We'll get to the position breakdowns on Monday and Tuesday. Tonight I just wanted to get some thoughts down from the game yesterday.
I saw some headlines this morning about Penn State "escaping" with a win and "surviving" Indiana. Let's be clear. This team came in with a 5-2 record just like we did. I have a whole lot of respect for Indiana after that game. The Lewis to Hardy combo is nearly unstoppable. If they get a decent running back to compliment Lewis and a few more players on defense the Hoosiers would be a damn fine team. As it is they are a good team that will be going to a bowl game this year. This was a good win for Penn State.
Mark May is apparently not a believer though. After the game he unoquivically stated Penn State had "no chance" against Ohio State next weekend. His reasoning was that Penn State made too many mistakes and the defense looked terrible. We didn't make that many mistakes in my opinion. We left some points on the field in settling for field goals. The defense struggled at times, but I don't think you can compare Indiana to Ohio State. Todd Boeckman and Kellen Lewis are completely different style quarterbacks, and the Buckeyes don't have a receiver the caliber of James Hardy. The Lions match up much better to the Ohio State offense.
I thought the officiating in the game was horrible. A few plays stick out in my mind. There was one play where Hardy caught a ball near the first down marker. He took a hit and stepped back to try to allude the hit eventually going out of bounds a yard shy. The official marked it where he went out of bounds. Then the linesman from the other side of the field ran over and moved the ball ahead a full yard right on the yellow line on television. The head ref came in and signaled first down. No discussion. No measurement. No replay. I thought that was a bit hasty.
I remember there being a few plays where I felt a replay was warranted just to make sure the right call was made. Most notably the Lewis touchdown where it appeared he stepped out of bounds at the three yard line. There were also a few plays that went in favor of the Lions I was shocked they didn't review, so this isn't just one sided whining.
Andre Ware has no business being on television. He repeatedly mispronounced names and made mistakes. His Heisman trophy from the 1980's must have been brought up a dozen times. But the unforgivable part was his blatant bias for Indiana. It was obvious he had no interest in saying Penn State could do anything well. His partner wasn't much better suggesting it would be ok for Indiana to take a safety with less than two minutes to go because it would still be a seven point game. Ware had to remind him a safety would give Penn State the ball. I would rather listen to Pam Ward than these asshats again.
The news is not good for defensive tackle Odrick. He broke his ankle and he's done for the year. That's a big loss, but fortunately we're extremely deep at tackle and Abe Koroma and Tom McEowen are getting healthier every week.
The news is also grim for fullback Matt Hahn. He tore a ligament in his knee meaning he's done for the year as well. You almost knew it wasn't good when he planted for that cut and went down without being touched. At least Odrick has another two years to play. You hate to see a senior like Hahn end his Penn State career like this. He was a great player for us and he will be missed. Now it's time for Dan Lawlor to step up and I'm confident he will.
I'll leave the rest of my thoughts for the position breakdowns to come. Again, this was a good win for Penn State. Indiana was a trap game for us. We pulled off a Big Ten win on the road the week after Wisconsin and the week before Ohio State.