Tag Archives: Wisconsin Badgers

Blue White Roundtable is back but not the same

After a post-scandal hiatus, I’m back. Adam Collyer of Black Shoe Diaries sent the questions:

BSD: The Penn State offense has struggled week in and week out throughout the course of the season. The implementation of the wildcat formation by interim Head Coach Tom Bradley appeared to signal a shift in offensive philosophy from the rest of the year. What did you think?

WFY: I think you can only credit the implementation as Tom Bradley’s in the sense that he let the offensive coaches do it. I think it was pretty sharp, catching Ohio State off guard with it, but they can’t do that against Wisconsin now. I don’t know that making Wisconsin have to prepare for it, given they have almost certainly played wildcat teams already this season, makes much of a difference either. I am sure it can be effective, but if the Badgers suddenly see Matt McGloin out wide they know what’s coming and it probably isn’t a pass.

BSD: In his Tuesday press conference, Coach Bradley indicated that the team is working on some new offensive wrinkles for this weekend’s game against the Badgers. What do you expect those wrinkles to be? How effective will they be?

WFY: Throwing to the tight end/third wideout? The tight end/wideout catching it? Pitches to the outside?

I figure they will throw from the wildcat to keep the Badgers honest, but if I were them, I’d play it as a run everytime and dare Penn State to beat them with a WR throwing the ball.

Ultimately, I think the Nittany Lions offense will be as effective as Silas Redd makes it and since he’s still hurt, that is a major concern.

BSD: Did you notice any differences between the defensive game called by Bradley and the defensive game called by Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden? Should expect anything different?

WFY: The biggest difference I saw was Sean Stanley in coverage. It worked! However, I think putting the defensive ends in coverage is so special that it should never be done again. Otherwise, I did not notice anything significantly different, other than Devon Still not getting his usual 1.5 tackles for a loss. He had the flu I think.

BSD: Wisconsin’s offense has been very impressive. How do you contain Montee Ball and Russell Wilson?

WFY: Fire. Lots of it.

Contain is the right word, because I do not believe they can be stopped. The offense putting together sustained drives would be the best solution, but I am skeptical they can do it with Redd still hurting.

BSD: Predictions.

I still won’t care as much about the game as I would have in October. I might start wearing Penn State clothes again. Matt Millen will say something intelligent about the situation and praise the team. The Nittany Lions will play really hard regardless of what Wisconsin does. Brett Bilema will still be a jerk. Camp Randall Stadium will still inexplicably have a rug instead of grass. There will be mentions of State Street being an okay place to spend some time. I’ll wish I had gone to the 2006 or 2008 games when I had a friend going to grad school there. There won’t be as much sportsmanship in Madison as Columbus this year, but that’s okay. UniWatch will snub this game as one of the “best looking” on Sunday morning because of the scandal. Guido D’Elia will shed a single tear when “Jump Around” comes on and wish he had thought of it. Wisconsin wins 31 – 20 and we get over it because the thought of seeing “2011″ on the skyboxes isn’t a real welcome one.

The Roundtable

JoePa’s Doghouse
Nittany Lions Den
The 50-Yard Lion

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Returning to the land of Penn State blogging, but for how long?

I have not blogged in the last two weeks since I wrote my tirade about Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. My reaction has gone to shock, anger, numbness to increasing ambivalence about my university and its football team. Sure, I have watched the Nittany Lions (the Nebraska game a day later) and all of that, but the passion is not what it was on say, October 30 or so. Will it come back? I cannot say. I don’t know if a Big Ten title, change of administration, new season, trip back to Beaver Stadium or whatever will re-ignite the way I feel. Maybe, I’m just going to see the games as something to watch on TV, rather than a part of my lifestyle. I was pleased the Nittany Lions won on Saturday, but nowhere near as excited as their last win over Ohio State in Columbus.

