|I don’t know about you, but I’m scared!|
Red at night, Sailors delight, or so the old adage goes. But Scarlet at night was not a Lion’s delight, as the Buckeyes bullied their way through the Penn State White House to a 35-23 victory before the best crowd of the season in Beaver Stadium.
Scarlet is just an arrogant variation of red, or a suspect in Clue–you decide.
Have you ever gone to the bathroom to poop, and instead of a simple dump, wipe and run, it’s just a big old mess? You keep wiping and there’s just more poop. You don’t know where it’s coming from. You wipe so much you’re sore and
red scarlet, and you’re still covered in it. Saturday night was kind of like that, except the shit was sitting behind me, wearing a scarlet Ohio State shirt.
I really don’t have a problem with someone coming to an away game and rooting for their team. But can’t you sit in the visitor’s section? And if the only ticket you can find is from a Penn State traitor that sells out for a few bucks-eyes, could you at least be a good sport instead of a sore winner?
After every Ohio State score, the bastard would ask aloud (very loud), “Why is it so quiet in here? Anyone?” He would also hoot after every successful buckeye play. I never really knew what hooting and hollering was before, but he clearly ‘hooted.’ It was an annoying sound like fingernails grating on a chalkboard. When fans were doing the WE ARE . . . PENN STATE! Cheer, he was yelling Ohio State, instead of Penn State. Quaint, but do Penn State Fans yell P – E – N – N when Ohio fans in Columbus spell their state? I saw a foursome of Buckeyes (foureyes?) doing their YMCA imitation with O-H-I-O in our north end zone. You don’t see Nittany Lion fans contorting to spell out P-E-N-N in the Horseshoe do you? Maybe they do–but they should not. And then there was the ubiquitous, “let’s go Buckeyes,” with the emphasis placed so it sounds like Ba – Kize. It was like some scarlet bird cawing aloud.
And while Chuck (see comments on the side bar) doesn’t think that the referees care who wins the game, I’m sure the conference that pays their wages does. And the real sad part is that the Ba-Kize were the better team on Saturday night, with or without the plethora of yellow flags (defensive holding on a punt that certainly didn’t look like holding anyway– give me a break Chuck!)–and more importantly, the lack of yellow flags on egregious PI passes (on Allen Robinson, and on the fake field goal) and non-calls on obvious holding that sprung Toni Braxton free several times to sing and dance in the Penn State secondary like he was on dancing with the stars with Hines Ward. Hines Ward he will never be, though.
For the first time this season, I think the team took a step back. Up to this point, each game seemed to show some improvement somewhere on the field. The offensive game plans of O’Brien have been laudable, and perhaps eventually good enough to land him Coach of the Year honors. But Saturday night, the offensive play calling seemed uninspired, and perhaps too hell bent on establishing a running game with Belton, particularly on first down plays. While Ohio State enjoyed third and short yardage situations most of the night, Penn State often found itself in third and long, and too much pass pressure on McGloin by the Buckeye D to make an effective play.
And just like the opening game against Ohio, the lack of offensive continuity and the ability to control time of possession, ended up with a tired defense in the fourth quarter that just could not keep Ohio State from scoring.
McGloin, who looked like a Heisman contender last week, looked like an AFLAC pretender this week, although the play-calling was a factor, and the fact that our offensive line looked like it forgot to show up.
We also shot ourselves in the foot several times with stupid penalties (false starts), the obligatory pick six (I swear we average one per every Ohio State game since entering the Big Ten, but I probably exaggerate there,) and the inability of our return game to set up any decent field position. I do credit the special teams with the block and recovery for our first score, but in the final analysis, it was too little to make a difference, and couldn’t over come the rest of the poor special teams plays. Butterworth had some good punts to pin the Bucks deep, but also shanked one to give them good field position. Call it a wash there. The failed fake punt was poorly executed, but there should have been pass interference called on that one. But as the scarlet dick behind me said, “that was just good defense.” Yeah, and that (was it Hartline?) catch that bounced off the turf a few years ago was just a good catch.
