Oblie's Observations - Outcoached, Undermanned, Crazy, Help! (OUCH)

Fayette_LION

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Jan 28, 2004
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First, a personal note. I had to take a 7am flight out of CLE to Vegas Sunday morning and figured I could attend the game, get on the road by 4 and be home by 8PM. With the 9 OTs, few left early so it created a mad dash for the entire crowd. I ended up getting home ~ 10 pm and got up at 5am to catch my 7 am flight. Damn!

Outcoached by Bret Bielema! Wow.

Defense:
  • On the first play, Ill came out with seven offensive linemen and two tight ends. That was nine upfront a QB and an RB. (and a damn good one). I honestly don't believe I've ever seen that. They ran several variations of this but almost never had more than one WR on the field.
  • Penn State's answer to this was a cover two. That is 4DL, 3LB, 2CB and 2S. That leaves 9 big guys blocking 7 big to medium guys and two more to take out a CB or S who was in the 200 lb range.
  • Illinois: Genius. PSU: Insanity.
  • No PJ certainly hurt but it wouldn't have made much difference. But with 9 OTs, just a little difference may have won the game. But I suspect those inside runs would simply have been outside runs.
  • PSU never had a plan for this, never imagined it. I am sure tossing in 6 DL would have been difficult because people wouldn't know their assignments.
  • Run a goal-line defense, you say? Not a bad idea until you realize that PSU had a lead almost the entire game and would have risked giving up an easy, long score.
  • It really was the perfect storm for ILL....a PSU defense thin at DL with their best DL out, a really cold and rainy day limited offensive creativity, PSU trying to play a conservative game to hold onto a lead by not giving up a long score or turnover.
  • PSU defended the 7 one-play overtimes because the "long score" and "lead" were no longer concerns.
  • But, you give up ten points in college football, you expect to win 99 times out of 100.
  • In the end, I'd have liked to have forced them out of that game plan but giving up 10 points was not the problem.
Offense
  • WTF?
  • SC was bad and got worse. He actually had a lower QB rating than Sitkowski (20.7 to 17.8). That is lower than a snake's belly.
  • There was a horrible non-call when SC was cheap-shotted by an ILL DL that wasn't called. SC was injured and barely made it off the field. He was probably in the 80% range before that and around 50% after. He just sucked, really. The kid is a gamer and fights through but CJF HAS TO KNOW when the kid is too hurt because he isn't going to say it. And that cost the team.
  • I believe we were deep into the third quarter before we ran our first WR screen, which has been a bread and butter play for us all year. It is the play that loosened up both Wiscy's and Auburn's defenses. Why?
  • When the run game isn't working, you go to your short to medium passing game. You exploit all levels and all of the three sections of the field (left, right , center). We had only TWO competitions to a RB (lovett) and 3 to TEs.
  • We score a TD on a slant. More slants you say? Nope.
  • Where are our vaunted TEs? Johnson dropped a VERY important pass over the middle and also missed a very catchable pass in the EZ that would. have won the game in OT.
  • In the end, zero creativity when the RG was shut down. CJF should have put Roberson in for at least one series in the third quarter to run the ball and change things up. Also would have given SC time to catch his breath and sort out his head. His passes were off all day and the weather was not that bad. I am sure the injury along with dropped passes were in his head and he started to overthink things when he couldn't run. He had 5 runs for -28 yards. In CJF's defense, he didn't want a TO because we were winning by 3. I get it.
  • Then we missed a chip shot FG......perfect storm.
9 OTs and other things
  • This was the lowest energy game I can remember. I don't think there were over 70k in the stands. The team picked that up and had zero energy. None. They simply weren't mentally prepared. Nobody seemed to want to be there.
  • The worst call of the game was the fumble forward progress call. First, it took WAY TOO long and looked like. a fix. OK, in my dreams I can see that perhaps a whistle blew. I didn't hear one. But I watched the rest of the game and never was there a quick whistle. But what was worse is that they marked the ball as "no gain". It was set at the ten-yard line when should have been marked at the 7 or 8. In all of the confusion, they marked it in the wrong place. Every fan was yelling and the PSU coaches didn't seem to notice it. Horrible. ILL ended up getting a first down on 3rd and 3 which should have been 5 and would have changed the play-calling sequence.
  • There was a horrible non-call when their DL roughed SC, and may have been the turning point of the game because SC was iffy to start but incompetent after that hit. The scoreboard played it 20 times, which I was shocked to see.
  • the sequence where they called the illegal lineman downfield then pass interference, followed by a facemask on PSU to give ILL a first down was crazy. The ref crew, again, looked dazed and confused the entire game. There was also a horrible PI call on Porter for a key first down that was really bad.
  • Again, poor coaching but the 7 OTs are DO OR DIE!!!! A fumble or INT is immaterial unless it is recovered and the defender goes the length of the field. Reach the ball out for shit's sake! Cain didn't and missed a game-winning score. PSU has to coach the kids to go all out and make that play...there is no tomorrow.
  • With SC hurt, not a single sprint out which is the go-to play there. Spring the QB out. If the OLB stays back you run the ball and burry your shoulder into his gut and push him back into the endzone after pump faking. If he comes, you hit a TE at the goal line for a short pass. Again, poor play calling. So we throw a pass to SC but don't run a sprint out pass....sheesh.
  • Brisker HAS TO make the INT. Has to. That will haunt him for years. We also missed an easy INT in regulation by a LB (12 or 13, can't recall)

