Tag Archives: Daryll Clark

Whoa, a Penn State football post!

Blogging has been off more than on in 2010 so far. My apologies — I’m trying to get going again.

So, how about that Capital One Bowl? I loved, loved the field conditions. Mud, divots, standings water, etc. That’s football weather. As for the lack of injuries, how many of us played on fields worse than that as kids in sneakers and never got hurt. So, yeah more of that less of the artificial turf. Southern speed falls to Northern toughness again. Penn State 19 LSU 17.

By the way, those were the worst field conditions since Gettysburg, 1863.

The Penn State Football story youtube account never posted the Capital One Bowl video. Shame on Guido D’Elia, who failed us again.

Good to see Daryll Clark get a big win. He denies it, but he needed it. He will be missed. A lot, especially on Sept. 11 in Tuscaloosa.

I’ll miss Sean Lee too. Injuries kept him from reaching his potential and getting onto the Mount Rushmore of Penn State linebackers like Paul Posluszny, but he left it all on the field.

Navarro Bowman, LaVar Arrington‘s protegue, is gone to the NFL. I think he needed another year, but can’t begrude him leaving early.

I am really glad RB Evan Royster is staying.

Joe Paterno, still awesome, Penn State still doing it right. (The Times)

Jay Paterno still gaining acceptance.

Good news, I have a special Q&A coming up on the blog soon.

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Capital One Bowl prediction: Penn State vs. LSU

Over the last few days, I made up my mind that Penn State would beat LSU today in the Capital One Bowl. Then, I saw that Jinxy, Dave Jones of the Patriot-News predicted a Nittany Lions victory as well. Uh oh. Midstate Man is going to be really upset.

Penn State has the better defensive line and maybe an even better offensive line, if that can be believed. The Nittany Lions also have a better, more experienced quarterback in Daryll Clark who has his legacy on the line whether he likes it or not. LSU has better wideouts, but Penn State’s are not too shabby. They also have the advantage of having played on less than ideal fields and the turf at Florida Citrus Stadium or whatever it is called, is awful. That favors Penn State. The blue and white also have better linebackers, but the Tigers have the better secondary. The one major mismatch — LSU return man Trindon Holiday. He is scary fast, as in 100 meter sprint champion fast. Kick away from him and he can’t hurt as much. P Jeremy Boone needs to be on his game today.

Regardless of what Jones says, I am sticking to my gut and predicting a victory for the Nittany Lions.

PENN STATE 23
LSU 17

GEAUX STATE, BEAT TIGERS!

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Penn State: Capital One Bowl getting closer

Gameday approaches – #11 Penn State faces #13 LSU on Friday at noon (ABC) in the Capital One Bowl. Here is a link dump:

DT Brandon Ware won’t be there, he was left behind for a “violation of team rules.” DT James Terry a frosh, isn’t there either. – Patriot-News

Earlier this month was media dayIntercollegiate Athletics

Nittany Lions rode roller coasters at Universal Studios – Patriot-News

Sadly, Sean Lee has one game left as a Nittany Lion. He is really going to be missed for a lot of reasons. – CDT & Tribune Review

LB Navarro Bowman is probably gone after Friday afternoon too. – YDR

LSU returner Trindon Holiday = nightmare fuel. – Patriot-News

The Nittany Lions are worth $99 million (Altoona Mirror), not that they are for sale. Your old seat locations though…

True frosh CB Stephon Morris is bigger than his 5-7, 170 lbs frame. His story is a good one. – Patriot-News

DT Jared Odrick is one of the best Penn State has ever had. – Post-Gazette

QB Daryll Clark isn’t happy about fans talking about his legacy. (Black Shoe Diaries)

His Chevy Lumina is pretty messed up (VIDEO) after an non-injury accident earlier this month that wasn’t his fault. – Fight On State

England native and Jersey Shore product Jack Crawford, the defensive end, is becoming self-aware (York Sunday News). Be afraid offensive linemen.

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Blue White Roundtable: Pre-Capital One Bowl edition

Blue White Roundtable has risen from the dead! Devon Edwards of Nittany Whiteout provided the main questions. I asked the primary BCS one. Frankly, I think it should have been Zombie Nation, given the “hiatus.”

