Pierson’s Potency: week one

Pierson VanGorp

More stories from Pierson VanGorp

Pierson’s Potency
January 29, 2021
Chris Battiste
January 29, 2021
Jeremy James
January 29, 2021
Pierson’s Potency
January 24, 2021

The year 2021 has had a unique start similar to 2020. With politics creating chaos, celebrities accused of cheating, and UFO information shared to the public, this year has matched the insanity of 2020. This is true with sports, as we have seen some crazy events unfold in the past week. Whether it was NFL drama, a surprise to the college basketball world, or one of the greatest college football teams ever, 2021 has not disappointed yet. In the first article of Pierson’s Potency, we’ll talk about the most important events in the past week of sports. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers get embarrassed by a shortened Browns team

Going into wildcard weekend, the Steelers were favored to beat a beaten down Browns team. The Browns faced COVID issues all week as they were not able to practice. They also had key players out like CB Denzel Ward, OL Joel Bitonio, and CB Kevin Johnson. While the Browns had dealt with injuries and COVID, the Steelers practiced the whole week and got some well needed rest. A few days before the game, media sensation and Tik Tok star, JuJu Smith-Schuster called out the Browns saying, “The Browns is the Browns.” This would backfire on them instantly.

The Steelers had the ball first and on the first play of the game, Center Maurkice Pouncey sailed the snap way over Big Ben’s head which led to a Brown’s recovery and TD. This play demonstrated the Steelers play throughout the game. Before you could blink, the Browns took a 28-0 lead and Big Ben had thrown 3 picks. The Steelers tried whatever they could to get back in the game but it was not enough. The Browns ended up winning 48-37 on the Steelers’ home turf. 

This now leads to the question most people are asking: Will Big Ben return? He is now 38 and has dealt with injuries in the past few years. He is one of the worst QBs when it comes to mobility and struggled against the Browns defense throwing 4 picks. Only time will tell if the hall of fame QB will decide to hang up the cleats.

Alabama throttles Ohio State to win their 18th National Championship

Heading into Monday’s game, people did not know what to expect. Ohio State had just throttled a Clemson team led by generational QB Trevor Lawrence. Alabama had shut down Notre Dame only giving up 14 points. This seemed like a fair matchup on paper. Alabama had a legendary offense led by their three headed monster in Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, QB Mac Jones, and RB Najee Harris. The Bama defense was spectacular, too, only giving up two games over 30+ points (Florida and Ole Miss). Jaylen Waddle also announced he planned on playing on his injured ankle. Would Ohio state be able to stop this?

Ohio state had some weapons of their own. QB Justin Fields had come off the best game of his career (throwing 6 TD’s). Trey Sermon also had the best game of career rushing for 193 yards and scoring once. Their defense played phenomenally only giving up 28 points against a scary good Clemson offense. Ohio state was hot heading into the championship game. Would it be enough to knock off the Tide? Simple answer: no.

The start of the game was back and forth between these two teams. Ohio state suffered a huge loss with Trey Sermon suffering an injury (collarbone or shoulder) on the second play of the game. That would be a huge factor down the stretch of the game. Bama’s offense scored effortlessly while Ohio state struggled scoring at times. Alabama started pulling away towards the end of the half, and by the end of the game, Bama was up 52-24. The reason for their offensive success was because of DeVonta Smith. His stats were 12 receptions for 215 yards and three TDs. This was all in the first half as well. This begs the question: was this the greatest first half performance in college football history?

The hottest team in college basketball right now is the Michigan Wolverines

Michigan came into the season seen as a mediocre Big Ten team that could possibly find their way into the tournament. Well, that narrative has changed quickly. Michigan is now seen as one of the top teams in the Big Ten and in the country as well. They are ranked at #7 as of now and just beat the #9 ranked Wisconsin Badgers by 23. That does not even describe the beating they put on this experienced Badgers team. Michigan went on a historical 43-6 run in which they shot 69% from the field while holding Wisconsin to 10% from the field. This Michigan team also set a record last night as they are the only team in college basketball history to beat three straight ranked teams by 19 or more points. But why are the Wolverines so good?

The Wolverines are a great team because of their defense. In an interview with head coach Juwan Howard, he said the first drills they worked on were defensive drills. He said they wanted to become a better defensive team and wreak havoc on the court. They have done just that as they are ranked in the top 20 for defensive rating according to the Pomeroy rankings. If they can not force a turnover with a steal or block, then they will tip passes and contest shots. This is the reason why the Michigan Wolverines have become an elite team. 

The growth of their offense has also been a focal point for the team. Franz Wagner and Isaiah Livers have greatly improved their offensive skill set, so when they face good defenses, they are able to get buckets. Michigan also has something they have not had in a long time. Michigan can now feed the post and form an offense from it. The last time Michigan was able to do this was with Mitch McGary. Hunter Dickinson has been almost unstoppable this year and this is one of the other reasons why this Michigan team is not good but great