A perfect storm of shit. Brisker dropped INT, Johnson dropped pass, missed chip shot FG, Cain not reaching the ball into the endzone, SC getting hurt, no confidence in other QBs, Levis in KY, bad call by the refs, bad weather at the wrong time, missing PJ....

nine overtimes, and NCAA record, and we lose to an inferior team to a crappy coach who's been fired several times who outcoached us. What did I miss?
Worst part was loosing to a looser who cheats. Fat boy did us in and we never adjusted.
 

canuckhal

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2014
4,115
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First, a personal note. I had to take a 7am flight out of CLE to Vegas Sunday morning and figured I could attend the game, get on the road by 4 and be home by 8PM. With the 9 OTs, few left early so it created a mad dash for the entire crowd. I ended up getting home ~ 10 pm and got up at 5am to catch my 7 am flight. Damn!

Outcoached by Bret Bielema! Wow.

Defense:
  • On the first play, Ill came out with seven offensive linemen and two tight ends. That was nine upfront a QB and an RB. (and a damn good one). I honestly don't believe I've ever seen that. They ran several variations of this but almost never had more than one WR on the field.
  • Penn State's answer to this was a cover two. That is 4DL, 3LB, 2CB and 2S. That leaves 9 big guys blocking 7 big to medium guys and two more to take out a CB or S who was in the 200 lb range.
  • Illinois: Genius. PSU: Insanity.
  • No PJ certainly hurt but it wouldn't have made much difference. But with 9 OTs, just a little difference may have won the game. But I suspect those inside runs would simply have been outside runs.
  • PSU never had a plan for this, never imagined it. I am sure tossing in 6 DL would have been difficult because people wouldn't know their assignments.
  • Run a goal-line defense, you say? Not a bad idea until you realize that PSU had a lead almost the entire game and would have risked giving up an easy, long score.
  • It really was the perfect storm for ILL....a PSU defense thin at DL with their best DL out, a really cold and rainy day limited offensive creativity, PSU trying to play a conservative game to hold onto a lead by not giving up a long score or turnover.
  • PSU defended the 7 one-play overtimes because the "long score" and "lead" were no longer concerns.
  • But, you give up ten points in college football, you expect to win 99 times out of 100.
  • In the end, I'd have liked to have forced them out of that game plan but giving up 10 points was not the problem.
Offense
  • WTF?
  • SC was bad and got worse. He actually had a lower QB rating than Sitkowski (20.7 to 17.8). That is lower than a snake's belly.
  • There was a horrible non-call when SC was cheap-shotted by an ILL DL that wasn't called. SC was injured and barely made it off the field. He was probably in the 80% range before that and around 50% after. He just sucked, really. The kid is a gamer and fights through but CJF HAS TO KNOW when the kid is too hurt because he isn't going to say it. And that cost the team.
  • I believe we were deep into the third quarter before we ran our first WR screen, which has been a bread and butter play for us all year. It is the play that loosened up both Wiscy's and Auburn's defenses. Why?
  • When the run game isn't working, you go to your short to medium passing game. You exploit all levels and all of the three sections of the field (left, right , center). We had only TWO competitions to a RB (lovett) and 3 to TEs.
  • We score a TD on a slant. More slants you say? Nope.
  • Where are our vaunted TEs? Johnson dropped a VERY important pass over the middle and also missed a very catchable pass in the EZ that would. have won the game in OT.
  • In the end, zero creativity when the RG was shut down. CJF should have put Roberson in for at least one series in the third quarter to run the ball and change things up. Also would have given SC time to catch his breath and sort out his head. His passes were off all day and the weather was not that bad. I am sure the injury along with dropped passes were in his head and he started to overthink things when he couldn't run. He had 5 runs for -28 yards. In CJF's defense, he didn't want a TO because we were winning by 3. I get it.
  • Then we missed a chip shot FG......perfect storm.
9 OTs and other things
