Sunday, September 11, 2005

Week Two: Penn State 42, Cincinnati 24

Despite the fact that Penn State gave up more than 21 points in a game since the season ending loss to Michigan State in 2001, the win the over Cincinnati was very satisfying. The offense seemed to struggle for much for the first quarter but began to pick it up in the second quarter and really took off in the second half. Quarterback Michael Robinson looked much better against the Bearcats than he did against South Florida. Robinson completed 11 of 17 passses for 220 yard, 3 passing touchdowns, a rushing TD and an interception. Robinson still needs to cut down on costly turnovers as he also fumbled the football in Bearcat territory. The young wideout corps also looked very good as Derrick Williams caught 4 passes for 60 yards, Deon Butler had two grabs for 73 yards and a touchdown and Justin King had a long 59 yard TD reception. The Nittany Lions surprised many by not attempting to establish the running game against Cincinnati. Tony Hunt had just 11 carries for 44 yards after setting a career high in rushing yards against South Florida. However, the offensive line looked much better today, giving Robinson time to throw the ball, move around in the pocket and make plays with his legs rather than just running for his life as the pocket collapses around him. I was very impressed with the play of A.Q. Shiply, a converted DT. He seems to be the only player on the O-Line with a mean streak. Hopefully Paterno will continue to play him. Anthony Morelli looked very sharp off the bench. He completed 4 of 5 for 25 yards. I'm sure I wasn't the only Penn State fan salivating at the thought of Morelli throwing to these young wide receiers in 2006 and 2007. I would go as far as to say that he may be Penn State's best QB since Kerry Collins. The kicking game was once again solid as Kevin Kelly nailed all of his PAT attempts and placed several kick offs in the end zone for touchbacks. Hopefully everything will come together for an entire game next week against Central Michigan.

Despite giving up 11 more points than they did against South Florida, the defense played a much more sound game against Cincinnati. The defensive line and linebackers seemed to always be in the backfield blowing up another Cincinnati running play. The only concern was that Bearcat QB Dustin Grutza threw for 286 yards. However, many of those came on a couple of long pass plays near the end of the game against the second and third stringers and then a 1st string that didn't care with PSU up 42-16 at that point. Anwar Phillips was beaten a couple of times. Paul Posluszny was his typically dominating self. It is scary to think how good this linebacking corps will be when Dan Connor returns, now supposedly Northwestern. Look for the defense to turn in another solid performance next week against Central Michigan. Hopefully the offense can run up the score early on and get some younger plays on both sides of the ball some experience.


Post a Comment

<< Home