Shots from the Shoe – Penn State

Written November 22nd, 2011 by Eric

Dr. Jon Woods dots the I in the first ever Second Script in a single game.

I’m not going to wax philosophic after that Penn State game.  Being in the stadium for Dr. Wood’s last home game was wonderful – particularly getting a chance to shake his hand and thank him for everything after the game.  The game, though, left a lot to be desired.

  • The Buckeye fans were wonderful during the game.  Lots of people will point to the fact that the PSU team was booed when they came into the stadium.  I will simply point out (and it’s something that has always annoyed me) that every team is booed coming into the stadium.  I can think of no better way to show respect to the other team given the situation then to treat them no differently than you would have otherwise.  It’s like the whole situation never happened.

Luke Fickell and Tom Bradley chat before the game.

  • Seeing Luke Fickell and Tom Bradley chatting in the middle of the field before the game was a very strange sight.  It is surprisingly hard to disassociate the white Penn State uniforms from the idea of Joe Paterno, so to not see Paterno on the field was mentally jarring.
  • Standing at the top of C-deck is extremely uncomfortable if you’re not a fan of heights.  I very nearly toppled over from disorientation and the resulting vertigo.  It is, however, a great place to really see the field.
  • The injuries to the defensive line have finally caught up with us.  I noticed we ran Jonathan Hankins at the left defensive end position most of the game.  Penn State’s long running plays up the middle were probably the most obvious sign of the problem with that strategy.  Hankins in the middle really makes a difference.
  • Be surprised!  We ran a screen (granted, thrown over Hyde’s head), and a three yard dump off to Boom Herron (who dropped it).  Perhaps these are the reasons we haven’t been running these plays this season?

Both football teams joined in for a very unique coin toss.

  • Hankins is not a defensive end.  I’m convinced our running defense has been so good because Hankins has been getting great leverage up the middle.  With him at end, Penn State won the leverage battle in a big way.
  • Who in god’s name runs two straight gimmick plays on their own ten yard line, down 6 points in the third quarter?  We were basically asking Penn State to take the ball from us.
  • Don’t answer that, we all know who did it.
  • That said, credit the defense for a great stand after that fumble.  We made it just as easy for PSU as we possibly could, and completely and repeatedly stuffed them.  Very impressive.
  • Tom Bradley deserves a “Derp” award for deciding to go for the touchdown rather than just putting us down two scores.  That’s basically the only thing that kept us in it at the end.
  • Lots of love to the defense for their second half performance.  They stopped Penn State from doing what they wanted to do, despite the Lions’ best efforts, and gave the offense a chance.
  • Unfortunately, the offense was not up to the task in any way, shape, or form.
  • It was nice to finally see Jake Stoneburner score a touchdown and tie the Ohio State TE touchdown record.  Only took us 8 games to get back to him.

The team sets up to hit Stoneburner in the endzone.

  • I understand why the 10 second clock run-off exists for the intentional grounding rule, but I didn’t realize that it did exist until they called it.  That’s a very unfortunate situation to encounter that particular rule.
  • As many people have said, DeVier Posey makes a big difference to this team.  I loved seeing him back out on the field, and he made some truly spectacular catches.  I hope Devin Smith and Evan Spencer grow into receivers like Posey.  They’ve got the talent (particularly Smith), they just need to learn the ropes.
  • This team has a lot of similarities to the 1999 6-6 team.  There’s lots of youth after the loss of our big-time starting quarterback, and simply a total inability to play offense.
  • It’s hard saying good-bye to kids like Nate Ebner, Nate Oliver, Donnie Evege, and Michael Brewster.  These kids gave their all for the school and the team their entire careers.  They deserved a much better ending than they got.

A picture to warm Vico's heart. The Donnie hugs Fickell after his Senior Day introduction.

  • That goes for Boom Herron, DeVier Posey, and Mike Adams too – despite their mistakes.  They have their hearts in the right place, even if their brains haven’t been.

 

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