Another Wednesday, another Blue White Roundtable. Y'all are lucky we don't charge admission for this. Anyway, your humble blogger has the questions this week. Check out the other guys for their take.
Besides the fact that we're 3-2, what has been the biggest disappointment this year?
I see everyone else is having trouble naming just one. I must admit it is difficult to pick just one thing. There's #14, Austin Scott's butter fingers, a secondary playing pretty loose, poor play calling. So I think I'll go with leadership since that kind of encompasses everything. Starting at the top you have Joe himself changing the game plan the night before the Michigan game going with a conservative approach. Moving on down you have Joe wanting to put Daryll Clark in the game against Michigan and being talked out of it by Jay Paterno. Who's the head coach here? You have your senior captain quarterback jawing with fans while there is a game going on and chewing out defensive coaches for giving up too many yards. Meanwhile he goes out there and throws the game away and sulks on the bench. The team just looks like it's in total disarray and nobody has control.
After the Michigan game the play calling was under heavy scrutiny against Illinois. Late in the third quarter with Penn State trailing by seven points, the Nittany Lions had a third and goal from the one yard line. They elected to pitch the ball to Rodney Kinlaw over left tackle and the play lost two yards. Then on fourth and goal from the three they elected to kick a field goal. How would you evaluate the play calling on these two plays?
In hindsight I guess it was a terrible call on third down. At the time I didn't think it was that bad of a play call, but then everyone at the bar I was at hated it and I see today I'm outnumbered as well. I was kind of pleased to see them mix it up around the goal line. Illinois just stopped it. If they had plowed Scott up the middle and got stuffed we'd all be sitting here saying, "Same ol' Joe," and complaining about the lack of originality.
No complaints about kicking the field goal. There was still around six minutes to go in the third quarter and the offense was moving the ball well. Take the points. But the people in the bar next to me were upset we didn't go for the touchdown. That may have been the $1.50 domestic drafts talking.
Is there anything positive we can take out of the Illinois game?
I was really impressed with how they came out throwing the football from the start. The coaches may have been afraid they needed to score a lot of points to beat Illinois. With the exception of #14's interceptions I think we saw a glimpse of what this offense is capable of. I hope the coaches don't retreat back into their shell and try to grind out 50 running plays this week. Keep throwing the ball. Just do it with someone other than #14.
Who should be the starting quarterback against Iowa?
#14. But Daryll Clark or Pat Devlin should get at a series in both the second and third quarters. If they prove more effective than #14 they should play the fourth and start next week.
Joe Must Go! Yes or No?
Eventually yes. But not now.