play 68-yard drive for the Golden Gophers.


The 2nd touchdown came at the 2:11 mark of the third quarter on a 4th and 1 on the 43-yard line of Northwestern. Darius took the handoff, headed up the middle where he ran into a defender, was able to break the tackle cut it outside, and take the ball 43 yards for a touchdown putting the Gophers up 31-10.


Darius is showing the ability to run the ball no matter who he’s playing against. Teams will now have to always account for this B1G Dawg's whereabouts. This should help to open up the passing game for the Gophers, leading to a more balanced attack.


The Pussycat of the week is Offensive Coordinator, Brian Ferentz



In a week where Michigan State again was treated like a JV high school football team, losing to Maryland 31-9, and still, MSU had a better performance than this week’s pussycat. Minnesota let Northwestern score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to tie and take the game to overtime. If losing a 21-point lead and heading to overtime wasn’t hard enough to stomach for Gopher fans, going on to lose in overtime made it even worse and this was still a better performance than this week’s pussycat.



This week’s pussycat is Iowa Hawkeyes, OC Brian Ferentz, whose teams’ performance was so bad it made those other two look good. Here are just some of the outstanding numbers the Iowa offense was able to manage this past week, passing yards 56, rushing yards 20, total yards 76, touchdowns 0, field goals 0, first downs 4, fumbles 4, and finally 3rd down efficiency they were an outstanding 1-9. I don't think anything else needs to be said about this brilliant performance.



Ferentz needs his offense to average 25 PPG for his contract to auto-extend through June 30, 2025. If he fails to do so his contract will terminate on June 30, 2024, and so far this year it is not looking good, only averaging 21.25PPG. Here’s how Brain's offenses rank for points per game while he has been the OC at Iowa. Last year's Iowa offense averaged 7, yes you read that right 7 points per game ranking them 131 nationally.


The fact that an offensive coordinator can have a year where they average 7 points a game and still have a job is insane. How head coach Kirk Ferentz hasn’t fired his “son” yet is absurd and that decision should cost both their jobs in my opinion.






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