Monday, September 17, 2007

PSU Review

I predicted 47-7 and the final score was 45-24 so I was off a tad but who would have thought our defense would allow that many points against Buffalo? I'd like to believe the team was looking ahead or insert some other excuse/cliché here but I'm a little on the worried side going into the start of the Big Ten schedule. Michigan looks like they have their Mojo back and will be ready and waiting for the Nittany Lions next Saturday. Let's hope the team is as hungry for a win against Michigan as the fans are. On to the specifics…

Offense

Facing a pretty bad Buffalo defense the Penn State offense did what it had to do – managed 393 yards of total offense with a lot of diversity gaining an almost equal number of passing yards and rushing yards (191-202). The offense started off slow and turned the ball over twice but managed to come through in the second and third quarters. The big story of the day was Rodney Kinlaw who came in to relieve an ineffective and fumbling Austin Scott. Kinlaw ran for a career high 129 yards and added a touchdown. Scott did reenter the game in the second half and ripped off a 40 yard touchdown run but it was evident the coaching staff felt better with Kinlaw.

Anthony Morelli rebounded from a sub-par game last week to complete 20 of 27 passes for 202 yards and a career high 4 touchdowns. Deon Butler led all receivers with 5 catches for 72 yards but it was Jordan Norwood's spectacular circus catch in the endzone for a touchdown that thrilled the Lion faithful.

Andrew Quarless saw his first action of the season and he didn't disappoint catching two touchdown passes. Paterno seems pleased with Andrew and you can tell it's a different offense with him in there.

Apparently they taught Andrew some new tricks while he was suspended: good tight end, good boy!

Defense

This was the first game that the Penn State defense showed vulnerability. For the first time PSU gave up more yards (395) than the offense gained (393). They also gave up 24 points and their first touchdowns of the season. The coaches substituted pretty liberally early in the second half and it burned them – later the first team defense had to reenter the game to try and contain Buffalo. Despite the letdown the usual suspects turned in pretty good performances. Dan Connor and Sean Lee each had 12 tackles to lead the defense and they combined for 2 TFL and 1.5 sacks. No less than 11 players were in on tackles for loss and the team managed 4 sacks. It wasn't a great day for the defense but I don't think it's time to worry.

Special Teams

Kevin Kelly was one for two on the day missing a 46 yarder and making a 27 yard chip shot. Kelly continues to kick the ball deep on kickoffs registering 2 touchbacks. Jeremy Boone only punted the ball twice but made the most of it averaging 44 yards per kick with one inside the 20. Overall kick and punt coverage was good despite allowing a 52 yard kick return. The special teams are where they need to be entering the Big Ten part of the schedule.

Overall

The worst thing that could have happened to Penn State happened on Saturday – a Michigan blowout of Notre Dame. Michigan has their confidence back and now has motivation with the Big Ten schedule starting. Michigan can still win the Big Ten and get to the Rose bowl; Penn State has its hands full with them next Saturday. If Penn State turns the ball over and starts out slow against Michigan like they did against Buffalo, they will get creamed.

5 comments:

aluf said...

I'm worried! Georgia Tech and THEM both held ND to less points than us. Rutgers also held the same opponent to less points than us. The most scary thing was how many times Justin King got beat.
I know, "we were looking ahead".
The sun was in my eyes, I tripped on a rock. I think the offense will help us out this time, not the other way around. Hear that God.

Galen said...

I'm very worried about Michigan. I'm amazed that a lot of PSU fans still have a lot of confidence in our team - I hope they're right.

Christopher said...

I would like to point out that all the points ND scored on us were from a defensive INT and a punt return. They were fortunate to even sniff the endzone. If you look at what the defense did overall, they were as stout as ever against a very confused and inept offense.

As for Michigan, there is NO way you can look past them. I like our chances, but we cannot start off slow and turn the ball over. This Michigan team is going to be hungry to knock off another top ten PSU team a la 2005 when they were wallowing in Mediocre City. The thing that gives me confidence is that their defense still hasn't proved much as the talent level from last year has dropped severly and we will not see Morelli laying on his back with a concussion again. If we start Kinlaw and open up the playbook, especially with Quarless back who should give their linebackers fits, we should be okay.

But I won't be convinced we can beat Michigan until the clock reads triple zero in the fourth and we have more points than them. I am hopeful, though, that the streak ends this year.

BillyBob said...

I'm somewhat concerned. The big issue is whether we turn it over a bunch to start the game. I'm fine with some 3 and outs early, as this O seems to take a bit to get warmed up. However, if we give them the ball in our end to start the game, we won't be able to recover like we did against ND and Buff.

Mich's offense looked decent, but I have to believe that a PSU D angry at themselves for the 4th Q letdown will come out hot.

Bottom line if we can keep Hart from going too far over 100 and not turn the ball over we win the game.

Anonymous said...

When you have lost to a team 8 straight times and they were a preseason #5, you should worry. Having said that, ND turned the ball over 6 or 7 times in the 1st half against Michigan and had no turnovers against us. That accounted for the 31-0 halftime lead for Michigan.

On the other hand, Mallet did very little (90 yards passing). We really can win that game. We have far more talent on D than Michigan has on its D. As usual, it will come down to whether Morelli plays decently and our RB's hold onto the ball (and get some yards).