...the 2000 Baltimore Ravens (yes, I'm a Ravens fan, but this is a PSU blog so I really don't want to hear anything from Steelers fans about that on here. Let's keep it about Penn State). The 2000 Ravens are well known for having one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, and they rode that epic defense all the way to a Super Bowl victory. The Ravens offense that year was, shall we say, mediocre at best (they went 5 straight games without scoring an offensive TD at one point). The year started off with mediocre QB play by Tony Banks, but 6 games in a change was made to backup Trent Dilfer. Dilfer wasn't the greatest QB in the league, but he didn't need to be. All he needed to do was be a "game manager". His job was to move the offense well enough to score 2-3 field goals and 1-2 touchdowns per game, then sit back and let the defense do the rest. MOST IMPORTANTLY, his main job was to NOT TURN THE BALL OVER. Dilfer knew his job, and never once asked him to do too much. The 2000 Ravens had PLENTY of playmakers on offense...Shannon Sharpe, Brandon Stokley, Jamal Lewis, and Priest Holmes to name a few. The offense was built around a STRONG RUN GAME, and feeding the ball to their playmakers and letting them do the rest. All the offense had to do was score 13-20 ppg to give the defense some room to breathe and a nice cushion to work with.
This PSU team reminds me A LOT of those 2000 Ravens. Our defense is great. Extraordinary, even. Unless I'm mistaken, we are the ONLY team that Alabama hasn't scored over 30 pts against. Our defense is good enough to win us a Big Ten Championship. Our offense, however, is mediocre AT BEST. BUT, just like the 2000 Ravens, I don't believe that our offense needs to be great. Our offense doesn't even need to be good, it just needs to be average. If our offense can score anywhere between 17-24 points per game, we can play with anybody (except maybe Bama or LSU). Just like the 2000 Ravens, we have two very good RBs in Silas Redd and Curtis Dukes. McGloin reminds me A LOT of Trent Dilfer...he's not going to set the world on fire, but he's adequate enough to get the job done. We most certainly have great playmakers on offense (I already mentioned Redd and Dukes) - Moye is an NFL caliber receiver, Justin Brown is getting better with each game, and Devon Smith is extremely dangerous in the open field. If the coaches can build a gameplan that focuses on running the ball, and letting McGloin get the ball to our playmakers without asking too much from him, then our offense should be able to put up enough points for our defense to win us the game.
Those 2000 Ravens made a living on winning ugly with a suffocating defense. And yes, this isn't the NFL, this is college, where you can't afford to win ugly. But the way I see it...winning ugly is still winning. I don't care if PSU wins every game the rest of the season by one goddamn point, because we would end up 11-1 and we would be playing for the Big Ten title.
This team can learn something from the 2000 Ravens. If we can get the most from our offense by running the ball and utilizing the talents of our playmakers while minimizing mistakes, and let our defense do the rest...we can win A LOT of games. Maybe we can even win em all. But I don't think this team needs to learn anything from those 2000 Ravens because...based on the way they played Saturday against Iowa...it seems like they already have.
P.S. All they need to do now is name McGloin the starter and let the kid play the whole game against Purdue. But that might be wishful thinking.