Saturday, October 29, 2005

Week Nine: Penn State 33, Purdue 15

Penn State pretty much did what everyone expected today. The defense kept Purdue's offense in check and the Penn State offense did enough. Neither unit looked legendary out there but it was a game Penn State was supposed to win and didn't disappoint. Michael Robinson had another solid performance but is still over shooting some of his wide receivers. He missed Deon Butler by a couple of yards too many on a handful of plays. Robinson also fumbled the ball for only the second time since the Northwestern game. Tamba Hali was absolutely dominant on defense. He was causing #74 of Purdue fits all day long. Hali also made a rather athletic play for a lineman, knocking down a Brandon Kirsch pass in the third quarter on a 3rd down play. Penn State's lack of depth along the defensive line seemed to show on Purdue's second touchdown drive, they just seemed to get a little sluggish, similiar to the Michigan game. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about that at this point in the season. A.Q. Shipley has provided some nice depth at DT but the losses of Ed Johnson and Lavon Chisley has had a large impact as many forsaw.

Why is Calvin Lowery still returning punts? He isn't a smart returner and he doesn't have good hands, as Brent Musberger alluded to right before he touched and fumbled a punt that Purdue recovered that led to their first touchdown. Rodney Kinlaw had another nice kick off return this week. Anthony Scirrotto at least seems capable of making smart decisions on punt returns. I just don't understand Joe's logic behind continuing to allow Lowery to return punts. There are so many more effective returners to choose from.

Now Penn State prepares to host Wisconsin next week in what is a quasi-Big Ten championship game. The winner controls their own destiny for receiving the Big Ten's BCS bid. Playing at home will be a big advantage for Penn State. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the game and decibel level are of the same intensity of the Ohio State game. I think Penn State matches up very well with Wisconsin. The Badgers rely on a strong running game led by Brian Calhoun and Matt Bernstein. Bernstrein, as some may remember, was one of the few running backs to run well against Penn State last season. Penn State sports one of the best front sevens in the country and should be able to contain the Badger running game. John Stocco is not capable of winning this game for Wisconsin. The Badgers' defense is nowhere near as good as it was last season, the Nittany Lions should be able score enough to win.


Blogger The Nittany Turkey said...

Excellent synopsis, particularly with respect to the Lowry issue. I've been thinking the same thing most of the season. Finally, fed up with the special teams' performance, I cast a seven-point summary indictment in this week's article in The Nittany Turkey. Lowry's decision making is as mediocre as his runbacks have been.

Keep up the great work!

Sunday, October 30, 2005  

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