Penn Shtate Preview

(This was post was supposed to be posted tomorrow, but thanks to the site’s EIC fat fingering, it went live early. Either way, enjoy. – ed)

The season is almost over and it can’t end any faster for our beloved Ohio State Buckeyes.  Off the field issues, poor performances by the coaching staff and players, and inconsistent play on the field by the “rotating” team leaders have left us where we are today.  Where are we?  Sitting pretty with a smooth 6-4 record and a more than realistic chance of losing the final two games of the season to finish 6-6.  Thanks poor decision-making of college students (tattoos…smh) and adults (covering up tattoo bartering exercise with lame excuses).

Speaking of poor decision-making…get a load of Penn State.  Someone should put together a case study on how to “not” run a school or athletic department in times of legal duress.  This should be written up after someone puts together a case study on how to “not” run a school or athletic department in times of NCAA duress.

I have a special place in my heart for a few schools.  They exist in this special place for various reasons.  Michigan is a no-brainer and this isn’t a Michigan preview, so we will just save that vitriol for another time thank you very much.  You would think that Wisconsin would be here, but really Wisconsin…they are the semi-attractive girl in high school that you know could look really good if she would just stop chewing on tree bark, smoking marlboro reds like a chimney, and eating the cafeteria pizza everyday (like a boss) in her spare time.  I’ve got no time for her right now and it really doesnt matter.  You already know how her story is going to end.  She will remain ugly (ie be Wisconsin) and pop out a bunch of large ugly kids (ie. Wisconsin recruiting) before the marvels of modern dentistry, exercise, and nicorette are bestowed upon her.

Penn State is the school that encounters most of my disdain.  Why Penn State?  Talk to any living alumni or current student and they will all tell you the same thing.  “Penn State does it the right way.”  Ya know…with honor and stuff.  We have all heard this for years no matter which team you supported.  Even the media has jumped on it in the past that JoePa and mighty Penn State can do no wrong.  While high profile schools like OSU and even Michigan have been in the crosshairs of the media and the NCAA for misdeeds (extra practice yielding no better on-field results for Michigan and tattoos yielding no better on-field results for Ohio State),  Penn State and everyone that associates with the school has been “white-towering” all of us.  They have been for years.  I have always held the belief that State College has protected the Penn State name from a lot of things that we will never hear about.  The only reason we have recently heard about the increasing number of incidents is because of Al Gore’s fantastic invention of the internet.  Players can’t escape the scrutiny of social media with message boards and twitter.  State College is the Ohio college geographical equivalent of Ada (Home base for Ohio Northern).  If Ohio Northern packed up its bags and left Ada, there would be no more Ada (Yes, the Hardees would close down fo realz).  Plain and simple, the lifeblood of State College (just like Ada on a larger scale) is Penn State University.  We have the same thing out here with Washington State in Pullman.  All of these schools are geographically located in areas of their respective states that no one wants to visit unless they are required (or maybe if you are on the run from the law).  I know that this may be a reach to someone that supports Penn State, but bear with me and hear me out.  Maybe, just maybe, it benefits State College to never place the school or its athletic department (aka the football team) in harm’s way if the town can avoid it.  I am not saying that everyone that lives there is a liar and wouldn’t do the honorable thing (that distinction goes to the coaching staff for the PSU football team), but let’s just say that it is not out of the realm of possibility that the people in authority turned their heads upon seeing some poor player behavior.  I know…it is a foreign concept that would never happen in Ann Arbor or Columbus.  I may be kidding a little bit only for the simple reason that it does happen in these places, but the sheer population does not allow for these things to swept under the rug as easily as it is in a place like State College.  I have often had (scary, scary) visions of Joe Paterno going all Coach Kilmer (Try and tell me you didn’t just pull a “I don’t want your life” and have visions of Vandermemes past.) on the State College PD for late night extra-curricular activities starring the players of the PSU football team.   The fight club mantra of “On a long enough timeline. The survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”  can also be fairly equated to major football programs.  There is absolutely no way that Penn State could be that clean.  It isn’t possible.  It is like saying that graduates of SEC schools outside of Vandy and Florida can read beyond an 8th grade level.  Sorry, it isn’t believable…not to me and not to anyone.  I actually hope that Mike McQueary is telling the truth, because if he did go to the police…well…it will make this cover-up (Another Penn State dirty little secret) look even worse.

*rant fin

Now onto the game?

Oh yeah…I guess there is a game this week between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions.  I guess there was also some type of email that was sent out telling OSU fans and students to keep it on the level this weekend and not be John Q. Wisconsin fan, John Q. Penn State fan, or even John Q. Michigan fan tailgating on the golf course.  I appreciate the sentiment, but if the roles were reversed and OSU was playing at any of these schools (maybe an exception of UM), we would not get the type of “quarter” that is being asked of us by our own university.  From urine bags to beer cans, Penn State fans have earned every bit of the upcoming vitriol this weekend and every weekend going forward.

One of the biggest surprises of the year (outside Denard’s annual post-September Heisman collapse), has been Penn State’s ability to put together a solid season rolling off to an 8-1 start prior to an almost expected loss to Nebraska.  Granted, this has been thanks to the B1G scheduling gods for putting Minnesota on the schedule 6 times before having to play anyone with a pulse until Nebraska rolled into town.

