#15 Penn State vs Indiana
We’re going back home to the sycamore trees of Nativeamericaniana for a game this Saturday at 3:30. Love those sycamore trees. Hell, just so long as we don’t see any buckeyes for a while, any other kind of tree is just fine.
I procrastinated on writing this week’s article. Couldn’t think of much to say after the Ohio State loss. I’m neither a Sanguinarian nor one of those unrealistic, rabid fanboys who think that the season is over. I’m just weary. But I’ll give it a go, just for the hell of it.
Two Quarterback Controversies
On the Indiana side, Nativeamericaniana head coach Tom Allen knows he needs a change, but he won’t say which of the three potential starters he’ll slot in for Saturday. Could be Connor Bazelak, who has sucked thus far. Could be Jack Tuttle, who will be transferring after this season. Or there’s a freshman named Brendon Sorsby who Allen might even tap. He just knows that he needs a change somehow somewhere, as the Hoosiers (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) have lost five straight. And OMG OMG WTF — the most recent loss was to RUTGERS!!!!
Meanwhile, back at the Lasch, Penn State Culture of Football Grand Poobah James Franklin is a stubborn sumbitch. The more fanboys call for Drew Allar, the more stubborn Franklin gets about keeping Sean Clifford at the helm. “Whoever gives us a chance to be 1-0 this week and a chance to win a bunch of games this year for all the guys in the locker room, that’s who we’re going to go with.” Perhaps a little reverse psychology would work. If the media and the fans would conduct a concerted effort to exhort Franklin to keep Clifford in there, maybe he’d play Allar.
I don’t agree that Allar is the Second Coming, the Great White Hope, or whatever. Only time will tell whether he’s got the talent, the brains, the stamina, and the toughness to be all that. So, I agree that Clifford should be the starter. However, I want to see more of Allar from here on, as he is our best hope for the future. Maybe our only hope. He needs game experience. Now, we have a perfect opportunity. If he doesn’t play the entire second half of this game, when Penn State is up 28-7, I’ll be disappointed.
I ain’t talking about the tOSU loss here, so the heading should be “Last Outing“. Indiana, who handed the now #16 Fighting Illiniweks their one loss in the season opener, has sucked ever since, most recently losing five straight games to Cincinnati (who even UCF can beat), Nebraska (who ANYONE can beat), Michigan, (who no one has yet beaten), Maryland, and Lowlyrutgers (all one compound word). When you lose to Rutgers, you know that something must change.
How the hell can you lose to Rutgers? Rhetorical question, asked because up to the time of last week’s game, the Scarlet Knights had lost twenty-one straight conference games at home! Think about that! Pretty hard to do! Who is scarlet?
In that 24-17 loss to the Scarlet Pussies (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten), the Whoosiers were two for twelve in third down conversions — which out-PennStates Penn State! They managed to gain only 272 yards overall, 210 of them through the air and only 62 rushing. Bazelak threw one interception, and there were seven penalties for sixty-five yards. They weren’t bad at punting, though. Punter James Evans had eight punts for 333 yards, which is just a-ight, but he nailed four inside the 20. Good show in a losing effort.
Look for Evans in a transfer portal coming your way soon!
The mighty Hoosieristic defense had only three TFLs, with no hurries and no sacks. Even the suspect Penn State offensive line should have a field day with these clowns.
Nice, Indian Summer day in Bloomington, they tell us. Well, maybe not. (I was looking at today). Tomorrow is a different story as a cold front works its way through. The forecast is, “Strong winds subsiding; mostly cloudy and not as warm with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm, mainly early in the day.” Well, our game kicks off at 3:42 or some such dumbass TV regulated time, so “mainly early in the day” might save our asses. However, for shits and grins, the forecast wind is 21 mph from the southwest, with gusts to 45, 92% cloud cover, 95% probability of precipitation, and 38% probability of thunderstorms. Hoohah!
Da Bottom Line
You know, what we must guard against is the big letdown after Ohio State. Wait? How the hell do we guard against THAT? Isn’t that Franklin’s job?
Ponder that whilst I tell you that it is now time for the fearless, brainless, feckless Official Turkey Poop Prognostication, the awful offal extruded weekly from this foul old fowl’s cloaca, which is as good as the electronic paper upon which it is written. Amen.
So the geniuses (that ain’t me!) give Indiana a 15.9% chance of winning. That seems high, but that’s why they’re geniuses and I ain’t. Meanwhile, the gamblers like Penn State by 13.5, with an over/under of 50.5. That works out to about 33-18 Penn State. Thirty-three points is right on the Nittany Lions average scored per game this year. Indiana has allowed 30.6 points per game. If there is no post-apocalyptic letdown, I’m looking for the Lions to score 35 or more. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers have no running game and not much of a passing game. Their offensive line can’t block and the defense makes up for it by not tackling (paraphrased John McKay quote of the week). Penn State 45, Indiana 10. Take-um heap big over.
