Good game today, though the score makes it look a lot closer than it was. I'm prepared to read how Penn State struggled when I open the newspaper tomorrow morning. Craig James was already chiming in reminding everyone how it was a close game late in the second quarter. Personally, I was never worried in this game. It was evident early that the defense had all the answers and all the offense was going to have to do was put together two good drives to win.
The first drive certainly wasn't one of them. Everyone who has ever complained about the Penn State offensive play calling had all the ammunition they needed on that first drive. A run up the middle stuffed for a one yard gain. An foiled bubble screen that forced Morelli to scramble for two yards. And then on third and seven Morelli threw to a flat-footed Derrick Williams two yards shy of the mark.
The next two drives weren't any better as they both ended with Austin Scott fumbles. And that was the last we saw of Scott until the game was out of hand. This had to be the worst game he's ever played until the 40 yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Rodney Kinlaw stepped up and came through with 132 yards on 23 carries. Let the running back controversy begin.
Morelli's stats were impressive (20-of-27, 202 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT) but some of his throws were just terrible. The Norwood circus catch for the touchdown was a horrible throw. It was way behind Norwood and should have been picked off. And for the record, the officials blew that call as it was obvious to every other person with at least one good eye that the ball hit the ground. Some other throws were wildly overthrown. I'm convinced he can't hit a crossing pattern without making the receiver stop and reach behind him.
Despite the criticism above, he did have a good game and I was glad to see the wide receivers get involved. This was one of my keys to the game. Butler, Williams, Norwood, and Golden combined for 15 catches, 144 yards, and 2 TD. It was good to see Andrew Quarless back in the game again. He had two catches, both for touchdowns. Chris Bell was nowhere to be found. Can anyone remember a pass thrown in his direction?
The offensive play calling was its usual 32 flavors of suck. Running up the middle to no effect. Five yard pass patterns on third and seven. And can we please put away the wide receiver screen forever? That play sucks ass. It never works. Kill it, Jay.
Once again the redzone offense was great going 4-for-5 with 3 TD and a FG. The lone failure came after the Scirrotto interception. Morelli took a sack and Kelly missed the 46 yard FG.
Tony Davis did not play most of the second half. Paterno hinted after the game he may be injured.
Anthony Scirrotto had a good game with a fumble recovery and an interception as I predicted before the game.
It's a shame to see all those points given up after the game was put away. The long kick returns came against reserves and the backup defense gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter to make it look closer than it was. Be prepared to read in the papers tomorrow how the Penn State defense isn't as good as we all thought it was.
Dan Connor and Sean Lee are just awesome. They combined for 24 tackles, 2 TFL, and 1.5 sacks. Ollie Ogbu also had a monster game with 2.5 TFL and a sack.
I watched the game on the Big Ten channel and I was not impressed. They often mispronounced names of the players. I didn't see the long pass to Deon Butler because the camera man fell for the play action fake to Williams and followed him all the way down the field. To double the aggrevation, Williams was wide open on that play and could have walked into the endzone, but Morelli never saw him streaking down the sideline. He hit Butler for 50 yards though so all is forgiven.