The Opposing Quarterbacks Club - A Hawkeye Gets Pierced
by John Kreinbihl
It was a rough week. Not because of the government shutdown, that was nothing. A bunch of self-centered politicians who are so interested in helping everyone they don’t help anyone isn’t news to me. I call that business as usual. No, the big gut-punch in my week was CBS cancelling “We Are Men” after just two episodes. You can’t cancel Tony Shalhoub!!! He’s a comic genius. He’s funny with a capital K. You look up funny in the dictionary and there is a picture of Tony Shalhoub. I think “shalhoubian” is the goal for all humor, but it seems not enough people feel that way. At least I have to two episodes that aired DVR’ed so I can re-watch them for years to come.
Perhaps the series will be revived on another network like USA under a new title, “We Are Monk”.
The only thing that got me out of my funk was a call from my friend, and fellow Shalhoub-ic, the doorman at the Club. We commiserated by singing along to Shattered by the Rolling Stones—“huh Shalhoubie, shattered, shattered, huh Shalhoubie shattered, shattered, huh Shalhoubie shattered, shattered”… Good times.
Once the crying was over, he let me into the Club and allowed me to hide the microphones.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
Moderator: Gentlemen, welcome to this today’s meeting of the Opposing Quarterbacks Club. Can it be we’re already to week eight in the season? It seems time really does fly when you’re having fun.
Kaehler: Fun isn’t the first word I’d associated with these meeting. No to quibble, but this is nothing more than a quaint quarantine of quarrelling, quick-witted quarterbacks with questionable qualifications and not a quest for the quintessential quantitative quid pro quo.
Dingwell: Quit it Quinn. You HAVE to stop playing Words with Friends.
Kaehler: That sentence would have gotten me about a quadrillion points.
Moderator: To date, we are on schedule for meeting our membership projections and while we will not induct any new members today due to the Buckeyes bye week, we do have a lot to discuss and we’ll have a guest join us a bit later. I’ll begin this session with the roll of existing members. Joe Licata?
Moderator: Adam Dingwell and Quinn Kaehler?
Kaehler: Quite proud to be in the queue to achieve quorum at this meeting.
Licata: Just say “here” and then be quite.
Moderator: Jared Goff?
Goff: S’up brother?
Moderator: Damien Fleming?
Fleming: I’m here. Stunned at what’s coming out of the mouth of that wacky Aztec, but I’m here.
Moderator: Joel Stave?
Stave: Present and accounted for sir.
Moderator: And last but not least, our two newest members, Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian from the Northwestern Wildcats?
Siemian: We’re here.
Moderator: There were lots of great games last weekend but I want to start with by recognizing Damien Fleming. Damien and his FAMU Rattlers snapped a four game losing streak in which they had been outscored 164-48 with a 27-14 victory over Savannah State. Damien you had a couple of TD passes and I’m sure it feels goods to get back on the winning track.
Fleming: It was an important win for us. We needed some confidence and we got it with that W on the road.
Stave: Nothing gets the confidence flowing like a 1-5 team next up on your schedule.
Fleming: A win is a win and we needed it going into our game this week against Howard.
Dingwell: Howard? That’s not a team, that’s a character on The Andy Griffith Show. Do you guys play Floyd and Goober, too?
Moderator: Adam, Howard is a member of the MEAC like Florida A&M. They have a record of 1-5 and are winless in the conference.
Colter: Here’s all you need to know about Howard. Eastern Michigan beat them and when you lose to Eastern Michigan, it’s time to take up croquet.
Moderator: In other games, Kaehler rallied his San Diego State team to a victory over Air Force last Thursday night. Quinn had two 4th quarter TD’s and they scored the winning TD with under 2 minutes to go in the game. 15 of 26 for 249 yards and 3 TD’s were his stats.
Licata: How did Dingwell do?
Kaehler: He signaled most of the plays into me.
Licata: So it was one of his better games?
Kaehler: Without question.
Dingwell: I’m right here. You know I can hear you.
Licata: Yea, but we know you’re a bit reticent to talk about yourself.
Moderator: Jared, for the fourth time in your six games, you played a ranked team. This past weekend it was UCLA and they defeated your Bears 37-10. I would think you’re looking to get a bit of a break one week.
