Evoking malodorous memories of the miserable miasma called [cue minor key cello] The Dark Years, a 13-7 snoozarama won in a manner of speaking by Penn State over Indiana served the positive purpose of giving this turkey the official crown this week as the most accurate pick of the Nittany Turkey Expert Panel of Nose Pickers. I said the score would wind up 16-10, I said that PSU wouldn’t cover the spread, and I told you to take the under. Honorable mention goes to K. John, who would have been right on the money were it not for a certain pick-six. As such, he was good enough to have won this week.
After getting bored watching a few minutes of this somnolent, soporific snorefest, Artificially Sweetened announced that she had a prediction. It turned out to be 6-4, recalling that wonderful Iowa anesthetizer of a decade ago. Later on in the game I told her that I thought she was on track to be the closest, but in a spirit of unselfish fairness she said she felt that since she had issued her prediction after the game had already started, she was ineligible. Yeah, I would have had to say something about being past-posted on that bet if she happened to win. But it was damn close. Too damn close!
Yea, verily, this season is evoking regrettable reminiscences of [cue dark cello riff] THE DARK YEARS. We fans continue to get the shit kicked out of us week after week. Yeah, we all know why. But still…
Ahhh, you know what “they” say: The darkest hour is just before dawn. I think “they” was Mama Cass.
The announced crowd was 42,683 at Memorial Stadium, but they must have been counting all the illegal immigrants Obama wants to make legal or something. Looked more like 23,000 and they didn’t really give a shit. Can I blame them?
(I was tempted to leave this blank, but…)
- Bill Belton‘s 92-yard touchdown run from scrimmage gave us something to talk about, even though we know in our heart of hearts that it was a fluke (pronounced as Sandra Fluke pronounces her surname — like fluck!). It set a Penn State record for the longest touchdown run since the nineteenth century and made the rushing game look competent if you looked no deeper than the aggregate stats.
- The defense did its usual fine job and would have blanked the Hoosiers were it not for their own defensive score. They held Tevin Coleman to under 100 yards, which is something no one else has done.
- In a soporific puntfest such as this, ordinarily I would have chosen the Hoosiers to sop us up like marinara sauce on a piece of Italian bread, but theirs was slightly worse. Danny the Wallaby Pasquariello averaged 37.3 yards for his nine punts whereas Erich von Tothheimer averaged only 36.7 for his eleven. Degrees of crappiness? Yeah, right! We suck better? Some “highlight”, already! I’m clearly grasping at straws.
- Super Yinzer Miles Dieffenbach returned but he didn’t make much of a difference. There is no salvation for an offensive line as crappy as Penn State’s.
- Incompetence abounded in both offenses. Zander Diamont‘s QBR of 10.5 was eclipsed only by Christian Hackenberg‘s 9.4. Hack was off his mark and on his ass much of the day, finishing 12-29 with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He continued to exhibit a pouty face, negative body language, and a look of exasperation throughout. Five sacks didn’t help much.
- Jesse Della Valle actually had a decent punt return of 24 yards for a change, but that in my mind was nullified by his stupid-ass 15-yard personal foul penalty and an interception he missed but should have had.
- Sam Ficken made two out of three field goals, but the one that was blocked was a chip shot that never should have been touched. He just didn’t get any air under it. I don’t know if it was a problem with the hold or just a muffed kick.
- The Five Traffic Cones, along with Hack’s lack of pocket presence, his inability to get rid of the ball timely, and a halfway decent defensive secondary’s coverage of Hack’s receivers conspired to produce yet another five-sack day for -23 yards. On the running end of things, the cones weren’t really pushing anyone around. If it weren’t for Belton’s big play, Penn State would have rushed for only 61 net yards.
Two crappy teams played a too crappy game. Here’s an appropriate quote from BWI’s synopsis of the game:
Coming on the heels of four consecutive losses, the Lions wanted this victory in the worst possible way… and that’s pretty much how they got it. Christian Hackenberg had a scattershot afternoon, the red-zone difficulties continued, and there’s no reason to think Penn State would have prevailed had it been playing a better opponent.
Amen. Yeah, the red-zone shit was all too predictable, and it wound up being fully evident in this game. State’s shitty 4-17 third down efficiency was only slightly better than Indiana’s 3-17. This offense sucks.
I hate to say it but this is the kind of game you get when two awful but evenly matched teams compete for sole ownership of the crappiest record in the East Division of the conference. If you can manage to stay awake through it, various bursts of incompetence can prove to be amusing, but it was mostly too painful to watch. So what else is new, already?
The noon start might have been a factor, or perhaps we lay too much blame on noon starts. I’d say they never should have gotten out of bed, but that would be cruel.
To further enhance what turned out to be a primo masochistic day for me, I then watched the Michigan vs. Northwestern game. There was no scoring whatsoever in the first half. You wanna talk about third-down efficiency? Michigan was 1-12, while NWU was a respectable 10-21. Still, in a turnover filled slopfest, Michigan prevailed 10-9.
The evening game was much more interesting, but in the end tOSU pulled away to prevail 49-38 over Moo U. I bet most of you were rooting for the Moosters, as was I. tOSU still needs a lot of help to wind up in the final four, where I don’t want to see them lest they embarrass the B1G some more.
Double Benefit: After reading this week’s post-game column, you can take it outside and spread it on your garden. It will make your flowers bloom better come spring.
I’ll be back later in the week for a preview of the next nooner snoozefest, this one with Owls in da house. Maybe the hooters will keep us awake.