Morning thoughts on OSU game

bdroc

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Aug 23, 2021
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  • We still have no running game. 29 carries for 33 yards. It's difficult to win with that and there is no short term solution.
  • Clifford looked much better than he did vs Illinois. I'd say 80%. The problem is he still can't or won't run. His running is the only thing that keeps opposing defenses honest. The play where he drew a targeting violation was a perfect example. It worked out because of the penalty but a healthy Clifford would have lowered his shoulder to get a few yards instead of going down for a 1 yard loss.
  • The play where Warren blocked for Dotson was creative. So was the play with multiple RBs. Where was that vs. Illinois?
  • Our DL is very weak against a good running team and only average at getting pressure on the QB. The Mustipher injury was huge. I think we would be undefeated with a healthy Mustipher. As it is PSU needs a lot of help from the DBs in run support. That exposes us to big plays downfield and that cost us last night.
  • PSU started out with a 3 man rush keeping defenders back. It worked pretty well. I understand that OSU adjusted and we couldn't keep doing the same thing all game but it seemed like we totally abandoned that in the second half. We went back to more 4 man fronts and blitzes that never got to Stroud and we got burned a few times. I can't help but to think that Franklin decided we needed an explosine play on defense and that we could only get it by going back to what we've typically done.
  • The big play was obviously Clifford's fumble returned for a TD but Franklins decision to go for it on 4th down on the OSU 43 yd line was also big. PSU stopped OSU when they got the ball but they punted us to our own 11 yard line. Field position was totally changed and I think that ultimately led to a 7 pt swing. Cain's fumble on our first play from scrimmage was also huge.
  • Why is our offense so disorganized? How many times did Clifford have to redirect people then force a snap as time ran out? IIRC one of those was on 1st down after OSU punted. How can you not know the play after being together on the sideline?
  • Stout is one of the great punters in PSU history. He's probably the best KO guy PSU has ever had. His FG kicking is marginal. The FG to end the half wasn't struck well and we were lucky it went through. His 47 yd attempt at the end of the game didn't have a chance. Is Pinegar coming back next year?
I don't think we match up well against Michigan or Michigan State. We really need Clifford to get healthy and be able to run. Otherwise we're probably looking at 7-5.

I'm not going to be happy if we lose recruits due to the uncertainty surrounding Franklin's future. Next year is going to be a rebuilding year so as it is. That happens but you don't like to thing that way after 4-5 and 7-5 years.
 

NC2017

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Franklin can't beat OSU. If you are a betting man and choose a Franklin-led team over OSU you will lose money. We can diagnosis every play, and thanks for this post, but that's the bottom line.
 
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PSUFBFAN

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May 29, 2001
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  • We still have no running game. 29 carries for 33 yards. It's difficult to win with that and there is no short term solution.
  • Clifford looked much better than he did vs Illinois. I'd say 80%. The problem is he still can't or won't run. His running is the only thing that keeps opposing defenses honest. The play where he drew a targeting violation was a perfect example. It worked out because of the penalty but a healthy Clifford would have lowered his shoulder to get a few yards instead of going down for a 1 yard loss.
  • The play where Warren blocked for Dotson was creative. So was the play with multiple RBs. Where was that vs. Illinois?
  • Our DL is very weak against a good running team and only average at getting pressure on the QB. The Mustipher injury was huge. I think we would be undefeated with a healthy Mustipher. As it is PSU needs a lot of help from the DBs in run support. That exposes us to big plays downfield and that cost us last night.
  • PSU started out with a 3 man rush keeping defenders back. It worked pretty well. I understand that OSU adjusted and we couldn't keep doing the same thing all game but it seemed like we totally abandoned that in the second half. We went back to more 4 man fronts and blitzes that never got to Stroud and we got burned a few times. I can't help but to think that Franklin decided we needed an explosine play on defense and that we could only get it by going back to what we've typically done.
  • The big play was obviously Clifford's fumble returned for a TD but Franklins decision to go for it on 4th down on the OSU 43 yd line was also big. PSU stopped OSU when they got the ball but they punted us to our own 11 yard line. Field position was totally changed and I think that ultimately led to a 7 pt swing. Cain's fumble on our first play from scrimmage was also huge.
  • Why is our offense so disorganized? How many times did Clifford have to redirect people then force a snap as time ran out? IIRC one of those was on 1st down after OSU punted. How can you not know the play after being together on the sideline?
  • Stout is one of the great punters in PSU history. He's probably the best KO guy PSU has ever had. His FG kicking is marginal. The FG to end the half wasn't struck well and we were lucky it went through. His 47 yd attempt at the end of the game didn't have a chance. Is Pinegar coming back next year?
I don't think we match up well against Michigan or Michigan State. We really need Clifford to get healthy and be able to run. Otherwise we're probably looking at 7-5.

