Penn State defeated the Perdue Ovenstuffers 62-24. But the roasting was far from easy. The score was tied 17-17 at the half, and Penn State was playing just slightly better then the ABC TV coverage crew.
What was up with that? We missed the beginning of the game due to being forced to watch Virginia trying to upset Louisville. After ABC received probably 100,000 calls of complaints to meltdown their switchboard, the coverage shifted to West Lafayette, IN. Our team seemed as confused as the transmission. Sometimes a commercial would just appear at random. Then back to Virginia. Then back to the PSU game. Virginia. PSU. I think we beat Louisville. Virginia edged Purdue. All I know is we beat the snot out of somebody in the second half.
Was it take your kid to workday at ABC? Was a five year old playing with the buttons? Or was there a new intern who didn’t know Purdue from Virginia?
However, despite the classic (for PSU) slow start, the team came alive in the second half, outscoring the Boilers 45-7. All of a sudden, we weren’t missing tackles. The offense clicked along like a train on a railroad track. Whatever speech Franklin gives these kids at the half, he needs to give it at pregame!
My dad used to play golf with a guy, who gave this advice after someone took a mulligan and rehit a good shot: “You should have hit second shot first.” We should have played second half first! Of course, you’d still want to play a good second half, so it is was it is. Season in a nutshell.
On the one hand, it means we are making adjustments, which is a good thing. We’re making good adjustments. But it’s more than that. Like I said, we played poorly, tackled poorly, in the first half. I’m not sure I recall a single missed tackle in the second. I could be wrong about that, but the premise is still sound: we played much better in the second half. It’s not just play calling but execution.
And the lead allowed backup quarterback Tommy Stevens some quality reps and he even led a scoring drive.
We watched the game at Champs, We couldn’t sit in the stadium section as it was reserved for a party. Apparently, someone forgot to invite the party. At any given time, I don’t think there were more than 6 partiers. Most of the seats went unseated, and the food went uneaten. There were pom poms. No one shook them. Maybe ABC was in charge of the party invitations. Everyone thought the party was in Virginia.
Strange, but as we waited for ABC to figure out how to show the PSU game, we mused about the past. We could remember the 70’s and 80’s when you went into a game EXPECTING PSU to win. We didn’t win every game. We weren’t favored in every game. But deep down, we expected to win. And we weren’t disappointed very often.
As we watched Virginia play, and PSU struggle to a tie at half time, we feared that perhaps last week was a fluke. Maybe we shouldn’t have expected to win this game.
But the second half came. And the rest is history.
Bring on the Hawkeyes!