I really, REALLY wanted to pen an article with “thbbbttttt” over and over and over.
But that would be redundant, given the game on Saturday, wouldn’t it? We already got 4 hours of thbbbttttt, no need to relive it.
I will say first off that I’m disappointed. I knew the game would be weird, and there would be rust, and errors, and the game would be uncomfortable.
I just thought that PSU had enough talent that it wouldn’t ultimately matter.
And it almost didn’t! The defense showed out in the second half, and with 1:42 left in the game, the Lions took over up by one point on the Indiana 14 yard line. Game over right?
Here are a few of my key takeaways from the game:
1. Penn State was rusty
This goes without saying, but the lack of practice time, with a new offense, really showed. The defense was mostly good, but it was infuriating watching the same 3-4 plays not really do anything for the majority of the game.
Penalties, missed kicks, turnovers, etc. It was a
comedy tragedy of errors.
2. The offense was so boring, yet somehow good?
Here’s what I don’t understand. For 4 hours I watched the offense bore me to tears. The same handful of plays, runs up the gut for no gain, receivers not getting open, Clifford scrambling. It looked atrocious.
488 yards of offense. 40:25 time of possession. 27 first downs. 69% pass completion rate (nice). 9 of 17 on third downs. 4.8 yards per carry.
Does ANY of that sound like a game in which the team lost? I don’t recall when I noticed that the Lions had quietly amassed such stats - and they did it very, very quietly - but those results beat most teams on most Saturdays, let alone whatever the defense does.
3. The offensive line is still not good
This one bothers me more than I really want to let on. I thought this was the year. And it still could be! The OL had a lot of the same hiccups as other portions of the team. But - and I am a layman, so please excuse me - is it that difficult to ask your big beefy, talented, experienced linemen to line up and just push the other guy back?
Seriously getting tired of having mediocre OLs.
4. It sucks that the season is over before it had a chance to really start
The season will go on. The Lions will probably go 6-3 or 7-2. The game against OSU will probably be ugly. And before the season really had a chance to get going, any talk of the playoffs has been nipped in the bud.
Just chalk it up to yet another disappointment in 2020.