No, this isn’t a commercial for long-acting Cialis. (By the way, what ever happened to Levitra? Cialis and the grandaddy of them all, the blue, football-shaped Viagra, are both going strong, but where the hell is Levitra? I don’t see any ads for it anymore. Maybe it was something about imagining a sexual interlude with the drug’s spokesman, Mike Ditka, that repulsed people. But I digress even before establishing a topic.)
The B1G schedule has begun, and Penn State is the master of its game. Well, not hardly, but much of what they did on the field Saturday looked pretty pretty pretty good, as it were. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. It gets much harder from here.
I was wrong once again. Did I overrate the Illini or underestimate the improvement of the Nittany Lions? Probably a little of both as I’ll happily admit anytime the desired effect is achieved. Screw my predictions. It is good to see Penn State winning, even if it is in the Big Ten, which it is in vogue for everybody to call crappy this year. As the later Joseph V. Paterno would say, “You guys don’t know what you’re talking about. We had to play hard to beat a good football team out theah. And we gotta get ready for Northwestern.”
In any case, the Nittany Lions (3-2, 1-0) prevailed 35-7 for their first in-conference win. The hapless Illini (2-3, 0-1) remain winless in the conference.
And, jou know soneseeng? It was a satisfying win that left few questions as to whether Bill O’Brien knows how to coach his offense. Mr. Head Coach cum Offensive Coordinator, ya did well, lad. And ya did it without much help from top running back Bill Belton or the dearly departed tight end (formerly known as second string quarterback) Paul Jones. You, Mr. O’Brien, did not suck. Even though the Fakowie defense was and is less than crappy, you impressed this old Turkey.
OMG OMG The Big Ten sucks so bad. Who cares? Get over it. You want to bullshit in a bar about something, talk about the variety we’ve seen implemented in this offense, which made the giant leap from 1972 to 2012 in about three games, if that.
O’Brien placed the running game in the capable hands of sophomore Zach Zwinak who scampered for 101 yards and two TDs while McGloin has a decent day at the helm, with 211 yards passing, 18 out of 30, plus one TD and no INTs. McGloin also showed how sneaky he was, scoring two touchdowns on the ground behind a mighty Stankiewicz-led surge. Still gimpy Bill Belton added 65 yards on 16 carries. No doubt that Mike Zordich is pissed off that he only got one carry for two yards. But then, all of those who had been gathering pine splinters and flirting with nurses have returned to action.
For a change, it was not Allen Robinson who topped the list of Penn State receivers. No, man, McGloin spread the ball around, counting on tight ends Matt Lehman and Kyle Carter for most of the grunt work. Lehman had five receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown.
It seemed that Illinois never seemed to get “untracked”. (It’s ON TRACK, dumbass sports commentators, not “untracked” or the pseudo-Teutonic equivalent, “untrakt”. Sorry, couldn’t resist; I digress. N’wait – don’t go away yet!) Much as in the Lousiana Tech game, they coughed the ball up early and often. Turnovers’ll kill ya, especially when they come demoralizingly early in a game after a completely demoralizing loss the prior week. Just wait until next week when they have to deal with the Badgers (3-2, 0-1). They’ll fold their tent in the third quarter.
Even the stripe-out at Memorial Stadium and one well executed trick play couldn’t help the Illini before an announced crowd of 46,734. They sucked.
Hidden well below the noise above was another bad day for Lions’ place kicker Sam Ficken, who missed both of his field goal tries. He was, however, perfect in five extra points converted. Punting was a bit better, too, as Mrs. Butterworth’s favorite son averaged 43.3 yards. Keep that up, Alex!
Things get tougher for Penn State (3-2, 1-0) after this. Undefeated — yeah, that’s right —Northwestern (5-0, 1-0) comes to State College, loaded for bear (or maybe Lion). This turkey will return later in the week to take a look at yet another catfight in Happy Valley.