Senior Day on the Turkey Birthday
Saturday at high noon (oy vey, another nooner), the Nittany Lions 2021 seniors will be honored for their valiant service to the team over the past four or five years. Or even more, some seniors will be back next year because of the NCAA’s Covid-19 policy decision. This is all so confusing.
What is NOT confusing is that we’ll be experiencing a meaningless game for marginally bowl-eligible Penn State (6-4, 3-4 B10), a game that might spell the difference between post-season combat in Las Vegas, New York, Nashville, or Detroit. A loss in this game might seal the deal for a lovely winter week in Detroit. Good thing the stadium has a roof — -which we must hope will not collapse under the weight of copious lake-effect snow.
However, Rutgers (5-5, 2-5) will be playing for bowl eligibility. With one game remaining after this one, they’ll have to either win here on hostile turf or gamble it all on a home victory over Maryland next week. Winning one more will guarantee that they can compete with Penn State for the coveted Toilet Bowl.
Who IS Scarlet?
Rutgers has delivered some serious ass-kickings this year — over Temple (61-14), Delaware (45-13), and most recently, Indiana (38-3). They also had their asses handed to them by the Schmuckeyes (52-13), Moo U. (31-13), and Wisconsin (52-3). They narrowly lost to Michigan, 20-13, at the Big House, anomalously.
Given those wild perturbations, what can we expect? Were it not for the weather, we could expect that Penn State would be jumping all over them, as they appear vulnerable to explosive plays. But the wind might be a factor. Perhaps James Franklin will pretend once again to “ESTABLISH THE RUN“, given that Rutgers has allowed over 150 yards per game rushing.
Chop, Man, Chop!
What can we expect? Here’s what I think. I think we can expect to see “that dullard look” given the cold, noon start, and the apathy that goes with it. Rutgers has something to play for; Penn State does not, with Toilet Bowl eligibility guaranteed. The Scarlet Knights know they won’t be beating Maryland next week, so they better win here. So, it’s balls to the wall for
Doug Graber Greg Schiano II. And there’ll be a lot of chopping. That what they do. They chop.
Dullards cannot chop. Scarlet Knights can chop. Chopping could spell the difference in this game. So, what the hell am I talking about, already, with the chopping, already.
Schiano, a former Penn State assistant in the 1990s produced that gimmick, like P J Fleck up in Minnesota rows the boat. “You’re in the middle of the woods and it’s pitch dark and it’s cold,” Schiano says. “You’ve got two choices: You can curl up and die or in essence get fired, or you can pick up an axe, pick one tree, look at the spot on that tree, and grab that axe as tight as you can and haul off and hit that spot.”
Rutgers Senior wide receiver Bo Melton said, “Going on the road, we chop the moment, and we stay in the moment. We prepare a lot during the week for the crowd. What we do here, just chop the moment and nobody can distract us.”
That’s all I know about “chop”. Don’t axe!
What the Grownups Are Doing
The Big Ten East could get interesting this weekend with all three contenders in action. Ohio State hosts Moo U. at the Horseshoe, while Michigan takes on Maryland at College Park. This Turkey feels that tOSU and Michigan will win, setting up next weekend’s 2021 edition of the Ohio State vs. Michigan border war, which Jim Harbaugh never wins. Looks like it will be tOSU vs. Wisconsin in Indy… something many had predicted at season’s outset.
This is the time of year when things get interesting in the FBS world. I feel so left out.
Some sunshine giving way to clouds with a high of 44 and a low of 33. Winds from the south at 12 mph with gusts to 18. This should affect field goals and passing. So, let’s try a fake instead.
Da Bottom Line
Holy crap, how can Las Vegas be still hanging onto a 17-point spread on this one? I guess they could surprise us at any time, but the Nittany Lions haven’t looked seventeen points better than ANYBODY this year. It’s not just bad luck — they FIND WAYS to lose. I don’t think Greg Schiano & Co. is buying into the Penn State mystique. He knows too much. Chop. Chop.
The over/under is 46, which suggests a 32-14 game, favor of the Nittany Lions — about the same as the moral victory over Maryland. Oh, I think the Penn State defense can keep Rutgers on their heels, all right, but with nothing to gain and a lot of dullardization, will they? Meanwhile, Rutgers will be chopping away. Will the Penn State offense rise to the occasion or sink into Toilet Bowl oblivion? In the words of Sergeant Schultz, I know nothing! Penn State 6, Rutgers 3. Take the under.
Happy Thanksgiving to All!
As you well know, this is a time for turkeys to lay low. The only thing saving our ass is the supply chain morass. If the trucks aren’t delivering turkeys, we aren’t sacrificing our asses. That’s all I know.
Artificially Sweetened and I will be trekking to Chicago to commemorate the mass murder of my fowl brethren. Joe Biden, in his confusion, pardoned a duck. Nevertheless, the Turkey wishes all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and hopes that you have plenty to be thankful for.
One last note. As of tomorrow, the Turkey will have existed on this planet for three quarters of a century, defying all odds.
(I’ll be back next week from the frozen north if I can get my icicle-covered ass in gear. Don’t want to miss the season finale with Moo U., now, do we?).
K. John says
Thinking definitely take the under. At the end of the day, I think this game plays out a bit like Maryland where a big play could open things up. Dotson has been erased during long stretches of several games by tight man coverage and disciplined play. Rutgers actually do both quite well and it doesn’t take much to stop our running game which means this one could get ugly, especially if we sleepwalk through the first half. They may lack talent but are well coached, motivated, disciplined and play within themselves. This game will likely be tight heading into the fourth.
Penn State 15
Big Al says
Enjoy your trip to Chi -town and have a happy 75th birthday, Turkey.
This game appears to be a rerun of the Illinois game. And the outcome will depend on how healthy Clifford is. Assuming he’s as healthly as he was for Maryland, Penn State will win but fail to cover – something like 17-13. If he’s not healthy, Rutgers wins -say 13-10. Either way, taking Rutgers getting 17 points seems like free money. The under would also be a good bet if it weren’t for the fairly high probability of this game going into overtime.