12:00 p.m., September 24, 2011
Beaver Stadium (Capacity: 107,252)
The Temple win wasn't depressing. No, it's the future that's depressing. Penn State has not improved its offensive output all that much over three games, two of which against teams Penn State should have beaten easily. Temple's a decent team compared to what it once was, but Penn State has no excuse for dropping a bigger turd than it did against the Owls last season in Beaver Stadium.
Anyway, on to this week. Eastern Michigan comes to Beaver Stadium for what should be an absolutely terrible scrimmage-like atmosphere in Happy Valley. You thought the Indiana State game looked and felt like the Blue-White Game? You haven't seen anything yet.
I'll give some (kinda) objective thoughts on the raw stats below the table and fold. See you there...
|148 (66)||Rushing Offense||289.67 (6)|
|158 (106)||Passing Offense||68.33 (118)|
||Passing Efficiency||93.71 (112)|
|306 (103)||Total Offense||358 (36)|
|22 (90)||Scoring Offense||19.33 (100)|
|111.67 (42)||Rushing Defense||153 (75)|
|130.33 (7)||Passing Defense||145.33 (11)|
|242 (9)||Total Defense||298.33 (29)|
|14.67 (25)||Scoring Defense||15.67 (29)|
|1.33 (T76)||Sacks||3.33 (16)|
|1.33 (T44)||Sacks Allowed||1.33 (T44)|
|5.33 (T76)||Tackles for Loss||9.33 (T5)|
|.67 (T32)||Turnover Margin||-.33 (T77)|
|7.69 (59)||Punt Returns||10.67 (35)
|22.55 (T53)||Kickoff Returns||22 (62)|
National Rankings in parentheses
The defense is getting better. It's forcing more turnovers, while the overall stats aren't as nasty as you'd think, especially including the Alabama score. In fact, going up against a very, very good running back last week, Penn State's defense still managed to lop off about 30 rush yards allowed from the average going into the game. The pass defense is still scary, but the stats remain very good. And hey, Penn State is even on the positive side of the turnover margin! Yay!
Then there's the [verp] offense. The only thing that's remotely average is the rush offense, which remains artificially inflated from the 250 yards against ISU. If there is one saving grace here, it's that Eastern Michigan is about near where Penn State is, though against much weaker opposition--yes, even weaker including Michigan. The only thing that could really give Penn State some trouble on defense is that Alex Gillett is a mobile quarterback. If the Nittany Lions can't get the offense rolling, expect another low-scoring snooze-fest.
And finally, this week in poll dancing, Penn State continues to get votes...