Tag Archives: Blue-White Game

OFF DEF GAME

The annual (except in pandemic years) scrimmage formerly known as the Blue White Game was played, in some form or other, before a sun-drenched crowd of about 62,000. There were probably that many or more still enjoying the beautiful weather in the parking lots outside the stadium.

Wait what? It still is the Blue White Game, isn’t it?

Au contraire mi amigo. Check out the scoreboard. Scoreboards don’t lie.

It was the Offense versus the Defense in what could only be called one of the most confusing Blue-White, er, Off-Def games I have ever attended. I am clearly blaming Bill O’Brien for starting this shit. And Putin too. Just for the hell of it. It made as much sense as Sleepy Joe’s speeches.

So I settle into a seat somewhere around the forty yard line on the East side. My normal season seats are in the lower bowl in the north end zone, but today I was movin’ on up to the East side, to a deluxe bleacher in the sky-y-y. It was a pretty good crowd for a Saturday (in April) and the manager gave me a smile.

But what to my wondering eyes did appear, but anything resembling a football game.

The first play was a two point conversion. How did I miss the touchdown? I’m not even drunk! I guess after losing to Illinois after NINE overtimes, our coaching brain trust figured it was something we needed to work on. And we scored!

No. Not so fast, Mr. Corso. It is still 0-0. It doesn’t count. It’s just practice. We’re not watching a football game. We’re watching a “practice.” It’s a preview to the actual game. An opening act if you will.

After practicing our two point conversions, we switched to practicing field goals. Not long ones, mind you. Ones that most high school all-American kickers could make. Pinegar was kicking. Is this his sixth year too? Hasn’t he been here a while? I’m really so confused with the whole thing at this point.

And then, surprisingly–amazingly– a football game broke out in the middle of this special teams practice session. No kickoff. We just decide to drop the ball somewhere and start calling real football plays.

Now, let’s pause for a moment–because I know the excitement is way too much for you at this point–but let’s talk about this whole Blue White thing. It has never been a REAL game. You can’t hit the quarterback. They usually don’t return kicks. For crying out loud, everybody knows what plays you are running–you all have the same play book! But it was the closest thing to reproducing a game atmosphere that allowed fans and coaches to see what some of these kids, who might not ever take a snap at Penn State in a real game, could do. It wasn’t a real game, but it was what it was. Who would have thought that Penn State could make it worse?

Hi! I’m Penn State. Challenge accepted. Hold my beer!

This was more of a circus atmosphere. If we kicked field goals at one end zone, practiced field goals at the other end, and then scrimmaged at mid field at the same time, it could have been a three ring circus. We could have put up some tents. The Nittany Lion could have put on a wig and red nose and been a clown.

Thank God the Lionettes performance was left alone by whoever decided to change everything else.

And the scoring–when they decided to keep score, seemed hauntingly familiar. I looked back to April 2012. Yup. Mr. O’Brien and his cockamamie scheme of throwing points out there like a bingo caller at the Catholic Church on Friday night.

Even the announcers were making fun of it on the radio. Steve Jones quipped that he could explain it, but the show only ran till 4:00.

And why doesn’t the defense have to kick an extra point after scoring a touchdown?!?!? So many questions. So little bandwidth. And interest.

We did practice kickoffs–again during a non-scoring period. Just random. Let’s kick off the ball. Not to establish any field position. We’ll just set it down somewhere to do that. But we know the fans are anxious to see a guy just . . . . kick . . . a . . . . ball. Yawwwwwwwwn.

And punts too! I’m tingling with excitement. No wait. It might be a stroke. Or sunburn. My butt is asleep.

Come on! That formation is just screaming FAKE PUNT. The defense doesn’t even have anyone on the line. Get past the ref and you’ve got a first down! Maybe go all the way. To the house! What are you thinking kicking that ball?!?!?

Did this little punting exercise actually contribute one iota toward preparing us for the next season? I. THINK. NOT. Was it entertaining? NO. It was not.

And then they started playing 7 on 7. WTF? Was there a delayed penalty? Hooking? Tripping? Did we ice the football? Where’s the penalty box?

At the end of the afternoon, the defense scored 17 points, while our offense only managed 13. And in case you are wondering, Bill O’Brien’s blue-white game ended with the defense winning 77-65. But that was a full game, uninterrupted by dog and pony shows.

Our star QB recruit Drew Allar threw two interceptions while completing 6 of 14. But if you have read this entry to this point, you fully understand it means absolutely nothing. Less than nothing. You have wasted precious time of your life. Sucks to be you.

Seriously? Who wants to watch a punter punt the ball with no pressure and no return? His mother?

I left early to go home and cut my lawn.

Freaking waste of time.

Come on, Todd. Say something nice. The weather was awesome. Especially for mowing lawn.

But at least I got to see this wonderful lady . . .

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Feeling Blue?

Blue dismantled White 37-0 before an announced crowd of 72,000 fans, who joined James Franklin in a WE ARE . . . PENN STATE cheer during the break between the first and second quarters.

In no particular order, are some random thoughts . . .

The weather was beautiful.  It just can’t get any better than that.  It might have been too hot, but after the winter we’ve had, I am NOT complaining!  Pass the lemonade!

Nice 409 memorial to Joe where his statue SHOULD be.

It looked better in person than with my crappy cell phone and pasting!

It looked better in person than with my crappy cell phone and pasting!

The numbers were created with blue pinwheels stuck in the ground.  A sign offered fans to take one after the game–but not before, since they ARE NOT allowed in Beaver Stadium.  Really?  Seriously?  Afraid of a drive-by pinwheeling?  Since when do terrorists use pinwheels?  This would appear to be some serious pinwheel profiling here, folks!

You don’t realize how much you miss the video boards until they aren’t there!

