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Turnovers, Mistakes Doom Penn State in the 2011 Outback Bowl

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What a bummer, eh?

I have a weird view of these bowl games. They're fun to watch, and obviously watching your team win is fun, but I don't get too worked up over them. Unless you're in the national championship game, there's really nothing to play for other than pride. But how well or poorly the team plays does have a huge affect on the mood of the fanbase going into the offseason. Win, and you're looking at a top 15 ranking to start the next season. Lose, and you're looking at seven months of negative press. If this holds true, we're in for a long offseason.

Let's start out on a positive note. The defense played a great game. There were a few missed tackles here and there, but in all they did the best they could to hold the Florida offense in check. The Gators only managed 279 yards of offense. They completed just over 50% of their passes for a puny 3.6 yards per attempt. D'Anton Lynn was a monster coming up with two turnovers and some huge hits to cause incompletions.

And then there's the Penn State offense. The offensive line wasn't opening holes in the running game. Penn State only had 139 yards on the ground. Evan Royster got 98 yards on 20 carries, most of them coming late in the game on a few big runs. Justin Brown dropped three passes he should have caught.

And then there's Matt McGloin. There's no way of polishing that turd. McFarve moxied his way to 211 yards on 17-of-41 passing and a touchdown, but the big stat was the five interceptions. It easily could have been eight or nine interceptions if Florida defenders had caught some balls that hit them right in the hands. I hate singling out individual kids, but McGloin single handedly lost the game for Penn State today.

Maybe Joe Paterno should have played Robert Bolden for a series or two in the third quarter. Maybe not. I don't know. He was obviously struggling, but then McGloin got all the snaps in practice this week and in a sense I can see going with the horse that got you here. It's because of McGloin that Penn State was even playing today. So I can understand letting the kid finish it out. A lot of people call me a kool-aid drinker for not demanding Bolden play. One guy on twitter even called me racist. So be it. I just love my Lions. I don't go overly critical when they play poorly. I just go silent, which is what a lot of other people should try once in a while. Change is coming. Good days are ahead. Of this I am sure. We just have to wait for them.

I'm not looking forward to the next seven months. I just have a feeling things are going to be ugly around this program. A lot of people are going to be upset when a week or two go by and Joe Paterno hasn't retired. A lot of people are going to be pissed off if McGloin is allowed within a hundred yards of the huddle in the Blue-White Game. It's not going to be pretty.

I'm also not looking forward to the bashing the Big Ten is in store for. At least Penn State made it close to the very end. Michigan, Michigan State, and Northwestern all got destroyed today. As I write this, TCU is leading against Wisconsin. It's not going to be pretty if the Badgers and Buckeyes lose.

But here we are. Consider yourself officially in the offseason. As they say here in Texas, hunker down and ride it out.