Just a quick post to reiterate what Frank Gifford might say:
“Turnovers will kill ya.”
“Mistakes will kill ya.”
“Dropped passes will kill ya.”
“Penalties will kill ya.”
The worst mistake was communication failure. Using up all three first half time-outs during the first possession of the game was bad, very bad. Ridiculous, too. Ludicrous, even. It just might have cost the game, as the absence of timeouts later precluded a challenge to an Alabama first down on a crappy spot by the officials after a faked punt. As anyone who watched the game on TV will tell you (Alabama folks, too, if they’re honest), the Smelley runner was stopped short of the first down. Penn State would have had the ball with great field position.
Not getting plays in on time will kill ya.
By the way, were you surprised by the first play of the game (long pass play to Moye, incomplete)? I wasn’t . What is it with Paterno? In the 1980s, passing on first down was a novelty, an unusual departure from Penn State’s typical staid, run oriented game plan. Through the 1990s, employing the long pass early to stretch the defense was very effective. However, seeing this type of play implemented as the first play of the game is no longer a surprise. Even I, the perpetually neophytic pigskin pundit, said hey, how about a long one to Moye, when the Lions lined up for the first play from scrimmage. So, there are two problems with it now. First, no one is surprised; second, someone’s got to catch the pass.
I’ll be back later with further voluminously bombastic thoughts on this abomination of a game. Penn State just cannot win big games anymore.