1. Penn State finished off this season with 10 wins, but lost the only two games that were really in question. What will your lasting memory of the 2009 season be?

I am afraid my lasting memory of the 2009 season will be the Iowa game. It was so dispiriting to see the Nittany Lions lose to them again and in the fashion they did with the offensive line completely submitting to Iowa’s d-line.

2. Though they miss out on a BCS Bowl, the Nittany Lions will face off with a highly ranked SEC opponent in a New Year’s Day bowl. What are your initial thoughts about the matchup with LSU in the Capital One Bowl?

It seems like a good matchup, two big name programs in slightly down years. LSU has lost three games, but two of them were to Florida and Alabama who were #1 and #2 in the BCS they played each other. This is an opportunity for a quality win to validate the season and Daryll Clark’s legacy.

Plus LSU coach Les Miles is ballsy/batsh*t crazy enough to possibly give Penn State the game on a bizarre coaching decision. Of course, it could go the other way too, but the possibility of a entertaining, chaotic game is very high with LSU.

3. When it’s all said and done, where will Daryll Clark rank among Penn State QBs? What will you remember about Clark thinking back on the 2008 and 2009 seasons a few years from now?

I really cannot say how Clark will rank, since he still has one game to play. At the beginning of the year, I was thinking a great Penn State quarterback, but I think he’s been downgraded to very good. He needs a win on Jan 1. if he is to truly be considered a great QB. Still, he is only the third Penn State QB to win a Big Ten title and that counts for a lot. He was certainly hampered by a bad offensive line this year and he gets too fired up sometimes. Overall, I’ve enjoyed his tenure at QB and hope he elevates himself to great status again.

4. Which seniors are you most sad to see go? If you could bring one of them back in 2010, who would it be?

I am saddest to see OLB Sean Lee go because I don’t think he was able to maximize his potential due to injuries. A healthy Sean Lee probably would have been greater than Dan Connor and not far behind Paul Posluszny. By the way, I think if Navarro Bowman comes back he could exceed Connor and Lee, but that seems unlikely.

I wouldn’t mind having Clark back next year since his understudy has no experience. I’ll also miss MLB Josh Hull, who exceeded all expectations. DT Jared Odrick was a beast whose value we’ll probably appreciate even more next year after he is gone. P Jeremy Boone will also be missed.

5. What are your feelings on the Fiesta Bowl matching up the two undefeated mid-majors, instead of setting up Iowa-Boise State and Georgia Tech-TCU matchups? Does it support a playoff argument?

I think the Fiesta Bowl is setting up for sending the message of “we tried having mid-majors and the TV ratings were terrible and the stadium didn’t sell out, so we won’t do it again” but we’ll see what happens.

This season, with five undefeated teams going into bowl season, is the strongest argument for a playoff yet. I just wonder how long until the backlash really starts hurting college football. This might be the year.

Lightning round

1. Do either Bowman or Royster (or both!) skip their senior seasons and enter the NFL Draft?

I wouldn’t be surprised if OLB Navarro Bowman doesn’t return to Happy Valley after the bowl game, he’s gone. Though another year would do him a lot of good as a player, I can’t argue a decision to follow the money.

I think RB Evan Royster sticks around, even though the offensive line next year won’t be great on paper.

2. Who wins the MNC Game, Alabama or Texas?
‘Bama

3. Will you be heading down to Orlando to watch the Capital One Bowl live? Who wins?

I will not be in Orlando, I’ll be at work. I think Penn State pulls it out, despite a 1-3 record in Orlando.

4. Predict the draft stock of the following Nittany Lion seniors:

  • [Bowman/Royster] –Bowman 1st Royster (stays at Penn State)

  • Jared Odrick — late 1st
  • Sean Lee — 3rd
  • Andrew Quarless — 4th
  • Dennis Landolt — undrafted
  • Daryll Clark — 5th
  • Mickey Shuler — undrafted
  • A.J. Wallace — undrafted

Bonus question: How does the BCS work?

The Bowl Championship Series was created to maintain the status quo for the four major bowls, the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta and keep the major conferences; Big Ten, SEC, Big XII, Pac-10, ACC and Big East plus Notre Dame (when they win enough games) in contention for the mythical national championship. Basically, it freezes out smaller conference teams and keeps the power and money with the big teams/conferences. Essentially, those four bowls and six conferences created a cartel that other conferences have trouble breaking through. Some say simply “It doesn’t work.”

