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When you're one of 10,000 nameless sportswriters/bloggers/tv-heads (no - you aren't journalists), and you're not any more gifted than the next writer, one path to recognition is to yell louder than the next idiot. Latch on to mildly defensible, yet mostly bat-shit crazy, position on the topic of the day, and start screaming. Maybe someone will take notice.
Sandusky didn't rape any kids yesterday, though, so Penn State headlines are harder to come by now. And those that you stumble across are actually focused on the football being played. So we've got that going for us.
One nice example comes from Rana Cash at The Sporting News, who's fairly certain we could easily be 6-0 right now:
Take away the unprecedented drama and other-worldly expectations for Penn State heading into its season opener against Ohio. Dismiss, for a moment, the complete meltdown by kicker Sam Ficken, who missed four field goals in a one-point loss to Virginia.
Now consider what Penn State has done since. With a 39-28 comeback victory over Northwestern, the Nittany Lions have won four straight;the upset of the 24th-ranked Wildcats the biggest victory yet for first-year coach Bill O'Brien.
Bill O'Brien and Ted Roof get heaps of praise from AP Writer Genaro Armas. Enjoy it, fellas - because if you lose in 2 weeks to Iowa we'll all rip you a new one.
''I didn't think twice about it,'' O'Brien said. ''You've got to make the touchdown. You've got to make the play.''
Adding to his reputation as a bold play-caller, O'Brien then decided to go for two. Zordich rumbled up the middle to get the Nittany Lions within three.
It's certainly a new era for the Penn State offense if nothing else. Under late head coach Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions were known more for the running game and playing for field position.
But the defense, with a few tweaks, remains a hallmark in Happy Valley.
Barnes and his teammates followed the plan to near-perfection Saturday, holding the 24th-ranked Wildcats to 247 total yards in the Nittany Lions' 39-28 victory. "They've got the three-step drop, a quarterback that scrambles around, those zone reads that they use," said Barnes, a redshirt freshman from Northeast High, who shared his team's only sack with Jordan Hill. "You've got to play disciplined. You can't freelance and rush. So it's very frustrating for us. But you've got to play your lanes, play your assignments."
If we're linking Philly, then we've got to throw a yinzer in there to balance things out. Pittsburgh's Mark Dent chipped in with a nice piece that contained the following BO'B gem:
O'Brien, usually as open as the White House press secretary, joked around more than he has this season, sharing this thought about McGloin's fourth-quarter touchdown run. "He's going to come in on Monday and tell me he's a 4.3 40," O'Brien said. "I'm going to tell him we're timing his 40 with a sundial."
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune is both a sportswriter and a talking tv-head (on BTN). He captured the destruction from Northwestern's point of view:
The final 15 minutes proved disastrous, and Penn State rallied for a 39-28 victory. The fourth-quarter score: Penn State 22, Northwestern 0.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald didn't need to watch the tape to know what happened. Penn State ran 99 plays to NU's 61 to eat up 39:17 of the game's 60 minutes.
"We got beat at our own game," he said. "Our blueprint is exactly what they did."
They smothered Kain Colter, holding the quarterback-turned-mainly slot receiver to just three catches for 17 yards. And the Wildcats did not adjust.
Over at our friends Sippin' On Purple, things escalated really quickly. I mean, they really got out of hand. Devon killed a middle schooler with a trident in their post game open thread. It was mostly all better the morning after, though. Sure your head hurts from the tequila, but you're thinking much more clearly. As one commenter pointed out, we're actually benefiting greatly by not being able to kick field goals.
You silly, cuddly, adorable Wildcats. Don't you ever change.
[UPDATE: I missed a couple of good articles. Here's Dr. Saturday, who puts BO'B in the winners column (thanks icavalera).
And here's Mike Poorman, who captures some of the less visible but more telling moments (thanks GreenEggsAndSpam). ]
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