I'm not going to be happy if we lose recruits due to the uncertainty surrounding Franklin's future. Next year is going to be a rebuilding year so as it is. That happens but you don't like to thing that way after 4-5 and 7-5 years.
We are not going to lose recruits due to “uncertainty “. Franklin is either staying or leaving. If he stays, we keep the entire class ( always a possibility one or two change their mind). If he leaves, at least half the class goes elsewhere, probably more. Everyone will know by 12/1. My personal guess is he will leave if usc gives him an offer. I don’t think he’ll get an offer from Lsu.
 

Midnighter2

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Jan 21, 2021
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Field position wasn’t that big of a deal - heard OSU’s average start was their own 34 - ours was our 28. Going for it didn’t mean much.
 

psualt

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Nov 2, 2014
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  • We still have no running game. 29 carries for 33 yards. It's difficult to win with that and there is no short term solution.
  • Clifford looked much better than he did vs Illinois. I'd say 80%. The problem is he still can't or won't run. His running is the only thing that keeps opposing defenses honest. The play where he drew a targeting violation was a perfect example. It worked out because of the penalty but a healthy Clifford would have lowered his shoulder to get a few yards instead of going down for a 1 yard loss.
  • The play where Warren blocked for Dotson was creative. So was the play with multiple RBs. Where was that vs. Illinois?
  • Our DL is very weak against a good running team and only average at getting pressure on the QB. The Mustipher injury was huge. I think we would be undefeated with a healthy Mustipher. As it is PSU needs a lot of help from the DBs in run support. That exposes us to big plays downfield and that cost us last night.
  • PSU started out with a 3 man rush keeping defenders back. It worked pretty well. I understand that OSU adjusted and we couldn't keep doing the same thing all game but it seemed like we totally abandoned that in the second half. We went back to more 4 man fronts and blitzes that never got to Stroud and we got burned a few times. I can't help but to think that Franklin decided we needed an explosine play on defense and that we could only get it by going back to what we've typically done.
  • The big play was obviously Clifford's fumble returned for a TD but Franklins decision to go for it on 4th down on the OSU 43 yd line was also big. PSU stopped OSU when they got the ball but they punted us to our own 11 yard line. Field position was totally changed and I think that ultimately led to a 7 pt swing. Cain's fumble on our first play from scrimmage was also huge.
  • Why is our offense so disorganized? How many times did Clifford have to redirect people then force a snap as time ran out? IIRC one of those was on 1st down after OSU punted. How can you not know the play after being together on the sideline?
  • Stout is one of the great punters in PSU history. He's probably the best KO guy PSU has ever had. His FG kicking is marginal. The FG to end the half wasn't struck well and we were lucky it went through. His 47 yd attempt at the end of the game didn't have a chance. Is Pinegar coming back next year?
I don't think we match up well against Michigan or Michigan State. We really need Clifford to get healthy and be able to run. Otherwise we're probably looking at 7-5.

I'm not going to be happy if we lose recruits due to the uncertainty surrounding Franklin's future. Next year is going to be a rebuilding year so as it is. That happens but you don't like to thing that way after 4-5 and 7-5 years.
Good post. I would add on Clifford that he can’t throw deep. It seems like the deepest passes have all been underthrown. He’s clearly still hurting.
 