The roundtable

2 the Lion FOOTBALL
Zombie Nation
Nittany Whiteout
Penn State Clips
Happy Hour Valley
The Nittany Line
We Want the Lion
Nittany Lounge

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Penn State: Daryll Clark co-winner of Silver Football (Big Ten MVP)

Split decision for Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football TrophyChicago Tribune
Penn State QB Daryll Clark is a co-winner of the Tribune Silver Football trophy, awarded annually since 1924. Also winning the award is Michigan DE Brandon Graham. This is the first year that the Silver Football has been a tie. The voting comes from the 11 Big Ten coaches. Both Clark and Graham had three first place votes and one second place vote.

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Penn State: Daryll Clark is consensus Big Ten QB of the year; Jared Odrick coaches pick for defense

All-Big Ten Conference football teams – complete media and coaches’ listsPatriot-News
QB Daryll Clark was named Big Ten quarterback of the year as selected by both the coaches and Big Ten media. Remember who the preseason pick was Terrelle Pryor. Of course, Pryor quarterbacked the conference champion, so he gets the last laugh.

On the defensive side of the ball, Big Ten coaches picked DT Jared Odrick as player of the year for overall defense and the defensive line.

Other Penn State selections:

FIRST TEAM
QB Daryll Clark (coaches, media)
RB Evan Royster (coaches, media)
C Stefen Wisniewski (coaches, media)
T Dennis Landolt (coaches)
DT Jared Odrick (coaches)
LB Navarro Bowman (coaches, media)

SECOND TEAM
T Dennis Landolt (media)
LB Sean Lee (coaches, media)
LB Josh Hull (media)
DT Jared Odrick (media)
P Jeremy Boone (coaches, media)

Not a bad turnout, though I am not seeing the same thing with Wisniewski and Landolt that they are seeing.

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Penn State 42 MICHIGAN STATE 14

I did not have a good feeling going into yesterday’s game, but I picked Penn State to win because David Jones of the Patriot-News picked them to lose. Thanks, Jinxy!

  • Tight first half with the Penn State offense having trouble getting going. For the bowl game, I just want them to pretend they are starting the second half.

  • QB Daryll Clark is one of the slowest starters I have ever seen. He just gets too worked up. After he settled down, he could do no wrong, missing on only three of his last twenty passes. His 4 TDs gave him single season and career touchdown pass records for Penn State. He was Big Ten offensive player of the week.
  • RB Evan Royster had a great first half and not just for his long runs. Some of his 3 yard runs were huge because he eluded Michigan State tacklers in the backfield. Being able to maneuver out of trouble is what sets him apart. He sees the field so well.
  • OLB Navarro Bowman was a beast, especially in the first quarter. He lived up to his #11. He was named Big Ten defensive player of the week.
  • OLB Sean Lee also made some critical stops and big hits.
  • MLB Josh Hull got flagged for an iffy pass-interference call.
  • LOVE THE DRAKE! WR Curtis Drake has a very promising future ahead of him — maybe he is the next Derrick Williams.
  • Great job by TE Andrew Quarless fighting for Drake’s TD pass. That turned the game around
  • WR Graham Zug had another drop, possibility costing Penn State a touchdown, late in the first half. It would be his last as he caught 2 touchdown passes in the second half, stretching out over the goal line for one of them.
  • FB Joe Suhey caught his first career touchdown pass too, going up high to reel in a Clark pass that was a little off target.
  • K Collin Wagner needs to improve an awful lot if he wants to keep his job. He missed two field goals, though one was from about 50 yards out.
  • Another effective day of punting for Jeremy Boone. He pinned MSU back often. He exceeded expectations during his career.
  • One could get dangerously intoxicated playing a Mike Patrick drinking game. The ESPN play-by-play announcer was often wrong, especially in the first quarter.
  • QB Kevin Newsome saw spot duty in the second half, at least a series too late. He did score a TD, but did not attempt a pass. Matt McGloin (not Mike!) got in as well for some reason.
  • No less than three shots of P.J. Maierhofer in the crowd during the second half.
  • Penn State is ranked #13 in the BCS Standings. I will have more on that situation today or tomorrow.
  • This was Penn State’s best effort of the season. The Spartans had advantages in the kicking game and typically play tough. That didn’t happen and Penn State really put it together in the second half. Excellent half-time adjustments by the coaching staff.

