Monday, November 05, 2007

PSU Review

Thank you Seniors!
A win is a win but boy was this game ugly. Penn State tried like crazy to give this game away but Purdue would not be outdone they played worse. The defense bounced back from two crappy games in a row and played decent enough while the offense had to do its share of scoring thanks to terrible special teams play. That was really the last game of the season that had me legitimately worried and PSU made it through. I'm not saying Penn State can't lose to Michigan State, not by a long shot, but if Penn State doesn't make stupid mistakes they should beat both Temple and MSU.


Anthony Morelli had another solid performance completing 22 of his 35 attempts for210 yards, one touchdown and no picks. Evan Royster had another good day, rushing for a career-high 126 yards averaging 6 yards a carry on 21 carries with a touchdown. I keep beating this drum - Royster is the better of the two backs but he won't ever start over Kinlaw because… well… it's Paterno and we can't have a "young" guy starting over a senior.

Morelli's favorite target was… get this… Derrick Williams. Yes there was a Derrick Williams sighting Saturday, he does exist. D.W. had a career high 10 catches for 95 yards, scored a touchdown through the air and one on a reverse. This was the kind of performance I think everyone was expecting out of Derrick this year too bad we had to wait till the tenth game to get it. Other than D.W. no one else had much to speak of it was really a one man show.

The offensive line blocked well allowing only one sack and opening up some nice holes for the backs to run through. As a team Penn State averaged just over 6 yards a rush on Saturday and even clubfoot Morelli gained 20 yards on the ground.


The final score was not indicative of the play of the defense. Despite the 19 points PSU gave up no touchdowns by the defense and held Purdue to 323 total offensive yards - well below their season average of 420. Penn State registered 4 sacks and forced three fumbles one of which was recovered by Sean Lee at the goal line. Lee led all defenders with 12 tackles but Dan Connor had a big day with 11 tackles to pass Paul Posluszny on the career tackle list in his last game at Beaver Stadium. Justin King bounced back from two ugly weeks to post 5 pass breakups. Maurice Evans had another good performance sacking Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter twice and was generally disruptive in the backfield.

Special Teams

Yuck. That about covers PSU's special teams' play on Saturday. They gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff, missed an extra point, missed a field goal but were kindly given another shot thanks to Purdue running into the kicker. No one stood out on kick returns as the team's longest return was 20 yards. The kickoff return was particularly disturbing because it wasn't a case of a great athletic play; Penn State was simply blocked off the ball. The hole Dorien Bryant ran through was big enough to fit a truck through. I don't know what the problem is but the special teams scare me.


At this point I'll just be happy to take a win and move on. Purdue was by no means a top 20 team but they weren't exactly slouches either. Penn State needs to buckle down and finish these last two road games off and hopefully end up in a decent bowl. While Temple is an away game in the strictest sense, there will be just as many if not more Penn State fans at that game. Michigan State is once again coming down to the wire for bowl eligibility. If Purdue beats MSU this weekend they will be coming into the Penn State game needing a win to make it to a bowl. How many times have we seen that scenario before?

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