Can't we recruit better scoreboards????

Can’t we recruit better scoreboards????

Offense looked a little shaky.  3-0 after the first quarter.  Only 17-0 at the half.  Second half quarters were only 10 minutes with the clock kept running. Defense added a pick six and set up some short fields–four of the five turnovers were notched by blue jerseys.  Is our defense that good or offense that shaky?  Too early to tell.

Great trickeration with Geno Lewis throwing off a reverse to a wide open Zanellato for a score.  Maybe the D ain’t that good after all!

Hackenberg only played a couple of series early on.  No other quarterback looked especially good in my humble opinion.

I like me some Cole Chiappialle!  He looks like a midget, but even with a shaky line, seemed to pop open some good runs.

Awards–

Jim O’Hora Award: Defensive tackle Anthony Zettel

Red Worrell Award: Guard Brian Gaia

Frank Patrick Total Commitment Award: End Deion Barnes

Coaches Special Teams Award: Kicker Sam Ficken

Congratulations!

Only noticeable injury was Wendy Laurent (center).  It just had to be a lineman, didn’t it?

This may not be their year, but with Penn State riding the #1 recruiting class right now, the future looks bright.

And with a few schools still left to play spring games (notably Alabama and Michigan State), here are the rankings of attendance:

Team Day Attendance (Cost)
 
Penn State Saturday, 72,000 (free, plus free autograph session)
 
Tennessee Saturday 66,548 (free)
 
Nebraska Saturday 61,772 ($10)
 
Ohio State Saturday 61,058 ($5, price originally $20 and $12)
 
Florida State Saturday 36,500 (free)
 
Florida Saturday 35,834 ($5)
 
LSU April 5 18,565 (free)
 
Michigan April 5 15,000 (free)
 
Indiana Saturday 9,231 (free)
 
Maryland Friday 8,319 (free)
 
Wisconsin Saturday 8,204 ($5)
 
Purdue Saturday 7,175 (free)
 
Illinois Saturday 5,105 (free)
 
Minnesota Saturday 5,000 (free)
 
Northwestern Saturday N/A (free, no game, just open practice)

 

Nothing to be BLUE about!

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Blue-White Weekend

What a wonderful day for Penn State football!

You never know who you might run into . . .

JaynMe

Look! I’m Jay Walking, …er, Jay Standing!

I will offer a few more thoughts on the Blue-White game later . . .

But this morning I will be running in the Beaver Stadium Run, sponsored by the Paterno family, and benefitting Special Olympics!  The finish line is the 50-yard line!  That has a vague ring to it! 😉

 

 

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Something old, new, borrowed, and Blue

Something old, new, borrowed and blue–the Spring tradition of the Blue White football game may be old, but Coach O’Brien spiced it up with some personal commentary and play calling in the second half, and Michael Mauti was borrowed, so to speak, to help announce on the air waves, while Blue (the defense) rolled to a 67-47 win over the White (the offense) before an estimated crowd of 28,000 fans who braved the cold and wintry mix of sun and precipitation.  This is the second year under O’Brien that Blue has won.

I won’t belabor you with analysis of the “game” since the scrimmage is a far cry from the real thing, but I will pass on some first impressions I had from actually being at the game (i.e. not watching it on TV and having the ability to pause and replay.)

I think our running game will be pretty good.  Yards right up the middle were tough, and that may be more to the credit of the defensive line than a problem with the running game.  But I watched a couple of guys with some speed to the edge and some nifty moves.  Akeel Lynch ran for 83 yards and a touchdown and appears to be the “real deal.”  I was particularly impressed with Deron Thompson (who added another 97 yards rushing.)

As for QBs, Bench came out throwing and looked pretty good in his opening drive.  However, he had less success as the game went on.  Conversely, Fergusen didn’t look particularly good in the early going, but had some nice throws and got into more of a rhythm as the scrimmage progressed.  None of the other QBs really left any impression on me.

O’Brien came out in the second half and tried to thaw the crowd out.  He got the WE ARE . . . PENN STATE chant going and suggested they start the wave.  We complied.  He also piped his mic over the PA System for a series so we could hear the play calls.  I REALLY like this guy.

Zwinak left early with a hand injury, and Allan Robinson wasn’t a major factor as a receiver, but he had a really nice reverse for twenty some yards where he actually doubled back (essentially a double reverse that wasn’t drawn up as such.)

All of the players who ran, caught or threw for a score today were freshmen or sophomores.  Depth may be an issue in the linebacker area, but I thought the D-line did a pretty decent job, and I thought the secondary held their own.

There were no punts in the game, but an extra point and a mid-range (37-yard?) field goal were missed.  Concerned about the kicking game even though Ficken seemed to turn things around the latter part of last season.

Five Nittany Lions were recognized for their efforts during halftime of the game. Rising sophomore cornerback Jordan Lucas and junior defensive end C.J. Olaniyan were presented the Jim O’Hora Award. The defensive award is named in honor of Jim O’Hora, a long-time Penn State assistant coach who was a member of the coaching staff for 31 years.

Senior center Ty Howle earned the Red Worrell Award, presented to the offensive player whose spring contribution is most worthy of special tribute.  The Nittany Lion coaching staff singled out Lucas, Olaniyan and Howle as the defensive and offensive players, respectively, who have best demonstrated exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement during spring practice.

Junior guard Miles Dieffenbach and junior linebacker Mike Hull were recognized as co-recipients of the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Memorial Award.  This award goes to junior class squad members who consistently follow through with their responsibilities in all facets of the football program and do so in exemplary manner. This includes academic pursuits, off-season preparation, in-season commitment, demeanor and community service.

Full descriptions of the awards and some past winners can seen at the Penn State web site.

133 more days to go until the opener.
What were your thoughts on the Blue White Game scrimmage???

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