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Penn State vs. Ohio State preview and prediction

I have a bad feeling about this…

Since Blue White Roundtable has apparently died from apathy, I have decided I am going to preview each of the remaining Penn State games. Saturday, the Nittany Lions host the Ohio State Buckeyes at 3:30 p.m. from Beaver Stadium. It is not expected to rain and temperatures will be in the 40s. It is fair to say that Ohio State is the team that I most look forward to seeing Penn State play every year since it has been a pretty good rivalry, at least when played in Happy Valley. Some of my favorite games have been against the Buckeyes. It is also the most aesthetically pleasing game with the Blue and White of Penn State complimented quite nicely by the Scarlett and Gray of Ohio State.

The recent history of the series has a few slugfests and field position battles. Last year it was 13-6, Penn State winning after converting a QB Terrelle Pryor fumble into a touchdown drive. The two previous years were perhaps an exception, with Ohio State winning big, but the 2006 game was tight going into the fourth quarter before Anthony Morelli had two interceptions returned for a touchdown. The 2005 game was a 17-10 nail biter in Happy Valley. The 2004 and 2003 games also were tightly fought, with Ohio State winning both, although the ’03 game came down to a 60 yard field goal that Penn State missed by about three yards. OSU also had the benefit of a egregious call on their final drive, when the ball clearly bounced off the turf into a tight end’s hands. The 2001 game was an epic comeback win for the Nittany Lions to seal coach Joe Paterno’s 324th career win, then the all-time record. The 1997 and 1995 games were tight, high scoring games that the teams split in Happy Valley.

This is really hard game to pick. #10 Penn State is 8-1 and #12 Ohio State is 7-2. Both have lost Big Ten games; Penn State to undefeated Iowa, and Ohio State to often defeated Purdue. The Buckeyes also lost at home to USC. PSU seems to be firing on all cylinders since losing to Iowa; the same can be said about OSU after their loss at Purdue. The big question for the Buckeyes is Pryor. The Pennsylvania native (and subject of a stupid t-shirt this week) has yet to play well against a good team. His mechanics often are poor and he does the most damage on the run. Penn State is likely going to set it up so that he has to win with his arm, a solid strategy as Pryor has not shown he can do it and does not have the same level of wideouts he did last year. On paper, the typical bend-but-don’t-break Penn State defense is the right way to go – protect against the big play and force Pryor to march his offense down the field.

On the other sideline, Penn State has to worry about its offensive line; can it hold up against the OSU front seven? That is the biggest challenge facing the Nittany Lions tomorrow. If QB Daryll Clark has a little time, he should get a number of opportunities to stretch the field throwing to his tall wideouts. That is probably the best gameplan for Penn State; will Paterno go with it?

The other area of concern of course is Penn State’s not-so-special teams. Two punts have been blocked, they don’t have much of a return game and the kick coverage is poor. On the opposite side, the Buckeyes lost their starting kicker.

Okay, I’ve written a lot, and I thought about this a lot more, too much I suppose. I expect the game to be higher scoring than last season, considerably so. I believe that Jim Tressel is going to attack Penn State more and vice-verse. With uncertainly in his kicking game, I think Tressel will be more aggressive in the red zone, since he can’t count on getting 3 points as much with an unproven kicker on the road. On the other side, I expect that Paterno will attack more like he did against Michigan, since he has a lot of trust in Clark as quarterback. My big concern with Clark is that he’ll get too fired up like he has against Iowa in the past. Keeping Clark calm is going to be very important. Overall, I think that Penn State is just a better team this year and will pull it out win, let’s say 24-20. It isn’t going to be easy and will be very stressful. In the end, I expect it to be exhilarating.

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Penn State 35 MICHIGAN 10

Well that’s a relief, the last of the losing streaks from my time as an underclassman finally ends. It should not have taken this long for Penn State to win at Michigan, but it did. Hopefully, the Michigan and Ohio State demons have been purged. Now all that is left is Iowa.

  • I am thrilled that my prediction, UM 26 PSU 22, was wrong.

