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Midweek Musings - Scoring Against a Group of Five Team

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How should a team look in these games?

Heather Weikel, Black Shoe Diaries

Penn State defeated Buffalo 45-13 this past weekend, and that final score looks about right for a top 15 team against an average G5 team.

But of course as we all know, the final score doesn’t tell the whole story. Buffalo put together an extremely effective gameplan intended to prevent Penn State from scoring - in short, control the clock, and turn super saiyan on third downs.

As a result, the Lions went into halftime trailing 10-7, before making halftime adjustments and outscoring their foes 38-3 in the second half.

The internet exploded with angry takes on who exactly should be fired or benched, when in reality both the players and coaches were well on their way to fixing what needed to be fixed, and putting away a pesky opponent.

But it got me thinking: what would be the ideal way for a P5 team to defeat a G5 team? On a quarter-by-quarter basis, what should the scoring look like?

Assuming that the final score is 45-13, I’m going with something like this:

  • First Quarter: 14-0
  • Second Quarter: 28-3
  • Third Quarter: 38-6
  • Fourth Quarter: 45-13

In my “ideal” setup, the P5 team scores early, preferably on the first drive, and then tallies another score to go up by two touchdowns in the first stanza. More of the same in the second, but the G5 team does have some players, and manages a field goal.

The third sees the starters get the score up to 35-3, and then the backups take over, getting a field goal but allowing one as well. Lastly in the fourth quarter, the good guys score one more touchdown, but the third stringers give up a garbage time touchdown.

Would that sort of setup make everyone happy?

The reason I ask is very few games go exactly according to plan. While we would all love for Penn State to dominate all teams, especially inferior ones, there are plenty of times when the lesser team punches above its weight class.

Is it worthwhile to get oneself apoplectic over it? I’m not saying you can’t be upset that the team was losing at halftime - I certainly was disappointed in the first half effort. But the level of vitriol some people have (please note, I’m talking mostly about Twitter, y’all are a good bunch), just seems like maybe they’d be better off not watching football in the first place.

Anyway, just a thought experiment. Everyone fans differently, and we all want only good things for Penn State football. But maybe if you do find yourself turning red over a football game played by kids, take a quick breather? Realize not everything in football is ideal?

Just a thought.