Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Blue & White Roundtable – we all need a hug edition

Midweek already and we're staring down the barrel of what could be the most shitacular game of the year. Ineptitude vs. Incompetence – you decide which is which. But before we get to the Prozac Bowl we need to answer some questions courtesy of our good friend Mike from Black Shoe Diaries. Be sure to check out his answers and the rest of the posse.

William Yurasko
Nittany Notebook

1. Besides the fact that we're 3-2, what has been the biggest disappointment this year?

Galen: Sweet Jesus where do you begin? Joe Paterno's refusal to open up the offense against Michigan even though he had the blueprint for a win? Austin Scott's general shittiness? Anthony Morelli's mindboggling throws? It's really a rich tapestry of suck- you can't really enumerate the problems on the offensive side of the ball. But if you're going to force me to pick out one thing I'd have to say the play calling has been a complete disaster. Yeah I know what you're going to say – you expected good play calling? No, but I expected a lot better than we've got. 1st down is generally a run for 3 or less yards followed by an incomplete pass and then after a penalty it's an interception on 3rd and long. Disappointing doesn't begin to cover it.

Nick: Lack of leadership with the offense on the field. Who is going to step up? Playcalling is one thing, but where are the players saying I will carry this team? When you’re at the line and the defense looks weak in an area or appears to be ready for the play called, try an audible. On the other hand, does it all fall on Morelli? No, look at Calvin Johnson and Reggie Ball, I’ve see far too many wrong routes run and drops by receivers. They should say just get the ball within arm reach of me and I will make the catch. Running backs just need to hold onto the ball. Everyone is accountable on the offense and it is time to make decisions about those not holding up their end of the deal.

2. After the Michigan game the play calling was under heavy scrutiny against Illinois. Late in the third quarter with Penn State trailing by seven points, the Nittany Lions had a third and goal from the one yard line. They elected to pitch the ball to Rodney Kinlaw over left tackle and the play lost two yards. Then on fourth and goal from the three they elected to kick a field goal. How would you evaluate the play calling on these two plays?

Galen: Well let me go backwards for this question. If you can't get one yard on third down what makes you think you can get 3 on fourth down? Yeah, at that point the field goal was necessary because I don't think they would have made it. Now if the defense had been playing lights-out I would have said go for it and let the defense score but even that side of the ball decided to suck Saturday. Now back to the pitch to Kinlaw… let me put it this way, any coach that calls a pitch on 3rd or 4th and 1 should have his hand chopped off immediately. It's a cardinal sin in my book and the worst call at any level of football.

Nick: The one and only play to run inside the one is Austin Scott leaping over the top. It is the one skill he absolutely excels at and he lands 3 yards deep in the endzone every play. I really have no qualms with the field goal on fourth down, take the points, still lots of game to play.

3. Is there anything positive we can take out of the Illinois game?

Galen: Something positive? Ok, I'm positively glad it's over. No on second thought you have to be impressed with Jeremy Boone. He wasn't supposed to have that Howitzer he calls a leg but man can he kick. He's made everyone forget about Kapinos. Not only does he have a leg he has great hang time and touch inside the 20 as well. On his 70 yarder Saturday there was an injured player for Illinois after the play. I don't think he wasn't injured because he got blocked wrong I think the sonic boom from the kick knocked him silly.

Nick: Real life interfered and I only saw from the review of the Morelli fumble on the first down run to the end. Based on what I did see? No, there were no positives to pull from the game.

Lightning Round

Who should be the starting quarterback against Iowa?

Galen: Morelli – it's not Clark's turn to be a below average quarterback until next year.

Nick: Morelli – but lets start putting Devlin in on some series. He only saw garbage time against Florida International and threw a beautiful ball down the sidelines, albeit out of bounds. If he is really going to be the “future” then its time to make sure he’s not overwhelmed getting everything thrown at him at once next year or the year after. Woeful misuse of Morelli prior to his starting created this situation in the first place. Robinson saw game time all over the field, so it wasn’t a big step to put things on his shoulders.

Joe Must Go! Yes or No?

Galen: Yes with a caveat – Joe must decide to go, firing him would be a disaster that Penn State wouldn't recover from for years.

Nick: I will never be on the “Joe Must Go” bandwagon, he essentially made Penn State what it is today. While the school had limited success before him, he has taken that a little college in the dead center of Pennsylvania and made it something huge. Turned what was an entirely lopsided affair with fellow in-state school, and one-time power program, Pitt and flipped the script on them. You take the good with the bad.

Iowa Prediction?

Galen: 6-4 Iowa – oh wait that already happened.

Nick: At Beaver Stadium, Penn State wins 32-13. On the road, Penn State would lose 17-10.


Run Up The Score said...

Rich tapestry of suck. Well played.

Galen said...

Feelin' creative today and channeling that to something constructive.