We’ll soon be forgetting to ask the question: Where was Austin Scott? Why? Because Tony Hunt is the bona fide starter for this team. Hunt rushed for 125 yards and scored three touchdowns in a winning effort against UCF that left more questions than answers. The score wound up 37–13—not because the Nittany Lions are so good, but because UCF is so bad.
UCF not only gave up 524 total yards to Penn State but also was the beneficiary of six turnovers on which they couldn’t capitalize. It almost looked like the Lions wanted to give this one away, but UCF was too inept to do anything about it.
The Nittany Lion mistakes were endless. Zack Mills himself committed six turnovers—four fumbles and two interceptions. Passes were dropped that should have been caught. Jeremy Kapinos kicked a beautiful six yard punt—a worse punt would have gone backward.
The first quarter was ridiculous. Aside from Kapinos’ six-yarder and Mills’ fumble, the team was looking like they were in a losing mind set. Apparently, Gerald Smith’s team meeting did not instill the power of positive thinking in the boys, who stank out loud against UCF’s true boys—a collection of rag-tags from the Mid-America Conference, replete with 17 year-old freshmen. The mighty Nittany Lions wound up the first quarter on the wrong side of a 3–0 score.
They finally got it together in the second quarter, but not before I had had too much beer to care.
The Big Ten schedule is upon us starting this coming Saturday, when we face #19 Wisconsin (3–0). We’ve had one common opponent—UCF—who Wisconsin beat 34–6. In their first three games, the Badgers gave up only 16 points, an average of 5.3 per game. However, Wisconsin has only scored 20.3 points per game (against the likes of UCF, UNLV, and Arizona). Good defense could put the clamps on them, and if Mills can crank up the passing offense without throwing the ball away, the Nittany Lions have a chance. On the other hand, if the porous rushing defense allows the Badgers to run free and Penn State insists on giving them the ball five or six times just for the hell of it, your Nittany Lions will go down in flames so fast that a parachute won’t save them.
So, hold onto the damn ball!