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canuckhal

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I would say the interception was a bigger play than the fumble and retuned TD. PSU was still very much in the game at that point and had built some offensive momentum.
 

psu_1294

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Some of the "disorganization" may have been new sets put in for OSU game. Certainly the T-formation where we scored was new as was Dotson's wildcat. Also, some of the "disorganization" is deliberate to get the opponent into one alignment, then we shift, hoping to catch a mis-match as the defense adjusts also. Cat and mouse.

BTW, the number 2-3 team in country had 5+ procedure penalties. We had them a bit confused, also.
 

DrJC

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May 29, 2001
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I think that we should not play any more games as it seems we have no OL, DL, RB's, etc. And of course, we are going to lose our coach and recruits. Wow. Actually, considering the OSU total team performance recently, I think we did pretty damned well. Yeah we need a home run RB and some help on the OL. Also, except for one long run by OSU, we did a decent job containing their run game. Most were predicting a blowout. Didn't happen. So shut the hell up and stop scaring the recruits.
 

bdroc

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Aug 23, 2021
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We are not going to lose recruits due to “uncertainty “. Franklin is either staying or leaving. If he stays, we keep the entire class ( always a possibility one or two change their mind). If he leaves, at least half the class goes elsewhere, probably more. Everyone will know by 12/1. My personal guess is he will leave if usc gives him an offer. I don’t think he’ll get an offer from Lsu.
I would be surprised to see Franklin go to LSU. IMO he wouldn't find that an attractive place to live. USC is a different story. High cost of living and high taxes aren't as much of a problem when you're making $8 million per year.

Other coaches want our top verbals. They are in the ears of our top recruits and they are using Franklin's uncertain status against us. I don't know if Franklin intends to stay but is just using USC as leverage for more money or better facilities. It would be foolish for recruits to wait and see what happens in January if they are truly concerned.
 

bdroc

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Aug 23, 2021
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Good post. I would add on Clifford that he can’t throw deep. It seems like the deepest passes have all been underthrown. He’s clearly still hurting.
There was a pass to Dotson where he had his man beat for a possible TD but Clifford under threw it for an interception. He was under pressure but I can't help but to think a healthy Clifford would have had a better chance to complete that pass.
 
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Connorpozlee

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Franklin can't beat OSU. If you are a betting man and choose a Franklin-led team over OSU you will lose money. We can diagnosis every play, and thanks for this post, but that's the bottom line.
You would have won money last night, right?
 
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MacNit07

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I think that we should not play any more games as it seems we have no OL, DL, RB's, etc. And of course, we are going to lose our coach and recruits. Wow. Actually, considering the OSU total team performance recently, I think we did pretty damned well. Yeah we need a home run RB and some help on the OL. Also, except for one long run by OSU, we did a decent job containing their run game. Most were predicting a blowout. Didn't happen. So shut the hell up and stop scaring the recruits.
There is a significant amount if truth in what you say. But also too many “ what ifs” at Year 8…and too be generous, let’s say Year 6.

There is something systemic going with Penn State’s running game. It used to be feared around college football and now it is almost completely ineffective. At this point, you have to declare “the evidence is in.” And PSU is and will be mired in “what if“. mediocrity until it is fixed. How much longer is going to be permitted? 2 more years? 4 more? 8?

I think it is time to give someone else a chance. Back to back seasons at PSU with a .500 record or below has to raise some significant eyebrows.
 

