So the Purdue game wasn’t as pretty as most folks would have liked it to be, but hey… a win is a win. At least we know the defense can shut down an opponent when called to do so and we also know that Anthony Fera has a cannon for a leg. Special teams has been completely different since his return. Something you might not know is that all the teams that Penn State has played in the past won this week. Well… all except one *glares at Indiana*. That’s why we give you Former Foes, a look back at the Nittany Lions past opponents.
Indiana State (5-2)
Beat Western Illinois 46-24
Do you like silly, Xbox-esque stats? I’m talking EA Sports NCAA ’12 set on Freshman-style numbers? Well we got ‘em for ya in the form of Indiana State. The two teams combined for 852 yards of total offense and 70 points. Sycamore running back Shakir Bell averaged over 10 yards a carry, totaled 213 yards and 3 touchdowns. But that’s not the crazy part, quarterback Ronnie Fouch completed only 6 passes all day but 4 of those were for touchdowns and averaged over 33 yards per completion. Alex Jones had 2 catches, both scores, and 119 yards. That’s a whopping 60 yards per catch. Somewhere Matt McGloin just had a sportsgasm. Indiana State rose to No. 16 in the FCS Coaches Poll.
Next up: Illinois State
#3 Alabama (7-0)
Beat Ole Miss 52-7
Alabama used Trent Richardson and a stifling defense to destroy Vanderbilt. Oh wait… it’s Ole Miss?Whatever, I’m just going to copy/paste last week’s review in this space because it’s getting old Alabama. Richardson set career-high marks in yardage (183) and touchdowns (4) and cemented his Heisman campaign with a 76-yard touchdown run that was both brutal and beautiful at the same time. The Tide’s defense held Ole Miss to 141 total yards. After giving up an early TD run, Alabama scored 7 unanswered touchdowns.
Next up: Tennessee
Beat Buffalo (34-0)
Don’t look now but Temple is putting together a nice defensive run. A week after shutting out Ball State, the Owls blank the Bulls in another rout. Bernard Pierce keeps knocking over opponents and records, rushing for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns. Pierce now has the school season record for rushing touchdowns , overall touchdowns and points. Buffalo was held to 155 total yards as Temple scored twice in each of the first two quarters to take a 24-0 halftime lead before going into cruise control.
Next up: Bowling Green
Eastern Michigan (4-3)
Beat Central Michigan 35-28
This was a game of two different philosophies, both teams had nearly the same amount of yards but Eastern did it on the ground (350) and Central did it through the air (351). Eastern had a comfortable 28-13 lead with just over 12 minutes to play but two Ryan Radcliff touchdown passes later and Easter Michigan had themselves a game. Eagles QB Alex Gillettonly needed 3 plays on the ensuing drive though to end the game on a 30-yard run with 37 seconds left. All 5 touchdowns were on the ground for Eastern Michigan as Gillett had more yards rushing than passing (93-76). Dominque White rushed for 161 yards and a TD, and partner Javonti Greenehad 96 yards and three TDs.
Next up: Western Michigan
Lost to Wisconsin 59-7
Oh Indiana, what are we going to do with you? Is it basketball season yet? Wisconsin bullied the Big Ten’s cellar dweller, scoring 4 touchdowns before letting Indiana get a sniff of the end zone. Bret Bielema was his usual classy self, dialing up a trick play ending in QB Russell Wilson catching a touchdown pass from running back Montee Ball with the Badgers up two scores in the second quarter. Come on Bielema, it’s Indiana! Have you no shame. At any rate Wilson was a sharp 12 for 17 for 166 yards and a TD while Monte Ball gained over 10 yards a run going for 142 and 3 TD’s. I think we can move on.
Next up: Iowa
Beat Northwestern 41-31
Another year, another wild Iowa-Northwestern game. Just Northwestern led Iowa in almost every offensive statistical category but choked in the 4th. Iowa scored the game’s first three scores to take a 17 point lead, then Northwestern answers to tie the game at 17 at the start of the 4th quarter. Iowa thought it was good enough the first time so they scored 17 more points to take a 34-17 lead midway through the 4th. The Wildcats, who converted an insane number of 3rd downs (16-22), scored to narrow the gap to 10 with 4:50 left. The rally ended though when Marvin McNutt returned the onside kick deep into Northwestern territory.
For Northwestern, Dan Persa completed 31of his 40 passes for 246 yards with both a TD and INT. James Vandenbergwas just as good going 14 for 22 for 224 with 2 TD’s and a pick. McNutt tied a school record with a touchdown catch, making it the 21st of his career.
Next up: Indiana