The Beatagain Wolverines

Penn State gave up its first touchdown in the first half of a game this entire season, but then outscored the miserable wolverines 35-3 en route to a 7-1 record. And the final score doesn’t even reflect how poor this THEM team really is. Why any recruit would even consider joining that mess in Ann Arbor is beyond me.

Is anyone surprised by the 35-10 outcome? Granted, a lot of Penn State fans were nervous about this game . . . but that was anxiety over whether we would play to win versus playing not to lose or it was angst over the referines who with the flip of a flag or two seconds on the clock could change the outcome of the game. Most of the Penn Staters I talked to did not worry about THEM having the better team. Most were worried about getting screwed.

Even so, there was some clock mayhem before the end of the half when the game clock froze and gave THEM 10-12 extra seconds. It was immaterial as Forcier fumbled and was forced to spike the ball with no time outs, leading to a short field goal. But the game was still relatively close at that point.

Yet the talking heads of sports media anointed Forcier as the best quarterback in the Big Ten. Based on what? Is it because of a single good game against an Irish team that couldn’t stop a nerdy kid with acne and no date from scoring on prom night? Forcier has as much claim to that title as Obama does to a Nobel Peace Prize. I ended up watching most of the game at my sister’s surprise birthday party and thankfully the sound was off. I would have expected better from Millen.

The guys with ugly helmets and piss yellow pants managed just 110 yards on the ground—they were averaging 235 yards per game. The tandem of 4CA and Robinson combined for a less than a-maize-ing 140 passing yards, going 13-33 (39%) and throwing two picks. We already knew their defense was bad, but Graham Zug had a career day being lonely in the THEM endzone. The coverage wasn’t bad—it was non-existent.

The weak spot of our team is obviously special teams, and they did not disappoint. But even when Penn State gift wrapped a possession on the 24 yard line following a blocked punt, the hapless men in yellow fumbled the ball back to us. They lost two fumbles on the day. They recovered a third fumble, but it cost them a chance for a TD before the end of the first half. But on behalf of the special teams, our kick-offs were more productive and included a 54 yard return by Chaz Powell to open the third quarter.

A bad snapped sailed past 4CA for a safety. Penn State capitalized by throwing a 60 yard pass to Quarless two plays later, the only touchdown not thrown to Zug all alone in the endzone. The rout was on and Penn State never looked back.

Penn State fans can only hope that Rich Rod is there to stay.

BY THE NUMBERS:

From GoPSUsports:

Team Totals PSU THEM
FIRST DOWNS 18 17
Rushing 9 9
Passing 8 7
Penalty 1 1
NET YARDS RUSHING 166 110
Rushing Attempts 40 40
Average Per Rush 4.2 2.8
Rushing Touchdowns 0 1
Yards Gained Rushing 192 151
Yards Lost Rushing 26 41
NET YARDS PASSING 230 140
Completions-Attempts-Int 16-27-0 13-33-2
Average Per Attempt 8.5 4.2
Average Per Completion 14.4 10.8
Passing Touchdowns 4 0
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS 396 250
Total offense plays 67 73
Average Gain Per Play 5.9 3.4
Fumbles: Number-Lost 0-0 3-2
Penalties: Number-Yards 5-35 5-33
PUNTS-YARDS 7-215 7-314
Average Yards Per Punt 30.7 44.9
Net Yards Per Punt 26.9 39.3
Inside 20 4 1
50+ Yards 0 2
Touchbacks 0 1
Fair catch 1 3
KICKOFFS-YARDS 7-421 4-225
Average Yards Per Kickoff 60.1 56.2
Net Yards Per Kickoff 41.7 31.5
Touchbacks 2 0
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 3-19-0 2-27-0
Average Per Return 6.3 13.5
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 4-99-0 4-89-0
Average Per Return 24.8 22.2
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 2-43-0 0-0-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards 0 0
Possession Time 34:48 25:12
1st Quarter 7:54 7:06
2nd Quarter 6:54 8:06
3rd Quarter 9:55 5:05
4th Quarter 10:05 4:55
Third-Down Conversions 5 of 15 3 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions 0 of 0 1 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 5-5 2-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards 5-26 2-12
PAT Kicks 3-3 1-1
Field Goals 2-2 1-1

INTANGIBLES:

Penn State won the toss and deferred.

Penn State has won back to back games in this series for the first time since 1994-96.

Attendance at the Outhouse was 110,377. Kudos to the Penn State fans who made the trip.

JoePa notches win #390, still 5 ahead of Bowden who somehow managed a come from behind win at UNC.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

!*w@ somehow managed to remain undefeated as they beat Sparty 15-13 with a TD pass on the final play of the game. It was a play that gave me Henne to Manningham nightmares all over again. It was the first time Ferentz has won at East Lansing. I just shake my head. Is there a luckier undefeated team out there? In history? The Hawks take on Indiana next week.

The Bucks bounced back against the Gophers. The game was close in the first half, 7-0, but a big fourth quarter and multiple turnovers helped Ohio State cruise past Minnesota 38-7 in the second half. The Buckeyes take on New Mexico State next week.

Northwestern had to come from behind to beat the Hoosiers 29-28, having trailed 28-3! The Wildcats will host PSU in Evanston next week.

Purdue continued its winning ways, and Illinois continued its losing ways, as the Spoilermakers won 24-14. Illinois takes on THEM next week.

The Badgers are back in action next week against Purdue.

SHEDDING TEARS:

1. For MSU—you should have hired THEM’s clock operator. There wouldn’t have been a second left on that clock.
2. For UNC—dadgummit
3. For Tennessee—missed/blocked field goals huge in two point loss to Bama
4. For Miami—lost in OT to Clemson

LOOKING AHEAD:

Penn State heads to Evanston next week to take on the Wildcats. Northwestern has not duplicated their bowl season success of a year ago when they took Missouri into OT but came up short. They have struggled more this season than I thought they would.

To date:

Towson W 47-14
Eastern Michigan W 27-24
Syracuse L 37-34
Minnesota L 35-24
Purdue W 27-21
Miami(OH) W 16-6
Michigan State L 24-14
Indiana W 29-28

So their only impressive win was against Purdue, and that was impressive only because Purdue went on to upset the Buckeyes. They have lost to the good teams they have faced, if you assume Syracuse and Minnesota are good. The only quality opponent on that list is Sparty and they lost that game.

Of course, it is possible that Penn State could be caught looking ahead to Ohio State. I don’t think that will happen, and we shouldn’t even need our “A” game to win this one.

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Filed under football, Penn State, recap, THEM

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