Time once again for this week’s edition of the Blue/White Roundtable. Black Shoe Diaries has this week’s questions along with the Usual Suspects: There Is No Name On My Jersey, Run Up The Score, William Yurasko, The Nittany Notebook, and The Nittany Line
1. Besides the fact that we’re 3-2, what has been the biggest disappointment this year?
Where to begin? Morelli’s inability to rally this team from any sort of defecit (and before anyone says “Notre Dame”, remember that was D-Will who scored the game-tying TD on a punt return), our inept coaching on the offensive side of the football, JoePa’s unwillingness to consider playing Darryl Clark if things go downhill quickly with Morelli this Saturday, two fifth-year senior tailbacks who can’t carry the load off our QB’s shoulders, our defense’s sudden problems with stopping the run. I’m sure there’s more but I’d probably end up smashing my laptop keyboard just trying to think about them.
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?
I’ve said it before, and even after reading some other PSU fans try to defend such a play call I’m going to keep saying it until the day I croak: The pitch to Rodney Kinlaw with the ball on Illinois’ one-yard line was the most idiotic call in recent PSU football memory. That’s saying something considering we aren’t too far removed from the “Dark Years” (Heck, we may be headed to a “Dark Years Lite” at this point where we end up at 7-5 and in the Champs Sports Bowl). Whoever was responsible for calling that play should have been fired right there on the spot. Just pound the fucking ball into the end zone with the fullback, or have Austin Scott dive over the pile for the TD, it’s not rocket science.
I can’t get too mad though for the coaches having us kick a field goal as opposed to going for it on 4th and goal. Our defense had been rather shaky in the first half so there was a possibility that even if we turned the ball over on downs that Illinois could have moved the ball on out of their own 5-yard line and would’ve given themselves a little more breathing room for their punter. Not that it would have made a difference anyway the way our offense gets stuck in the red zone.
3. Is there anything positive we can take out of the Illinois game?
Teams are still dumb enough to try and beat us in the air when it’s obvious that we’re more vulnerable on the ground.
Who should be the starting quarterback against Iowa?
Joe Must Go! Yes or No?
Yes, absolutely. No matter what our record is this year and next, it is simply time for a change. Joe is 80 going on 81, has a bum knee, and coaches like he still did 20 years ago. Did I also mention he’s 4-15 against Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin combined this decade, has lost 9 in a row to Michigan, and has yet to win in Columbus since we joined the Big Ten in 1993? Hopefully Spanier/Curley have been brushing up on their oustering skills since the 2004 debacle in which JoePa told them to “take a hike” after they rang his doorbell and tried to persuade him into retirement.
PSU 13-10. Basically, the 6-4 Iowa game with a couple of TDs thrown in there. Get ready for the Big Ten’s most anticipated Cripple Fight (aside from Minnesota-Northwestern).