#20 Penn State (5-2, 2-2 B10) vs #5 tOSU (6-1, 4-0)
I couldn’t think of a better title for this blog post, so I chose “meatballs.” It is silly and meaningless, reflecting the futility I feel regarding Penn State’s fleeting chances for vindicating the 2020 fiasco with a halfway decent performance this year. Cruelly, 2021 now starts to look like 2020 in reverse.
The banged-up Nittany Lions enter the Horseshoe with 13% chance to win, according to ESPN. I don’t agree. Unless Stroud, Henderson, Olave, and Wilson all suddenly contract Covid-19, this mother should be over by halftime.
That last fucked-up mess with Illinois should tell us all that this team is headed in the wrong direction, with its head coach, James Franklin, making questionable decisions both on and off the field. Playing Sean Clifford in the Illinois game was an incredible risk that didn’t pay off. Furthermore, it may have prolonged Clifford’s injury, whatever the hell that might have been, while it displaced playing time for his two backups, which they sorely need. All for what? WTF?
What we saw with Illinois was a complete sellout by Bret Bielema to favor the run. Despite many attempts by the Illini to shoot themselves in the foot, the run worked over and over against an unprepared Penn State defense. Dared to stop the run, they couldn’t, so Bielema just kept calling the same play. And it kept working. WTF?
Now, Ohio State is a different animal. The Schmuckeyes are a complete team, once again the best in the Big Ten. They faltered once, against a decent collection of Oregonian quackers, but they seem to have gotten back on track, averaging 559 yards per game, of which 352 are passing and 207 are on the ground. PSU is allowing 324 yards — 178 passing and 146 rushing. Yet, who have they faced with a juggernaut offense like the Buckin’ Fuckeyes? WTF?
The mighty I-Dotters have the top scoring offense in all the FBS — by far — averaging 49.3 ppg. Their closest contender is Alabama, at 45.9. They are third in the country in third-down conversions at 57.7%. (You must go to the third page of stats to find Penn State, who rank 115th, converting third downs a putrid 33% of the time). WTF?
Defensively, they rank first in Defensive TDs, with FOUR PICK SIXES and one fumble recovery for a TD. However, they rank only 18th in scoring defense, giving up over eighteen points per game, mostly in garbage time.
How can Penn State win? Franklin needs his team to focus on going 1-0 this week by eliminating distractions and playing hard. Looks good on paper, but it ain’t happening. Franklin’s refusal to deny that he is either looking elsewhere or being considered elsewhere for a high-profile open coaching position (USC and LSU have been mentioned) is making matters worse even while Franklin pays lip service to averting distractions. He could easily eliminate this distracting element by flatly denying that he will leave Penn State. Yet, he won’t do it. Instead, he fuels further speculation by hiring a new super-agent, leaving us all — and more importantly, the team — in a quandary. Then, he leaves his backup QBs sit while he lets his most talented offensive player reinjure himself with no hope for a viable replacement. Oy vey.
Enough of the 1-0 this week, no distractions crap. They’re not going to beat the Schmuckeyes. If they even get close, I will be here eating crow and accepting scornful reprisals on Sunday morning.
The weatherperson is calling for another grey, shitty fall day in Columbus. Like gray, man, with a high of 58, a low of 45, and occasional rain and drizzle. The same kind of crap we had for the Illinois game. Rain probability is 53%, with 97% cloud cover. Wind gusts to 15% should result in one missed field goal by Jordan Stout, which might well be the only available scoring opportunity.
Da Bottom Line
Boy, what a money-making opportunity we had last week, with PSU favored over Illinois by 23½. I hope you all made money on that one!
This week’s line opened at tOSU – 11, but after the Illinois loss, the spread widened to 18½. The over/under remained at 60½. Gamblers are still giving Penn State some respect, methinks. As I, Roseanne Rosanadana, see at least a three-touchdown difference between these two.
The gambling line works out to the Schmuckeyes winning 40-21. Ya think? Penn State couldn’t score more than ten points on Illinois in regulation, so they’re going to DOUBLE that production here? You’re dreaming. I see the Nittanites putting up a good fight in the first five minutes, but after that it will be all over. At our watch party we can talk about cars or food. Maybe drink some wine and fall into a drunken stupor to mask the pain. Or we can talk about how clean the Buckin’ Fuckeyes’ uniforms are when Ryan Day brings in the third string in the third quarter. Or we could marvel at how wonderfully the fucking “I” was dotted by the oldest living alumnus who played the sousaphone for the band in 1939. Ohio State 57, Penn State 6. Take the over, only because Brutus told me to say that.
(I’ll be back after the game to either eat crow (highly doubtful) or feed you more of my bullshit).