Category Archives: PSU Football 2010

Outback Bowl: Florida 37 Penn State 24; Bolden wants out

This just in — Matt McGloin just threw another interception.

The Penn State Nittany Lions concluded their 2010 season with an interception filled Outback Bowl against the Florida Gators. Despite leading heading into the fourth quarter, the Nittany Lions lost fairly big. McGloin, the walk-on quarterback showed why he was a walk-on and why his teammates dubbed in Brett Favre prior to the season. McGloin threw 5 interceptions and several other passes that could have been if the Gators could catch. Overall, he completed less than 50% of his passes. The big question is why was he on the field long enough to throw 5 interceptions? While there is no doubt in my mind that McGloin gets his teammates motivated, he has not shown in any games against superior competition that he can get the job done. It is unfortunate, because McGloin did inject some excitement into an otherwise dreary season and did provide some memories in the Michigan and Northwestern games. Otherwise, he was never more than solid and as we saw yesterday, he was often terrible. I think I have seen enough of Matt McGloin, starting quarterback — I certainly had by the 3rd quarter yesterday.

Why McGloin did not get the hook when freshman Rob Bolden got pulled for less is a mystery, one that Bolden does not want to stick around to solve. Yesterday, Bolden indicated that he was leaving the program (Patriot-News). Apparently, Bolden was planning to leave even before the bowl game (Altoona Mirror) because he believed that McGloin was held to a much lesser standard. I agree with Bolden on that front. I just wonder if the coaching staff knew that beforehand.

I have another theory, McGloin was Joe Paterno’s choice all along. Remember at the beginning of the season when Joe said he talked to all the coaching staff and got their input on the QB? I think they talked him into Bolden and he regretted it. BOlden isn’t out the door yet officially, but I don’t see Paterno trying to talk someone who went public about transferring into returning.

As for the game, my suggestion that the Nittany Lions use Silas Redd more was pretty poor. Redd could not get anything going, but Evan Royster could, rushing for nearly 100 yards. The defense was okay, but they got worn down late. Special teams were pretty bad too. Florida did not play great, but good enough to win. The biggest thing they did other than catch half the balls that McGloin threw right too them, was stop Penn State on third down.

Justin Brown dropped three McGloin passes that would have been first downs.

The pass interference call against the Nittany Lions deep in Penn State territory was a poor one. The defense never really recovered from it.

Oh and the Pitt job is now available because their new coach got arrested for domestic violence. Tom Bradley may be a stronger candidate than the first go round, because he’d be seen as a “safe” choice and a genuinely high character guy. Though being a lifelong Nittany Lion may ultimately hold him back.

It will be a very interesting month of Penn State football…

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2011 Outback Bowl: Penn State vs. Florida prediction

The run up to the Outback Bowl has been mostly about the coaches: Florida’s Urban Meyer, stepping down at age 46 and Penn State’s Joe Paterno, planning to return for his 46th season at age 84. Meyer is apparently off to ESPN following today’s game. Paterno and his family denied rumors that he had been in much worse health than reported.

As for the game, Florida lacks a quarterback and pass rush. Penn State lacks a defensive line and the offensive line isn’t too great either. The Gators probably have an edge in special teams and since field position is crucial, good punting will make a difference. The Nittany Lions have to hope that Anthony Fera is healthy enough after an appendectomy to put, because his replacement as inadequate against Michigan State.

QB Matt McGloin is on the spot for PSU. He should get plenty of chances for throwing underneath — will he have the discipline to find Brett Brackett and Graham Zug instead of throwing long to Derek Moye often? In the running game, I think the Lions need to make Silas Redd, a true frosh, the feature back over incumbent senior Evan Royster.

Florida can run the ball well and Penn State has not been strong against the run. The return of Mike Mauti should help a great deal — the defense was a completely different team with him against Ohio State than without him. After he left, Ohio State was unstoppable against Penn State. I don’t know that Mauti’s presence could have been enough to win it for PSU, but I think it would have at least been closer.

It is a tough call whether Penn State, which is apparently retaining their coaching staff (though the Pitt job that Tom Bradley interviewed for my be reopened), has an advantage over the departing Florida staff. Paterno knows how to win bowl games better than anybody and I think he staff and team have had less distractions than the Gators, but Meyer may get a more fiery effort from his upperclassmen.

I couldn’t make up my mind on the outcome so I did a coin flip to see who would win 21-17. It came up Florida. Bah! I’ll do the homer pick anyway.

Florida 17
PENN STATE 21

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Big Ten unveils Leaders and Legends divisions, Stagg-Paterno Trophy


This afternoon, the Big Ten Conference revealed their new logo and the names of the divisions. The Leaders division includes Penn State, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Legends division includes Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern.

