Sunday, November 06, 2005

Week Ten: Penn State 35, Wisconsin 14

Unbelieveable. If someone told me that after ten weeks of play that Penn State would be 9-1, a win away from a BCS bid and a second away from perfection, I would never would have believed it. Don't get me wrong, I fully expected Penn State to have a good season. I figured that 8 or 9 wins was in the realm of possibility and a trip back to Florida on January 2nd. Instead the Nittany Lions are a victory against struggling Michigan State away from earning the Big Ten's BCS bid and a likely trip to Tempe or Miami. Even a trip to Pasadena isn't out of the question if the stars align. Joe Paterno should be the Coach of the Year if Penn State finishes 10-1 considering that PSU would be 11-0 if not for Lloyd "Crybaby" Carr's successful petition of the referees for an additional two seconds. Job well done, JoePa. Penn State really was only a "player or two away".

The Wisconsin game was a great way for the senior class to go out. After suffering through three losing seasons in the five years that some spent in Happy Valley it has to be very satisfying to know that you have the opportunity to be remembered as a part of the team that rejuvanated Nittany Lion football. The game displayed what this Penn State team has done all season long- score points, run the football well and play spectacular defense. I wish this defense was going to be back next season for Anthony Morelli to fall back on. I have no reservations in saying that this defensive unit is PSU's best since the 1986 championship squad. Tamba Hali is an absolute beast at defensive end. I don't want to hear about Virginia Tech's Darryl Tapp or even Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka, Tamba Hali is the most dominant defensive end in the nation. He absolutely dominated Wisconsin's offensive line all game long. He record FOUR sacks and had John Stocco on his toes. Paul Posluszny was once again flying all over the field making tackles and helped hold Brian Calhoun to 38 yards on the ground and end his Heisman candidacy, just like Laurence Maroney when the Gophers came to Happy Valley and felt the rath of the Heisman Graveyard. Alan Zemaitis helped end Wisconsin's only real threat of making a game of it when he picked off a Stocco pass in the endzone. The offense was once again well balanced with Robinson tossing it to Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood along with Tony Hunt tearing up the Badgers' defense on the ground. Tony Hunt is the most underrated tailback in college football. He has meant a lot to the Nittany Lions' rejuvanated offense but has not received the same recognition as Michael Robinson and Derrick Williams. With Penn State breaking in a new starting QB next season, Hunt will have to continue his strong running and perhaps finally garner the recognition he deserves.

Congratulations to Penn State's senior class. Without their will to win and outstanding leadership, Penn State's turnaround would not have been possible.


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