Monthly Archives: September 2007

Haltime Update

Third quarter just kicked. Here’s some quick hitters from the first half.

Penn State had 256 yards of offense, they had all of 270 a week ago in Ann Arbor. Not only that, Morelli has completions of 34, 42, 43, and 23. He looked great through the better part of the first half.

Where was this offense a week ago against a suspect Michigan defense?

Arrelious Benn is still the best player on the field today. He had eight offensive touches for 86 yards and a touchdown in the first half, and returned a kick 90 yards for a score.

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First half update

Apologies for not getting on earlier, there are major wireless issues in the town of Champaign, specifically in the press box here.

Morelli has come out very sharp, PSU is spreading the ball out and thus we have a fun game early on. Morelli is 9-of-11 in the early going for 133 yards, he has completions of 42 and 37 yards to Jordan Norwood and Chris Bell, plus a 23-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Williams.

Rodney Kinlaw got the start over Austin Scott, who has NOT seen action yet today and appears to have something wrapped around his rib cage….maybe an injury? It does not look like we will see Scott in the first half for whatever reason. Kinlaw has carried seven times for 37 yards so far.

More at halftime.

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Some just don’t get it

I love hearing from fans regarding Penn State.

But two comments have me really irritated. They were both posted in the comment portion part of our website below my column on Morelli for Thursday’s tab.

Kathy Anderson wrote on Sep 27, 2007 6:05 PM:

” It’s easy to jump on the bashing bandwagon. Morelli is the cheapshot right now.Watch the game and maybe you’ll have a better story than post game sideline remarks. “


Dr.Media wrote on Sep 27, 2007 12:56 PM:

” What a deep and provocative story. Such intense research and insight. What’s your take on Paris Hilton? “

 

Well first off my opinion of Paris Hilton is that she’s trash, but her video….well nevermind.

Anyways, I think the point you guys are missing is not that Morelli just yelled at fans. Quit passing this off as a non-issue. It IS an issue. If you ask me, maybe a big one (you want to argue that I am making more out of it than I should, go ahead, but trust me, it IS a big deal)

 

Facts are facts and people in town are concerned about the welfare of this team. And they should be when Morelli’s actions are the type of leadership that reflects on the rest of the team.

 

Apparently these two don’t understand what the word “captain”…..let me repeat CAPTAIN, means. It means you lead by example. If you feel that he displayed the proper example to follow, then clearly you don’t care about the direction of this team.

 

 

 

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Filed under Anthony Morelli, Joe Paterno, Nittany Lion Football, Nittany Lions, Nittany Lions Football, Penn State Football, Penn State Football Nittany Lion Football, PSU Football

Austin starts, per Joe (Hotline recap)

Joe Paterno was just asked on Nittany Lion Hotline (presented by AIG Auto Insurance) what the situation with the tailback is, and he responded by saying Austin Scott will get the nod…..again.

The two had a conversation about hanging on to the ball, etc etc.

Joe was  just challenged by a fan too, asking whey they don’t spread it out and the two had a minor disagreement over what is a spread, etc. Good to see someone challenge Joe.

A caller from Lancaster asked about Chris Bell, Joe said he isn’t as consistent as he needs to be and that he needs to grow up a little bit.

Joe keeps reiterating that Michigan played a good game, both teams played hard and that there is something to learn from last week’s game.

Everyone fumbles once in a while, Joe said about Scott. He told a story about Rip Engle having a sign in the locker room that said “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

 Joe was asked if any of the younger QBs will get some time, he said he doubts it very  much. He really wanted no part of egging on those that want

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Five Keys to Saturday’s game

Some thoughts on the match up with Illinois.

1. Penn State must throw the football to win. And use guys like Rodney Kinlaw out of the backfield, same for Matt Hahn. Get Quarless involved early so the defense starts keying on specific guys leaving Williams, Butler and Norwood open.

2. Forget balance. Don’t run 30 and pass 30 times. If they have to pass 60 times to win, do it. Plan and simple.

3. R&R as in read and react, which is what we expect out of this defense. Illinois has a lot of athletes and they are very dangerous athletes, taking too many chances on defense could lead to busted coverage and a big play. Reading and reacting is the way to go this week….

4. Forget field position, if they are inside their own 20, ditch that “it’s too dangerous” mentality and start picking away at the Illini defense.

5. Most importantly, score on the first possession. Even if it’s a field goal and the drive is more methodical than anything….get points, especially if Penn State takes the kick. A message must be sent early and often that this team isn’t coming to just run around on the field for 60 minutes. Get points, get your defense a lead and get after it.

