Lions go three and out on a terrible offensive drive deep in their own territory.
Boone nails a 53-yard punt to more or less save some face.
Penn State’s defense has been toyed with in the second half….this is the ball game right here. The feeling is that Morelli will not be able to lead this team in this environment, on this night.
It’s all on the defense right now.
We’re headed downstairs in a few, so that will do it for the live game blog, more thoughts after the game.
PENN STATE 31, MICHIGAN STATE 28. Hoyer 26-pass to Thomas (Swenson kick). 4 plays, 40 yards in 1:50. Key Play: A 30-yard return on the kickoff by Andrew Hawken. Hoyer’s pass is to the far corner of the end zone, perfectly placed, Thomas beat the cover just to the outer edge of the back pylon.
PENN STATE 31, MICHIGAN STATE 21. Kinlaw 4-yard run (Kelly kick). 8 plays, 35 yards in 3:06. Key Play: On third-and-24 from the MSU 30, Morelli connects with Derrick Williams for a 24-yard completion. Simply the biggest play of the game. Kinlaw carries twice, the second time finding the hole on the right side for the score.
Absolutely HUGE drive for the Lions, book ended by Williams, who is becoming Mr. Clutch.
Remember that theme about dodging bullets, yeah, well PSU did it again, as MSU quarterback Brian Hoyer fumbles the snap on a first down, after a horrid Jeremy Boone knuckleball punt, and with momentum clearly on MSU’s side after two scores in the quarter.
Tight end Mickey Shuler just had a HUGE gain to the MSU 16 to end the third quarter. If Penn State doesn’t score on the drive, they will not win this game.
Through 3 quarters, they have 129 on the ground, literally all from Kinlaw and Morelli is a horrid 10-of-24 for 143 yards. He has been wild and overthrowing guys all game.
And I can hear Joe say he had a good game and it’s all the media’s fault that he struggled today. Um, yeah.
Don’t look know, Sparty is on the move, running the ball and inflicting their own style and tempo. This game has DRASTICALLY changed in the last couple of minutes.
PENN STATE 24, MICHIGAN STATE 21. Hoyer 33-yard pass to Thomas. (Swenson kick). 7 plays, 91 yards in 2:20. Key Play: Culcrick rumbles 14 yards to the PSU 34, a clear indication that the tempo of this game has done a total 180-degree turn.
Sparty showing signs of life. Oh and take it to the bank, David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News just said “No way Michigan State comes back,” meaning you can expect a 28-24 Sparty final.
PENN STATE 24, MICHIGAN STATE 14. Hoyer 3-yard pass to Jeff McPherson. 7 plays, 74 yards in 2:41. Key Play: A double reverse pass to Davis down to the 2-yard line setting up the score. Hoyer guides a must drive for Sparty, who shows serious signs of life on the drive.
Just got a text from a friend watching the game, Terry Gannon, on ABC called the snap on the fake field goal a “terrible snap.”
Question, Terry, what are you watching? Did you not see Rich Ohrnberger hammer his man on the block, and did it ever occur to you, Terry, that on a fake field goal it’s supposed to be a high snap to throw off the opposing special teams???
How exactly did Terry Gannon get a job doing games on ABC anyway? Just curious. Much like Witovet, this is the ABC ‘D’ team.
PENN STATE 17, MICHIGAN STATE 7. Rodney Kinlaw 4-yard run (Kelly kick). 16 plays, 65 yards in 4:58. Key Play: Kinlaw picks up a critical first down on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive. More trickery goes for not with PSU’s play calling, but the Lions do a good drop driving down the field for a big score.
The Keystone Cops play calling continues.
Let’s see, with PSU driving, they call an end around to Williams, who totally overthrows a wide open Deon Butler in the endzone.
Minutes later, it’s Clark back at QB, Morelli split wide, and Clark is hammered in the back field for a two yard loss.
Let’s see, PSU’s last offensive series, after being pinned at their own 1 after a great punt by the Spartans.
First down, quarterback sneak for two yards.
