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Two Things I Liked, Two Things I Didn’t Like: Maryland Edition

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That was fun.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Maryland Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I LIKED...

1. Jesse Luketa

With Micah Parsons getting ejected early for hitting Maryland’s QB with his shoulder, it pushed true sophomore Jesse Luketa into more action than anticipated. With the opportunity on a prime stage, Luketa excelled. His stat line was not sexy: 5 tackles, 0 TFLs, 0 sacks, 0 forced fumbles. But man, if you watched the game, you know No. 40 looked like a future All-B1G performer. Always in position, always around the ball, and the dude can absolutely lay the lumber on the ballcarrier.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how much playing time Luketa gets. It’s not like Penn State is hurting for strong performers at linebacker — Parsons has a stronghold on the WILL spot, while Jan Johnson and Ellis Brooks are rather entrenched at the MIKE. But Luketa just seems like too good of a player to be seeing the majority of his reps as a special teamer. He’s smart, athletic, and plays with great intensity and instincts — need to see more of him.

2. Penn State Surpassing My Expectations

Heading into the game last night, I had no idea what to expect. Penn State could have won by three touchdowns or lost by double-digits, and I wouldn’t have been surprised by either. As a fan, it kind of sucks to root for a team like that, and for Penn State the last 12-ish games or so, that’s what its been. Yes, mostly wins, but not a whole ton of confidence heading into a games, and coming out of games, not a whole ton of satisfaction in how Penn State played.

Last night, though: wow. From the moment the game started, Penn State showed it came to play. Everything clicked — from the defense, to the offense, to the scheme, to the play calling. It was so refreshing to see Penn State come out and just bury a team. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I was this surprised (in a good way) with how the Nittany Lions played — maybe Maryland 2016? Just such a satisfying win, and hopefully this type of performance will give the squad the confidence and swagger it needs moving forward,

I DIDN’T LIKE...

1. Fox’s Stupid Announcers

Quick rundown of Tim Brando’s and Spencer Tillman’s night:

  • Confusing RB Lorenzo Harrison for QB Tyrrell Pigrome, despite the fact they don’t even wear the same number.
  • Not knowing which linebacker spot Cam Brown and Jesse Luketa were playing.
  • Talking over the referee while the ref was announcing a penalty.
  • Saying that it’s tough for Will Fries (Penn State’s offensive tackle) to stop Jayson Oweh (Penn State’s defensive end) on a sack.
  • Penalty is thrown. Fox dumb-dumbs say the penalty will be on Michal Menet for holding. The penalty is called on Maryland.

You call one game per week. Do your job. Be better.

2. Friday Night Games

Said it last year and I’ll say it again this year: Friday night games are dumb. Saturdays are for college football. Let the lower tier programs like Maryland, Rutgers, and Michigan play on Friday night, and keep the big dogs for Saturdays.