I will return after the game with some more made up stuff. I think they’ll win this one. Don’t you agree? In fact, who can they lose to this year? The most likely would be Maryland. That would suck.
K. John says
Coming off of the game against Ohio State where the team went 110% before falling apart in the fourth, again, I think we’ll see a pretty typical let down game against the Hoosiers. Thankfully the Hoosiers just lost to Rutgers. If this were Maryland, I would tag this as a loss but it isn’t. We’ll come in with a typical slow start regardless of who plays QB. The weather will impact the game. We see a turnover or two due to fumbles or tipped balls or the wind carrying a pass. We’ll see a missed field goal or five. A bad punt or two. Indiana will load up to stop the run and take chances in pass defense which is where we will ultimately get the winning score, maybe.
Now, the quarterbacks. I think starting Allar is plain stupid. Ohio State got pressure with four last week. No, Indiana doesn’t have a linemen like Ohio State does but they can also send 5, 6 or 7 players and not pay for it if the weather holds. Clifford’s running ability has typically kept defenses from really overwhelming the turnstiles. And yes, our line has reverted to 2014/15 levels of bad play. It is pretty clear most linemen on the two deep lack the lateral mobility and quick feet to pull, move set and wall off defenders. Yurcich uses about as complicated of a blocking scheme as you’ll see which Rich Rodriguez out of the game. Now I am starting to rant. Playing Allar is stupid but Franklin isn’t all that smart sometimes so who knows. If Allar starts the remaining games, with this line and no legitimate deep threat, we could lose out.
Assuming Cliff plays, look for an ugly contest won in the second half by an Indiana mistake. Penn State 28, Hoosier Daddy 17. If Allar plays, any bodies guess but it won’t be pretty.
The Nittany Turkey says
Yeah, I completely ignored the weather and pulled a prediction out of my ass. But that’s what I wrote and I’m sticking with it.
Football fans have every reason to avoid watching our game at 3:30, with Tennessee-Georgia attracting most of the viewers, except Big Ten die-hards, who will be watching Illinois vs. Moo U. Earlier in the day, I’ll eschew tOSU vs. Northwestern to watch Wisconsin vs. Maryland, so I can see how badly the Kitties will get their asses handed to them next week.
I’m with you on Allar starting, but I want to see increasing PT. I do fear body harm due to his relative immobility and the Pillsbury Doughboy curtain supposedly protecting him. Franklin’s stubborn streak runs deep though, and that poignant pause at last week’s presser told all. He doesn’t want the fans and media telling him who to play and when, so he’ll overreact to show them who’s boss. We’ll go 1-0 this week and in his mind, that’s all that counts. (They must keep all the mirrors covered in the Franklin household).
So, who ya got in Georgia vs. Tennessee?
K. John says
My heart says Tennessee, but my head says Georgia. People don’t quite realize how good Kirby Smart is. He, like Pat Narduzzi was for Moo U, was the driver behind Saban’s initial success at Bama. He is perfectly suited to the portal era as well so his longevity is going to be fantastic. He was the D coordinator from the moment Saban arrived until he left for Athens. Remember those early Bama teams were D first, O second, unlike today’s teams. They lost multiple starters (and key reserves) every year to draft. Smart installed a flexible two gap defense that he could run using both odd and even fronts from year to year based on the players he had per season. Some years they are better than others but always good, never mediocre.
This is the foundation he installed which has allowed Saban to have longevity like other coaches such Les Miles, Urban Meyer or Pete Carrol who flame out after a 6 to 8 year run. It is now in place at UGA on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, they are old school take what you get and don’t mess up. They are Iowa with Bama’s talent. This is what Dantonio was building at Moo U until Pat Nardoozi left, bungling his replacement and he made a couple of critical mistakes in recruiting by breaking from what got him there. I have the Dawgs. 31 to 24.
K. John says
As an aside, this is the type of philosophy and team identify Mel Tucker trying to install at Michigan State. Rugged, hard nosed offense featuring the types of players Iowa only get every few years and a flexible defense allowing for him to insert pieces using the portal. It will take a bit but the program is on the rise. If he is 75% successful, we would rarely finish above 3rd the East with Franklin as coach. Tucker is the anti-Franklin.
The Nittany Turkey says
The OSU-NWU game is entertaining me.