  • This was the lowest energy game I can remember. I don't think there were over 70k in the stands. The team picked that up and had zero energy. None. They simply weren't mentally prepared. Nobody seemed to want to be there.
  • The worst call of the game was the fumble forward progress call. First, it took WAY TOO long and looked like. a fix. OK, in my dreams I can see that perhaps a whistle blew. I didn't hear one. But I watched the rest of the game and never was there a quick whistle. But what was worse is that they marked the ball as "no gain". It was set at the ten-yard line when should have been marked at the 7 or 8. In all of the confusion, they marked it in the wrong place. Every fan was yelling and the PSU coaches didn't seem to notice it. Horrible. ILL ended up getting a first down on 3rd and 3 which should have been 5 and would have changed the play-calling sequence.
  • There was a horrible non-call when their DL roughed SC, and may have been the turning point of the game because SC was iffy to start but incompetent after that hit. The scoreboard played it 20 times, which I was shocked to see.
  • the sequence where they called the illegal lineman downfield then pass interference, followed by a facemask on PSU to give ILL a first down was crazy. The ref crew, again, looked dazed and confused the entire game. There was also a horrible PI call on Porter for a key first down that was really bad.
  • Again, poor coaching but the 7 OTs are DO OR DIE!!!! A fumble or INT is immaterial unless it is recovered and the defender goes the length of the field. Reach the ball out for shit's sake! Cain didn't and missed a game-winning score. PSU has to coach the kids to go all out and make that play...there is no tomorrow.
  • With SC hurt, not a single sprint out which is the go-to play there. Spring the QB out. If the OLB stays back you run the ball and burry your shoulder into his gut and push him back into the endzone after pump faking. If he comes, you hit a TE at the goal line for a short pass. Again, poor play calling. So we throw a pass to SC but don't run a sprint out pass....sheesh.
  • Brisker HAS TO make the INT. Has to. That will haunt him for years. We also missed an easy INT in regulation by a LB (12 or 13, can't recall)

A perfect storm of shit. Brisker dropped INT, Johnson dropped pass, missed chip shot FG, Cain not reaching the ball into the endzone, SC getting hurt, no confidence in other QBs, Levis in KY, bad call by the refs, bad weather at the wrong time, missing PJ....

nine overtimes, and NCAA record, and we lose to an inferior team to a crappy coach who's been fired several times who outcoached us. What did I miss?
Two things come to mind:
1) Throw analytics out the window for this game.
2) IIRC, Franklin previously stated that PSU will be aggressive in everything they do, but he often plays conservative, and certainly did in this game. Granted, it is hard to be aggressive when you can't run the ball and your QB is limited, and apparently you don't have a capable back-up. Wonder why PSU didn't just run blitz, but read on another summary that LBs were consistently missing their gaps and assignments. This is especially strange when earlier D was praised for playing like a team and being very disciplined in their assignments. Agree, they were outcoached and outmanned in this game.
3) An aside, unless things change dramatically, rest of season could be ugly. Have to wonder what the impact of that might be, re: recruiting, transfer portal, and on team.
 
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PSUcup1

Well-Known Member
Nov 6, 2012
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J
Excellent summary. Just one comment here regarding the 70k in the stands. A one loss team at Georgia or Alabama or Ohio State will still fill the stands against a junior high school team. What does this say about Penn State fans? Especially those who are relatively close to State College.

Ohio state didn’t fill the stands this year … they had only 76K attend the Tulsa game
 

1000_OaksLion

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Jul 15, 2001
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First, a personal note. I had to take a 7am flight out of CLE to Vegas Sunday morning and figured I could attend the game, get on the road by 4 and be home by 8PM. With the 9 OTs, few left early so it created a mad dash for the entire crowd. I ended up getting home ~ 10 pm and got up at 5am to catch my 7 am flight. Damn!

Outcoached by Bret Bielema! Wow.

