Ohio State 20, Penn State 12
Now we know for sure what we have conjectured all season: the Nittany Lions are not ready for prime time. They are not SSMNC material. They are not Big Ten East Championship material. They are, as they have been in much of the Franklin Era, third best in the East.
Had the offense developed at all, it could have been different, but our quarterback cannot make throws, our offensive line cannot block, and our receivers are at best, mediocre. Honestly, we knew all that going into the Ohio State game, but we somehow believed that the offense would magically coalesce into something competent. Those were all pipe dreams, and the truth hurts if you take your lie detector test in a state of denial.
While the play calling was questionable at times, the offensive execution was unquestionably putrid. Allar was sacked four times and was continually hurried. The traffic cones were not up to the pass protection task. The pocket either collapsed or Allar did not know how to step up into it. When he ran for his life, he missed throws. I’ll certainly give credit to the Ohio State defense, but both sides were complicit in Penn State’s horrendous 6.25% third down conversion rate.
Idiots will blame officiating, the Franklin Mystique, Yurcich, the noon start, and other bullshit. Sorry, but most of this loss is on the players. This collection of Kittens is not going to beat anyone important. Sanguinarians have been hanging their hats on wins over some damn poor teams — UDel and UMass, ferchrissakes — and they can’t see the forest for the trees. I don’t think Penn State has improved at all since the West Virginia game. How much they could have improved is limited by the available talent. You cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip, but the offense would have nevertheless benefitted by some stiffer tests earlier in the season. At least we could have known how badly they sucked back then and saved ourselves a few weeks of ridiculously inflated expectations.
On the other hand, the Penn State defense is the real deal. Their secondary might be a little weak, but they had taken on a mighty big task attempting to contain Marvin Harrison, Jr. (which they didn’t). That was their major failure, and we all knew it would happen, too. We knew they could shut down the Buckeyes’ running game and they did, allowing only 79 yards. However, we learned something good about their fortitude when they denied OSU on fourth-and-goal from the two in the third quarter. Too bad they don’t play these games using only the defense. Yes, I wax facetious, but boy, that offense just sucks big time.
What do you think of your team’s execution?
This was the Nittany Lions’ big chance to stay on top by beating an eminently beatable Ohio State squad and they blew it. The offense blew it. They showed up, but just barely. Once again, I’ll drag out one of my favorite John McKay post-game press conference quotes after yet another Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss. A reporter asked Coach McKay what he though of his team’s execution. He responded, “Watching them play like that, I’m in favor of it!” That was forty-five years ago and still quite relevant today.
While I am sad that the team did not perform up to its overinflated ranking, which we hope will now be adjusted back to reality, I am also somewhat relieved that the suspense as to when their denouement would eventually occur is now over. We can now look realistically toward the future and not worry about making playoff plans that will never materialize. The Sanguinarians are all crying about what might have been, but they know in their hearts of hearts that it was never going to be.
Looking forward, I see no hope of beating Michigan unless Signalgate does the Wolverines in. They dispatched beleaguered Moo U. 49-0 tonight. If the Penn State coaching staff cannot supply the requisite psychological counseling that will enable the Nittany Lions to transcend this emotionally devastating loss, other future losses against others aside from Michigan will not surprise me. Next week, Indiana seems like a win despite the PSU offense sucking, but then they face Maryland and Michigan back to back, followed by Rutgers and Moo U. They’ll finish at best 10-2 and at worst 8-4.
I’ll close by refuting a Joe Paterno maxim: “You’re never as good as you think you are when you win, and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you lose.” Oh yeah?
This week’s ridiculous bullshit aside, I, your relentless and ever opinionated Turkey, will stick with them to the end, even if that is the Toilet Bowl in Kohler, Wisconsin.