Who would have thought the Nittany Lions, struggling to defeat the likes of Rutgers just a mere week ago (whilst Maryland did their very best to upset Ohio State, but I guess their best wasn’t good enough) would showcase their best offensive scoring game since defeating the Illini back on September 21st, en route to making turtle soup out of the terrapins 38-3? A question mark? Well, it was a question that started a long time ago in a paragraph far far away. But it’s more rhetorical anyway.
The Citizen’s Bank button this week read: NO FEAR HERE. An obvious reference to Fear the Turtle! I admit it. I was afraid!
I did not have a good feeling coming into this game, and truth be told, it’s the first game I thought sure we might lose. Yes, I thought we had a chance to upset Michigan. We should have beaten both MSU and OSU, and probably a host of other letter SU’s. But I feared we were regressing, especially on offense. And while the seniors always want to go out with a win on their home turf, we know that is not always possible. Maryland doesn’t care about Trace. But they do care about going to a bowl. Or they should. Maybe they don’t. Either way, this loss not only continued the domination PSU has in this all-time series, but it effectively ended the terrapins season, not being bowl eligible with only 5 wins.
The only thing bad about the day was the weather, and truth be told it was not that bad for me at least. My seats are conveniently located underneath the North end zone upper deck, so while the rain continued to precipitate at the outset of the game, I only suffered minor water damage getting from the parking lot to my seat. And I thought the Wisconsin game felt colder. But I’m no Joe Murgo. I’m more Les Nessman. Eye witness news. I witness the news, or in this case the weather. Have you actually lasted this long reading as I go on and on about the freaking weather? Rhetorical. Don’t bother to answer. Move on to the next paragraph, please.
So we racked up 565 yards of total offense, 38 points, averaged 7.0 yards per carry rushing and kicked a field goal in a pear tree. Tis the season.
Miles Sanders still managed to cough the ball up again, but it didn’t lead to points for Maryland, my Maryland.
Trace McSorley led his team on senior day as he should. Eighteen other players ran out of the tunnel in Beaver Stadium for the last time as well. They are deserving of our praise and thanks. I was listening to a radio show on the way home from the game, wherein the radio personalities were discussing how in 2011, most of the college football world left Penn State for dead. Many thought it would be at least a decade before Penn State was relevant again. Yet, in 2016-2018, here we are. Thank you seniors!
While this season may not have lived up to my hopes and expectations, a 9-3 season is nothing to sneeze at. It’s hypoallergenic. And a third consecutive 10 win season is now achievable as well. That is a feat that Penn State has not replicated since the 1980-82 seasons.
We have only to wait as teams above us duke it out in Championship games–I’m guessing about half those teams lose–and the margins of those losses and which teams lose will likely determine which bowl game Penn State plays in. Good gravy, was that a worthless observation or what? Of course those games are going to impact where we go and who we play. Why wouldn’t they? Why point that out? I apparently have a season quota of rhetorical questions, and I am behind on reaching that quota.
Perhaps I will return with a preview of our stellar bowl match-up when we actually know what that match-up might be.
I’m not even going to delve into the rumors of USC firing their coach and going after James Franklin. Fake news! Nothing to see here, folks. Move on to the next site on the interwebs.
But I will leave you with this puzzle.
Is the Maryland Terrapin mascot a woman?
I ask this in all seriousness. At one point, Testudo (the actual name of the terrapin turtle mascot) was heckling a couple Penn State players on the sideline. But the more I watched, the more I was convinced that Testudo was liking what she saw. Now I’m no more a herpetologist than I am a meteorologist–dammit Jim, I’m just a doctor!–but the way she walked and swung her arms–it appeared feminine. I think it was a mating ritual! I tried to Google the identity of the person beneath the shell, but I came up empty and with one PFA. Who knew cyberstalking was illegal? Rhetorical!
But I did come across an article that posits that the terrapin mascot is female.
The smaller size of Testudo’s tail, as well as Testudo’s more rounded carapace, support the conclusion that our terrapin is female.
And another thing: Testudo is a terrapin. Specifically, a diamondback terrapin, species name Malaclemys terrapin. Referring to Testudo as a turtle is too vague, too general, too all encompassing; there are over 300 species of turtles. The size of turtles varies a lot. Some are as small as a few inches. Other turtles are as large as several feet. Moreover, Terp is an abbreviation for terrapin, not for turtle. If we were to use turtle, its abbreviation would be turt — at least until the competition finds out and translates it to turd. When we meet alumni, we don’t identify ourselves as turtles — we identify ourselves as terrapins. Our battle cry should not be “Fear the turtle”; it should be “Fear the Terrapin.”
Fear the Turd! Not!
And I have nothing to fear but fear myself.