Poor-Due

Purdue had something to prove.  They needed to prove they weren’t the worst team in the Big Ten.  They needed to prove that they could beat PSU.  But Pur-do pur-didn’t.

In what was a surprisingly beautiful November day in Central PA, the Nittany Lions nine other teams in defeating the Boilermakers in 2013.  Only Indiana State was unable to pull off the win.

On the ground, Purdue amassed a whopping 41 yards rushing.  The Penn State offense, famous for being third-down-conversion-challenged, came up with conversions on 10-12 third downs.  What was that?  Ten of twelve.  Say it again.  Ten of twelve!

The Nittany Lions logged 501 yards and NEVER punted the ball, en route to beating Purdue 45-21, which also covered the point spread.  Say what?  They covered the point spread!  No!  Yes!  They did.  Damn!

Am I excited about this win?  You better bill-ieve it.  It’s not quite the same as beating Temple (1-9), Western Michigan (1-10) or Southern Miss (0-10) but it still felt pretty good.  This is the school that graduated athletes like Drew Brees and Bob Griese for crying out loud.  This was a big win.

All kidding aside, this was a much needed win for this team.  Penn State is assured of not having a losing season, with 6-6 being the worst scenario at this time.  Penn State rebounded from a head scratching loss to the Gophers a week ago, and will head into a game against the Huskers on a positive note.

That is not to say that there isn’t room for improvement.  A fake punt, a kick-off returned for a touchdown, and a touchdown saving tackle on another by Ficken means some extra work on special teams this week.  Purdue still made some yards through the air, and probably should have had more if their quarterback had been able to hit a few wide open receivers better.  Belton fumbled and Hackenberg was picked on an absolutely awful throw.

But at the end of the day, the score looked respectable, the win is in the books, and we didn’t have to go to overtime to ring the victory bell.

BY THE NUMBERS:

From GoPSUsports:

PUR PSU
FIRST DOWNS………………. 14 31
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)………… 20-41 58-289
PASSING YDS (NET)…………. 223 212
Passes Att-Comp-Int……….. 33-21-1 23-16-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS….. 53-264 81-501
Fumble Returns-Yards………. 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards………… 0-0 2-11
Kickoff Returns-Yards……… 7-205 3-52
Interception Returns-Yards…. 1-0 1-22
Punts (Number-Avg)………… 3-45.0 0-0.0
Fumbles-Lost……………… 4-2 1-1
Penalties-Yards…………… 5-61 2-15
Possession Time…………… 23:31 36:29
Third-Down Conversions…….. 4 of 11 10 of 12
Fourth-Down Conversions……. 1 of 2 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances……. 2-2 7-7
Sacks By: Number-Yards…….. 0-0 6-42

Is this the first game we did not have a fourth down attempt?  While it’s tough to get excited about beating a bad opponent, the stats confirm that Penn State dominated a bad opponent.

INTANGIBLES:

Vintage Purdue Pete

What IS that on his head?

The Drum Major stuck both flips.

Purdue won the toss and deferred.

Attendance was listed at 96,491, and while it may not have reflected actual bodies in the seats, the crowd was larger than I expected it to be after last weeks loss.

The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series 13-3-1.

THE B1G PICTURE:

The Buckeyes took care of business, defeating Illinois 60-35 and now are sitting at home rooting for Mississippi State.

Northwestern tried to notch its first conference win against THEM, but lost in triple OT.

The Spartans husked Nebraska 41-28.

Wisconsin pounded and pummeled Indiana into submission, 51-3.

Future member Maryland upset Va Tech 27-24.  Did I call that one or not?  Rutgers, though, fell to Cincinnati 52-17.

SHEDDING TEARS:

1.  Temple–4 points short of upsetting UCF.

2.  Miami–beaten by . . . wait for it . . . DUKE.  And we’re not talking basketball here!

3.  ACC Coastal Conference–led by DUKE!  In football!  Boo yah!

4.  Syracuse–squeezed 59-3 by the Noles.

5.  Texas–poked by Okie State 38-13.

6.  Georgia–burned by Auburn 43-38.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Bring on the Cornhuskers!

Senior Day at Beaver Stadium next Saturday.  Time TBA.

Nebraska is 7-3, 4-2 in the Big Ten.

W  Wyoming 37-34

W  So. Miss  56-13

L  UCLA  21-41

W  S. Dakota St.  59-20

W  Illinois  39-19

W  Purdue  44-7

L  Minnesota  23-34

W Northwestern  27-24

W  THEM  17-13

L  Michigan State 41-28

So in common opponents, both PSU and Nebraska lost to Minnesota, but beat THEM and Illinois.  They are certainly beatable.  But can we put together (hopefully) 4 quarters of solid football?  I think we can.

GO STATE!  BEAT HUSKERS!

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