October 10, 2019

Win and get out of Kinnick

No more cheat codes for Penn State against Iowa.
Will it be a big win, or another cardiac episode under the lights of Kinnick Stadium? Predictions almost never come true when Penn State plays Iowa, so I'm just going with a nice comfy blowout. Everything on paper says Penn State should have little issue handling an anemic Iowa offense while having enough firepower to overcome a good Iowa defense. On paper.

Two years ago, on paper, Penn State was in a similar position, with the best two players in recent memory on offense. The Nittany Lions scored 15 points until the last play. And that's what will determine this week's game: Can Penn State score often and force Iowa to do the same? I think so.

If Penn State scores less than 28 points, I can't imagine this being a smooth ride. What I fear most is that PSU jumps out to a big lead like they did last week vs Purdue (which I actually came close on the score prediction!), then get shut down the rest of the way. Iowa lives for those moments. The Hawkeyes let you feel good about how things are going, then slowly, methodically carve your heart out with a spoon.

For all the talk about how Penn State hasn't played anybody yet, here's the chance to show what this team is capable of. Beating bad or mediocre teams by respectable margins is what a good team does, but it could end up just being a paper tiger when it plays a night game in Kinnick.

The pick: Penn State 29, Iowa 13

October 4, 2019

On LawnBoyz, White Shoes, and Purdue

You can get this in a few shirt styles.
Buy one for the White Out vs Michigan.
Last weekend was a case where I'm glad I was wrong. It was the most complete game I've seen this team play since James Franklin took over, possibly since well before that. Sean Clifford, despite the pick, is showing us one of the reasons Tommy Stevens transferred. It's a great way for this team to enter the Big Ten schedule.

In victory, particularly when it's that dominant, fans choose to get upset over things that might be obscured somewhat if the team stunk. This time it was the LawnBoyz chain the running backs wear after good plays. I love it. I made it into a shirt (I'm not the only one) and you should buy one. But many other fans who are mostly the "I'm not racist, but..." types, had a big problem with it, including that the chain was "ghetto." We know what that really means, and those people can suck it.

Then came the Generations of Greatness uniforms for this week vs Purdue. Overall I like the throwback mashups they do, but for the white cleats. I hate them on any team. Seeing them on Penn State is of course going to annoy me. Plenty of fans love the look, and the players do, too.

I'd caution them to chill out when attacking people like me who don't like the white shoes as if we're the same group as those who don't like the LawnBoyz chain. We aren't. Most of the people I've seen who don't like the white shoes say it's purely aesthetic reasons. That's the camp I'm in. I also don't like that they're wearing them to "honor" the 1979 Sugar Bowl team. Let Bama honor that team.

If Penn State wants to wear white cleats, fine. But don't do it under the veil of honoring a team that lost the biggest game to that point in Penn State football history. Just make some alternate uniforms and wear white shoes that way.

I'm still waiting for the truly great throwback design--pinks and blacks. Give me them, and you can have your white shoes.

As for this week, I'm assuming Penn State will win comfortably. Without Rondale Moore, Elijah Sindelar, and others, Purdue can hope to scare the home team a bit, but pulling the upset would be too much for such a depleted starting lineup.

The pick: Penn State 38, Purdue 14