Kiel-Hauled

Quarterback Dusty Kiel led his Hoosiers on one final drive, but came up short as a Hail Mary pass fluttered to the turf at Memorial Stadium before an anemic crowd of 42,621.  His failure was not surprising.  But the very fact that Indiana had an opportunity to win this game was.

Penn State crept out of Memorial Stadium with a 16-10 win that was even uglier than the score might look.  It’s easy to say that a close, ugly win is better than an ugly loss but just for once it would be nice to see something pretty.  This team–this offense–is in some serious need of plastic surgery.  There ain’t enough make-up to make this offense look pretty.  Put a bag over it’s head and you stuill wouldn’t want to go to bed with it.  And it couldn’t punch its way out of a paper bag.

When I came upstairs from the man cave basement, slamming the door and fuming around like that would do any good, my wife asked incredulously if Penn State had lost.  I told her Penn State won.  She couldn’t figure out why I was still so upset.  I tried to explain without screaming, but that didn’t go any better than our third down play on our final possession.  I felt like McQueary on the sideline–screaming with no result.

It was a win that felt like a loss, and quite frankly, we’ve had way too many of these kind of games.

We outgained the Hoosiers.  We won time of possession by FIFTEEN minutes.  Yet, the stupid little hosers were one freaking Hail Mary away from pulling a 1999 Minnesota on us.

For the love of God and all that is football, why can’t we make a freaking YARD in the closing minutes of a game so that Joe doesn’t have the opportunity to send the punt team on the field.  It apparently takes 100 cans of Dr. Pepper to make a first down marker.  We need more Dr. Pepper!  Make the first down so Joe can’t make that loser call.  Yeah.  It worked this time–barely.  Yeah, he’s won a lot of games.  But we only gained fifteen yards of field position and we gave the other team a chance to win the game.  THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN THIS GAME.

Was there anything good that came of this game?  Well, we did win.  We didn’t have any serious injuries.  I was able to order a non-stick meatloaf pan.  And we’re worried about scoring points, when there’s a free the  guinea pig app you can download???  How can we be obsessed with yardage when guinea pigs are suffering?

The game started out so well.  Kind of like Alabama, but without wasting three time outs.  We held the Hoosiers on their opening possession and forced a three and out.  On our opening drive, we almost looked like a well-oiled machine.  But then we got into the red zone and lost our feng shui.  An apparent touchdown was taken off the board because of a holding call by Szczerba.  A poor pass, tipped and then intercepted gave the pesky Hosers the ball.  Nine plays later, they kick a field goal to go up by 3.

Twice Penn State turned the ball over in the red zone.

Penn State also “turned the ball over” when Indiana punted in the first quarter and the ball hit a Penn State player and Indiana recovered.

The game was tied 3-3 at the half.  Un.  Believe.  Able.

Fera missed a 52 yarder before the half ended.  OK.  I can over look that, but it was still frustrating not to put some points on the board when we had the opportunity.

Neither quarterback looked good, but once again, McGloin seemed to be able to get the touchdown on the board.  What a nice pass!  Why can’t we repeat that kind of success?

There is just so much wrong I don’t know how it can be fixed.  No consistency.  No rhythm.  No identity.  No leadership.  No runs, no hits but plenty of errors.

And let’s face it.  This was the easiest game left on our schedule.  And we barely pulled it out.  That does not bode well for the rest of the season.

BY THE NUMBERS:

From GoPSUsports:

Once again, turn overs are a key part of this mess.  We don’t capitalize well–although we did score a FG after recovering a fumble.  Woo Hoo!

I can’t believe we won time of possession.  The Hoosiers run a hurry up type of offense so that probably explains some of it, especially since the total number of offensive plays only differed by 10.  The Hoosiers came into this game averaging like 9 penalties per game, and ranked among the worst in the nation in penalties.  We did our best to keep up with them.

INTANGIBLES:

This was the 700th game that Joe Paterno has been a part of at Penn State, going back to his first game as an assistant.  I’m no longer convinced this is a good thing.

Penn State won the toss and deferred.

Penn State is 15-0 all-time versus the Hoosiers.

Paterno once again spent the first half on the sideline and the second half napping in the press box.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

The wolverines rolled all over the Gophers 58-0.  I guess they really wanted that little brown jug.  I miss Rich Rod.

Illinois outlasted Northwestern 38-35.  Persa played most of the game, but left with a foot injury.

The Spartans beat Ohio State at the Shoe, 10-7.  Must have been as painful as our game.  Welcome to Big Ten football.

The Irish beat Purdue 38-10.

In it’s inaugural conference game, the Huskers lost to Wisconsin at Camp-Randall 48-17.  Welcome to the Big Ten.  WOW–with two W’s.

Iowa had the week off to prepare for our offensive threat.

SHEDDING TEARS:

1.  Northwestern Wildcats–lost a lead late to the Illini
2.  Texas A and M– lost a big half time lead for the second week in a row.
3.  Baylor lost a close one to Kansas State, 42-38.
4.  Virginia Tech Chokies fell 23-3 to Clem’s son.

CONSOLATION PRIZE:

Is there some consolation in the fact that Alabama defeated Florida 38-10 at Florida?  Makes our 27-11 loss look better.  Maybe. 

Of course, Temple losing 36-13 to Toledo is kind of a kick in the pants.  Thankfully, we don’t play Toledo.

LOOKING AHEAD:

I can only hope this apathetic performance was because we were looking ahead to the Hawkeyes.  But I doubt it.

Bye weeks have generally not been beneficial for Big Ten teams.

For the Hawkeyes thus far:

W  Tennessee Tech  34-7
L   Iowa State 44-41 in OT
W  Pitt 31-27
W  La-Monroe 45-17

Surprisingly, Penn State and Iowa are tied all-time at 11.  I am surprised, since it seems we’ve lost like the last 11 to them.  I’m not at all confident that this offense can score enough points to beat a team like Iowa.  I just hope we don’t see another 6-4 performance next week.

Penn State’s performance has people wondering if we have returned to the “dark days.”  As one message board poster put it, “that’s an insult to the dark days.”

This team needs to improve.  And quickly.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under analysis, Big Ten, football, Indiana, Penn State, recap

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s