October 4, 2010

LBU Staff Reactions: Iowa 24, Penn State 3

Another week, another disappointing display of offense by Penn State, ending in another loss to a BCS bowl winner. Here are some thoughts from the LBU folks...


I was going to write my reaction Sunday morning but I waited and I’m glad I did because I was still pissed. Now that I’ve had time to think about it reality has set in. I thought Iowa was Penn State’s best chance for a victory out of the big three on the schedule and they didn’t even keep it close. We all went into this game thinking the O-line was going to be the problem, actually they held their own, all things considered, the rest of the team sucked. Bolden was decent but even when he hit receivers in the chest they dropped it. Silas Redd is Penn State’s best option at running back but he’ll remain buried in the depth chart, ripping off large chunks of yardage whenever the coaches give him a carry or two. Bad tackling reared its ugly head yet again, I’m not going to point out specifics but there are a few guys on defense that tackle so bad it might be time to look for other options.

All that pales in comparison to the putrid play calling on offense and specifically on defense. There’s no continuity or flow to the plays called on offense at all, it’s almost as if they use a dartboard with the plays on it in the booth. The problem is we’re stuck with Jay until Joe finally hangs it up. Joe will never admit his son is a horrible coordinator so get used to it Penn State fans this is what we’re married to so you might as well get fat, dumb and happy with it. Then there’s the defense. The old bend and then break our hearts defensive philosophy. Bradley’s sit-back-and-let-the-opposing-team-pick-you-apart play calling did exactly that. Penn State will sit back and wait for inferior teams to beat themselves using superior athleticism but against the good teams on the schedule it just doesn’t work and this is the result. Every time Penn State blitzed on Saturday (which was about once every 10 plays), something good happened unfortunately blitzes are far and few between at Penn State, we’re still playing defense from the 80’s. Other schools use speed to pressure opposing quarterbacks into mistakes at Penn State we wait and hope the other guy screws up.

So this is what we have until further notice so you might as well get used to it. Looking ahead, Penn State doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell at beating tOSU and right now Michigan State is looking more and more like a loss. Hell after watching Illinois against OSU this past weekend I’m worried about this Saturday’s game. I still think Minnesota, Michigan, and Indiana are wins but Northwestern is a tossup.


Did Penn State just lose to Minnesota, or Iowa? Because looking at some of the fan reaction across the internet Saturday night (and well into Sunday morning), you'd think it were the former that defeated Penn State 24-3. This loss, for me, was about as disappointing as the Alabama loss. But in a way it was almost more so, because Penn State had more opportunities at earlier stages in the game, while the defense only looked like that week-two version for only about a quarter. I was completely floored when the first quarter stat line showed Total Yards: Iowa 148, Penn State 1. Not only was the Penn State offense in a ditch, the defense was getting torched on both the ground and through the air. I really thought Penn State would lose by five touchdowns... at least. But the defense tightened up--don't say Kirk Ferentz let up, because that's bullshit--only allowing 201 yards the rest of the game. And the offense got moving before the half.

The Nittany Lions need nothing else this season than to grow up and find an offensive line that can give Bolden more than 0.5 seconds to throw and Evan Royster more than 0.5 inches of space to run through. I don't like seasons like this one, having experienced two of the worst ('03 and '04) while I was attending PSU. But I also don't like fans who are unable to appreciate that this year's team was never meant to do great things. Where was this kind of "OMG IT's the DaRK yeARs ALL OVeR agan!" outrage in 2006, or 2007? There wasn't any, because back then, fans still had perspective. I fear that's been lost this year.


I pretty much went dark after Saturday night, because of the overwhelming stupidity already spewing from the fan base. God help anyone foolish enough to look around a message board. Unlike the scathing reaction I had to last year's heartless effort in a loss to Iowa at home with supposed senior leadership, this may be Paterno's youngest on-field team ever or at least since the 60's. The defense continues to have trouble starting the game before clamping down, I don't know if its a practice issue or simply coaches playing around with player combinations until they find the right mix every week. The offense got its legs after the first quarter, but still can't finish drives. That pick six near the end was ugly, not sure if that was a bad read or bad route, but Bolden would've had a pretty good game without the inexcusable drops by his receivers. To be claiming this is the end of the world after losses on the road to Alabama and Iowa is ridiculous when they were slotted as presumed losses before the season even started. I think its time for some people to get their heads on straight and learn some damn patience.


Well, If you look at my prediction, this outcome surprised me very little. Penn State could not muster anything offensively, and the Nittany Lions defense played decently, I guess. I think what we really learned on Saturday night is that this is really not the year for this team to compete for the conference title. Plain and simple, it really is a re-building year, especially now that one of the senior offensive linemen is hurt. The apologists will continue to say Penn State is making progress and showed arbitrary words like "promise" and "poise" and "potential", but I think the graphic in the first quarter told the story. Total Yards: Penn State 1 Iowa 148. Through five games, Rob Bolden has thrown three touchdowns and six interceptions. Has he shown signs of being a capable quarterback? Yes. But the numbers speak for themselves.

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  1. I don't think its time to panic. Like some of you stated these were known losses before the season started. However, I never expected them to lose in such a demoralizing way. The only two players on the feild that impressed me were Devon Smith and Mick Sukay. Everyone else looked uninspired and overmatched.

  2. First, I'm tired of hearing about how bad Bolden's pick-6 was. With 1:40 left in the game, down by 14, you damn well better be forcing the ball down the field. Who cares if it's low probability--safe plays give you 0% chance to win at that point. Instead, I recommend you take issue with the staff, who forced Bolden into that position by punting with 4 minutes left. Shameful.

    Phew, ok! For all its faults, there is a lot to like about this team. Anybody see the UF-Alabama score? We'll be OK...it's safe to step back from the ledge.

    And if you need something to look forward to, just think of all the seniors Iowa loses next year. We should be in pretty good shape by then.

  3. This team is horrible, 7-5 is a realistic goal, we were destroyed by Alabama and Iowa remember our best win this year is against Temple!

    Time for Joe to star in weekend at Bernie's IV!

  4. You're right Joe, we're HORRIBLE. We got beat by a couple of Top 10 caliber teams on the road and we won't show ANY improvement the rest of the year in any facet of the game. We also will struggle to have a winning season because our best win so far is against Temple...Do me a favor and jump already.

  5. @Joe -- So, let me get this straight... you think that because Penn State didn't beat the No. 1 and No. 14 teams in the nation, Joe Paterno should DIE?

    Wow, I knew the fanbase was losing its collective mind, but this goes a bit far.

  6. I'll give Bolden a pass since he is young, but someone on Penn States staff needs to understand that Devon Smith should not be playing wide receiver, he is way to small. Bolden continually looks to throw to Smith even when he is covered. A 5'6" receiver will never catch the ball in traffic. I don't think "Joe must go" but surely Dick Anderson should. They need to focus on getting better line recruits and better development for them. I'm tired of hearing about the 4 and 5 star recruits who come to Penn State and never make an impact. Find a line coach who can recruit and develop talent.