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Big Dawg: B1G Top Dawg - Maryland Terrapins or Pussycat of the 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 that 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 25th to October 1st, 2023:

The Dawg of the week is Maryland Terrapins QB, Taulia Tagovailoa

Taulia Tagovailoa had one of his best performances, in his college career this past Saturday. The Maryland Terrapins quarterback showed why he is considered one of the best in the Big 10 with their 44-17 win over Indiana. Tagovailoa had quite the day going 24/34 for 352 yards, 5 TDs in the air, 15 yards on 3 carries, and 1 TD on the ground.

It didn’t take Taulia long to get involved in the game and make his presence known. On the first play from scrimmage, he hit wide receiver Jeshaun Jones with a pass on their own 45-yard line. Jones was able to take it all the way down to the 13-yard line of Indiana. On a 2&10 Taulia hit Tai Felton with a quick pass, Felton was able to take it into the endzone and just 25 seconds in Maryland was on the board.

Tagovailoa found the endzone two more times after that in the first quarter, finding Tai Felton again this time on a blown coverage for a 29-yard touchdown. He then took it in himself on a 29-yard yard run and had his team up 21-3. In the second quarter,r Taulia found Felton for the third time in the game and the Terps were up 27-3 with the game pretty much over before half.

The Terrapins quarterback would go on to throw 2 more touchdowns in the game to complete his impressive day. In the 3rd quarter, he found TE, Dylan Wade on a 3-yard touchdown pass and then Kaden Prather on a 14-yard touchdown pass in the 4th quarter.

Maryland heads to Columbus for a showdown with the Buckeyes this Saturday. Taulia Tagovailoa will need to have the same performance if the Terrapins hope to pull the upset in the shoe.

The Pussycat of the week is the Spartans offense.

Michigan State went on the road to Iowa for a night game with the Hawkeyes, the Spartans played the better game but still were able to find a way a lose. Michigan State's offense did everything thing they could to shoot themselves in the foot. From 2 key interceptions, a fumble, or a 4th and 1 on their own 30 they helped hand a 26-16 win to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Noah Kim threw 2 key interceptions with the Spartans on the Iowa side of the field. The first one came on a 1st and 10 at the Iowa 20-yard line with 6:09 left in the second quarter and the second on a 1st and 10 at the Iowa 49-yard line with 13:25 left in the third quarter. The two interceptions killed two drives where it looked like MSU was going to put points on the board.

In the third quarter, MSU offensive coordinator Jay Johnson made the genius play call to go for it on a 4 and 1 on their own 30 being up 16-10. Noah Kim keeps the ball doesn’t make it and Michigan State hands the ball to possibly the worst offense in the country already out there starting QB on a short field. Iowa goes on to kick a field goal to make the score 16-13.

Then with 3:36 left and down 23 -16, MSU QB Noah Kim gets the ball on a 2nd and 10 from his own 25-yard line and turns and completes a swing pass to WR, Try Mosley. Mosley catches the ball and after getting to the 30-yard line is hit by 2 Iowa defenders and fumbles. Iowa recovers and just like that is handed another short field to work with. On the ensuing drive, the Hawkeyes work the clock down and with 1:03 left kick a field goal to go up 26-16. The Michigan State QB would throw his 3rd interception with 10 seconds left but the game was already over at that point.

In a game where MSU had 127 more total yards, 32 more passing yards and 95 more rushing yards the fact they still lost is just unacceptable. The good news for Spartans fans is with the season, for the most part over, and interim Head Coach, Harlon Barnett, showing he is not the right man for the job, the University should have lots of time to be able to make sure their next head coach is the right hire this time around.


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