#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).
Peter Zangari says
Hi Nittany Turkey:
I’m still depressed about Saturday… I was there and saw how bad they were (are?) in person!
Franklin can smooth talk (and he’s good at it too) all he wants… but “The Emperor Has No Cloths!”!!
He got a pass last year when he went 0-5… the first coach in Penn State history (I think) and he blamed it on COVID and not being able to practice! Not to mention that other teams were in the same predicament! Big deal we won our last 4 games!! We still ended up 4 and 5.
And now this year with no backup QB vs. Iowa and then his unprepared team lays an egg (no offense Turkey) against the worst team in the Big 10??? Are you kidding me??? Is there any team in the Big 10 that doesn’t have a running back that hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in a game? Let me guess… PENN STATE!!!! And don’t let me get in to the O line!!!
Franklin is quick to say how loyal he’s been for the last 8 years, but he doesn’t have the guts to say what he’s really thinking!! He only says “There’s a lot of moving parts with these things”!!! What the hell is that mean? Just come out and say it!!! At least Jim O’Brien said at his press conference that he considered the NFL the ultimate coaching job or something close to that! Don’t we at least deserve that?
Nobody like to loose and they’re never a good loss, but the last two games are hard to take!!!
I’m so fed up with Franklin and his old sorry act!!! I just hope he goes, and goes quickly!!!
We’ll get someone that at least can say they want to be here!
Sorry for the dumping on ya!!!
Peter Zangari says
One more Turkey…
We made this headline from an article from ESPN’s senior writer, Ryan Mc Gee’s bottom 10!!!
College football Bottom 10: Penn State, Illinois worse than we bargained for
How bad can it get????
What does Franklin make a year???
The Nittany Turkey says
Thanks for your comments. I did see that Ryan McGee article this morning — a rude awakening, to be sure!
Franklin is making $5.5 million this year, and he gets a $500,000 retention bonus if he sticks around to December 31.
Given his record of losing big games, I wonder why USC or LSU would even consider him. I think O’Brien is happy at ‘Bama, but he would be a wiser choice.
Big AL says
My muse (Karma) told me to predict the following scenario. Clifford gets more injured (out for the year) on State’s 3rd offense series while on a drive that could put PS up 17-3. Stroud misses a 40 yard field goal, tOSU promptly ties the game at 10-10 and then scores on their next 6 possesions before Day starts to play the scrubs. The Kittes generate 90 total yards and zero points after Clifford exits. tO$U 52 Penn State 10.
Bonus Prediction: The Sanguinariians will piss and moan that Penn State would have won if Clifford hadn’t been injured.
The Nittany Turkey says
Quite a plausible scenario, except for Stroud missing the field goal. No doubt you meant Stout, but Stroud is on your mind, wreaking subliminal havoc. Somewhere in your brain of brains, you are visualizing Stroud picking apart our vaunted secondary, which is replete with a winged Brisker.
The Sanguinarians routinely have their patent excuses at the ready. They’ll need them to avert the hara-kiri impulse as this game and the PSU season fade into the sunset. You say there is potential redemption, even with a 9-3 season? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! I’m feeling a lot like 7-5 best case / 5-7 worst case right now. No running game, no offensive line, no quarterbacks, no hits, no runs, no errors, and no one left on base.
K. John says
I am thinking this one is going to be ugly. Clifford is not going to be 100% no matter what Franklin says. The fact that a lot of the Sanguinarines actually believe him is more than a bit troubling. I think Clifford plays and looks a lot like he did last week. Starts off solid then goes downhill after the hits come. We get 10 points early before Ohio State calms down. They run off-tackle just like Illinois and our ends get steam rolled, again. Pry starts sending linebackers and safeties and which prompts OSU to throw over top of the blitz to the dead spot in the field and the chunk plays come. The D plays at least 90 snaps sets up a competitive game against Maryland next Saturday.
Ohio State 63
Penn State 10
The Nittany Turkey says
You think they’ll score ten points? Not if they play like last week.
What could the Sanguinarians be hanging their hats on this time? Emotionality over objectivity? PSU has more flaws than we can count even if we take our shoes and our pants off. Tight ends can’t catch. Quarterback is crippled, with no viable backup. Defense cannot stop the run. Pass rush is putrid. What the hell do they see that I don’t see? Bret Bielema solved them easily, and so will Ryan Day.
The “explosive play” bullshit is a cover-up for lacking a good, fundamental offense. So, the Sanguinarians think that will be a viable strategy against a formidable opponent? To me, it is analogous to the contrast between gambling and investing.
Anyway, got you for 63-10. I know it will be brutal. I just hope they can preserve some semblance of dignity by putting some points on the board and holding tOSU to under 70.