Penn State 23, Purdue 18: The Art Of Survival

 

Cake - I Will Survive (via adikmacho94)

Credit.  Truth be told, Purdue played a pretty good game on offense.  They at least had a clear plan against a rather vicious Penn State defense.  Despite otherwise anemic offensive numbers, they were able to get an unusual amount of big plays on the Penn State defense: passes for 50, 20, and 20 yards, as well as runs for 39, 21, and 18.  Not sure what could've been done about the 50-yarder to Justin Siller, which was a broken play (and a nice job by TerBush and Siller to keep the play alive).  Even when Siller caught the pass, he had a beautiful running lane already established for him.  Tough break.  Purdue also did a nice job using the aggressiveness of Penn State's defensive tackles against them, seeming to invite them into the backfield while sliding the running back through on draw plays.  They did what they could.

How-EV-ah!  Yeah, the defense was, shall we say, substandard for the vast majority of the game.  Glenn Carson and Nick Sukay did not have their best games, especially with regard to their tackling.  Nate Stupar continues to play well in the absence of Mike Mauti, but the guy quietly playing at a very high level that nobody is discussing?  Drew Astorino.

End Around Madness.  Okay, this needs to stop.  Running it once per game with Devon Smith?  Fine, we'll collectively deal.  The handoff to Justin Brown with 14 seconds left in the half at the Purdue 12 yard line made absolutely no sense, and never had a prayer of being effective.  The fumbled end around to Smith in the fourth quarter may have been the most ridiculous playcall of the year.  If Penn State lost that ball and I went on a three state killing spree, not a jury in this nation would have convicted if I showed them the game film.  After that play, Smith is now averaging 0.5 yards per carry. 

WE DOWNED A PUNT, YOU GUYS!  After what seemed like a decade's worth of pooch punts bounding into the end zone, Penn State buried Purdue for its final drive when Nick Sukay raced after a booming Anthony Fera punt (which wasn't a pooch punt, and which Purdue's returner stupidly refused to catch).  After a 75-yard sprint, Sukay deftly pitched the ball from inside the end zone and it was downed at the Purdue two-yard line.  Three plays later, Nate Stupar's interception iced the game for Penn State.

In Appreciation Of Silas Redd.  It's hard for me to remember a Penn State running back this quick in traffic between the hashmarks.  Also, the world has been underrating Redd's toughness and strength -- see his third quarter touchdown for evidence, as he dragged defenders into the end zone with him.

Quarterback Report.  More of what we already knew, although the conditions made passing treacherous for both teams.  Bolden was 2-for-6, with an almost-touchdown bullet to BMF on Penn State's opening drive.  Otherwise, erratic.  McGloin was slightly better, I guess (8-17, 1 INT).  He's still prone to extremely questionable decisions, as shown by the exclamatories in the open threads.  We can continue to dissect his interception if you really want -- I'll continue to maintain it was a poorly thrown ball to a well-covered receiver who has one career reception.  It's "bad throw", "bad decision", or "all of the above".  "Unlucky" is not an option here.  Sorry.

Those Special Special Teams.  Essentially a tire fire on both sides.  Purdue's mistakes were more egregious, as they missed a field goal and an extra point, allowed a 33 yard punt return by Justin Brown, and nearly let Chaz Powell run a kickoff back for a touchdown.  Oh, and Anthony Fera may be one of PSU's five most indispensable players at this point.  Try to name five other players with a more substantial drop-off to their backups.  Try to name two.

In Reality, We Should Have Seen This Coming.  Look, this is what Penn State will do to its supporters this season.  The defense generally provides a modest margin of error, and the offense and special teams exhaust all but an ounce of it.  This formula got a little off-kilter against Purdue, but the point remains. After seven games, the personality and character of this is becoming apparent, and it will take years off our lives.

Nexting.  Northwestern, who managed to put up nearly 500 yards against Iowa and still got trounced thanks to a McGloinian decision by Dan Persa to lob a ball into traffic (returned for 98 yards and a touchdown by Tanner Miller), and a defense that gave up multiple long passing touchdowns and 5.5 yards per carry to the Hawkeyes.

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