TNL said: 45-10 (PSU)
Actual Score: 34-7 (PSU)
Kinda like I envisioned it, rainy slow start, and trouble shaking off last week's loss. I certainly didn't expect the halftime score to be 10-7 but Penn State really started off slow. The defense had a great game with the lone exception of a broken touchdown run by Marcus Thigpen which was Bani Gbadyu's fault. I still have no idea what Gbadyu was doing on that play. He crashed down the line and put himself completely out of position when it should have been a routine tackle at the line of scrimmage. Other than that solitary mess up, the defense held Indiana to just 6 first downs all day with only 1 coming after halftime.
The offense was stagnant due mostly to the play of Darryl Clark. Clark fumbled on the Indiana 1-yard line and only managed a TD pass to D.W. in the second quarter. The fumble is very disconcerting because you could see that he was making a conscientious effort to protect the ball but it still got knocked loose in traffic.
The butter fingers don't seem to be going away for Clark and that's bad news for a team that wants to run the quarterback out of the spread.
Evan Royster got going in the second half and so did Penn State's offense. When this team is struggling they seem to forget that Royster is there. When this offense needs to get going they need more of Royster and not less. They did try to put in Stephon Green but they, once again, ran him between the tackles with little success. While Royster was averaging 5.2 yards on 12 carries Green was sputtering along at 3 yards per carry on 10. I still don't know what the coaches are thinking with Green, it's almost like they want to prove he can run inside and it's not working. His speed is his M.O. so get him the ball in space and let him do his thing, save the tough middle runs for Royster who is more suited for the between the tackles stuff.
Derrick Williams had another solid day rushing for 61 yards with a touchdown and catching 4 passes for 62 yards with another TD through the air. They are starting to get the ball in Derrick's hands in space with blockers out in front and it's paying off, but I'm not so sure the formation with him in the backfield will work too well against Michigan State.
It's hard to argue with six first downs the defense was lights out. Josh Hull had a good game with a team-leading 7 tackles and a sack. Navarro Bowman is still a force to be reckoned with as is Aaron Maybin who upped his Big Ten leading sack total to 12 with a sack in this game. Another guy that has really come on the last couple games is Jared Odrick who is causing headaches for the interior of opposing lines. I don't like to be one of 'those Penn State guys' who endlessly complain about the Big Ten officials but if they ever get their heads out of their asses Odrick would be setting records for holding calls because he is getting down right mugged all game long. Basically Penn State's lineman have to get tackled from behind for a hold to be called.
Kelly had another bad miss early on but he converted from 32 and 36 yards. He did have a pretty impressive pooch punt in the first quarter that was downed on the Indiana 2 a play that I knew wasn't a field goal attempt, I'm surprised Indiana wasn't ready for that. Speaking of punting Boone had a great day averaging 51 yards per punt and had to make a tackle on a play that he out-punted his coverage. Teams are kicking away from D.W. which is a good thing; it's been giving Penn State good field position.
A win is a win and they'll take it. Fans were a little leery at first but Penn State turned on the jets in the second half. The offensive line isn't blocking like they were in the first half of the season and Daryll Clark's woes continue, they will have to play much better against Michigan State. Now it's a one game playoff for at least a share of the Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl, if the players can't get excited about that they shouldn't be on the field.