Penn State 34, Indiana 27
The fragrant bloom might be off the rose of unbeatenness for the Nittany Lions (9-1, 6-1), but they showed they still can ball, outlasting mighty Indiana for a one-touchdown victory. The winning score came on a Sean Clifford run up the middle at the end of an 18-play, 75-yard, nine-minute fourth-quarter drive to answer the Hoosiers last touchdown. Good, old fashioned football. They played the last three quarters without leading receiver K. J. Hamler, who suffered an injury in the first quarter.
Alas, defense sucked the entire game. The Lions gave up 462 yards, 371 of them in the air, as Nativeamericaniana backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey connected on 31 of 41 passes. Looking toward next week, I cringe at the thought of tOSU picking apart that Swiss Cheese secondary and running through three or four missed tackles all too frequently for huge gains.
Penn State offense was balanced with 179 yards passing and 192 yards rushing. Journey Brown led the ground game, hitting the century mark on 21 carries. Sean Clifford contributed 55 yards to the running totals, and was 11-23 passing, with one touchdown and fortunately, no interceptions this week. They also converted half their third-down opportunities. K.J. Hamler wound up the leading receiver with two receptions for 52 yards before he left the game after landing on his head after a kickoff return in the first quarter. (This is why we don’t want him doing kick returns, but I digress.) Finally, no spitting was observed.
You would have wound up a dual winner if you took Indiana and the points, and bet the over.
Well, what do you think? Is this team ready for tOSU? Will the defense suddenly learn how to tackle? Just how much embarrassment do you think we’re in for? The Sanguinarians will be saying how “underrated” (whatever that means) Indiana was, so sure, if we mind our Ps and Qs, we can easily beat the “overrated” (whatever that means) Schmuckeyes. On the other hand, the rest of us with average to above-average intelligence have been counting tOSU as a loss since the Buffalo game.
Meanwhile, in the Big Ten, Minnesota’s fragrant bloom of the rose of unbeatenness fell off at the behest of the Hawkeyes a week after they dispatched our Nittany Lions. Michigan showed that it isn’t dead yet, with a 44-10 victory over Moo U. Nevertheless, unless PSU can pull off a miracle win in Columbus, it still looks like tOSU vs. Minnesota in the Big Ten championship. Finally, Baylor’s unblemished record took a hit from Oklahoma, so they, too, have fallen from the vaunted pantheon of unbeatens.
I’ll be back with an assessment of just how bad the tOSU loss will be. (How’s that for negativism?) Oddsmakers have installed tOSU as a 19-point favorite.