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Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Memo - April 4, 2019: Welcome To The Jungle

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Illinois v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Memo

To - Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club members

Re - Welcome to the jungle

Hey everyone, how’s it going? Welcome back to another Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club meeting. Apologies for the delay as I was a bit tied up the last couple days.

Well, we had our first round of Big Ten play last weekend and it didn’t disappoint. Indeed, Rutgers did its best New Jersey Drive imitation and straight up robbed Ohio State in Columbus. Maryland vs. Penn State had a heavyweight title fight feel to it. Even Hopkins versus Michigan had some very entertaining moments despite the final score. We’re only one week into conference play and we already have situation where Maryland & Ohio State are looking up at Rutgers & Johns Hopkins in the Big Ten standings. What a time to be alive.

We definitely have to discuss that Rutgers performance last weekend for a moment. This was the Rutgers team we were all hoping to see this year. The Scarlet Knights jumped all over Ohio State and didn’t let up for a second. RU took its 7-2 halftime lead and never gave the Buckeyes a chance to get back into it, thanks in large part to a 5-1 fourth quarter run to seal the win. Max Edelmann had a great game with 17 saves, while Kieran Mullins exploded for 8 points on the afternoon (4 gs, 4, as). Additionally, Adam Charalambides chipped in with a hat trick.

Moreover, the Rutgers defense forced 17 turnovers and held the OSU offense to a single goal in the first, second, & fourth quarter of last week’s game. To paraphrase Will Smith from Bad Boys part I: Now THAT’S how you supposed to play lacrosse, Rutgers. From now on, that’s how you play lacrosse!

As for Ohio State, the Buckeyes aren’t in too much trouble as this was their first loss of the season, but they can’t make losing a habit over the next several weeks. Coach Myers is too good of a coach to not have his team prepared two weeks in a row, so I think we will see a much better effort from OSU when they take on Penn State this week. But I can definitely appreciate it if Ohio State fans are still a bit shell-shocked after last week’s game. Life comes at you at a brisk pace in the Big Ten.

Penn State versus Maryland was a monster game. It definitely had the feel of a heavyweight title fight. It wasn’t Ohio State vs. Maryland in the 2017 Big Ten Tournament title game, but it was in the neighborhood. Penn State sprinted out to a big lead, withstood a Maryland 3rd quarter run, and then countered with their own 5-3 run that spanned from the end of the 3rd quarter to the final whistle to get the program’s first official win over the Terps. Maryland isn’t going anywhere, but Penn State has the juice right now.

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Sound On #WeAre

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The Wolverines jumped out a 5-3 lead after the first quarter against Johns Hopkins last weekend, but that was as close as they got to winning the game, The Jays responded with a 10-0 run that flipped a 5-3 deficit after one quarter into a 13-5 lead going into the fourth quarter. Michigan snapped JHU’s run with a score at the 13:40 mark of the final period, but the Wolverines were unable to mount any real comeback, as Hopkins was able to cruise to the 14-8 victory last Saturday.

Moving on to this weekend, you can find the Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Big Board for April 4, 2019 directly below. Links in the 2019 Overall Record column will take you to that team’s official 2019 schedule page. Links in the Last Game column will take you to the recap of that team’s most recent game, while links in the 2018 Overall Record column will take you to Chris’ 2018 Year in Review post for that particular team.

Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Big Board For April 4, 2019

Team 2019 Overall Record Last Game Next Game 2019 Non-Conference Record 2019 Conference Record 2018 Overall Record
Team 2019 Overall Record Last Game Next Game 2019 Non-Conference Record 2019 Conference Record 2018 Overall Record
Johns Hopkins 5-4 Johns Hopkins 14 vs. Michigan 8 April 6 Johns Hopkins home vs. Rutgers 4-4 1-0 12-5
Maryland 8-2 Penn State 13 vs. Maryland 10 April 6 Maryland home vs. Michigan 8-1 0-1 14-4
Michigan 3-6 Johns Hopkins 14 vs. Michigan 8 April 6 Michigan @ Maryland 3-5 0-1 8-6
Ohio State 7-1 Rutgers 14 vs. Ohio State 6 April 7 Ohio State @ Penn State 7-0 0-1 8-7
Penn State 8-1 Penn State 13 vs. Maryland 10 April 7 Penn State home vs. Ohio State 7-1 1-0 8-6
Rutgers 6-4 Rutgers 14 vs. Ohio State 6 April 6 Rutgers @ Johns Hopkins 5-4 1-0 9-6

