Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Michigan Game Review

Usually I take the time to break down the different functional components of each game to try and build a complete picture of the Nittany Lions previous game, but screw that, I’m not very happy right now. Football games are like movies: you paid to see it, you might as well see it through to the end. Unfortunately, the Michigan – Penn State game was like the movie Deep Blue Sea; I couldn’t take it anymore and I left before the end with a bad case of nausea. If you would like a comprehensive look at the game and a more optimistic outlook, check out Black Shoe Diaries here; Mike always takes a well rounded approach to the games. Me, I’m pissed.

I have been watching Penn State football since the 80’s and without exception that was the worst blocking I have ever seen from a PSU team. As comic book guy would say:

Worst game ever!

Give credit to Michigan’s front four, they are tremendous and I knew coming into the game that they would be difficult to block but Holy Shit, how many times can you let a 300 lb. Lineman by without even touching him? God that was awful. Michigan was getting pressure with three – that’s three on five! You would think with two double teams you could manage to give your quarterback a little time, but not in Penn State’s case. When the second quarterback went down after taking a vicious hit from an unblocked, untouched D-lineman it was time for me to get the hell out of that debacle. Pathetic.

Also, it’s time for Derrick Williams to stop reading his press clippings and get to work, he has put in a really disappointing sophomore season. There is no excuse for the fumble at midfield, none. That’s the kind of play an inexperienced newcomer makes, not someone who is supposed to be the franchise player that has a year of experience under his belt.

Do Penn State fans want to know why Michigan has won 8 games in a row over the Nittany Lions? It’s easy: Michigan brings their A game… every year. Michigan doesn’t fumble the ball at midfield on a punt return, they don’t miss field goals, they don’t drop third down passes that hit them in the hands. If you want to beat a top 10 team you have to play like one and Penn State hasn’t . It’s that simple, you make stupid mistakes against a good team; you lose.

Penn State is at a turning point right now, you will get a chance to see what kind of leadership this team has because right now they have to suck it up and come out to play next week. Every game is a must win from now on if they wish to turn this season into something other then forgettable; and it’s going to take strong leaders to get them on the right track.


Run Up The Score said...

Thank God that ESPN GamePlan flaked out on me. I don't think I would've been able to watch that game.

What do you guys think of this theory?

Galen said...

Yeah, I saw that yeasterday Run. Believe it or not I've heard similar theories from more then one person, although most were not Penn State fans.

Steve said...

That game was tough to watch. I personally think people are overreacting a little bit because this was the 8th loss in a row to Michigan. We lost by 7 points to the 2nd or 3rd best team in the country right now.
That being said though it has been the same story every game for Penn State this year. They come out flat and miss opportunities, ie Norwood's dropped pass on 3rd down on the first drive. The continued inefficiency in the red zone is another issue, 1st and goal from the 6 right before has to be put in for a TD. 7 points there could possibly change the game.
When it comes to all the sacks, I blame the coaches. How about some 2 and 3 step drops and getting rid of the ball quickly. Instead they had Morelli taking 6 and 7 step drops combined with slow-developing plays against the best defense we've played all year. Morelli was a sitting duck back there, the O-line doesn't get off scot-free but the coaches need to see that and make adjustments.
I'm not pushing the panic button just yet, we are starting or playing a lot of true/redshirt freshman and sophomores right now. How we respond to Illinois will be a good indicator of where this team is. Do they fold it up for the season or do they come out pissed and try to prove they're better than their record shows.

Steve said...

I don't think you can call last season a fluke. We went 11-1 with 7 wins against teams with winning records and let's be honest, we were robbed against Michigan. So we should have been undefeated. Last year showed how important seniors and leadership are to a team. I wouldn't call that a fluke or luck, it's how it ended up.
In regards to Ohio St, that would have some creedence if we hadn't completely shut down Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr again in this year's game. 2 of Troy Smith's worst games in the last 2 years come against Penn State.

Run Up The Score said...

// although most were not Penn State fans. //

Right, and it was the natural reaction from frontrunning Michigan, Ohio State, and other Big Ten fans. I laughed at it, thinking that our improved recruiting would be enough to sustain a certain level of, well, not sucking. But it's really the same story as before...we get pantsed by the good teams and struggle to beat the mid-tier teams like Minnesota.

Now I'm a believer in the fluke theory, for precisely this reason:

// Morelli was a sitting duck back there, the O-line doesn't get off scot-free but the coaches need to see that and make adjustments. //

Michigan was killing our QB's and wasn't even blitzing. I only counted one sack where they used more than a four man rush.

Galen said...

I don't believe it was a fluke at all, I think Penn State beat some really good teams (bowl teams). You are right, Ohio State wasn't as good early in the year as they were late. The Flordia State game is just how I saw it - maybe not overtime, but I knew it would be close; they had a shit load of NFL bound talent on their defense, I don't care what their record was, they were a good team - defensively.

Steve said...

I am an overly optimistic Penn State fan but I have one question,
are people really that surprised by our record right now? We're 4-3 which is exactly what we should be. Did I think we could have stolen one from ND, Ohio St, or Michigan? Yes I did, in particulur the Michigan game because it was a home game, but we didn't We lost at Notre Dame, then ranked 4th in the country now 10th. We lost at Ohio State, the number one team in the country. We lost at home to Michigan, then 4th, now 2nd(3rd in BCS).
Last year was a great year, but a dose of reality is needed for this year. We have first time starters at about half the positions on both sides of the ball.
We've beaten the teams we should have and we lost to the teams we should have.

Run Up The Score said...

// We've beaten the teams we should have and we lost to the teams we should have. //

I agree with that, but I don't think we've looked good in any of those games. No meaningful offensive touchdowns in any of the losses, and we should've lost to Minnesota. The red zone offense still sucked vs. NW, which was a severely overmatched opponent.

Galen said...

I thought PSU would maybe beat Notre Dame, but I thought they'd beat Michigan simply because it was in Happy Valley, then again I didn't think Michigan was going to be so good. At any rate, PSU now has to prove they aren't a lower class Big Ten team by winning out.

Run Up The Score said...

// PSU now has to prove they aren't a lower class Big Ten team by winning out. //

I've already resigned myself to a loss in Madison. If we lose to Illinois, Purdue, or Michigan State, I'll be screaming bloody murder.

Ben said...

// and let's be honest, we were robbed against Michigan. //

Wow. Still?