There are a whole lot of new trophies too and they all have hyphenated names. The winner of the championship game is awarded the Stagg-Paterno Trophy, named after Chicago coach Amos Alonzo Stagg and Penn State coach Joe Paterno. I find it amusing that the trophy is named after a coach whose school that left the conference over 60 years ago and somebody who entered only 17 years ago.

My initial reaction is that the division names are a little pretentious, but I am okay with them because they are not named after Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler like I thought they would be. Naming divisions after a coach who got fired for hitting an opposing player and folded like Superman on laundry day in bowl games, respectively, would have been embarrassing to anyone not from the so-called “big 2″ of the conference. I am the Ohio State and Michigan fans are upset which is great for the rest of us. I’m disappointed there is a Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year trophy though.

Penn Staters are included in the names of several trophies:

Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year – Courtney Brown
Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year – Ted Kwalick

The linebacker trophy doesn’t include a Penn Stater though which is disappointing. I have no problem with Butkus being on the name, but I’d put several Nittany Lions above Pat Fitzgerald. We’ll just assume the conference needed to meet its Northwestern quota on that one.

The logo proves once again that I need to set up a graphic design firm. The existing Big11Ten logo is clever, this new one is just there.

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The coaching carousel and Penn State’s jersey color for the Outback Bowl

This hasn’t been a quiet week in college football and Penn State may be feeling some aftershocks. Pitt Temple West firing Dave Wannstedt has people like Slow States wondering if defensive coordinator Tom Bradley would be a candidate for that vacancy (you should listen to their podcasts by the way, especially the 23 minute mark of this one). Bradley is a strong Western Pennsylvania recruiter and if he wants to be a head coach really badly, that would not be a bad spot for him. Whether he interviews will be telling because if he goes, that means he is not confident that he would succeed Joe Paterno as PSU’s head coach. Al Golden, Temple’s coach and another likely candidate to succeed Paterno, could be in the mix as well.

Urban Meyer, head coach of the Florida Gators is resigning (again) after the Outback Bowl against the Nittany Lions. EDSBS is taking it…well. No, really, he is. Could this be bad news for Penn State? Maybe, says Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror, but shouldn’t Penn State be playing the game like its Paterno’s last too?

Meanwhile, Patriot-News columnist David Jones writes about Meyer, but what he really wants you to know that he has Erin Andrews’ phone number. By the way, I think she’s better as a sideline reporter than eye candy. Really, she’s got great hair and all, but overrated for her non-reporting duties. Lynn Swann is still my all-time favorite in that position. Oh and Jones also wants you (and especially Phil Steele) to know that HE IS ACCOUNTABLE for things like his preseason top 25.

Linebebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden is in the running for the Ball State head coaching job, but I can’t find a link to it. Now, even though I’ve never been there, I know a little bit about Muncie, Ind. and a lot about State College and you have to wonder about a man who would rather live in Muncie than stay in Happy Valley and recruit players like Paul Posluszny and Sean Lee.

Of course, this is all secondary to the real thing you all care about — what color jersey Penn State is wearing for the Outback Bowl. Since the Big Ten team was the visitor last year, I assumed that it would be the home team this year. Sure, enough, I contacted an Intercollegiate Athletics source and got the simple reply of BLUE.

Yay.

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Penn State vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl

The Penn State Nittany Lions will play the Florida Gators in the 2011 Outback Bowl. They last played each other in the 1998 Outback Bowl after a season where both teams were ranked #1 for a time. This season, both teams were not ranked #1 or even close to it.

Should be an interesting matchup, Florida really underachieved in the post-Tim Tebow era and Penn State was pretty bad this year.

Kickoff is 1 p.m. on ESPN.

My cousin’s wife is a Gator — I might have to make a friendly wager with her.

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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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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan State Spartans prediction

After the Michigan game, their seemed to be a groundswell in the Penn State blogosphere that the Michigan State game was their for the taking. I include myself in that group and after Penn State beat Northwestern, I was almost certain of it. The next Saturday, at Ohio State changed that thinking. It was not that the Nittany Lions lost that Saturday, but it was how they lost. With LB Mike Mauti sidelined with an injury, the defense was porous and lacking any fire. He’s been out ever since with some sort of shoulder injury. If he comes back, Penn State’s chances improve even if he’s playing hurt. If he’s somehow 100%, I’d say Penn State would win. But I dont’ tink that will happen.

Penn State can still win without Mauti, but they have to get a pass rush they have not had all season. Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins is among the walking wounded, so if they can get to him they have a strong chance. I’m skeptic though.

In the end, I think all the talk about being a soft 10-1 just helps Sparty out. They will be fired up to prove that they did not win those games by accident. I don’t think Penn State is healthy enough for the upset, even at home. It is a noon start too which does not help the Nittany Lions. Penn State can win, but it gives me no pleasure to say they probably won’t.

Michigan State 34
PENN STATE 28

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