I made it to my one and only PSU game this year. We were able to stay with a friend who's managing the new Cracker Barrel and lives in Bellefont - otherwise I doubt we would have gone. We left the Harrisburg are around 8am and were pleasantly surprised at the lack of traffic the whole way up.
We had really nice seats 43 rows up from the PSU sideline at the South 30 yard line.
There was definitely not more than 60K in the stadium. And by the end of the game, during the last two defensive stands, I doubt there was more than 40K. Given that, I was surprised at how LOUD we were able to get at the end of the game.
The students disgusted me. We absolutely should have gotten multiple penalties for the snow balls. I think a ref may actually have gotten hit at one point. People on the PSU sideline were getting hit. I was reminded of a snowy game years ago when Joe ran over and started screaming at the students to knock it off - and they did. One of the coaches - Bradley, McQuery, LJ - should definitely have gone over there and given the students hell. Also, booing Bolden every time something bad happened - even if it wasn't his fault - was completely classless. I don't care how bad a kid is playing, you don't boo your own players. I don't care what or how much you invested to be there - it doesn't excuse boorish behavior. All that said, rushing behind the goal posts for the final field goal was pretty cool.
In pregame warm ups, McGloin's accuracy was spotty, Bolden's was terrible and the WRs were really struggling to catch the ball. When they came out in the second half, McGloin and McGregor did the 10 yard warm up drill while Bolden stood there and watched them. I've never seen so many dropped passes in that drill as I had on Saturday. I knew right there we were in for a long second half.
Despite the struggles catching the ball, the play calling was terrible. Where was the screen? Where were the 10 yard outs to Brown that have been so effective the last couple of weeks? Illinois was all bunched up in the middle of the field to stop the run - those outs would have been WIDE open, and would have helped keep the running game open. Also, did they run a PA pass on first down ONCE? That also, would have been wide open and would have kept the defense a little honest on first down.
The running game depends completely on Redd making half the defense miss in the backfield and then squirting through the line for 10-15 yards once or twice a drive. IMO we've run him way too much, and he's lost some of his ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Last year he'd make me say 'wow' with a silly move a couple of times each game. He hasn't done that int he open field in a while. I think his legs are too tired to make those explosive lateral jump cuts. Run the other guys more. Finally, they need to get Redd involved in the passing game - and not just in screens. Have him run routes out of the backfield or even line up in the slot. Anything to give him the ball beyond the LOS so he doesn't have to break 4 tackles before he can get going.
From the stands I didn't think there was PI on Moye, but when I saw the replay at home there was no question. On that play it looked to me like McGloin was looking for a shorter route, didn't see it (whether there was actually anyone open or not) and then heaved a really nice throw derp. If Moye wants to be an NFL WR, he needs to fight through that hold and catch the damn ball anyway.
Defensively - I couldn't believe how they keep fighting back every time the offense tried to give the game away. I kept saying the offense was refusing to win, no matter what opportunity the defense gave them. I'll say again that Lynn ***** at getting off of WR blocks, which makes me question whether he'll make it as an NFL strong safety, which is the only position his speed would allow him to MAYBE play. IMO Sukay was trying to get his body on the ball on the hit, and did a good job. Sheelvowel tried to shield it, got destroyed and gave it up anyway.
IMO Hodges is really good at blitzing, but still struggles in space. He gets shaken out of his shoes too much. As good as the D has been, I think they'd be amazing if we still had Mauti. We're missing his speed, size, and instincts.
Overall it was a miserable game in cold, damp, miserable conditions. It wasn't fun for 95% of the game. But the finish made it all better.