So there it is. The good news is we will never have to play Mike Hart, Jake Long, and Chad Henne again and likely we will never see Mario Manningham or Lloyd Carr either. Good riddance. I hate you all.
The bad news is the legend of Ryan Mallett was born and we're set up for another three years of that. Yes, the true freshman that beat Notre Dame in his first start and #10 Penn State in his second start. Three years from now he'll surely have a seat at the Downtown Athletic club. I'm happy we could be part of that. Pause. Not.
Meanwhile the legacy of Anthony Morelli has been further cemented. He's a good quarterback that can't win a big game. He's great if you give him a fourth quarter lead. But when you need a clutch drive late in the game you can depend on him to throw his mechanics out the window, run for his life, and helplessly throw the ball out of bounds.
But I don't think it's fair to blame the entire loss on one individual here, as I was tempted to do walking out of the stadium. The truth is there is plenty of blame to go around. Austin Scott once again coughed up the ball in a crucial situation. The offensive line couldn't block the sun with an umbrella. The wide receivers couldn't get open.
But most of all I blame the coaches. I blame them for taking the three ring binder that says "Michigan" off the shelf and saying, "Let's give this thing a go again" for the ninth time. They say insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Would the offensive coaches please report to the Lasch Building to get fitted for your straight jackets.
Everything I said we had to do we failed to do. And everything I said we couldn't let happen happened. We gave them an early boost with a dumb turnover and easy score. We had zero points after the first quarter. Austin Scott fumbled later as we went in for a score. We didn't attack the middle of the field like Oregon and Appalachian State did. We let Mike Hart run all over us 44 times for 153 yards. We didn't put any pressure on Mallett.
Overall it was just a terrible performance by the Nittany Lions. Terrible game plan by the coaches and terrible execution by the players.
I guess this is the part where I play the Pollyanna and say even though everything went wrong we only lost by five points. You can't blame the defense for the first touchdown. So take that off the board and we win 9-7. I would like to say we could still run the table and win the Big Ten. We won it in 2005 with a loss to Michigan.
I've seen four games now by this team and that's enough to come to some conclusions. We have a quarterback that is just not a leader. He's a good kid that tries hard, but he cannot carry this team. We have a running back that plays timid, can't catch a pass, and can't hold on to the football. We have an offensive line that can't block. We have wide receivers that can't get open. On offense, we're in really bad shape.
On the flipside, our defense is awesome. So maybe we can win the rest of our games 10-7. But the truth is right now we're on Space Mountain in Disney World. We hurdling through the darkness not knowing what's around the next bend.