Johns Hopkins vs. Rutgers

If you’ve followed Big Ten lacrosse over the last four years, you know Rutgers vs. Johns Hopkins has been a very entertaining series. Yes, Hopkins dominates the overall series with a 33-6 lead over RU, but since the Big Ten was formed in 2015, the two teams have played five times, with JHU owning only a 3-2 edge in the series. Last year’s game at Rutgers was a great one, as the Jays escaped thanks in part to a controversial 3rd quarter goal by Cole Williams and a game-winner with 14 seconds left by Kyle Marr. If this year’s game is anything like the 2018 contest, we are in for a treat on Saturday.

Here’s an Interesting fact from the JHU game notes for this weekend’s match-up: the aggregate score of the last five games between Hopkins & Rutgers is 55-55. I am not saying that Rutgers is going to spoil Homecoming Weekend for the JHU faithful, all I am saying is that you shouldn’t be surprised if this is a close game going into the fourth. Rutgers cares about this game a great deal and given the way they lost last year’s match-up, I have a feeling they are itching for some payback against the Hopkins this weekend.

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#RUMLax wins 14-6 at No. 4 Ohio State!

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Maryland vs. Michigan

It is pretty much now or never for Michigan. The Wolverines are 3-6, so to finish the regular season above .500, they are going to have to win the rest of their Big Ten games. Michigan isn’t totally out of making the Big Ten Tournament with a loss this weekend, as they could lose to Maryland this weekend and then win the rest of their Big Ten games to finish with a 3-2 conference record, which would probably be good enough to make the Big Ten Tournament. However, a 3-2 conference record would mean they’d have to win the entire Big Ten Tournament or they’d finish with a below .500 record and ineligible for the NCAA Tournament. Regardless of any potential scenarios, the bottom line is that Michigan really needs to start winning now or they’ll be playing elimination lacrosse the rest of the season if they lose to Maryland this weekend.

As for the Terps, they lost last week, but there is no shame in losing to Penn State this year. I have a feeling Maryland will be pretty pumped for Michigan after last weekend’s loss, which could be bad news for the Wolverines.

Ohio State vs. Penn State

Ohio State’s loss last weekend was disappointing if you are a Buckeyes fan. Rutgers is certainly a good enough team to pull of an upset like they did last week versus OSU, but I think the way that Rutgers dismantled the Buckeyes last week was alarming.

Penn State is rolling after getting their first win over Maryland last weekend. However, while the high from beating the Terps must feel great, the Nittany Lions must not let last week’s win distract them from this weekend’s game, as Ohio State will be gunning for the upset after their performance last Sunday versus Rutgers.

This has all the makings of a great game. The only thing that could dampen it is if Grant Ament isn’t at 100%. Ament should be ready to play this weekend, but he did look a little banged up last Sunday versus Maryland and was off the field for portions of the game. Ohio State will have a chance in this game whether or not Grant plays, but Ament’s status will have an impact on the game, especially if he plays limited minutes due to injury or has to sit out again like he did when PSU played Cleveland State a couple weeks ago.

Another three games this weekend, with one Big Ten Sunday contest between Ohio State & Penn State. It’s homecoming weekend at JHU this weekend, so Homewood should be pretty packed for the game. Hopefully you all will have a chance to catch some of the action this weekend.

Catch you next week with another Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club memo. I’ll see you out there.

Very truly yours,