Defense:
  • On the first play, Ill came out with seven offensive linemen and two tight ends. That was nine upfront a QB and an RB. (and a damn good one). I honestly don't believe I've ever seen that. They ran several variations of this but almost never had more than one WR on the field.
  • Penn State's answer to this was a cover two. That is 4DL, 3LB, 2CB and 2S. That leaves 9 big guys blocking 7 big to medium guys and two more to take out a CB or S who was in the 200 lb range.
  • Illinois: Genius. PSU: Insanity.
  • No PJ certainly hurt but it wouldn't have made much difference. But with 9 OTs, just a little difference may have won the game. But I suspect those inside runs would simply have been outside runs.
  • PSU never had a plan for this, never imagined it. I am sure tossing in 6 DL would have been difficult because people wouldn't know their assignments.
  • Run a goal-line defense, you say? Not a bad idea until you realize that PSU had a lead almost the entire game and would have risked giving up an easy, long score.
  • It really was the perfect storm for ILL....a PSU defense thin at DL with their best DL out, a really cold and rainy day limited offensive creativity, PSU trying to play a conservative game to hold onto a lead by not giving up a long score or turnover.
  • PSU defended the 7 one-play overtimes because the "long score" and "lead" were no longer concerns.
  • But, you give up ten points in college football, you expect to win 99 times out of 100.
  • In the end, I'd have liked to have forced them out of that game plan but giving up 10 points was not the problem.
Offense
  • WTF?
  • SC was bad and got worse. He actually had a lower QB rating than Sitkowski (20.7 to 17.8). That is lower than a snake's belly.
  • There was a horrible non-call when SC was cheap-shotted by an ILL DL that wasn't called. SC was injured and barely made it off the field. He was probably in the 80% range before that and around 50% after. He just sucked, really. The kid is a gamer and fights through but CJF HAS TO KNOW when the kid is too hurt because he isn't going to say it. And that cost the team.
  • I believe we were deep into the third quarter before we ran our first WR screen, which has been a bread and butter play for us all year. It is the play that loosened up both Wiscy's and Auburn's defenses. Why?
  • When the run game isn't working, you go to your short to medium passing game. You exploit all levels and all of the three sections of the field (left, right , center). We had only TWO competitions to a RB (lovett) and 3 to TEs.
  • We score a TD on a slant. More slants you say? Nope.
  • Where are our vaunted TEs? Johnson dropped a VERY important pass over the middle and also missed a very catchable pass in the EZ that would. have won the game in OT.
  • In the end, zero creativity when the RG was shut down. CJF should have put Roberson in for at least one series in the third quarter to run the ball and change things up. Also would have given SC time to catch his breath and sort out his head. His passes were off all day and the weather was not that bad. I am sure the injury along with dropped passes were in his head and he started to overthink things when he couldn't run. He had 5 runs for -28 yards. In CJF's defense, he didn't want a TO because we were winning by 3. I get it.
  • Then we missed a chip shot FG......perfect storm.
9 OTs and other things
  • This was the lowest energy game I can remember. I don't think there were over 70k in the stands. The team picked that up and had zero energy. None. They simply weren't mentally prepared. Nobody seemed to want to be there.
  • The worst call of the game was the fumble forward progress call. First, it took WAY TOO long and looked like. a fix. OK, in my dreams I can see that perhaps a whistle blew. I didn't hear one. But I watched the rest of the game and never was there a quick whistle. But what was worse is that they marked the ball as "no gain". It was set at the ten-yard line when should have been marked at the 7 or 8. In all of the confusion, they marked it in the wrong place. Every fan was yelling and the PSU coaches didn't seem to notice it. Horrible. ILL ended up getting a first down on 3rd and 3 which should have been 5 and would have changed the play-calling sequence.
  • There was a horrible non-call when their DL roughed SC, and may have been the turning point of the game because SC was iffy to start but incompetent after that hit. The scoreboard played it 20 times, which I was shocked to see.
  • the sequence where they called the illegal lineman downfield then pass interference, followed by a facemask on PSU to give ILL a first down was crazy. The ref crew, again, looked dazed and confused the entire game. There was also a horrible PI call on Porter for a key first down that was really bad.
  • Again, poor coaching but the 7 OTs are DO OR DIE!!!! A fumble or INT is immaterial unless it is recovered and the defender goes the length of the field. Reach the ball out for shit's sake! Cain didn't and missed a gameth-winning score. PSU has to coach the kids to go all out and make that play...there is no tomorrow.
  • With SC hurt, not a single sprint out which is the go-to play there. Spring the QB out. If the OLB stays back you run the ball and burry your shoulder into his gut and push him back into the endzone after pump faking. If he comes, you hit a TE at the goal line for a short pass. Again, poor play calling. So we throw a pass to SC but don't run a sprint out pass....sheesh.
  • Brisker HAS TO make the INT. Has to. That will haunt him for years. We also missed an easy INT in regulation by a LB (12 or 13, can't recall)