The Spin Meister

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An altered state
  • We still have no running game. 29 carries for 33 yards. It's difficult to win with that and there is no short term solution.
  • Clifford looked much better than he did vs Illinois. I'd say 80%. The problem is he still can't or won't run. His running is the only thing that keeps opposing defenses honest. The play where he drew a targeting violation was a perfect example. It worked out because of the penalty but a healthy Clifford would have lowered his shoulder to get a few yards instead of going down for a 1 yard loss.
  • The play where Warren blocked for Dotson was creative. So was the play with multiple RBs. Where was that vs. Illinois?
  • Our DL is very weak against a good running team and only average at getting pressure on the QB. The Mustipher injury was huge. I think we would be undefeated with a healthy Mustipher. As it is PSU needs a lot of help from the DBs in run support. That exposes us to big plays downfield and that cost us last night.
  • PSU started out with a 3 man rush keeping defenders back. It worked pretty well. I understand that OSU adjusted and we couldn't keep doing the same thing all game but it seemed like we totally abandoned that in the second half. We went back to more 4 man fronts and blitzes that never got to Stroud and we got burned a few times. I can't help but to think that Franklin decided we needed an explosine play on defense and that we could only get it by going back to what we've typically done.
  • The big play was obviously Clifford's fumble returned for a TD but Franklins decision to go for it on 4th down on the OSU 43 yd line was also big. PSU stopped OSU when they got the ball but they punted us to our own 11 yard line. Field position was totally changed and I think that ultimately led to a 7 pt swing. Cain's fumble on our first play from scrimmage was also huge.
  • Why is our offense so disorganized? How many times did Clifford have to redirect people then force a snap as time ran out? IIRC one of those was on 1st down after OSU punted. How can you not know the play after being together on the sideline?
  • Stout is one of the great punters in PSU history. He's probably the best KO guy PSU has ever had. His FG kicking is marginal. The FG to end the half wasn't struck well and we were lucky it went through. His 47 yd attempt at the end of the game didn't have a chance. Is Pinegar coming back next year?
I don't think we match up well against Michigan or Michigan State. We really need Clifford to get healthy and be able to run. Otherwise we're probably looking at 7-5.

I'm not going to be happy if we lose recruits due to the uncertainty surrounding Franklin's future. Next year is going to be a rebuilding year so as it is. That happens but you don't like to thing that way after 4-5 and 7-5 years.
That fourth down play was a screw up by Clifford. On fourth down ....throw the ball! He took a a sack that cost us ten yards or so. Throw it twenty yards and even if it is a interception that is better than turning it over after a sack. And throw it to Dotson as he has the ability to catch it in a crowd.

As for the disorganization, what is happening is they are changing the play based on what defense ODU showed. Sometimes it is Clifford calling an audible, sometimes it comes from the sideline. And in all the noise it is difficult for everyone to hear. Yes sometimes they take too long, especially when the new call requires a major change be in how they line up. Sometimes better to run the play called.
 

JWB389

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The 4th down miss didn’t really hurt us too much. I think OSU didn’t do anything with the field position , pinned us deep after a put, we didn’t move the ball and Stout got a good roll putting them inside their 35. They scored a TD after that. So, not like they were playing with half the field.
 

Ian

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  • We still have no running game. 29 carries for 33 yards. It's difficult to win with that and there is no short term solution.
  • Clifford looked much better than he did vs Illinois. I'd say 80%. The problem is he still can't or won't run. His running is the only thing that keeps opposing defenses honest. The play where he drew a targeting violation was a perfect example. It worked out because of the penalty but a healthy Clifford would have lowered his shoulder to get a few yards instead of going down for a 1 yard loss.
  • The play where Warren blocked for Dotson was creative. So was the play with multiple RBs. Where was that vs. Illinois?
  • Our DL is very weak against a good running team and only average at getting pressure on the QB. The Mustipher injury was huge. I think we would be undefeated with a healthy Mustipher. As it is PSU needs a lot of help from the DBs in run support. That exposes us to big plays downfield and that cost us last night.
  • PSU started out with a 3 man rush keeping defenders back. It worked pretty well. I understand that OSU adjusted and we couldn't keep doing the same thing all game but it seemed like we totally abandoned that in the second half. We went back to more 4 man fronts and blitzes that never got to Stroud and we got burned a few times. I can't help but to think that Franklin decided we needed an explosine play on defense and that we could only get it by going back to what we've typically done.
  • The big play was obviously Clifford's fumble returned for a TD but Franklins decision to go for it on 4th down on the OSU 43 yd line was also big. PSU stopped OSU when they got the ball but they punted us to our own 11 yard line. Field position was totally changed and I think that ultimately led to a 7 pt swing. Cain's fumble on our first play from scrimmage was also huge.
  • Why is our offense so disorganized? How many times did Clifford have to redirect people then force a snap as time ran out? IIRC one of those was on 1st down after OSU punted. How can you not know the play after being together on the sideline?
  • Stout is one of the great punters in PSU history. He's probably the best KO guy PSU has ever had. His FG kicking is marginal. The FG to end the half wasn't struck well and we were lucky it went through. His 47 yd attempt at the end of the game didn't have a chance. Is Pinegar coming back next year?
I don't think we match up well against Michigan or Michigan State. We really need Clifford to get healthy and be able to run. Otherwise we're probably looking at 7-5.

