Friday, October 5, 2007

Iowa Preview

Fig 1-1: Another program giving the finger to raised expectations

This weekend, the Hawkeyes come to town. Both teams desperately need a win, and are willing to hook up with the fat chick at the end of the bar to get it.

BHGP has provided the gameplan/preview on how to beat the Hawkeyes:

"The receiving corps has gone from dropping passes ('06) to dropping like flies ('07); the most experienced healthy receiver on the team is Trey Stross, he of 15 catches, 227 yards, and two touchdowns for his career. That's a slow half for James Hardy.
Our offensive line has also been plagued by injury, youth, and general haplessness. The stud prospects have been hit-and-miss, and the lightly recruited starters have been, well, misses. Indiana doesn't look like a collective group of slouches, especially on the defensive line, but there's something about giving up nine sacks to anybody that's just pathetic.
As far as the QB position goes, the stats don't tell the story. Jake Christensen is technically on pace for 22 touchdowns, 2500 yards, and only five picks, but the poor kid spends most of his time running for his life (often straight into a rush, which, frankly, is mystifying). He has been woefully ineffective since the first half of the Syracuse game. Truth be told, we would kill to have Anthony Morelli on our team. Re-read that sentence until blood pours out of your ears. "

I'm sorry, but that can't be right. Wait, it is. At least their QB doesn't have a meltdown and starts responding to jackass fans, SO TAKE THAT, OUR QB IS WORSE, I WIN.

The good news? Stud linebacker/battlebot Klinkenborg is out this weekend. As BHGP points out, "...he was the Iowa defensive MVP last year, and the Hawkeyes have given up 48 points in the five quarters that he's been out; conversely, they allowed only 25 in the 15 quarters in which he's played. "

So now what? Paterno kind of gave a mea culpa last week for shanghaing the offensive strategy against Michigan, and loosened up somewhat. Even tho' we were losing at the end of the first, I was happy; we were moving the ball down the field and putting points on the board against a statistically competant defense. I knew the D would tighten up in the second half; these guys actually adjust their gameplan. What I didn't figure on was a Morelli-run cluster fuck that was the second half. In retrospect, I should have.

What I wish for this weekend:
  1. Keep Chris Bell in. Keep him involved. This guy is the best downfield threat we got. I still like the RB by comittee-I think it actually showed signs of life last week, even though we still gave up the obligatory fumble. Keep a blocking RB in at all times.
  2. Keep throwing over the middle. O, and for our coaches to have watched the Indiana game. Go right at their weaknesses. Get a lead by halftime and keep it.
  3. On defense, stack the box, and don't let their offense breathe. ESPECIALLY ON 3RD DOWN. Very few things anger this old man like playing your ass off for two downs, and then conceding the LOS and letting them make plays.
  4. Fill Connor's helmet with amphetamines, punch him in the balls, and then splash him with blood. Then set him free.
I think Joe realized that after 40+ years, you can't change your gameplan the night before a game. I have to believe that the offensive coaches had a fairly liberal (by PSU standards) strategy that might or might not have worked. But at least we had a chance with that plan.
Deep Thought of the Day
You can go fishing all day with a rod and reel, stay quiet, and waste 4 hours to get one fish that might be a keeper. However, dynamite is much quicker, yields superior results, and is much more entertaining for spectators.
My prediction: PSU 24-10. We need a win. We are at home. We need confidence. PSU finally plays it's first good game.
And yes, I am very delusional.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Following proffessional sports is a passion for many a person, including myself. One of the most common reasons is that for roughly 4 hours on any given day, the problems and annoyances of daily life can be forgotten by watching a game. When you win, everything just feels right.

That is why I switched the picture. Right now, the Phills have provided me a distraction from the ongoing pain that is PSU football right now. After their win on Sunday evening, the PSU loss to Illinois still there, but stings much less. It put things in perspective: if the most-losing professional team EVER (10k losses and counting) can put together a season like that after a horrible start, so can PSU. So here's to renewed hope for PSU, who hosts Iowa this weekend.

Also, some great quotes from the members of that '93 team that resembled a group right out of any south Philly bar:

-"This team,'' Kruk said from his South Jersey home yesterday, "well, they're just better than us.''
While Kruk might get an argument from older fans and some old teammates - "the difference between us and them is that we would never waste beer,'' Williams quipped after witnessing Sunday's celebration - his sentiment captures the admiration and commonality that '93 team feels for the current group.

-Williams remembered after that team clinched the division during a September series in Pittsburgh, "We never left the clubhouse. And that was not a nice clubhouse.''
They also drank the beer.
"We sprayed the champagne,'' Williams said. "Giving that group champagne was like putting earrings on a pig.''

Funny, these guys all moved on, but there still are a lot of mullets in south Philly.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Someone Nailed It

From TNT,

"People blame the coaches for the crappy game plan. Sorry, but if you handed Morelli a perfect game plan, he’d screw it up. Morelli would fuck up a free lunch. Throwing three crucial interceptions would be bad enough, but this asshole, for the second week in a row, allegedly taunted the opponent’s fans with obscene gestures and his big, stupid mouth. Sit the fucker down, Paterno. Let us declare the Morelli Era OVER. Goddamnit—what the hell does it take to make a change on this team?"

Let's go Phills

Things I am sure of at 4 in the morning on a Monday.

1. I would have slit my wrists if the Phillies hadn't achieved the postseason. This was configured to be the best, or worse, weekend for a PSU alum and Philadelphia fan. If all my teams lost, I would be nearly inconsolable.

Figure 1-1: Go Fightins'

I seriously can't remember a more likeable team, although my memory suspisciously begins 12 years ago.

2. Last week, the Eagles kept extra back(s) around McNabb to give him some extra time. Good times. This week, our pro-bowl LT is out with an injury. So one would think they would stick with the same idea. Not so much.

The Eagles and PSU must have the same offensive line philosophy. McNabb had absolutely no time in the pocket with OT/turnstyle Justice guarding his back. Really, McNabb is getting attacked at the same place on the line for 3 quarters resulting in 9 sacks? And their defensive coordinator is our old LB coach? What do you think you should do? Maybe put a blocking RB in? Like...o, say, TONY HUNT. WTF did he get drafted for? The guy is 6-2, 230. I am pretty sure him and Justice could have at least slowed down ominyura (sp?).

3. Morelli's suckiness is leaching into the offensive line.