Michigan State Spartans 28 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS 22

Football season is over.

Penn State played pretty uninspired football for 3 quarters today, falling to the Michigan State Spartans. The Nittany Lions could not get much going offensively after their first drive, when Evan Royster ran roughshod over Sparty. MSU adjusted and built up a 14-3 half time lead. The Nittany Lions seemed to be stopping Sparty for 1 yard gains on first down before giving up 12 yard plays on second down.

QB Matt McGloin did not have a strong game, only making plays late, for the most part. He looked cold throughout the game, and if I were coaching, I would have pulled him in the 3rd quarter for Rob Bolden. McGloin’s subsequent touchdown drives showed what he was capable of, but it was too little too late. As far as I am concerned, the quarterback position should be open going into the bowl game. Graham Zug had several important catches in his final home game.

WR Derek Moye gets the game ball for Penn State. He made several clutch catches, probably would have had a touchdown late if the replay did not have to be inconclusive, and then got one anyway after stripping a Spartan DB who inexplicably ran an interception out of the end zone.

The defense was not very good today and missed Mike Mauti, who got some playing time, but did not start. Bani Gbadyu had a couple tackles for a loss, which was a nice change. The defense could not get much pressure on MSU QB Kirk Cousins, and that was what they needed to do to win. The defense did make two big fumble recoveries in the 4th quarter, though.

Special teams were terrible for Penn State. They never got good field position based on kick returns and Alex Butterworth did not have much success punting, hopefully Anthony Fera is back for the bowl game. Two 2-point conversions failed, though one was not planned, but holder Brett Bracket had trouble with the snap and overthrow an open receiver.

A disappointing end to the 2010 regular season. Given where Penn State was after the Illinois loss, they recovered okay and gave us a couple of great games against Michigan and Northwestern, plus a zany one against Indiana in my back yard, but this team underachieved. Better leadership and a healthier Joe Paterno are needed if they will improve against a tough 2011 schedule. I am still going to miss football Saturdays though.

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