  • QB Daryll Clark had his best game of the season to date. Four touchdown passes and no turnovers. He picked up a number of mismatches and made the Wolverines pay.
  • ALL HAIL ZUG! The folk hero/ruler of the universe caught 3 touchdowns! AMISH LIGHTNING! THE ZUGGERNAUT. ALL GRAHAM ZUG DOES IS CATCH TOUCHDOWNS!
  • Michigan is terribly coached right now. So many mental errors and dropped passes by them. They lack fundamentals.
  • The Michigan offense spends more time running horizontally in the backfield than any I have ever seen. Don’t they know the object is to move the ball downfield, not across it? I’m not complaining mind you, I just don’t think they understand football.
  • LB Navarro Bowman had two turnovers and a bunch of tackles, but I think he still has much to learn, I really hope he stays for another year. Also, he shouldn’t be on the punting team.
  • Nick Sukay seems to like going for the big hits/interceptions, but rarely gets either.
  • C Stefen Wisniewski still doesn’t put enough zip on shotgun snaps.
  • Speaking of shotgun snaps, how about the Michigan one that sailed out of the end zone? I was hoping DT Jared Odrick would get a safety, but let’s not be picky or greedy.
  • Coach in charge of the defense Tom Bradley sure does know how to adjust to Michigan these days.
  • Head coach Joe Paterno finally played to win in Ann Arbor, rather than playing not to lose.
  • Two penalties in a row on OL Johnnie Troutman?
  • TE Andrew Quarless is finally reaching his potential after two wasted years in Paterno’s doghouse.
  • FB Joe Suhey even got a few
    long runs today.
  • RB Evan Royster got his 100 yards rushing.
  • QB Derek Moye continues to impress
  • OLB Sean Lee‘s name was not called much, I think he barely played.
  • MLB Josh Hull has become a pretty good football player. He has exceeded expectations, good for him. And us.
  • Good job by Jeremy Boone drawing a roughing the punter penalty.
  • Why does Michigan have a fake field? The game is supposed to be played on grass.
  • Just a little bit of bourbon tonight, as I am not feeling well.

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Penn State 35 ILLINOIS 17

Saturday saw the Nittany Lions return to the win column at Illinois. They played their most complete game of the season and shook off the cobwebs from their Iowa loss.

  • The first half was kind of bland, but the Lions really responded in the second half. It was just about an ideal bounce-back game.

  • Daryll Clark looked like a completely different quarterback against the Fighting Illini. He was poised in the pocket and made things happen with his feet. There has been a reluctance by him and the coaching staff to running, but he is a much better quarterback when he does. Without the pressure of a national title bid ahead of the Nittany Lions, they seem more comfortable letting Clark be Clark.

    He was in the game way too long though, they should have pulled him in the early fourth quarter. He took some shots he did not need to take.

  • OLB Sean Lee missed the game again. I would not expect too much of him next week against Eastern Illinois.
  • The offensive line had their best game of the season by far. The guards seem to pull a lot more and that made a huge difference. While Illinois is nothing special on defense, the offensive line has to be feeling better about themselves. Penn State rushed for over 300 yards.
  • Center Stefen Wisniewski was putting more zip on his shotgun snaps, though they were going a little high. That is better than low.
  • RB Stephfon Green had his best game to date. He ran up the middle better than ever and broke a 51 yard touchdown run in the second quarter to open up the scoring. Green was the primary back for a good portion of the game with Evan Royster having difficulties getting going.
  • Royster did improve as they game went on and also recorded over 100 yards rushing.
  • Illinois’ Juice Williams is the most overhyped quarterback of the decade. He simply stinks.
  • Funny how this was seen as the “trap game” for Penn State. I felt a lot better about it once the 3:30 p.m. kickoff was announced.
  • Speaking of kickoff, the Nittany Lions special teams are still really bad. This will become a problem again this season I fear.
  • WR Arrelious Benn was kept out of the end zone after scoring 2 TDs in each of the two previous meetings. OLB Navarro Bowman still can’t believe he did not tackle Benn though.
  • Illinois had an “Orange Out.” In Friday’s chat I joked that would help Penn State — a bunch of people in orange standing around will make them think they are driving through Pennsylvania.

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