Some things I have noticed:

Tom Bradley has not taken a misstep yet as interim head coach. He is saying and doing the right things. I would not object to him given the job permanently, though it is a mortal lock that won’t happen because Intercollegiate Athletics is going to be completely turned over. It is a shame that people who apparently had no idea of what was going on are going to suffer because of Sandusky being a monster and the powers that be not doing enough about it. If Rodney Erickson can be take over as president, I don’t see any reason based on what we know today, that Bradley can’t be head coach.

David Joyner, the acting athletic director and until recently, Trustee has the job locked up. Power has swung back to the board after 16 years of Graham Spanier as university president and 45 years of Joe Paterno as head coach and they will want to hold on to it. Having one of their own running Intercollegiate Athletics will do that.

Boosters, like Terry Pegula, will have power to write more than a check moving forward. Their influence is going to start counting now, just like at other programs.

I’m more sad for Sue Paterno than Joe over the end of his career and cancer diagnosis. I wish him well though and hope that someday, he’ll be able to get a “Joe Paterno Day” at Beaver Stadium after the legal process is over.

Jay Paterno has handled the situation very well from what I have seen. Also, if Yale has a coaching vacancy (which they might) don’t be shocked if Jay psuhes hard for that job.

Matt McGloin has also impressed me with his handling of the situation. He’s matured an awful lot over the last year on and off the field. I am pulling for him.

Rob Bolden will leave the program, book it.

Stephfon Green is playing really hard and well right now. I’m glad to see it, he nearly threw it all away, but clearly learned from the experience.

Ohio State is wearing gray pants again. Good job, Buckeyes.

I have a bunch of silly questions for a guest prognosticator, but I don’t feel like asking them. While that feature is always trivial, I don’t feel like asking them. I usually prefer to laugh through stuff, but don’t think I’ll bother.

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Penn State goes up 14-0, hangs on to beat Wisconsin 36-33

That’s a basketball score folks, men’s basketball, even. G Talor Battle stunk up Conseco Fieldhouse for the second consecutive night, but he scored enough, including a late trey and a critical 1st foul shot in 1 and 1 to get Penn State to the insurmountable 36th point. In the process of scoring about 9 points on the night, Battle passed Jesse Arnelle as the all-times points leader for Penn State basketball. Battle still has a long way to go before he catches Arnelle in years served on the Board of Trustees though.

Penn State started 14-0, then 16-2 before letting Wisconsin back in it. It was 20-18 at one point and I think the Badgers actually got ahead 22-20 early in the second half. I was not the greatest tribute to basketball one will ever see. I think most of my games in 4th grade (go BULLETS!) were higher scoring. By the way, Jay Paterno is mighty defensive about this win on Twitter.

I don’t know that a 36-33 win is exactly the stuff the NCAA Tournament selection committee looks for in picking bubble teams. Penn State and Battle better play a lot better at 4:15 p.m. (CBS) against Michigan State if they want to go somewhere other than the NIT.

UPDATE: Nittany Lions time travel again to peach basket days, beat Badgers 36-33 in Big Ten tournament

It doesn’t look like they are in the tourney yet based on what I am seeing on colleerpi.com and ESPN Bracketology. They need to beat Sparty today — I don’t know if that will be enough. Win today and tomorrow and it is all a moot point because they’d get the automatic bid. They ought not get ahead of themselves though.

The Nittany Lions split with the Spartans this year and have done okay against them over the years.

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Penn State beats #17 Wisconsin in basketball

People are starting to believe in Penn State men’s basketball.

Yesterday, over 14,000 people watched the Nittany Lions beat the Badgers, 56-52, for the frist time with Ed DeChellis as coach. It took 12 tries over 8 seasons.

Penn State is very tough to play against right now, beating 3 ranked opponents and coming close against #1 Ohio State and #15 Purdue on the road. They are very much in the mix for a NCAA tournament berth, but my prediction is the same as the one I got texted from the Maryland Bureau CHief this weekend: “you can’t spell Nittany without N-I-T.”