The Buckeyes were the better team. My fingertips are burning just typing those words, but I really wonder how we might have done if we hadn’t had to battle the refs as well. But that is what it is, and we Penn State fans are whiners. Do you think maybe we’d stop whining about the bad refereeing if we actually saw some fair refereeing? Makes you wonder.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Penn State tied Ohio State in first downs and almost in total yardage, but only had 32 yards in the rushing game. The time of possession actually favored PSU in the second half, but the Buckeyes had a 2:1 edge after the first, which I think ultimately gassed our defense. This is going to be a bigger problem moving forward as the sanctions keep the depth chart thin.
Penn State was averaging 4.5 penalties per game. We doubled that production thanks to the zebras. Bonus checks all around, boys!
The Drum Major stuck both flips, but it didn’t help us. Matt Freeman twirled fire batons during halftime without setting himself on fire, so we had that going for us.
Someone dressed up as a Joe Paterno statue for Halloween. Points for ingenuity.
Erickson was booed at half time. It’s not like he doesn’t deserve it, but it is what it is. Some fans were outraged over the Academic procession that failed to even mention the football team’s academic achievements as a slap in the face.
Attendance was 107,818. Probably won’t see that kind of enthusiasm for the rest of the season, unfortunately. (I hope I am wrong.)
Penn State won the toss and elected to defer. It was an interesting choice–this week and last–but it initially looked like it would pay off as the Lions held on the first series and forced a four and out (first play was a first down, then a three and out) and a punt. But then PSU fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, recovered to set up poor field position, and then McGloin threw the pick six that pretty much quenched the mojo for Penn State, and negated the deferral.
THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:
Northwestern beat Iowa 28-17, taking a little shine off our marquee win in Iowa City last week. Minnesota defeated Purdue 44-28. But don’t worry. The Boilers and the refs will have their A-game on next week. MSU beat the Badgers 16-13. Those pesky Spartans just won’t die, will they? Nebraska beat THEM 23-9. Indiana beat Illinois 31-17, so hopefully they won’t feel the need to win any more Big Ten games. Or, maybe we can’t pencil that one in as a win yet. Who knows? It will be interesting to see how O’Brien can regroup this team, because let’s face it. This was our bowl game. There is no post-season to play for, and while a conference division title is still possible, it is certainly not likely. Can he regain the enthusiasm we saw building last week?
1. Leggo my Legaux–Munchie throws a pick and comes up short as Cincy loses to Louisville 34-31 in OT.
2. Temple lost to Pitt 44-17. I have never been so disappointed by Hooters in all my life.
3. Ohio lost to Miami (OH) 23-20. Our SOS is just being shot to hell here!
4. USC lost to Arizona 39-36. Chuckle.
5. Rutgers suffers their first loss to . . . wait for it . . . KENT STATE. 35-23. Now there’s some irony right there in that score.
6. Denard Robinson not enough to beat the Huskers–lost 23-9.
7. Oklahoma–lost at home to the 12 point under dog Irish. Damned. I’m actually going to have to root for Pitt next week. Otherwise, USC may be our last hope to keep the Irish out of the BCS Title game, since BC and Wake Forest are a combined 6-10 on the season so far.
Penn State heads west to play Purdue in West Lafayette.
The Boilers are a few points short of a good season, almost upsetting the Irish and the Buckeyes. So far, here is their season:
W Eastern Kentucky 48-6
L Notre Dame 17-20
W Eastern Michigan W54-16
W Marshall 51-41
L THEM 44-13
L Wisconsin 38-14
L Ohio State 29-22 (OT)
L Minnesota 44-28
This is a test of the resilience of this team. I think we have the senior leadership to regroup, but then I thought we had an offense that could score more than 23 points against the Buckeyes (16, since we can’t count the blocked punt as offensive points now can we?) This will also be a coaching test. In the NFL, one loss in a conference doesn’t necessarily eliminate you from contention. In college, though, it can theoretically eliminate you not just from the National picture, but from winning the conference. Hell, Oregon may go undefeated and watch Notre Dame play Alabama for the whole ball of wax. Oh, the inhumanity!