Goff: The schedule was made up long before I got here so there’s not much we can do about it. We still have Washington, Arizona and Sanford coming up but as a young team, these games are providing us with a great foundation for future success. Would I like to play Howard? Hell yes, but it is what it is.
Fleming: Maybe you guys can call Portland State back and see if they want to go best two of three.
Goff: That’s life in the Pac 12. Every week more and more experts are saying we’re the toughest, deepest conference in the country.
Dingwell: And every week more and more fans are tuning out the experts and their opinions.
Colter: At some point all those ranked teams have to play each other so we’ll see the cream rise to the top.
Licata: And the Cal Bears settle at the bottom.
Fleming: Joe, how did you guys do this weekend?
Licata: We beat Western Michigan 33-0. It was a good game for us. We were balanced offensively, controlled the clock, forced some turnovers and got our first shutout of the season.
Siemian: Woofin’ about shutting out Western Michigan is like bragging that you can write in cursive or eat a salad. Big deal.
Licata: The bottom line is we won the game. That’s something you can say Mr. Back-to-Back L’s. Is that your new cheer around campus? Instead eeeennnnnnnnnnn uuuuuuuuu is it now whooooooos lost twooooooo?
Colter: I’d like to see you play Ohio State and Wisconsin on consecutive weeks.
Licata: Sorry, I’m too busy trying to work my way through Directional Michigans, Massachusetts and the rest of the MAC right now.
Moderator: Obviously, the big game last week featured a couple of ranked teams and a couple of our members. Wisconsin hosted Northwestern over homecoming weekend and the Badgers rolled to a 35-6 victory. Joel, Kain and Trevor, I’m interested to hear about the game from both your perspectives.
Stave: Long story short, total domination. We had twice as many first downs; twice as much total offense; we hit them with big scoring plays; forced five turnovers and basically tossed them around like the kittens they are.
Moderator: You guys did play well and it was the first time Northwestern was held without a TD since 2006.
Stave: Could you revise that statement without the “held” part? We’re a little sensitive in Madison. It seems we may get a bad rap for that.
Moderator: How about the first time Northwestern didn’t score a TD since 2006.
Stave: Much better.
Siemian: We were pretty proud of that streak.
Moderator: I find it impressive because I remember back in the good old days when Northwestern would go a season without scoring a TD.
Colter: For some reason, we just came out flat. Maybe we had a bit of let down following the Ohio State game.
Stave: They came into the game totally stoked. We flattened them. Colter, “Mr. Do-Everything”, did nothing. Siemian had twenty-one incompletions and was sacked five times Their performance against us made the pick, the fumble and the fall seem Heismanesque. Plus at 0-2 in the division the ‘Cats can go get their keys and start the bus. It’s buh-bye time.
Siemian: The race is far from over. We’ve still have the leaders in the Legends Division to play. Lots of football still left in this season.
Moderator: Including a key match up on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a nationally televised game. Joining us today is Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock, a 6’3” 205 lb. Sophomore from Weston Florida. Jake is completing over 60% of his passes, has thrown for over 1,200 yards and eight TD’s. The Hawks are 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in Legends Division. Like Ohio State, Iowa had a bye week so both teams will enter the game well rested. Jake, welcome to the Opposing Quarterbacks Club.
Moderator: Tell us a little about yourself.
Rudock: I won the starting job coming out of camp and I’m getting more and more comfortable with each game. I know the offense, I’m watching as much video as I can of both my performances and our opponents to learn from my mistakes and understand their defensive tendencies. There’s a lot to learn but the experience so far has been great. In terms of school, I’m a microbiology/pre-medicine major.
Licata: That will come handy Saturday?
Rudock: In what way?
Licata: When Spence, Shazier, Bosa and company hit you, you’ll have a good idea of what bone is broken.
Moderator: With two week to prepare, what are you expecting from Ohio State?
Rudock: I think it’s fair to say this is the best team we’ve played this year, but they aren’t invincible. As I watch them, you can have success throwing the ball. Their pass defense looks soft and they don’t seem to get as much pressure as I thought they might.
