November 22, 2010

LBU Staff Reactions: Penn State 41, Indiana 24

Our thoughts, straight from the can.
Derek Moye


Penn State did the opposite of what we are used to by coming out with an aggressive game plan and jumping out to two quick scores on their first two drives. The defense got a little complacent around the second quarter which allowed Indiana to creep back in and tie it up. In the end though the Lions were just too much for a struggling Hoosiers team as Penn State pulled away to take a 41-25 lead. Game balls go to Matt McGloin and Nate Stupar. McGloin was extremely efficient completing 22 of his 31 passes for 315 yards 2 touchdowns and more importantly, no interceptions.

On Defense, Stupar was everywhere making 10 tackles, 1 for a loss. The turning point in the game though was a blocked punt by Andrew Dailey which was scooped up by James Van Fleet and returned 21 yards for a Penn State touchdown. With the exception of Tandon Doss’ big day returning kickoffs, the special teams did really well. Apparently Penn State grows punters somewhere in one of the ag buildings because freshman punter Alex Butterworth stepped in for an injured Anthony Fera and filled in quite nicely averaging 41 yards per punt with one downed inside the 20. Our kickoffs suffered a bit without Fera’s big leg to get the ball in the endzone but I think punting will be fine.


Penn State won. I can't really ask for much else than that. As much as I want to heap praise on this team for maturing over the course of the season, it's very tough to get over the fact that much of this success is coming against lame defenses. This is the kind of warm-up that this team needed in September, not November. Just imagine if these were the kinds of defenses the offense had to face early. By this time in the season, we'd see an established offensive line, a much better offensive game plan, and probably a bit stiffer defense. But what can we really say? Penn State is winning again, and that's fantastic.

Indiana was a bad team with a few good players. I was very impressed by Tandon Doss and Ben Chappell, and also with the wrinkles Bill Lynch threw at Penn State, particularly with the dual-QB system on a few drives. But the Hoosiers' defense lost this game for the "home team," and if I were an Indiana fan, I'd be very depressed thinking about how good this team could be with just a mediocre defense. Penn State stalled a few times on offense, but had very little problems driving 87 and 99 yards the first two drives, then following it up with a crucial 70-yard drive in the fourth quarter.

Penn State can beat Michigan State this weekend. But it will require this team to put everything together for one game. All the big performances. All the adversity. All the fine-tuning on both sides of the ball. This is the season, right here.


The only thing that kept Saturday's game competitive was Indiana's Doss. Penn State came out of the gates fast and finished fast, but lulled in the middle and the Hoosiers capitalized keeping it close. I find the McGloin/Bolden debate tiring, because both sides are generally arguing similar points without acknowledging the opposing view (not referring to you, Mike). What I didn't understand from the soundbites (from the coaches) is that they want to get Bolden on the field, and yet when the offense is struggling through the middle of the game, Bolden's not getting any action. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, Penn State's got two capable QB's, but not willing to use the change-up when it's probably the best strategy. Ultimately, this is off-season chatter creeping in with a game and bowl still left in this season, focus needs to be on ruining Sparty's Rose Bowl chances.


The tailgating was modest but awesome, nonetheless. I didn't like how we were forced to either walk a half mile in the other direction before turning towards the stadium or cutting through the woods and stepping over prickly thorns to reach the stadium much quicker. Needless to say, my friends and I took the latter route which made us feel like illegals crossing the border.

It was beyond laughable just how much the folks at FedEx Field were trying to make it look and sound like an Indiana home game. IU's PA announcer was brought in and in an effort to try and offset the grossly disproportionate ratio of PSU to IU fans (which was about 80/20 PSU), the Hoosier marching band was mic'd up. That's right, from our upper deck seats, we could hear the IU marching band loud and clear despite the fact they were sitting in the lower bowl on the other side of the stadium, thanks to the fact that they had a microphone set up near them. That's why they're Indiana...

Oh, as for the game itself: It should've been over by halftime. The defense got complacent after the quick 14-0 start and allowed IU to get back into it. Of course, they did just enough to prevent IU from taking the lead, getting stops when they absolutely had to. You could feel the momentum in the stadium permanently shift towards the PSU majority after that blocked kick return for a TD by Van Fleet. I was also highly disappointed that Bolden only saw one series at QB in the game's final couple of minutes. Why he's not getting more reps is beyond me. I realize he'll get his first full offseason to bulk up and learn the playbook some more but why not continue to get him valuable game experience?

Anyway, we got the win, everybody's happy, time to ruin Sparty's season one last time.

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