In Game Blog: End 3rd/Start 4th

End of three, this game is over, it has been for the better part of the last two hours. Crowd just reacted to ECU’s upset bid over Va Tech.

Here’s some way too early thoughts on PSU’s offense. Updates in the fourth will be light and I’m  headed down to the field in a moment.

They are crisp, as potent as they want to be and can score anyway, from anywhere in anytime. Here’s the major point, don’t get complacent. All too often in the last few years PSU has lacked that killer instinct. I like seeing Clark and the first team offense in the third quarter simple to step on the throat, so to speak.

2005 had that killer instinct, so did 1994. Everyone in between pretty much lacked it. 1999 could muster it up if they needed to, but got caught in the trap of sleepwalking through too many games (Pitt, Michigan, MSU, Minnesota).

What this PSU offense does is beat you up. It punishes you up front and it leaves the impression they can do this to anyone. If they feel that way inside, they just may be able to and that won’t be good news for the other 10 teams in conference.

They are good. They are becoming very good and if they stay on this path, will absolutely factor into the conference title mix in the remaining weeks.

  • Pat Devlin is in at QB, meaning Clark’s day ends 14-of-23 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Royster is done as well, finishing with a career high 141 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns. He averaged a whopping 8.3 yards….that’s LJ/Ki-Jana-esque.

The Lions keep on rolling into the third. Should be 49-7 but Royster fumbled on the goal line going in. Royster has a career high in rushing, Norwood is now second in receptions all-time, Butler moved into second in receiving yardage, and Clark looks as fluid as he possibly could.

The prevailing sense is that he throws a better ball that Mike Robinson, and he just makes it look so easy.

It’s 42-7 with 4:53 left in the quarter.

HALFTIME NUMBERS

Royster had 119 on the ground, Clark was 11-17-149 and two touchdowns.

OSU had only 137 yards of offense compared to 329 for PSU.

We are indeed at halftime and this game reminds me of the 2002 Nebraska beatdown. Penn State’s offense is very, very  sharp, precise and has put together a couple very cerebral drives. Sure the competition is better, but Oregon State just looks totally outmanned.

Penn State can do whatever it wants offensively right now, they cannot be stopped and Daryll Clark is rapidly becoming better and better. Of course it doesn’t hurt when your offensive line is the best since the 1994-95 teams.

Remember last season when Penn State forgot about off-field distractions and thumped Wisconsin? Is there something about this team when they are pinned up against a wall that makes them play better? I think a better question is, can they do this offensively on the road?

Stats in a few…

A couple of records have fallen here in the first half. First, Jordan Norwood moved into third place all-time in career receptions…and Evan Royster has become the first running back ever under Joe Paterno to rush for six touchdowns in the first two games of the season.

2nd quarter updates

  • Evan Royster is having a half that most running backs would kill for. 10 carries, 112 yards, three touchdowns. Safe to say this one is over. And there’s still 11:11 before halftime. Yikes.
  • Some first quarter numbers. PSU has 149 yards to PSU’s 62, and PSU only had five more plays (19-14).
  • Clark averaged 17.5 a run, Williams 15 per, and Royster 6.6 on seven carries. The running game right now is just sick.
  • Oregon State was 0-4 in the first quarter on third downs, PSU was 3-of-4….make that 0-for-5 for the Beavers now that they just had to put with 13:06 to play until halftime.
  • All PSU SID Jeff Nelson can add on the Quarless situation is that it was a coaches’ decision to let him dress. Funny though, A.J. Wallace was ruled OK in the matter yet has barely sniffed the field.

Honestly the guy that’s been the most fun to watch through the first 15 mintues has been injured linebacker Sean Lee. He’s down on the sideline shadowing defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and is a maniac with the headset and is way fired up today.

Penn State’s offense is doing what should have been expected (but I thought they might struggled with given some distractions). They aren’t as good at sharing the wealth through one quarter as they were last weekend, but the offense is moving the ball seemingly at will.

The blocking right now is outstanding up front. Clark has barely been touched, even when under pressure.

What still puzzles me, Quarless is dressed, if he is available, use him.

Oregon State better find protection and a running game to balance out the offense from the second quarter on if they want a chance.

Right now the Nittany Lions can get away with a bend, but don’t break coverage scheme and be OK. Up front it’s almost as if the PSU defensive line knows the play before OSU runs it.

7:00, FIRST QUARTER

ESPN Reports that ‘new information’ led to Quarless being allowed to dress today.

9:34, FIRST QUARTER

Daryll Clark bails out the offense with two critical third down throws to keep the sticks moving, then on Evan Royster’s 15-yard touchdown run, receiver Brett Brackett goes in motion left-to-right, comes back left and lowers the block on Slade Norris freeing up the run.

PSU started its first series in the I-formation and looked rather plain. Clark did however have to take off an run on one play, but the protection up front is outstanding. This o-line is really, really good.

Gaines, Odrick and Ogbu (along with Hayes) are up front on the D-line.

Andrew Quarless is indeed dressed. He just ran out of the tunnel, beside A.J. Wallace oddly enough. He is in uniform.

It does not appear at least from up here that any of the other benched players are in attendance, at least on the sideline.

PREGAME UPDATE

From the pressbox…

They are currently removing the  tarp from the Beaver Stadium field, some fans are filing in for the 3:30 kickoff. The best news of the day? The weather is clearing up, and with the tarp out all night and morning, the track should be OK for today’s game.

Of course the players in question are out for today’s game, but Fight On State reported there was a chance tight end Andrew Quarless would dress today, likely not play, but dress. I’m curious as to how all of a sudden Quarless has done a 180-degree turn.

Remember, we’re talking just months ago it was a question if he would even be on the team at all…

A few of the Beaver players are out warming up, running laps around the sidelines. Others are throwing during light drills. No Penn State players have appeared as of yet.

The Big Ten in general early today?? UGH. Michigan found an offense early scoring twice in five minutes. Does Ohio State really miss Beanie Wells that much they are struggling with Ohio U.? Or is it the smoke/mirrors thing right now. You have to figure that Jim Tressel wouldn’t tip his hand too much today, score, get the guys out and don’t show too much in prep for USC next week. Ohio U. just scored by the way, 14-6 Bobcats.

By the way, I’d have to favor the Trojans regardless next week.

Some irony for today, the three players in question for today’s game, two, Mo Evans and Abe Koroma are still listed on the media notes distributed in the box. PSU does have a deadline to get that stuff done for the week.

PSU has taken the field for light warmups.

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