Fleming: I think they’re second in the league in sacks. They’ll get pressure on you.
Rudock: My O-line has allowed only 5 sacks in six games so I expect to have time to make my throws. Additionally, we’re one of the top rushing teams in the league too. We average just over 200 yards per game on the ground.
Stave: We came in averaging just under 300 per game and got less than a third of that.
Rudock: I think we can have success through the air. My main man, Kevonte Martin-Maley will pose a problem for the OSU secondary. If we can maintain a good balance of running and passing, something the rest of you couldn’t do, then we’ll be OK.
Moderator: Jake, what challenges will the Buckeyes offensive scheme bring to your defense?
Rudock: Our defense has been outstanding this year. We’re third in the Big Ten in rush defense, first in fewest points allowed and we’re the only team in the nation to not allow a rushing touchdown yet this year. As I sat with the defense watching game tapes this week, we feel fortunate that we’ll be playing against “Miller Lite” this week. That’s not a swipe at Braxton, he’s a great player, but we don’t think he’s completely healthy and a less than healthy Braxton Miller gives us a big advantage. If we can cover the wide plays, drop deep in the secondary, make him go through all his reads and force him to make a play, we feel we can stop the Bucks on offense. You have to understand that Miller is dealing with a medial collateral ligament injury and whether it’s a sprained or strained MCL, this is the ligament in the middle of your knee that keeps the tibia in place and stabilizes the inner knee. In many cases, an injury to the medial collateral ligament is accompanied by an anterior cruciate ligament and the healing takes time. There’s been no mention of Braxton having an ACL injury but as I watch him I wonder if there isn’t some issue with his anterior cruciate ligament too.
Dingwell: What you just said was more confusing that Kaehler’s Q rant earlier, but here’s what we know, if Miller really can’t make the plays he’s capable of making then OSU goes with a heavy does of Carlos Hyde between the tackles.
Rudock: That’s we hope happens because it plays into the strength of our defense.
Dingwell: How do you know all that medical stuff?
Goff: He said he was pre-med major. That’s how he’ll know when he gets hit and breaks his coccyx that it is indeed his coccyx and it is indeed broken.
Dingwell: You mean he doesn’t wear a cup?
Moderator: Adam, the coccyx is your tailbone.
Dingwell: Yea, I knew that. I think.
Colter: Hyde is a major load. We did a great job of keeping the Bucks from throwing the ball deep but late in the game it was all 34, all the time. The one area they exposed us with was using Hyde as the dump-off receiver. They got two huge first downs as Miller went through his progressions and found Hyde out of the backfield as his last option. Had we tried to take Hyde out of the play, something else would have opened up.
Goff: We had the same issues too. You try to stop a couple of their key tendencies and they still have weapons to use.
Fleming: For us, it was just too much speed and too much power.
Stave: For you guys, a group of senior citizens is too much speed and too much power.
Rudock: I’ve seen what the rest of you tried to do, but when you give Coach Ferentz and our staff two weeks to prepare, we’ll be ready for anything they throw at us.
Kaehler: I hope they throw the “right tackle triple reverse” on you this week. Did you prepare for that?
Rudock: Fake punts, crazy formations, fumblerooskies, we’ll be ready for it. Plus, in our past five games we haven’t allowed a score in the first quarter. The longer we hang around and keep the game close the better our chances.
Goff: So if the Bucks score three touchdowns in the opening three minutes like they did to a lot of us, then it’s over, right?
Rudock: Coach Ferentz hasn’t won all those Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year awards by allowing that to happen.
Stave: Correct, he won them because the beat writers throughout the league have such low expectations for Iowa that an eight or nine win season seems like something nobody else could ever pull off.
Colter: Coach Meyer wins 12 games last year, was the only undefeated team in the country and the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year was somebody else. It’s all about expectations.
Rudock: And our expectations for Saturday are a huge upset victory for Hawkeye Nation.
Licata: And ours is you’ll make it 19 in a row for the Buckeyes.
Moderator: Gentlemen, that is all the time we have for today. Jake, best of luck in your battle with the Bucks and I hope all the other quarterbacks have successful Saturdays as well. We’ll see each of you back here next week at the same time. We are officially adjourned.