On offense, PSU has a solid ground game with Silas Redd who is averaging over 100 yards per game and basically is the PSU offense.  Penn State has been winning in spite of the terrible QB play (imo) of the walk-on Matt “Moxie” McGloin.  He is more of a blue-collar QB that will make plays through sheer will where a lack of talent may be exposed.  McGloin has at least eliminated the amount of interceptions this season with only three for the season.  It is going to be a lunchpail game for Penn State.  They are going to run the ball…A LOT.  This should help OSU’s defense, if they are ready to start tackling people on Senior day.  If Silas has 60+ yards in the 1st half, I would just start punching yourself in the balls over and over again instead of watching the second half.  This would be a perfect game to get Christian Bryant into the star position and have him run around and try to make something happen against the run game, because that guy is feast or famine against the pass (mostly famine).

Penn State has never had any issues with playing defense in the past and it wont be the case in this meeting either.  They are currently 3rd in the FBS in scoring defense, which is around the area where we normally find the OSU defense in this statistic…but not this year my friend.  OSU is 16th in this category, so the expectation will probably have this game in the low 20’s on either side.  As is always the case, there will be a defensive lineman that plays the game of his life against OSU and that one will most likely be Devon Still.  Still has had a very good season and should show favorably in this game if Shugarts isn’t available.  This terrifies all OSU fans…or at least it should, as OSU is craptastic at protecting the QB this season (dead last in the B1G in sacks allowed).  Did you know that Ohio State is 27th in the country in rushing offense without a single player in the top 14 rushers in the B1G?  I am not sure if they will hit their 200 yard rushing average in this game, but let’s hope for everyone’s sanity in Columbus that they get close.

Game Prediction:  PAIN and lots of ugliness.  This game will be won on the ground unless Moxie has another first half like he had  last season in Columbus.  Most of us on the OSU side would prefer the second half Moxie show up in Columbus again where he was a walking “pick 6” machine. Obviously, the game will be won on the ground, which is the way Old Testament God intended in the B1G.

So that leaves us with the weekly questions……

1.) Will OSU slow down Silas Redd and hold him under 100 yards?
2.) Will OSU score any TDs?
3.) Over/Under passing attempts for Braxton set at 8.  What do you got?
4.) Who has more rushing yards Boom or Braxton?
5.) How many times will Braxton be sacked in this game?
6.) Greater number of media mentions?  OSU NCAA Issues or Penn State Issues
7.)What is the final score?

YNBA Score Prediction: 20-17 Ohio State

Comments

  1. 1-Maybe. It depends on how close to the start of the game they realize there’s a game going on. With it being a noon start I’m not too confident.
    2-If they’re lucky. The way this season has gone, I doubt it.
    3-I’ll take the over. But if he completes more than 5, I’ll be shocked.
    4-Braxton, but not by a lot.
    5-Somewhere north of 5 I think. PSU’s defense is a little better than Purdue’s.
    6-I have no idea. I haven’t figured out where it’ll be televised yet.
    7-I’m sticking with my prediction from a few weeks ago. 2-0 Buckeyes. In OT. This game will make the LSU-Alabama game from a few weeks ago look like Warren Moon’s Oilers vs. Dan Fouts’ Chargers.

  2. This may be the game to “really” set football back about 50 years. It is pretty interesting to see the SEC go back to being the old SEC…no offense (exception of Arkansas)…all defense. I may be reaching here, but I believe that the SEC is on the start of the downward slope of its dominance cycle, regardless of the LSU or Alabama’s success this year.

  3. 1. Since the game starts at 3:30 (ahem, Ninja), everyone should be awake at kickoff. Still, I don’t know if PSU has any other valid offensive options. I’ll say yes, but it’ll be close.

    2. Yes, maybe even on offense.

    3. Over on attempts AND completions. Welcome back, Posey!

    4. I’m assuming you mean more rushing yards. I’ll go with Brax here, threat of Posey means more QB lanes on passing downs.

    5. Yikes. 5.

    6. Tough one. Posey’s return opens that door and PSU material may be all used up.

    7. While I admire Ninja predicting a safety in overtime (is that even possible?), I think Posey opens up opportunities for all, but defense rules this game. 23-9 Ohio State (including at least one Pick Six.)

  4. 1.) Silas Redd under 100 yards? — Probably.
    2.) Will OSU score any TDs? — Probably.
    3.) Over/Under passing attempts — Attempts will be in mid teens
    4.) Boom or Braxton rushing yards? Boom will do better statistically, but only because of Braxton’s inevitable sack yardage.
    5.) Braxton sacks – Infinity+1.
    6.) Greater number of media mentions? Equal, slight edge to PSU.
    7.)Final score? – Both teams have weak offenses and good defenses. But OSU is markedly better in special teams. OSU rides good punting and solid returns to (a) get better field position all day and (b) give the offense a spark, and wins 23-10.

  5. 1) Redd will be splitting carries, so under 100
    2) OSU has a offensive explosion and scores 2 TDs
    3) Over. The passing game goes NUTS.
    4) Boom
    5) Is Shugarts playing OT? No? Then pain. There will be pain sacks.
    6) Always. Be. Muting.
    7) OSU 14-12

  6. Hahahhahahaahha….

    Sorry, I’m just laughing because I used to shower with Jerry Sandusky…and liked it.

    PS. I live in my nana’s basement in western Denver.

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