Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Orange Bowl Thoughts

1. What a game! No matter what team you pull for, you have to have walked away impressed. Both defenses came to play, especially Florida State's. I think having Wimbley back on the line really helped them especially since Penn State lost BOTH starting running backs during the course of the ball game. Florida State put consistent pressure on Robinson and forced him to make quick decisions.

2. It's really too bad that Michael Robinson doesn't have another year of eligibility. He could have developed into an elite QB. Thinking back to how he turned the ball over four times in one half against Northwestern and then to how he threw only one (meaningless at that) interception they entire game. He was playing with two back up running backs, no Derrick Williams and a corps of wideouts that dropped several passes. Yet he was able to put up a respectable performance and helped the Lions to go out on top.

3. Where has Austin Scott been the past three years? Going into 2003, he had been anointed as the answer to the loss of Larry Johnson. Instead Tony Hunt would eventually answer that call. I came away extremely impressed with Scott's running ability against a very tough Florida State front seven, perhaps the fiercest that PSU has faced this season. A 100 yard, 2 TD game against a stout defense in a big game isn't a shabby performance. Scott's emergence in the Orange Bowl gives PSU a great new offensive spark for 2006 or 2007. A two-headed monster at tailback with Hunt and Scott in 2006 or redshirt Scott and have a senior tailback for what will be an extremely talented and experienced team in 2007.

4. Relying on a kicker to win a game is bad. Penn State should have had the same mentality in the first overtime that they had in the third. In the third, the offense looked to actually be progressing down the field, trying to get a better angle and length. On the first OT series, it looked like they just wanted to kick on first down and ran a number of silly plays. Cismesia's missed PAT changed the entire game. If he makes it, Florida State wins on the FG in regulation.

5. Dan Connor was extremely impressive. He was flying all over the field making plays and then took control of the linebacking corps when Paul Posluszny left the game. Whether Poz returns in 2006 or not, Dan Connor will make a name for himself as one of the best linebackers in the nation. Missing the first three games of the season really hurt him and it took him a couple of weeks to get re-adjusted. Barring anymore stupid mistakes off the field, Connor will emerge as a force at LB in 2006.

6. This was the first game since being injured where Derrick Williams was really missed. His speed and playmaking abilities would have kept Florida State's defenders on their toes a little bit more, especially if put at the same time with Justin King. Deon Butler was hardly heard from all night long. While you can't judge him based on his performance in one game, perhaps he can better help Penn State at defensive back in 2006, as it has been rumored since Chris Bell verballed to Penn State in early November.


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