Nuttin’ to It

WE BEAT THE BUCKEYES!!!!!!

The mighty Nuts of Columbus fell to the Nittany Lions 20-14.  What many expected to be a defensive struggle turned into a plethora of points in the first half, but in the end, defense was the name of the game in the second half.  Ohio State withstood a goal line stand, turning the men in white away with no points, while the Lions managed to recover two fumbles that helped keep the Buckeyes off the board.

The Penn State offense looked like it had found new life with the wildcat formation but in the end, we scored one less point than our season average of 21.  The addition of Belton and Drake seemed to spark the offense in the first half, but couldn’t produce points in the second.  It was particularly disappointing and frustrating to see Penn State fail to convert on first and goal from the two.  It was like the 1979 Sugar Bowl all over again, sans Joe Paterno.

The play calling on that series was baffling.  Two fullback dives up the middle?  An ineffective QB sneak?  Another dive up the middle by Green?  Joe must have been on the phone calling plays!  Perhaps it’s just easy to second guess from our armchairs, but seriously?  As imaginative as the offense seemed elsewhere on the field, the anal sphincter still squeezes tighter than a boa constrictor inside the red zone.

I said in my statistical analysis this week that the game would be won by the team that made the fewest mistakes.  They had two fumbles.  We threw one pick.  But it was not a pick six, so we had that going for us for once.  So we won by one score and one turnover.

And a win is sweet.  This is the first victory in the post-Paterno era.

The Lions advance to 9-2 on the season, 6-1 in the conference and they still control their own destiny.  Of course, so does Wisconsin.  Next week’s battle in Madison will decide the Big Ten Leaders division.  Ohio State falls to 6-5 (3-4) and are still bowl eligible.  Perhaps they can salvage their season with a win over THEM next week.

After seeing our “new” offense today, I am more optimistic about our chances.  Consider this:  this was the first game we use Belton and Drake like this.  It now gives the Badgers something else they have to prepare for this week.  And it gives our coaches some options we didn’t have before.  I am going to assume another week of practice will produce another wrinkle and better results.

Anthony Fera hit two field goals.  I was a little concerned about the kicking game, but he came through.

After watching Nebraska today, I can only wonder why that team didn’t show up last week in Beaver Stadium.  With teams in the top ten falling right and left, who knows how far this team could have gone?

But, the still have another Big test next week.

This coaching staff is doing an amazing job of keeping this team focused and playing well.  I have been on record as saying I wasn’t sure Bradley was “head coach” material.  I was wrong.  And if there is some way he can be the next coach–not just the interim coach–I am okay with that.

BY THE NUMBERS:

From the GoPSUsports site:

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Team Totals PSU OSU
FIRST DOWNS 16 15
Rushing 9 10
Passing 5 4
Penalty 2 1
NET YARDS RUSHING 239 206
Rushing Attempts 39 43
Average Per Rush 6.1 4.8
Rushing Touchdowns 2 1
Yards Gained Rushing 241 235
Yards Lost Rushing 2 29
NET YARDS PASSING 88 83
Completions-Attempts-Int 10-18-1 7-17-0
Average Per Attempt 4.9 4.9
Average Per Completion 8.8 11.9
Passing Touchdowns 0 1
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS 327 289
Total offense plays 57 60
Average Gain Per Play 5.7 4.8
Fumbles: Number-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties: Number-Yards 5-40 6-32
PUNTS-YARDS 4-144 4-153
Average Yards Per Punt 36 38.2
Net Yards Per Punt 36 30.8
Inside 20 3 0
50+ Yards 0 0
Touchbacks 0 1
Fair catch 1 1
KICKOFFS-YARDS 4-277 3-203
Average Yards Per Kickoff 69.2 67.7
Net Yards Per Kickoff 46.2 49.7
Touchbacks 1 1
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 2-10-0 0-0-0
Average Per Return 5 0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 2-34-0 3-72-0
Average Per Return 17 24
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 1-15-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards 0 0
Possession Time 30:08 29:52
1st Quarter 8:02 6:58
2nd Quarter 7:58 7:02
3rd Quarter 8:42 6:18
4th Quarter 5:26 9:34
Third-Down Conversions 6 of 13 7 of 13
Fourth-Down Conversions 0 of 1 0 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 1-2 1-1
Touchdowns 1-2 1-1
Field goals 0-2 0-1
Sacks By: Number-Yards 3-17 0-0
PAT Kicks 2-2 2-2
Field Goals 2-2 0-0

Time of possession is equal.  In fact, nearly every category is equal except for the fumbles.  Neither team passed well, and Penn State logged three sacks.

INTANGIBLES:

Ohio State won the toss and deferred.

Ohio State leads the all-time series 14-13.

Tom Bradley notches win #1.  408 more to go . . .

Attendance was listed at 105,493.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

Michigan State locked up the Legends division, throttling Indiana 55-3.

The Ann Arbor Aholes ran the score up on Nebraska 45-17. Welcome to the real Big Ten, Huskers.

Iowa beat Purdue 31-21.

Northwestern beat Minnesota 28-13.

Wisconsin forces game seven by beating Illinois 28-17.

Thankfully, the inaugural Big Ten Championship won’t include O$U or THEM.  Hallelujah!

SHEDDING TEARS:

1.  Okie State–missed a field goal (maybe!) and threw an INT in OT to lose to ISU.
2.  Clemson–locked up ACC title game, but lost to NC State 37-13
3.  F$U–amazing loss as time expires on clock mismanagement, but then a review calls the play incomplete which stopped the clock.  A defensive penalty moves it five yards closer, but then the kicker misses anyway.  Virginia’s first win ever in Tallahassee.
4.  Oregon falls to USC on a missed FG that would have tied them in regulation–doesn’t anyone want to face LSU in the title game???
5.  Oklahoma lost to Baylor 45-38–doesn’t anyone want to face LSU in the title game???

LOOKING AHEAD:

Okay, be honest.  Did you expect PSU to be playing for the Big Ten Championship game at this point?

Did you expect to see Wisconsin lose after the Badgers manhandled Nebraska?

But here we are.  One game away from Indianapolis.

And the Badgers are beatable.

Here is their season to date:

W  UNLV 51-17
W  Oregon State 35-0
W  Northern Illinois 49-7
W  South Dakota 59-10
W  Nebraska 48-17
W  Indiana 59-7
L  @ Michigan State 37-31
L  @ Ohio State 33-29
W  Purdue  62-17
W  @ Minnesota 42-13
W  @ Illinois 28-17

Wisconsin did not play an away game until OCTOBER 22.  Both losses are on the road, and were close.  But they struggled early against the Illini.  Penn State may be the best defensive team they will face all year.

And let us end with this thought from “not so fast” Lee Corso:

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Filed under analysis, Big Ten, football, Ohio State, Penn State, recap, statistics

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