I'm not going to be happy if we lose recruits due to the uncertainty surrounding Franklin's future. Next year is going to be a rebuilding year so as it is. That happens but you don't like to thing that way after 4-5 and 7-5 years.
The biggest play of the game was the dribbled snap by the O$U which was a fumble and would have given PSU the ball in Buckeye territory and a 7-3 lead. Brutal! Clifford was pummeled on the scoop and score. I believe the ball was tipped on his interception and while under pressure. That was the difference all night. Minimal pressure on Stroud and constant pressure on Clifford.
 

TheGLOV

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Gold Member
Franklin can't beat OSU. If you are a betting man and choose a Franklin-led team over OSU you will lose money. We can diagnosis every play, and thanks for this post, but that's the bottom line.
We just lost to a team with a Freshman QB, Freshman RB, and Sophomore WR with our Senior QB, Senior WR and Junior RB....
 

CDLionFL

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I think that we should not play any more games as it seems we have no OL, DL, RB's, etc. And of course, we are going to lose our coach and recruits. Wow. Actually, considering the OSU total team performance recently, I think we did pretty damned well. Yeah we need a home run RB and some help on the OL. Also, except for one long run by OSU, we did a decent job containing their run game. Most were predicting a blowout. Didn't happen. So shut the hell up and stop scaring the recruits.
So, people aren't allowed any negativity in their accurate analysis of the game? Here's your participation ribbon.
 
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HazletonLion

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Worst punting game Stout had.

Clifford should have dirted it, said it himself.

Look for lineman in the rural areas not prep schools, more strength than athleticism.
 
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AWS1022

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The 4th down miss didn’t really hurt us too much. I think OSU didn’t do anything with the field position , pinned us deep after a put, we didn’t move the ball and Stout got a good roll putting them inside their 35. They scored a TD after that. So, not like they were playing with half the field.
Exactly….there’s a lot of assuming that if we punted on 4th down we would have pinned them inside the 10….that’s not a definite, it may have gone into the end zone giving OSU the ball at the 25. After they did nothing with the ball after we went for it on fourth down, they got the ball back on the 31….I don’t think 6 yards (or even 15) would have made a big difference on that drive….OSU had a good drive.
 
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KnightWhoSaysNit

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Exactly….there’s a lot of assuming that if we punted on 4th down we would have pinned them inside the 10….that’s not a definite, it may have gone into the end zone giving OSU the ball at the 25. After they did nothing with the ball after we went for it on fourth down, they got the ball back on the 31….I don’t think 6 yards (or even 15) would have made a big difference on that drive….OSU had a good drive.

In hindsight with some thought, the 4th down call made sense, though right when it happened I reacted with "oh no."

We have a strong red zone defense, and virtually no running game. Going for it on 4th down does not cost this team as much as it would a team that wins by playing a field position battle.

We are not that deep but playing a team with depth. Time of possession mattered.

OSU won yesterday on a few big plays where it had a long field to stretch our defense. Our DL needed run support help from the backfield.
 

Madsol

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In hindsight with some thought, the 4th down call made sense, though right when it happened I reacted with "oh no."

We have a strong red zone defense, and virtually no running game. Going for it on 4th down does not cost this team as much as it would a team that wins by playing a field position battle.

We are not that deep but playing a team with depth. Time of possession mattered.

OSU won yesterday on a few big plays where it had a long field to stretch our defense. Our DL needed run support help from the backfield.

Nah, sorry. No ends justify the means of that call to go for it on 4th down. It was a bad decision.
 

