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B1G Dawg & Pussycat this week



Each week I will bring you the B1G 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 October 2nd to October 8th, 2023:

The B1G Dawg of the Week: The Michigan Defense


Michigan Defense gave up a season-high 10 points to Minnesota, but still put on one of their best performances of the year. Michigan only allowed the Gophers a total of 169 yards in the game comprised of 117 rushing yards and 52 passing yards. 34 of the 52 yards Michigan gave up in the air came on 1 play. The Michigan pass rush was able to sack Gophers QB Athan Kaliakmanis twice and the secondary picked off two of his passes and returned both for touchdowns.


It took Michigan’s secondary only 10 seconds to get involved in the game. On the second play of the game Minnesota QB Kaliakmanis would drop back to pass. Michigan defensive back Will Johnson was able to read the play, and with the ball in the air he cut in front of the receiver made that catch, and took the ball 36 yards to the house. Keon Sabb would record the second pick six of the day intercepting a Kaliakmanis pass on a 3rd and 7 and was able to return it 28 yards to the endzone. Combined Johnson and Sabb had more yards on their two interception returns (64) than the Gophers had yards in the air (52).


Michigan's defensive line was able to keep the Minnesota running attack in check for most of the night. They were able to sack Minnesota’s quarterback twice and had 7 tackles for loss. Mason Graham led the Michigan defensive line with 6 tackles total, he had 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Last week's co-defensive Big 10 player of the week Josaiah Stewart had another good outing with 3 tackles total, 1.5 for loss, and 1 sack.


Michigan's defense has yet to allow any points in the 3rd quarter of any game this year. Minnesota's 10 points were the most given up in 1 game by the Wolverines this season. In the 6 games Michigan has played, they have only given up 40 points, and 4 touchdowns. The Michigan defense is playing at a very high level and has shown constant improvement from week to week.

 

The Pussycat of the week is Mario Cristobal sometimes Rules must be broken.


In a week where we seen teams put up some incredibly bad performances Miami Head Coach Mario Cristobal decided to outdo them all. His decision-making was so bad I had no choice but to break the rules and make him the Pussycat of the week.


Over this past weekend in the Big 10, there have been a few bad performances. Minnesota passed for a total of 52 yards in a game with 35 coming on 1 play and 2 pick-sixes. We had the nowhere-to-be-found Ohio State running game. Against Maryland OSU's running game put up a grand total of 62 yards on 32 carries for an average of 1.93 yards per attempt. Illinois decided to show off their run game as well in a 20-7 loss to the Cornhuskers. The Fighting Illini had an outstanding 21 yards on 19 carries for a grand total of 1.1 yards per carry. As bad as some of those performances were, what Cristobal did was so outrageous I had no choice but to give him the award this week.


Miami head coach Mario Cristobal's decision at the end of the Georgia Tech game will go down as one of the worst play calls in the history of college football. To make matters even worse for Cristobal this was the second time he has done it.


Cristobal and staff decided with 34 seconds left, and Georgia Tech having no timeouts that it would be smarter to run the ball than to just take a knee and end the game. How the head coach and offensive coordinator together we unable to figure out that with 34 seconds left, all they needed to do was line up in the victory formation, take a knee and the game would be over is still unbelievable.



So, with 34 seconds left disaster would strike on a play that should have never happened. Running back Don Chaney would fumble the ball and the Yellow Jackets would recover with 26 seconds left.


Georgia Tech would move the ball to the Miami 44-yard line with 10 seconds left. Still out of field goal range and with time running out, Georgia Tech QB Haynes King would take the ball. Scrambling to his right while still looking downfield he would find WR Christian Leary wide-open for the winning score with 1 second left.


Miami found a way to do the impossible, by losing a game that they were 100% guaranteed to win. If there was ever a time where a coach should have been fired for just cause this should have been that time.

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