Monday, October 27, 2008

Penn State Looks To Be Real

Joe Pa’s boys are playing well where it most matters

Longtime readers will remember when we questioned the results of the so-called “Game of the Century” between Ohio State and Michigan in 2006 as, in reality, a battle between two defensively challenged teams.

We won’t have the same complaint about this past weekend’s matchup between the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes.

Penn State held OSU to 6 points – at Columbus – the Buck’s second lowest scoring output of the year. Ohio State’s one worse game was their loss to USC where they scored 3. To see how effective Penn State was defensively, let’s compare the boxes –

The Lions held Ohio State to only 14 first downs, one better than USC. While USC held the Bucks to 80 less yards, Penn State held Ohio State to 10 less yards rushing. This WITH Beanie Wells in the game, where he was absent at USC.

Think about that again – with their star Wells present, at home in Ohio Stadium, the Buckeyes were held to 61 yards rushing, with 55 yards of that attributable to Wells. All-in-all, Penn State’s effort on defense compares favorably with the Trojans.

The Trojans had a better offensive day against the Bucks than Penn State by 67 yards, but the Lions played a near flawless game against Ohio State in a hostile environment, with no penalties and no turnovers. This is a disciplined team.

Penn State currently ranks 3rd nationally in scoring defense at 11.1 ppg. They are 8th nationally offensively at 41.8 ppg.

Having been tested on the road, the rest of the schedule sets up well with games at Iowa, and home against Indiana and Michigan State. Since it is hard to imagine Texas and Alabama going undefeated, Paterno’s boys look to be headed to the BCS title game, barring an upset.

Then, it will be interesting to see if the Big Ten getting blown in title games out is a phenomena unique to Ohio State or not.


Anonymous said...

I guess my problem with Penn State is that its quite possible that the Lions will end the year with a weaker schedule than Utah. Given that the argument against non-BCS teams getting a title shot has always been schedule strength, this would seem to be a dramatic case which undermines any remaining pretensions of legitmacy that the BCS claims to have.

Mergz said...

My guess is that Penn State will end the year with a pretty pitiful SOS, 68th and just behind Utah as you state.

Still they have been pretty stout defensively.

I think Iowa has a shot at them, and is better than their record. But you are right about the troubling aspects of this, and even with the good D, they are a mystery.

DolFan 316 said...

I said last week to watch out for Iowa. They'll either beat PSU outright or come as close as a team can to it. I just have this hunch. Plus PSU has looked increasingly beatable lately.

Andrew said...

Stout defense against the teams they play doesn't tell us much... I'm hoping for an upset!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Florida has never been blown out in a huge bowl game...

Fiesta Bowl '95 anyone?

Nebraska 62
Florida 24

Oh, and Florida fans should be thanking Buckeyes everytime they see one for their '96 National Championship. If OSU doesn't beat ASU in the Rose Bowl they don't win it.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

And OSU fans should thank the referees for throwing a flag on a phantom pass interference against Miami so they could win their championship. Or perhaps they should thank Willis McGahee for blowing out his knee at the end of that game.

Anonymous said...

OSU had 6 National Championships prior to that game.

Florida is a Johnny Come Lately in respect to college football.

OSU has been great for decades.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I only care about shit that happened in my lifetime. And I never gave a damn about the bogus national championship. You picked the wrong blog to talk smack. Look at the sidebar for our series about how stupid it is to claim national championships.

Anonymous said...

Would you rather discuss number of...

All Americans?
All time wins?

Again, my original point was that Florida has been blown out in a National Championship game (in your lifetime) much worse than OSU.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

no dicklick, I'd rather talk about the present. No ancient times douchie douch.

Anonymous said...

dicklick? douchie douch?


The present huh?

I realize Florida fans don't know anything about college football pre 1990 but I thought you guys loved to talk about the past two National Championship games. You know, those two games in the PAST that are supposedly the reason PSU isn't supposed to be in the Championship game.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

You must not be able to read too well jizzbag. The comments from anonymous people are not necessarily the opinions of the writers here. Neither I nor the author of this post said such a thing. But now that you mention it, the Big Ten champion has gotten spanked by the SEC champion two years in a row. I want the BCS to blow up and be replaced by a legitimate playoff so I wouldn't mind Penn State taking a beating in the fraud of a national championship game.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I know.

The author of the post was wondering if getting blown out in a championship game was unique to OSU. I simply stated that it was not by pointing to the fact Florida was blown out even worse in a previous year.

Like 62 to 24 worse.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Dude, OSU has been blown out twice in a row. The blowout of which you speak occurred 13 years ago and the Gators have won that stupid BCS twice since then.

Like I said let's talk about the present.

Anonymous said...


The Gators won it '06.

If you are talking about overall BCS games the Gators are 3-1.

OSU is 4-2.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you want to talk about the present OSU has lost to two teams ranked in the Top 5 this year....Florida on the other hand was beaten by a non-ranked team (at home no less).

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I misspoke. I meant stupid MNC. 96 and 06.

Dude, you're right. OSU is the Bomb!

They are so good. You know that their rookie QB could destroy the Gator D. I sure hope the Gators don't face them bucks in a bowl game. I'm so scared.