Keeping track of how the 10 programs vying for this year's Lambert-Meadowlands trophy fared last week, and a look ahead to next weekend's action.
|1t. Boston College Eagles||6-5||3-4||Syracuse|
|1t. Penn State Nittany Lions||6-5||2-5||Michigan State|
|1t. Rutgers Scarlet Knights||6-5||2-5||@ Maryland|
|4. Temple Owls||5-5||3-3||Cincinnati|
|5t. Pittsburgh Panthers||5-6||3-4||@ Miami|
|5t. Buffalo Bulls||4-6||2-4||@ Massachusetts|
|7t. Army Black Knights||4-7||--||Idle|
|7t. Syracuse Orange||3-8||1-6||@ Boston College|
|7t. Massachusetts Minutemen||3-8||3-4||Buffalo|
|10. Connecticut Huskies||2-8||1-5||@ Memphis|
Week 13 Results
Florida State 20, Boston College 17
Illinois 16, Penn State 14
Michigan State 45, Rutgers 3
Pittsburgh 30, Syracuse 7
Kent State-Buffalo PPD
Army 42, Fordham 31
Akron 30, Massachusetts 6
Cincinnati 41, Connecticut 0
Another banner weekend for Northeast football as this weekly post series manages to become even more macabre as the weeks go on. Lambert Meadowlands trophy eligible teams went 2-6 in week 13 in a weekend where the floor was a 1-7 record (since Pitt and Syracuse squared off in an intra-Lambert Meadowlands trophy eligible game). The other win was an 11-point victory over FCS Fordham, so.
You know what happened with the good guys—le sigh—so we start in the Land of Lincoln, where a late Illini field goal gave Illinois a 16-14 victory over the Nittany Lions. Black Shoe Diaries just, I don't know man.
This Penn State team is a bad one. The offense is bad, the special teams are bad, and the defense, today, wasn't much better. It's making a bowl game because of a soft schedule, a hilariously down Big Ten, and okay, fine, a generally terrific defense that decided, for most of the day, not to show up.
We've lost games this year to good teams and to bad ones, we've been blown out, and we've lost in the final seconds. But this one is worse than any I can remember. It's not just that Penn State lost to Illinois, it's that Penn State so thoroughly deserved to lose to Illinois. And it all came to a head because James Franklin was too much of a coward to believe that his team could just pound the ball inside and gain the half a yard they needed to put the game away.
Penn State blew a golden opportunity to pull out ahead for their 150th* Lambert Meadowlands trophy by falling to Illinois. A home game against a ranked Michigan State team that has had their way with NOT Oregon NOT Ohio State this year. Nittany Lions are probably staring 6-6 in the face, and, depending on the bowl matchup, possibly ending the year with a losing record.
Staying in the Big Ten, Rutgers was embarrassed yet again in a 45-3 loss to Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights were dominated by Sparty in all three phases of the game. Stop me if you've heard this before.
Another blowout loss for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers was completely embarrassed in every phase of the game today as they fell to the Michigan State Spartans, 45-3. All of the issues remained from previous losses to Ohio State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin: poor tackling, poor quarterback play, and poor defense.
Rutgers simply failed to show up defensively, once again. Joe Rossi's unit gave up over 500 total yards to the Big Ten's top offense, as MSU running backs found plenty of room on outside runs. RB Jeremy Langford had an astonishing 7.9 yards per carry on 16 attempts and found the end zone twice, while all. Spartan rushers totaled 242 yards on the ground and averaged 5.5 yards per carry, extending Rutgers' woes defending the run.
Rutgers ends the regular season at Maryland, which is looking like another loss to finish the year 6-6.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is right back in this thing with a 30-7 victory over Syracuse. The Panthers kept their bowl hopes alive with a victory over an Orange team that seemingly rolled over for Pitt:
No longer in the postseason picture, Syracuse played like it. ESPN called their performance 'lifeless' and it's really hard to disagree with that as they put up little fight. On offense, the Orange put up only seven points, while turning the ball over three times. On defense, they couldn't stop Pitt's rushing game, which had 256 yards despite James Conner playing less than a half after exiting with a hip injury. Backups Chris James and Isaac Bennett did just fine in his absence, though, with 220 yards on 33 carries.
The Panthers are now just a game back of BC/Penn State/Rutgers with a road game at what appears to be a now vulnerable Miami Hurricanes team.
Elsewhere, Kent State and Buffalo's #MACtion game was cancelled due to the upstate NY snowpocalypse...Army notched a 42-31 victory over FCS Fordham...UMass fell to Akron, 30-6...and UConn...welp.
Week 14 Schedule
Syracuse at Boston College
Michigan State at Penn State
Rutgers at Maryland
Pittsburgh at Miami
Cincinnati at Temple
Buffalo at Massachusetts
Connecticut at Memphis
Four big games in week 14, headlined by BC-Syracuse and Pitt-Miami in the ACC, and Michigan State-Penn State and Rutgers-Maryland in the Big Ten. In the American Athletic Conference, Temple hosts Cincy, while UConn travels to Memphis.
BC can take a commanding lead in this thing going into the bowl game with a win over Syracuse. Penn State, Rutgers and Pitt are all underdogs this week. With a one-game lead heading into the bowls, the best victory of the bunch (then #9 ranked USC) and a bunch of close losses (#1 Florida State, #24 Clemson, now #22 Colorado State), the Eagles would be in great shape to move into a three way tie with Pitt and Syracuse with their sixth Lambert Meadowlands Trophy.
First things first though, the Eagles have to take care of business this weekend against Syracuse.
* give or take