September 5, 2019

Stupid optimism

Beaver Stadium was surprisingly
full during pregame last week. 
Look, I remember the days when a win like the one over Idaho would give me too much optimism. There's no delusions here. BUT... Penn State looked really good. The first two offensive drives were meh, and that can't happen against any team better than Buffalo. That's not the point. The defense looked as good as we thought, probably better. Yes, even playing Idaho, Penn State looked better than I was expecting.

Sean Clifford appeared cool and confident after he shook off the first-game jitters. He made some throws--again, I know it was Idaho--that only good quarterbacks can make. The most noticeable takeaway from his performance was his arm strength. There were no underthrows, and only one bad overthrow that I could remember. Trace McSorley is the undisputed greatest quarterback to play for Penn State. But no one ever said his arm strength was, well, a strength. Clifford's accuracy and touch left nothing to be desired. We'll see how he does against progressively more stout defenses.

Which reminds me. The other day when we were going over the next few games, my 7-year-old said "well, Pitt is almost as good as Buffalo." I smiled and patted him on the back. He's a good, smart kid. I'm taking the whole family this weekend for the Buffalo game. It'll be the 4-year-old's first time at Beaver Stadium. We are (har har) very excited. Also, I'm thinking Penn State shows up again looking sharp: Penn State 55, Buffalo 0.

I won't get into Penn State's defense, because frankly I'm afraid I'll come out with bruises. What a season it will be if the defense really is this good. It would be a game-finishing defense that, sadly, we haven't seen in the biggest games Penn State has played since James Franklin took over. One more stop in each of the Ohio State (2x), Michigan State (2x), and USC losses would have won those games and Penn State would absolutely have made the playoffs in 2017 and 2018.

If you follow me on Twitter--which I expect all of you do since you're reading this post and no one outside of my twitter following knows this blog is alive again--take a look at the thread on Beaver Stadium's sound levels. It was really annoying during the Idaho game, and I hope they fix it for the Buffalo game.


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