Our coaching staff should be looking at what it will take to fire up the team to start the game. It seems to me that except for the Kent State game where we went to sleep after the first quarter, Penn State doesn't even show up until the halfway through the second quarter. I know Joe doesn't like a display, but quite honestly, I think a little demonstration on the sidelines before the kickoff with some enthusiasm might just be what this team needs to get fired. This is a young, talented team and they need that youthful adrenaline rush at the beginning of the game, not just before halftime.
I don't know who is developing these game plans to start the game, but I'm not sure I understand the logic of opening up the game trying to toss the ball down the field right away. It isn't any big secret that Iowa has a great defensive line, heck, we knew that before the blue-white game. It is also no secret that our o-line seems to always be trying to mesh. So let's see, a good pass rush, a tentative offensive line, gives little time to set up in the pocket, so let's try to throw downfield? The best drive we had was when the offense just took what Iowa gave to us, short, quick outs and dump offs. Do that enough and the running game should open up a bit (which it did on that drive). completing short, quick outs not only does all that, but it also gives the QBs, receivers, the o-line, the RBs some momentum and confidence. Instead of trying for the home run to start the game, why not just a couple of high percentage plays to open?
Why did Graham Zug suddenly get cement hands this season? Is it my imagination, or is he just not hanging on to the balls when thrown to? Last year, he probably had the surest hands on the team.
I think Rob Bolden is doing fine, and his goal line run should have been the third down play, not the fourth. A fake handoff and QB rollout and I'm thinking there is no fourth and goal. But what I'm struggling with more than anything is why don't we use Newsome a bit more. For instance, when it is quite obvious that a running QB is a definite option, such as 4th and goal from the half yard line. He's bigger, stronger and a better runner.
I'm really getting a bit tired of Joe's stubbornness about running the ball up the middle with the fullback at the goal line. That might work against Temple, but Temple's defensive line isn't the same as Iowa's. It seems to me on third and goal, you put in Newsome, he fakes a handoff to Zordich and rolls out, or better yet, how about putting in Newsome, he hands off to Zordich and fakes the roll out. Put those into the game when it is not necessarily as important and then when it does mean something, you can use it. Let's face it, the worst thing you can be in sports is predictable and the fullback up the middle for Penn State is about as predictable as it comes. Heck, I saw that play coming before they finished the second down. If we would use Newsome a bit more, particularly on some running plays that MIGHT include a running quarterback, then the defense has something to consider if he comes into the game on third or fourth and short.
Where did Moye go in the first half, was he even in the game?
I think it is time to have a "one coach for the offensive line philosophy" and to also start grooming kids from their first day at camp for one, MAYBE two positions, instead of having to shuffle them around every freaking year. We always seem to be putting together an offensive line like my mom made a potluck dinner, throw some stuff in and hope it tastes good.
Despite our overall defensive performance, I'm somewhat disappointed in our D-Line this year, particularly the end play. We just don't seem to be getting any pressure on the quarterback. It shouldn't be any surprise that QB's have a high completion percentage against us, they have enough time to drink a coke before they pass.
Am I venting? Yes, I sure am because I still think that we have lost the games we were expected to lose and we'll win the ones we are supposed to win, and I still think that this team will be fine for the next couple of years, but some of the things we do are just so frustrating, and quite honestly, the problems with the offensive line are going to be here again next year, just like they seem to be every year, just sometimes a little better than others. It would just be nice if the analysts for once would talk about how good the offensive line for Penn State is for a change.
Now I'm done, bring on Illinois.