I think the Lions will get stuck in the “last four out” scenario they were in 2 years ago. The flame out in the non-conference schedule that included a loss to MAINE is probably too much to overcome unless they do really well in the Big Ten tournament or beat Ohio State in the rematch. In other words — just good enough to break your heart.

Nittany Lions return from oblivion, top Badgers 56-52Patriot News

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14,686 see Penn State’s big dance dream die

Fans pack BJC Sunday The Collegian
Flat showing dooms LionsThe Collegian
The largest crowd at a Penn State men’s basketball game in eight years saw the Nittany Lions fall to Wisconsin, 54-44. That makes two losses in a row for the Cagers, seemingly ending their bid for a trip to the NCAA Tournament. However, you still spell Nittany with N-I-T, so they can make it a meaningful season yet. A deep NIT run probably serves the team better than one-and-done in the Tourney.

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Penn State vs. Wisconsin: Badger perspective

Since 2005, Masdison, Wisc. native dl004d has been providing a preview of his beloved Badgers for WWN prior to playing my beloved Nittany Lions. He was kind enough to provide this preview::

We started the season strong. Our win at then-Top 25 Fresno State was seen as a big sign that the team was ready to compete for a top-notch bowl game. Losing at Michigan after blowing a 19-0 lead hurt. We followed that up, as you all know, by blowing a 4th-quarter lead at home against Ohio State last week. Losing two in a row, duh, disappointed people and it’s hard to say if the crowd will be as energized this week.

Also, there remains a good chance that the marching band will remain suspended, meaning the stadium is left to pump in noise, which really isn’t the same.

Editor’s note: The band has been reinstated. I can only imagine that Guido D’Elia is trying to figure out how the Blue Band can get suspended

STRENGTHS

Running backs: Most Wisconsin fans hope freshman John Clay, averaging 6.7 yards per carry, finally can stop being the “change of pace” back and become the featured runner in this offense.

Tight ends: Travis Beckam and also Garrett Graham have been our favorite targets. Beckam is a likely 1st-round NFL draft pick. Both have been hurt and missed significant time, though.

Offensive line: Left tackle Dave Carimi was hurt against Ohio State. I don’t know if he’s playing this week, but it would be a blow to the Badgers if he’s out.

Punter/kicker: It hasn’t mattered yet this year, but we’ve got a good kicking game.

WEAKNESSES

Quarterback. Senior Alan Evridge is a first-year senior who has struggled to find success. He angers me by taking a three-step drop, leaving him too close to opposing lines (which close in on him wayyyy too quickly) and leaving him not enough time to ever throw to a deep receiver. As a result, he throws crossing patterns to the TEs and quick outs to the WRs and that’s it. But in his defense, drops by his WRs have made him look even worse than he really is.

Wide receivers: Nothing special in this year’s crop of WRs. Way too many drops. I’m not pleased with this facet of the game.

Return game: Blech. Wisconsin seemingly never started drives outside its own 20 last week.

Notice that I didn’t mention the defense. I don’t know what to say about them. But for the first and last drives of the game against Ohio State, they kept the Buckeyes in check. But on those two drives — especially the last one, which was the game-winner — OSU went right down the field and scored… meaning it’s hard to know how much confidence to have in this defense.

Prediction
Penn State 26
Wisconsin 17

Since 2006, we’ve been having a “mayor’s bet” (the absolute best form of gambling) on the game as well — I put a box of Grilled Stickies on the the line while he offers up some Wisconsin cheese. So far, we’ve split the series. Oh and there is the universal currency of respect/humiliation at stake.

This is the last hurrah for a while as Wisconsin rotates off the schedule until 2011, so the winner has three years of gloating ahead of him. Why can’t we just play Indiana or Purdue less frequently and keep Wisconsin on as often as Michigan? Another “why?” is why didn’t we find a way to see Penn State in Madison in 2006 when
a friend of ours was living there. She moved back to Delaware and just passed the bar. Congratulations Tortcaesar.

