I'm in a unique position: I didn't watch any of today's game. I really have no interest in watching today's game. I've seen this game before and I don't mean this season. Bad Penn State teams have played games like this, good Penn State teams have played games like this (The 1985 team spent the first half of the season playing such games over and over again), it's a Penn State tradition. I'm not saying it's a good thing, and I'm not trying to argue about the direction of the program. What I'm saying is that we are Hank Williams Jr. and painful football victories are our drinking and smoking.
Anyway, ESPNU was unavailable and I was doing family stuff until mid-afternoon, so the only game I witnessed was Michigan State-Ohio State. This was the first Buckeye game I saw this season.
And Lord.....good heavens.
I felt like Voltaire. I asked God for ridiculous Buckeyes and I got my wish. The true final score was 10-0, not 10-7. Trust me on this. Michigan State gave that touchdown away because they were asinine enough to blitz with 12 seconds left and a ten-point lead. But that's why they're Michigan State.
Look up the stats yourself - although they can't give you the humor. Until Bauserman came in and played moderately effectively against an extremely plain Michigan State defense, they had like -1 yards in the second half. They got booed off the field in the first half. They kept running the ball up the middle to no effect because Miller cannot pass and because Bauserman could not pass when Michigan State actually tried.
Their offensive line is surprisingly mediocre. Michigan State has a decent front, but Ohio State had one - one - drive in which they could actually run the ball. Miller was forced to pass more in the second half but hardly even attempted anything because there was almost always someone in his face.They return their starting tackle next week, but I wonder if that will make up for defensive tackles charging into the backfield on nearly ever play. Oh, and the other tackle stinks too.
Posey comes back next week. Can one guy make up for the mediocrity and lack of physicality (A fact smartly pointed out by Millen) of the other receivers which leaves defenses able to run press and blitz - or just press, period?
But this is all too much football talk. What really mattered was the humor value. Michigan State's offense - mostly Kirk Cousins - tried hard to lose this game. But every time Michigan State's offense did something stupid, Miller came out there, handed the ball off for no effect, then ran around until he was sacked or forced to throw an incompletion.
This game gave me perhaps the most gorgeous, most precious moment of my life. It came at the end of the first half. Cousins had fumbled away a Michigan State scoring chance and Ohio State had actually managed to string some plays together. It started to collapse around the 40 of MSU and it ended with a Miller sack. brutus could have stopped the clock and tried something, but they gave up and their fans booed them off the field. It was glorious.
Other fun moments:
- Fans yelling "Come on!" at lousy Bauserman passes.
- Every ineffective first down run play. There were many. They were glorious.
- Miller trying desperately to throw the ball to a Sparty defensive lineman.
- Ohio State getting chippy and getting hit with a personal foul in the 4th quarter.
- Oh, screw it, this whole game was awesome.
I've waited so many years for this much schadenfreude coming out of Columbus. That guy with the stupid cowboy hat; that guy with the anal beads; all of their smug fans who were all like, "What? This can't happen! Other teams aren't allowed to win here!" when Iowa came back in 2009; Jim Tressel himself; suck it, all of you.
We stink too, so we may lose, but don't let that dissuade you from enjoying a glorious moment in our history as human beings.
A merry October to all of you.