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Midweek Musings - Relaxation

Summer breeze makes me feel fine

West Virginia v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

I had an odd revelation midway through the third quarter of the Penn State-West Virginia game. At the time, the Lions had a 14-7 lead, and had just begun the drive that would put them up 21-7, and provide them enough cushion to win the game. But at the time, the game was still in doubt.

And I was relaxed.

I was at a sports bar with my father-in-law, eating wings, and drinking a beer. The game was on three quarters of the TVs in the room, so I could glance in virtually any direction and see what was going on.

Yet our conversation centered around the various home improvement projects we each have lined up. Upcoming events in the community. A golf tournament my FIL plays in. A soccer league I’m joining.

We would occasionally break our conversation to remark on a play: “Oh, nice catch KeAndre!” “Great QB pressure, made him miss that throw!”

But then we’d go back to what we were already talking about.

Don’t get me wrong, I was very invested in the game. And quite obviously I wanted the Lions to win.

But I just wasn’t worried about it.

Perhaps it was because the Lions had generally outplayed the Mountaineers to that point, and it seemed like an inevitability that they would eventually pull away. Perhaps it was the delicious libations numbing my senses.

But for me the biggest thing that I noticed is that the offense didn’t seem “difficult.”

They didn’t score on every single play. Heck, they didn’t score on every single drive. The offensive line did not do a great job in run blocking. The running backs didn’t explode and carry the offense. There were drops by the receivers.

And yet, it just seemed almost effortless. And I attribute that to Drew Allar.

Allar made some highlight-reel passes, to be sure, showing off his laser, rocket arm. But I was more impressed by his decision-making. All night long, he took what the defense gave him. He didn’t get (overly) greedy.

Deep routes covered? Check down it is.

Scramble to avoid a collapsing pocket? Eyes downfield, throwing to a late-developing open route.

And, yes, some of it has to do with his laser, rocket arm. Not seeing a Trace McSorley-esque wind up for a deep pass was nice. Not seeing a scramble directly into a linebacker on a delayed blitz because the QB knew where they were was nice.

I’m sure there will be bumps in the road. I counted two passes that likely should have been intercepted by WVU, plus a handful of additional inaccurate throws that would have been first downs (or more).

But even with the “bad,” there was a metric ton of good. So much good, that I just simply wasn’t nervous about the game.

I do so enjoy relaxing fall Saturdays.