October 11, 2010

LBU Staff Reactions: Illinois 33, Penn State 13

Just gets better and better, huh? Here are our collective thoughts on Penn State's embarrassing loss to Illinois on homecoming weekend...

Penn State unable to block Illinois
So THAT'S what the offensive line has been doing wrong...
No one's told them to block the OTHER TEAM! (Photo: Mike/LBU)


Amazingly I’ve been down this path before and I’m really numb to it anymore. There’s simply no excuse for what we witnessed Saturday, there is no way that Penn State should get destroyed by a Big Ten also-ran which is pretty much where PSU is heading. Here’s the difference though, the leash is going to be very short this time around there’s a looming ticket price hike on the horizon and the administration knows people won’t pay a premium price for the product that’s being put on the field. This could be the perfect storm that forces Tim Curley’s hand; who’s going to shell out the big bucks to see this garbage? 40 bucks to park in cow shit… sign me up!!

If things don’t change fast there will be a lot of empty seats in Beaver Stadium next year. Looking ahead we have to realize as a fan base that OSU will eat our children, Michigan State will beat us, hell the more I look at it .500 would be an accomplishment for this team, Indiana is about the only win I can feel confident about. It’s really hard to be optimistic at this point.


I don't like this team. Last year, the Nittany Lions felt like a bunch of guys who played hard, but just couldn't put it together in the big regular season games. I liked last year's team, especially compared to this one. It doesn't look like they are having fun. Yes, it's difficult to have fun when you lose so much. But I remember back in 2003 and 2004, those teams had half the talent, but still came out with fire each week. How else did those teams pull off near major upsets of Purdue in '04 and Ohio State in '03. I don't see that happening this season.

Penn State can still make a bowl game, but I'm not sure it's a lock. This past weekend was a big wake up call for both Penn State and Illinois. The Illini appear to be much better than we had assumed going into the game; Penn State is much worse. The Nittany Lions' offensive line has been the biggest single-unit disaster since 2000, even surpassing pre-2005 wide receivers, the 2003 run defense, and Anthony Morelli. I'm not going to tell you that I think the coaching staff must make some changes; but after the last two seasons of disintegrating offensive line play, I'm warming to the idea.


I set a PR for shortest time spent watching a Penn State game on television before turning the TV off to go do something else that wouldn't cause me to break something valuable in the house. After the Illini went up 7-3, driving 80 yards down the field and looking rather flawless doing so, which was preceded by PSU having failed to get in the end zone the drive before that despite getting a gift from Illinois' special teams (i.e. starting inside the Illini 20 after a muffed punt), I knew shit was about to hit the fan and decided for my own mental health's sake to turn the fucking thing off and go take my first stroll through the local mall that I had long been putting off. I later on made the mistake of going inside a Dick's Sporting Goods at the mall where I just happened to see an "in game update" being shown on TV of Illinois increasing their lead to 27-13. Even the Auntie Anne's pretzel I bought could only do so much to make me less of a Sad Panda.

Yes, part of the problem is youth but there is way too much talent on this team to get their fucking asses kicked by 3 touchdowns at home to the Fighting Zookers. I don't give a damn which savior assistants Zook hired during the offseason. Dick Anderson and Bill Kenney are pulling a fucking Bernie Madoff on the PSU athletic department by continuing to collect paychecks despite routinely shitty offensive line play. I don't buy the fact that we don't get quality O-linemen, we've had our share of quality recruits yet at best, we get a good enough line maybe once every 3-4 years. And don't even get me started on the offensive playcalling, Jay Paterno should be pointing the finger at nobody but himself, and what in the hell does Galen Hall think he's doing by continuing to call run plays up the gut when it's clear that the O-line is incapable of blowing anybody off the ball? Where are the sweeps/off-tackle runs? Why doesn't Bolden line out of the shotgun more often or have a bunch of designed roll-out plays set up for him? I'm not suggesting that our offense would suddenly become a prolific juggernaut, but they're certainly worth trying. It's not like we have anything to lose..right, Joe?

This season and the program are both swiftly turning into a disaster. The players and coaches are supposedly clashing with each other and there is a complete lack of fire or emotion as far as winning is concerned. This is where it hurts to not have a head coach who is constantly involved and very hands-on with the team and instead delegates almost everything to his assistants. It's also likely to hurt us where it can have long-term ramifications: Recruiting. The end of the Paterno era really can't get here soon enough. Time for some young, energetic, proven head coach to turn PSU into a team that routinely challenges for the Big Ten title and beyond, a team that can actually win big games on the road against ranked opponents, a team that actually utilizes its strengths to the fullest.

In the meantime however, here's a message to the program courtesy of the late, great, Bill Hicks.

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