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Penn State vs. Wisconsin prediction

Penn State heads into a very hostile environment tomorrow night (ESPN, 8 p.m.) at Wisconsin. The Badgers have lost two in a row to Michigan and Ohio State and will not be looking to lose a third. They also have their band back after an one-week suspension. That will certainly fire up the crowd. Oh and there is the revenge factor — Penn State embarrassed Wisconsin last year in State College.

Based on what I am reading, Wisconsin is the most (only) complete team that Penn State has faced thus far in the 2008 season. They have quarterback issues though and some say are on the brink of emotional collapse. I don’t buy the latter part — Wisconsin is a strong program that is playing a very rough schedule. I expect the Badgers to very fired up. That being said, I believe Penn State has more talent and can overcome Wisconsin’s home field advantage, but barely. My prediction Penn State 23 Wisconsin 21.

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Blue White Roundtable: Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger Badger

1. What must Penn State do or not do to come out of Madison victorious?

Penn State needs to attack the Badgers with aggressive game plan and not fall into the typical road game trap that they set for themselves — play close to the vest on offense and hope the defense can win it. Attack, attack, attack. Daryl Clark needs to be sharp and not afraid to take off when the wideouts are not open.

2. The Badgers are really down after dropping out of the rankings and losing their grip on a Big Ten title and a BCS Bowl. There is concern that the Badgers are emotionally spent (Journal-Sentinel) and could collapse.

Does Wisconsin bounce back and beat Penn State or do they collapse? Is there reason for panic in Madison?

That is a tough call since Michigan and Ohio State back-to-back is a tall order for anyone. If they play poorly on Saturday, they should panic. I don’t think they have to win to avoid panicking, but they can’t find a way to lose a winnable game.

3. The Big Ten has a good crop of running backs this year including Wisconsin true freshman John Clay who is averaging 6.7 yards per carry. How much playing time does Clay see this week compared to P.J. Hill? How does our defense fare against them?

Hill will be the featured back, but Clay should get at least ten touches. I think Wisconsin will run the ball well since I am still not sold on Josh Hull, 11 solo tackles last week notwithstanding.

4. Between the third and fourth quarters the Wisconsin students do the “jump around”, which shakes the stadium. How do you think the loud, jumping, night atmosphere will affect Penn State?

It will not help, but I do not expect Penn State to be rattled by all the noise like Ohio State was in 2005. Everybody has played in these envirornments, so they will just have to deal with it.

Lightning Round

Predict the play calling. Do Galen and JayPa open up the offense or do they get conservative on the road?

I think having a weaker than normal defense means Joe Paterno will reluctantly let Jay Paterno and Galen Hall be aggressive.

What are the odds Wisconsin loses two consecutive games at home?

50-50, I guess

Does the Wisconsin band play this week?

Probably

How many quarters does JoePa spend in the coaches box?

Well, if the band plays, I’ll say five.

The rest of the roundtable

There is No Name on My Jersey
Tangled Up in
White and Blue

Happy Hour Valley
Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
We Want the Lion
Zombie Nation

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Talkin’ trash about Badger basketball

I will admit that I don’t care enough about Penn State basketball to make a bet on them. In lieu of a wager with dl004d like one we have for football, I’m just going to blindside him with some trash talk.

The Nittany Lions are going to make the Badgers pay in tonight’s game at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State is rolling down the road to mediocrity and they aren’t going to stop until there is some Badger road kill behind them. Wisconsin is going to be blinded by the Lions film-strip inspired uniforms. Prepare to be intimidated by nearly announced 9,000 fans! Just watch out dl004d, the Nittany Lions aren’t going to make only 47.2% of their free throws this time — they’ll bust through the 60% threshold. We’re talking unstoppable. Come late February, you won’t be able to spell Nittany without N-I-T baby. The Badgers are just a speedbump along the way.

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