B1G football fans weigh in on their favorite strange-but-awesome moments from 2019
Game-winning touchdowns are exciting. Last-second field goal attempts are thrilling. Big runs, hard hits and incredible catches always make for entertaining football.
That stuff is all well-and-good, but sometimes the most interesting stuff that emerges from a college football season are the weird things we don’t think much about. Those “how in the hell did that happen?” moments, along with the “who would’ve thought?” statistics usually make for some intriguing offseason banter.
So, I decided to dive into the strange-but-awesome things that happened throughout the B1G college football season. And, I asked for a little bit of help from the fans. They provided some pretty good insight, too.
You might be wondering, “what qualifies as a strange-but-awesome moment?” Really, it’s anything that you might not have expected from the season, or maybe it was a perplexing play or an eye-popping statistic. Before getting into some fan responses, here are a few examples that I came up with and that I enjoyed from the 2019 season:
Iowa’s QB sneak working better than designed on NCAA Football 2014
Seriously, it seemed like Nate Stanley picked up three or four yards every single time Brian Ferentz dialed up the play. I know it didn’t always happen that way, but it sure felt like it.
Don’t worry, I’ve got an example in case you missed it. Maybe Iowa should have run it on every single down.
The ole 8-yd QB sneak from Stanley pic.twitter.com/HSi380ZWsU
— Heavens! (@HeavensFX) December 28, 2019
Purdue’s freshmen accounting for a ridiculous number of consecutive touchdowns
If you need a reason to believe Purdue will be much better in 2020 than it was last fall, just look at the freshmen touchdown streak. In the middle of the season, Boilermaker freshmen accounted for 19 straight touchdowns.
So, yeah, that should be fun for defenses next season.
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) November 9, 2019
Adam Korsak pinning opponents inside the 5-yard line regularly
If a punter could win the Heisman Trophy, Rutgers would’ve had to dedicate a trophy case to the most prestigious individual award in college football. For all the grief and suffering the Scarlet Knights endured in 2019, Korsak was a diamond in the rough.
Korsak was so good that, at one point, Iowa fans were upset the Rutgers punter didn’t win the Special Teams Player of the Week honors after the Hawkeyes downed the Scarlet Knights 30-0. Crazy.
— Rutgers On BTN (@RutgersOnBTN) October 12, 2019
So, do you get the picture now? Good. Here are some of the best fan responses when asked for their favorite strange-but-awesome moments from the 2019 B1G football season (along with my own commentary):
J.K. Dobbins and Jonathan Taylor finishing with the exact same stat line – @PerkinsPenguins
This was pretty unbelievable. Both Dobbins and Taylor finished with exactly 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground. posting an average of 143.07 per game. Dobbins did end the year with a slightly better yards per carry average, but that’s splitting hairs at that point.
The remote-controlled football Blake Hayes used against Purdue – @B1GKurt
Quite honestly, this might have been the punt of the decade, and it came from Illinois’ Blake Hayes in a rain storm on the road. Perhaps Hayes is a wizard or a magician? Maybe he put some sort of magnetic device in the ball and the pylon? Or maybe he’s just a really good punter. Probably just a really good punter.
Blake Hayes put 'em in a coffin. ⚰
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 26, 2019
Maryland canceling classes to prepare for the 59-0 loss to Penn State – @NittanyWeAre
The Terps were pretty amped up after blowing out the likes of Howard and Syracuse to start the season 0-2, causing plenty of excitement for when Penn State came to down. Then, the two teams played a game of football and, well, it didn’t end well in The Shell for Mike Locksley’s group.
And, before it was all over, Penn State fans invaded the empty Maryland student section. Not a great day for the turtles.
The Penn State takeover is on in Maryland's student section! ⚪️⚪️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/9or4iliUwT
— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 28, 2019
Indiana holding Rutgers to a total of 36 inches in passing yards for a full game – @ETomlinson64
An unbelievable accomplishment. You might expect to see a team with one passing yard if it was a team with a triple-option attack. Instead, Indiana’s defense held Rutgers to the loneliest number of passing yards possible in 60 minutes of football. It might be the greatest accomplishment in Indiana football history, honestly.
Minnesota beating Penn State and Auburn – @gypsycomic
Nobody was buying into the Golden Gophers when they were 8-0 and expected Penn State to thump P.J. Fleck’s bunch at TCF Bank Stadium. Obviously, that didn’t happen and Tanner Morgan completed 90 percent of his passes for the second time during the season, leading Minnesota to one of the biggest victories in program history.
It was no surprise that, a few months later, nobody gave Minnesota a chance against Auburn and that “mighty SEC defense.” Wrong again. The Gophers pounded Auburn in the Outback Bowl to finish the year 11-2.
Ryan Day never having a hair out of place – @JeffreyTheGreek
Serious question: has Ryan Day actually ever had a bad hair day? He does have the slightest widow’s peak that reminds us a bit of Eddie Munster (you can Google that reference), but it’s still a great head of hair for a 40-year-old. It surely trumps the hair that sits upon this writer’s head.
Ryan Day was asked if he heard about Don Brown’s comments that Ohio State “better be careful.”
His response: pic.twitter.com/K4D4y8X9lv
— Dustin Schutte (@SchutteCFB) November 12, 2019
Rashod Bateman 20.3 yards per reception average – @GobieMN
You may not have known this, but Minnesota had some pretty good receivers. Bateman’s 20.3 yards per catch average was the best in the B1G and ranked seventh nationally. What’s even more ridiculous is that he totaled that average on 60 catches, one of just three players in college football to have a mark that high with 60-plus receptions.
He didn’t even lead the Gophers in catches, receiving yards or touchdown catches, either. All those team-best marks belonged to Tyler Johnson. Just unbelievable.
— Overtime Heroics (@OTHeroics1) August 30, 2019