Second down, Evan Royster carries for 3 yards.
Third down, an out to Golden, the route was short of the sticks and gave Golden NO space to work with.
OF COURSE PSU dodges a bullet when Sean Lee picks off Hoyer’s first down pass.
Time for the Morelli close call of the day…..on third down, from inside their own 20, Morelli aims for Derrick Williams and nearly throws a pick six…..again, dodging bullets. That appears to be a common theme here today.
PENN STATE 10, MICHIGAN STATE 7. Kelly 21-yard field goal. 5 plays, 17 yards in 1:32. Key Play: Morelli kills the drive when he fumbles the snap on third down. This after safety Anthony Scirrotto sets up PSU in perfect position with a 53-yard interception return to the MSU 20-yard line.
Evan Royster enters the game.
Morelli is leading the offense early going 5-for-10 for 88 yards and a TD. PSU only has 27 yards rushing on six carries.
PENN STATE 7, MICHIGAN STATE 0. Anthony Morelli 37 pass to Deon Butler (Kelly kick). 3 plays, 46 plays in 0:48. Key Play: What else could it be, the TD pass. Morelli goes play-action, rolls to his right and throws a high arching pass off his back foot to a diving Butler.
Phil Taylor just abuses Hoyer on a sack, forcing a punt back to PSU who gets the ball in good field position at the MSU 46. Lions must punch it in here and waste some time in the quarter too.
Dave Witvoit, perhaps the worst referee….in the history of referees is butchering this game. He just was about to give PSU a second third down, which was really fourth down, and PSU was lining up to kick a field goal.
Sooo….Davie, why would PSU kick a field goal on third down? Shouldn’t that have been a clue?
Then again I wouldn’t expect referees to have any common sense, especially in this conference.
MICHIGAN STATE 7, PENN STATE 0. Brian Hoyer 12 pass to Devin Thomas (Brett Swenson kick). 3 plays, 39 yards in 1:05. Key Play: On the first play of the drive Hoyer connects with Thomas on a 20-yard gain. On the touchdown, Thomas totally abuses corner A.J. Wallace with a stiff arm, then beats three defenders to the pylon.
Our first WTF moment of the day….on 2nd and 10 from their own 10 yard line, PSU’s offense comes out with Morelli split wide, Daryll Clark in shotgun and they run a sweep with Williams who is dropped for a 3-yard loss.
Great offensive scheme. What is this, 2003???
Nittany Lions dodge a major bullet early, giving up a HUGE third down pass to Kellen Davis down the middle of the field. MSU punts, PSU has possession on their own 10 and just got called for a hold on first down.
Michigan State got the ball to start.
Ogbu starts in place of Baker at DT.
Pregame notes: It’s gray, very very dank here in East Lansing. Kickoff is seconds away.
The latest on the “other players” involved in the HUB fight is this. Other than Baker, Timmons and Bowman, everyone is here.
Ohio State’s victory over Michigan brings up a couple of points.
First, why did Lloyd Carr stick with a depleted Chad Henne instead of keeping Ryan Mallett in the game. And I am a Henne “guy” but keeping him in there clearly screwed the pooch. Carr played the loyalty card and it bit him right in the seat.
Second, on 4th-10, Henne throws to a double covered Manningham? You mean someone wasn’t open 10 yards underneath??Michigan State is currently honoring their seniors across the field. Kickoff is about nine minutes away.
Bowl situation is as this….four teams ahead of Illinois can still lose, meaning the Illini who won today, could sneak into the BCS. So there is a chance two Big Ten teams can still go.
Ohio State believe it or not has a chance to still make the title game. If the teams ahead of them are eliminated (IE: Oklahoma and one other Big 12 team lose, then LSU loses.)
Ohio State’s win helps PSU because it pushes Michigan all but to the Champs Sports Bow, unless Illinois gets to the BCS and everyone bumps up a notch.
So in actual fact, PSU, is really safe to at least make the Alamo even if they lose. Keep that in mind.