More Morelli

As one reader posted on my Morelli column this morning, “What do you expect from a guy coached by Jay Paterno?”

Listen, Jay isn’t the problem with Morelli. Morelli is the problem with Morelli. Do you honestly think that Jay Paterno told Morelli to act like a fool on the sidelines during the game? I doubt it.

Jay has been Anthony’s biggest supporter, the guy who has time after time defended him in the preseason, during the season, whatever. He wouldn’t put his QB out there like that and tell him to disgrace an already struggling image among PSU fans.

If you missed my stuff this morning you can check out at the links below.

Illini D making name for itselfBenn is instant impact | Morelli still has growing to do

 

| Offense is stuck in neutral |

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Tuesday Cup of Joe: Right where he expected them to be

Yeah, I’m puzzled by that title of this post too.

Joe Paterno said today he feels his offense, which is laughable, struggling and more often than not, hard to watch, all at once, is right about where he expected it to be.

Great.

The veteran ball coach said so much as his weekly teleconference with the media this afternoon. It’s a troubling statement, considering Paterno said back in June that he felt his team had as much potential as the 1994 team.

Yeah, I thought it was a little quirky to say as much myself that night in Camp Hill.

The questioning today was a little interesting. One writer asked a question suggesting Anthony Morelli could be playing for his job this weekend.

I tend to agree that he is, although some have planted the seeds that backup Daryll Clark isn’t quite ready just yet.

My sentiment? Another loss or two in the next few weeks and you might as well chalk this season up to the re-tooling of the Penn State team. And you might as well throw some young guns into the fire, the Moyes and the Devlins and the Greens.

Instead of protecting the somewhat fragile egos and personalities this team has in spots, the mentality should be they need to win with whomever, and however. So if they need a game where defense is called upon to dominate, fine. If it’s Kevin Kelly, OK, if it’s throwing the ball 70 times to win, you do it.

There just has to be that diverse option to carry the load.

Because if their isn’t…..oh boy….

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Filed under Anthony Morelli, Austin Scott, Big Ten Football, Fighting Illini, Fighting Illini Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Joe Paterno, Nittany Lion Football, Nittany Lions, Nittany Lions Football, Penn State Football, Penn State Football Nittany Lion Football, PSU Football

Critical takes

Those of us who cover Penn State often find ourselves in an awkward position. We can be too critical, sometimes force the issue when trying to make a point, but that’s just us doing our jobs.

But there are a handful of articles and other blogs out there that are must read for the Penn State consumer this morning.

Start first with Run Up The Score, a popular Penn State fan blog, has a completely detailed look at the horrid offensive play calling put on display this weekend in Ann Arbor.

When you are done with that, head over to either Frank Bodani’s piece in the York Daily Record, or Nate Bauer’s at Blue White Illustrated. Both hit the nail on the head.

I took a more direct, shorter and blunt approach, asking who steps up to lead this team against Illinois this coming week. You can read that right here.

The bottom line is this.

Something has to change and do so quick. Talent is being underused, the offense is too simple, the preparation for Saturday’s game is among the worst I’ve ever seen. And there is no excuse for this. None. Zilch.

It’s also time to consider some of the youth on this team. Guys like Stephfon Green. Yank the redshirt, play him now. Give him touches along with Royster and Kinlaw and forget Austin Scott, who is rapidly becoming the biggest bust in PSU history. Yes, H-I-S-T-O-R-Y.

And just for the sake of giving a team a different look, why not throw in Daryll Clark here or there? Scott’s accountability has been documented, why can’t the same mindset be used with Morelli.

And what of Morelli’s fragile temper? Some of the things I saw from him after that fourth down incompletion where he was screaming at Michigan fans, has got to stop. People are going to heckle you all day on the road, and for someone who doesn’t care what others think, he sure looked like he did when he turned and gestured towards the Michigan stands after someone screamed “Morelli, you suck.”

I have the growing sentiment that this team does not have much control of itself. I believe there are two sides to this team, the one that’s supposed to get the job done but is failing, and the one that does what it should. I’m not talking offensive and defensive sides, I’m talking about individuals.

When you watch this team you feel the sense of division, players aren’t on the same page as the coaches, players aren’t on the same page as other players. Players are too worried about themselves rather than the team (just a select few).

That’s all got to change. Or else this is going to be one long second half of the season.

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