McCloudersportLion

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I expected the D to not allow PSU to get rolled up like Indiana or Maryland by the Machine, and if not for some things out of their control they dont even give up 30+.

The rhythm Clifford has not only with #5 but with Washington is reason for optimism. If the Tight Ends get their act together in the receieving game no reason Clifford cant light any of the remaining opponents up for 300+ yards etsettera
 
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wolve1972

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The biggest play of the game was the dribbled snap by the O$U which was a fumble and would have given PSU the ball in Buckeye territory and a 7-3 lead. Brutal! Clifford was pummeled on the scoop and score. I believe the ball was tipped on his interception and while under pressure. That was the difference all night. Minimal pressure on Stroud and constant pressure on Clifford.
Yeah, I think you nailed it. The glaring stats that caught my eye was OSU had 4 sacks, PSU had 0. But in addition, there was constant pressure on Clifford the whole game. He did a heck of a job considering all of this.

The other one that caught my eye was the rushing yards. OSU had 161 compared to 33 for PSU.

The team with those advantages / stats will win the game 95% of the time.
 
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AWS1022

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In hindsight with some thought, the 4th down call made sense, though right when it happened I reacted with "oh no."

We have a strong red zone defense, and virtually no running game. Going for it on 4th down does not cost this team as much as it would a team that wins by playing a field position battle.

We are not that deep but playing a team with depth. Time of possession mattered.

OSU won yesterday on a few big plays where it had a long field to stretch our defense. Our DL needed run support help from the backfield.
Franklin’s aggressive (sometimes too aggressive), but if you’re going for a win against a superior opponent, you have to take some chances. Day made some far worse decisions, but still won….having better players makes coaches look better.
 
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HartfordLlion

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Good post. I would add on Clifford that he can’t throw deep. It seems like the deepest passes have all been underthrown. He’s clearly still hurting.

That and he was getting killed if he sat in the pocket waiting for a deep shot to develop. His fumble was on a deep shot where both OT got beat by the DEs. OL has to be able to hold their blocks longer on the deep shots.
 

psualt

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We hold them and get the ball back at the PSU 11 after our failed fourth down. They punted 37 yards to pin us back. It makes no sense to say it was perhaps only a 6 yard swing. Considering we ended up with -32 yards where we went for it is how you have to look at it.
 

Pocono Lion

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There was a pass to Dotson where he had his man beat for a possible TD but Clifford under threw it for an interception. He was under pressure but I can't help but to think a healthy Clifford would have had a better chance to complete that pass.
Dotson wasn’t open on that play. It may have looked like it, but the DB was step for step with him and then came off of him when he saw the ball was underthrown.
 

bdroc

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Dotson wasn’t open on that play. It may have looked like it, but the DB was step for step with him and then came off of him when he saw the ball was underthrown.
I'd have to watch the replay but that ball needs to be thrown deep so only Dotson has a chance to catch it.
 

CoastGuard2018

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I'd have to watch the replay but that ball needs to be thrown deep so only Dotson has a chance to catch it.
He threw off his back foot which has been an issue for several years. Realize there was a hard rush but that was not a good decision.
 

lazydave841

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Some of the "disorganization" may have been new sets put in for OSU game. Certainly the T-formation where we scored was new as was Dotson's wildcat. Also, some of the "disorganization" is deliberate to get the opponent into one alignment, then we shift, hoping to catch a mis-match as the defense adjusts also. Cat and mouse.

BTW, the number 2-3 team in country had 5+ procedure penalties. We had them a bit confused, also.

T formation was used vs Indiana. It was a blocked good vs OSU and Lee scored easily. Cain and Strange whiffed vs Indiana and Lee got stood up right.

Honestly, it's an interesting formation for our offense. It allows us to get outside with lead blockers. Something none of our running plays seems to do. You can fake multiple runs and get your TEs open off PA or somebody in the flat out of the back field.

For a team struggling to run the ball, we aren't trying anything like this on a regular basis to get the run game going.

Additionally, for a team struggling with pressure, we don't leave a TE in to help or even chip very often. Very few outlets to the RBs. Not enough screens either. Left side of the line should excel at this. Just block normal.