Unfortunately, this week has been a bad week for blogging as major law school priorities have jumped into the picture. I’ve got an upcoming Civil Procedure mid-term on Monday and have been feverishly putting together a study outline for that class alongside with keeping up with my 3 other courses, it’s enough to make me want to go Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” on somebody…that, and our coaching staff’s total ineptitude.
I will intertwine my “Thirsty Thursday” segment with my “Friday Predictions” tomorrow but for now, here’s my extremely late response to this week’s Blue-White Roundtable. Special thanks to Alex Grier at The Nittany Notebook for the questions.
1. The offense looked pathetic against Michigan. Is there any hope that Penn State’s offense can at least play respectably the rest of the season?
Really, I don’t know. Michigan’s defense is NOT that good so it’s hard to be hopeful about us showing signs of life offensively against anybody but Indiana or Temple. At the same time however, we have a serious mental block against Michigan so perhaps there is some slight bit of hope. I think the offense will look better this week but they will likely have a few more ugly games this year which could very well result in a couple more losses.
2. You can lay the blame for the loss to Michigan on one person. Who gets it?
JoePa, obviously with his classic “play not to lose” as opposed to “play to win” gameplan. Why the hell was Anthony Morelli not allowed to throw downfield? I thought the offense was bad enough last year but at least Morelli was firing away with a few deep balls per game. This year, we’re lucky if we see Morelli throw anything beyond 15 yards. If Joe’s reason for not allowing him to take his shots downfield is because he doesn’t trust him, then why the fuck is he still in there? The kid’s a senior and while he is a head case and has trouble staring down receivers, he does have a rifle for an arm. And don’t even get me started on Austin Scott, he should have his named etched into the team bench. Why Joe continues to play him amazes me, especially when Kinlaw and Royster can at least hang on to the football and don’t dance around in the backfield before exploding towards a hole.
3. Penn State plays Illinois in a tough road test this weekend. What kind of performance do you expect from Penn State on Saturday?
It will be an ugly, defensive struggle of a first half but we will wear down the Illini defense in the second half and reach the end zone a couple of times on offense and ultimately, that will make the difference. Last year, we were caught off guard by Juice Williams, Rashard Mendenhall and the Illini option attack, which led to them running all over us in the beginning of the game. Once we adjusted and started putting 8 guys in the box and dared Juice to throw at us, we started to take control. Juice still has yet to prove himself as a passer this season so look for our defense to once again try to make him beat us through the air and for our secondary to be ready to snag a few balls. I predict our first defensive TD of the season will occur this Saturday as well.
After that performance against Michigan what is your new record prediction and bowl game for Penn State?
10-2: I’m thinking we stumble to either Iowa at home or Michigan State on the road (I can’t believe I’m saying this after trashing the Spartans all pre-season long. If they can upset Wisconsin this weekend, look out. Especially now that John L. Smith is no longer there to lead them to their much-anticipated second half of the season downward spiral.). Wisconsin still doesn’t impress me enough to win on the road at PSU, and Ohio State no matter how good they are, always has trouble at Beaver Stadium as well. In fact, the two years OSU beat us at home in 1995 and 2003, they clearly had the better team on paper and yet both times they needed a last-minute TD in order to avoid becoming upset victims. And for the record, as good as they’ve looked the last couple of games, I feel OSU is a “slightly” better team than us as opposed to “clearly”
Let’s face it though: If we were in the glory days of the Big Ten, I’d be saying “7-5 or 8-4 easily” but the Big Ten sucks so thus, I still see a 10-win season with the JoePa apologists saying “We told you so!”
Who starts at tailback against the Illini?
I’m gonna make a bold prediction here…Austin Scott.
Score prediction for the Illinois game.
Penn State 24, Illinois 13.
When does A.J. Wallace finally supplant Lydell Sargeant as the other starting CB?
When the basketball team wins the Big Ten championship…