Michigan 42, Penn State 7
K. John hit the top number, and the bottom number didn’t matter. Michigan thoroughly throttled the Nittany Lions, 42-7, with the 7 resulting from a last-gasp, desperation drive to avoid a shutout with the game long since decided.
Trace McSorley had a bad day, exacerbated by breakdowns by the offensive line and coaching weirdness. The defense was able to keep the game close for the first half in spite of the offense sputtering. But all hell broke loose in the second half.
Fourth Quarter Insanity?
Coaching strangeness was once again in evidence as Franklin pulled McSorley, inserted Tommy Stevens, then pulled Stevens, inserted McSorley, and then inserted Tommy Stevens again. All this with no hope of pulling out a win. Why the hell risk further injury to McSorley? Why not put Stevens in to play the fourth quarter and get some game experience in anticipation of next year?
Can anyone find even a half-assed valid reason for what Franklin did there? McSorley undoubtedly bent his ear. He wanted to play. Sure, your best player wants to be in the game from start to finish but it was time to say, “Sit, Trace. You’re done for today.” Does Franklin think there are still Heisman chances for Trace? Did he think he could redeem an awful performance with a few more snaps?
I know this subject has been beaten to death elsewhere, but my mind continues to boggle over many fourth quarter decisions made by Franklin this year. I’m back to thinking that he crumbles under pressure. His comments in the post-game media room didn’t make much sense to me.
The Game – Why Bother?
Back to the game, well, the offense suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. Miles Sanders couldn’t get going, but hell, they handed him the ball only seven times. He gained a net 14 yards. Ricky Slade was once again nowhere to be seen. I guess the game plan incorporated the philosophy that the running game was a futile exercise in self-flagellation. After all, McSorley couldn’t be effective running, especially when they send him up the middle in harm’s way.
Passing was crappy, though, so we couldn’t run and we couldn’t throw. We have receivers who can’t catch combined with an inaccurate and hobbled McSorley. Juwan Johnson was better off not making the trip. He didn’t want to be associated with this debacle, anyway. Besides, he can’t catch.
Any notion that the offensive line has improved very much must be some media smoke and mirrors. Michigan was constantly in the PSU backfield. These guys couldn’t block for a Pop Warner team. Back to the Five Traffic Cones.
The defense was present, but how the hell can they do their job when they are on the field so much and for so long? The offense couldn’t give them a rest. Michigan dominated “increasingly irrelevant” time of possession, 37:56 to 22:04.
That’s all I want to say. No other stats are necessary. The scoreboard tells it all. 42-7, and it wasn’t even that close.
Toilet Bowl Bound, but Not So Fast!
Penn State is #21 this week and sinking. They better not pout over this humiliating defeat, because Wisconsin, although not one of their better teams, looms on Saturday — now relegated to a noon kickoff because we suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
Some of the clowns at ESPN think it is still possible for the Lions to play on New Year’s Day, perhaps at the Citrus Bowl. Let’s not count those chickens before they hatch. We still have to see how they do with the Badgers, the Terps, and during the bye week with Rutgers.
I’ll be back with a look at Wisconsin if I can get up off the floor.