I got away from doing these after every game because they weren't generating many comments leading me to believe they weren't very interesting to read. But I enjoy writing them so I'm going to try to go back to doing them. It's tough for me to tell what you guys like and don't like to read about. So if these are worth while please let me know. Let's take a look at the offense. I won't bother doing grades or anything.
This is probably the best game we're going to see out of Anthony Morelli. The coaches asked him to play it safe with easy passes to the sideline all day. For the most part he did so without making too many mistakes. There were one or two "What the hell was that?" passes where he threw a pass into perfect coverage, but for the most part he did well. Like I said before, I'll take a 16-for-28, 216 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INT every time.
Clark and Devlin got in the game late. Clark missed on his only throw but had some nice runs and a touchdown.
Rodney Kinlaw continues to amaze me. I didn't think he was big enough to handle the duties of a full time running back. But apparently he's tough enough to handle over 20 carries a game. But I did think I noticed he was looking gassed and gimpy in the third quarter. I'm not sure if we can expect to keep seeing stat lines like 23 carries and 115 yards.
But Evan Royster looks more than capable of carrying the excess load. While dealing with a deep thigh bruise he experienced against Iowa he carried the ball 8 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. He looks comfortable in traffic showing patience waiting for the hole to develop and scooting through it when it's there. But he also shows the ability to bounce it outside and turn on the jets to run away from the defense like he did on the touchdown run. This kid continues to impress me every week. Austin who?
|Royster's TD Run|
Matt Hahn even got a little love this week with the one yard touchdown run. I love it when they give it to the big fella down on the goal line. Fullbacks need to carry the rock too. He's an underutilized weapon if you ask me.
Terrell Golden had his best day as a Nittany Lion with five catches and 83 yards, both career highs. Penn State kept going to that play where Morelli rolled out on play action and Golden was wide open in the flat. Wisconsin had no answer for it and never adjusted to it. Golden if finally making a mark on this program in the twilight days of his career.
Deon Butler had another good game leading the team with 7 catches and 93 yards. The 29 yard touchdown catch was great stuff. He got great separation and ran under the ball and made a diving catch. Perfect play.
|Objects in picture are not closer than they appear. He got burnt.|
Derrick Williams, Andrew Quarless and Jordan Norwood were conspicuously absent this week. That's the way this offense goes. They have so many great wide receivers that one or two of them can take the day off and the rest of them pick up the slack.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Mickey Shuler had two clutch catches that both went for first downs. Quarless better get his head out of his ass and stop dropping balls and missing blocks or he's going to find himself buried on the depth chart.
After swapping places for the Iowa game, Mike Lucian went back to playing right guard and Rich Ohrnberger went back to left guard. Fortunately the results were the same. Gaping holes for the running backs to run though and lots of time for Morelli to throw as Penn State rolled up 221 yards on the ground and only gave up one sack. It took a season and a half, but it's evident this offensive line is starting to gel. The really great news is that everyone returns next year.
It looks like the Michigan game was a wake up call to the coaches. In the three games since we've seen the play book opened up on first and second down instead of just third and long.
It was obvious Wisconsin was looking to stop the run from the beginning. The box was constantly stacked with eight or nine defenders. In the past this wouldn't have stopped Joe Paterno from running between the tackles. But on Saturday they took the Badgers by surprised. Penn State passed on first down 17 times and ran 22 times. Six of those runs came in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. It was evident during the third quarter that Wisconsin was on their heels and didn't know what to expect next. This is the sign of good playcalling.
(Images from PennLive.com)