September 13, 2010

LBU Staff Reactions: Alabama 24, Penn State 3

BUTCH DILL / Associated Press
Now that the high emotions of Saturday night and Sunday have passed, the LBU staff gives its own takes on Penn State's loss to Alabama. Sorry for the delay. Enjoy...


The end result pretty much turned out like I thought it would but I didn’t think Penn State would play so poorly. When you play the defending national champs and top ranked school you simply can’t have four turnovers and expect to win. It’s also crushing that three of the turnovers occurred inside the Alabama 30 yard line. The huge shipment of FAIL doesn’t stop with turnovers though, it’s apparent that the early summer rumors of Evan Royster coming into camp overweight and out of shape are true, he has looked terrible for the first two games. Silas Redd appears to be the only back that is consistent but he’s buried on the depth chart. Stephfon Green still hasn’t figured out how to run between the tackles but the coaches keep sending him there. Speaking of coaching, I’ve never seen a Penn State team look so lost on defense before. Not only did they not look prepared but when Alabama came out in 4 and 5 wide they acted like they’ve never seen that formation before in their lives. Imagine how bad this would have been if Alabama was completely healthy.

It wasn’t all bad though, I was impressed with Rob Bolden’s performance. Statistically speaking it wasn’t great but when you take into consideration that he’s a true freshman starting only his second game on the road he did a fine job. He never got rattled even when he threw the early interception and he made some good decisions. The future is very bright for that young man.


I was surprised by Penn State's performance. It wasn't the defense being out-schemed like it was in the 2009 Rose Bowl. It wasn't the offense having trouble against an uber-athletic defense full of eventual NFL Draft picks. I wasn't even really surprised at the good things, like the aggressive play-calling by Jay Paterno and Galen Hall, or Rob Bolden's performance. I was surprised--shocked, actually--by the complete breakdown in fundamental tackling by the Penn State defense. I could understand if it took two or three guys to bring down Trent Richardson. But it not only took two or three guys, but the two or three guys after two or three other guys already whiffed on their attempted tackles.

Tom Bradley has his work cut out for him and his unit. We can only hope this is addressed quickly, because there are some very good offensive teams coming up in the Big Ten schedule. Will they be as good as Alabama's machine-like offensive football team? No. Not even close. But you don't have to come close if the defense doesn't make the first, second, third or fourth tackle attempts on the ball-carriers.


In a word, depressing. Penn State vs. Alabama looked like JV vs. varsity. The score was 24-3, but it wasn't even that close. "Linebacker-U" now all of a sudden doesn't know how to tackle? How some people still are optimistic after this game boggles my mind. Bolden didn't look terrible, but if that is the only bright spot of this game then there is something seriously wrong with this team. They couldn't run the ball, stop the run, or defend the pass. D'Antonn Lynn played pretty well, holding Julio Jones in check, but that was about the only player on the defense who played at an acceptable level. Nick Sukay and Graham Zug both need to step up their game, and fast, if they want to avoid the bench. Personally, I think they already should be giving way to Chaz Powell, Brett Brackett, and Andrew Dailey. I liked the way the offense used Devon Smith, but that is about all I liked from this one.


I really don't have anything new to add to the consensus. We had our opportunities offensively, and we couldn't cash in. Shit happens. For somebody making his second career start and first-ever start on the road in a hostile environment, Rob Bolden did a pretty good job. Yes, he made some mistakes that weren't just the interception on PSU's first promising drive of the game but that's to be expected. I also have to give kudos to Galen Hall and Jay Paterno for not being timid with their play calling and practically throwing the kitchen sink at Bama's defense (i.e. taking shots downfield, reverses, getting the ball into Devon Smith's hands as much as possible). David "6-6 in 2010" Jones can kiss my ass.

The poor tackling by the defense was rather astonishing, I suppose part of it has to do with the fact that Trent Richardson is a beast and requires several guys to bring him down but still, we looked like San Jose State out there at times. It's a shame Gerald Hodges' season ended before it really began, I'm not saying he would've been a difference-maker but you have to wonder if he could've helped slow down the bleeding a little bit. And don't get me started on our safeties, are you telling me we don't have anyone better than Sukay or Astorino sitting on the bench, waiting for their shot to prove themselves? It's a shame, because the cornerbacks looked pretty solid, particularly D'Anton Lynn who quieted Julio Jones, if only the safeties would do their jobs as well...

I'm not mad about this loss at all. I knew going in that we were going to lose, Bama is simply a more talented team that looks like they're going to destroy everything in their path en route to a second straight SEC title. Their performance last Saturday night confirmed that in my eyes. This was a learning experience for PSU and hopefully they've already moved on and are focused on blowing away Kent State like they should this Saturday.

What's your take on the game?

Follow LBU on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to by Email


Post a Comment