A perfect storm of shit. Brisker dropped INT, Johnson dropped pass, missed chip shot FG, Cain not reaching the ball into the endzone, SC getting hurt, no confidence in other QBs, Levis in KY, bad call by the refs, bad weather at the wrong time, missing PJ....

nine overtimes, and NCAA record, and we lose to an inferior team to a crappy coach who's been fired several times who outcoached us. What did I miss?
The lack of a defensive adjustment wasn't the major problem. It didn't lose the game.. Ill scored just 10 pts in regulation. So they rushed for 350. Not good but not nearly as bad as the offensive performance. SC couldn't throw and he couldn't run. I agree with you that TR and/or CV should have played a few series in the 2nd half when it was more than obvious SC couldn't get it done. Perhaps they were hoping beyond hope that SC had 1 more good TD throw in him. Unfortunately he didn't. The fact that a backup couldn't get in the game at home while playing the worst team in the conference tells you all you need to know about the confidence the coaches have in the backup qbs.
 

Obliviax

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Gold Member
Aug 21, 2001
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The lack of a defensive adjustment wasn't the major problem. It didn't lose the game.. Ill scored just 10 pts in regulation. So they rushed for 350. Not good but not nearly as bad as the offensive performance. SC couldn't throw and he couldn't run. I agree with you that TR and/or CV should have played a few series in the 2nd half when it was more than obvious SC couldn't get it done. Perhaps they were hoping beyond hope that SC had 1 more good TD throw in him. Unfortunately he didn't. The fact that a backup couldn't get in the game at home while playing the worst team in the conference tells you all you need to know about the confidence the coaches have in the backup qbs.
Yep...which is what I said. If you give up 10 in college football, you expect to win 99 out of 100. I'd have been happy if you told me, pre-game, we would give up only 10.
 
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fairfaxlion2

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Oct 12, 2014
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Wrong. Joe Paterno had good offensive lines in 2002, 2005, and 2008. This is a James Franklin thing.

And all the ones in between stunk it up.

Andersen and Kenney used to be the butt of all the jokes on these boards for that very reason
 

WWJDLion

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
144
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First, a personal note. I had to take a 7am flight out of CLE to Vegas Sunday morning and figured I could attend the game, get on the road by 4 and be home by 8PM. With the 9 OTs, few left early so it created a mad dash for the entire crowd. I ended up getting home ~ 10 pm and got up at 5am to catch my 7 am flight. Damn!

Outcoached by Bret Bielema! Wow.

Defense:
  • On the first play, Ill came out with seven offensive linemen and two tight ends. That was nine upfront a QB and an RB. (and a damn good one). I honestly don't believe I've ever seen that. They ran several variations of this but almost never had more than one WR on the field.
  • Penn State's answer to this was a cover two. That is 4DL, 3LB, 2CB and 2S. That leaves 9 big guys blocking 7 big to medium guys and two more to take out a CB or S who was in the 200 lb range.
  • Illinois: Genius. PSU: Insanity.
  • No PJ certainly hurt but it wouldn't have made much difference. But with 9 OTs, just a little difference may have won the game. But I suspect those inside runs would simply have been outside runs.
  • PSU never had a plan for this, never imagined it. I am sure tossing in 6 DL would have been difficult because people wouldn't know their assignments.
  • Run a goal-line defense, you say? Not a bad idea until you realize that PSU had a lead almost the entire game and would have risked giving up an easy, long score.
  • It really was the perfect storm for ILL....a PSU defense thin at DL with their best DL out, a really cold and rainy day limited offensive creativity, PSU trying to play a conservative game to hold onto a lead by not giving up a long score or turnover.
  • PSU defended the 7 one-play overtimes because the "long score" and "lead" were no longer concerns.
  • But, you give up ten points in college football, you expect to win 99 times out of 100.
  • In the end, I'd have liked to have forced them out of that game plan but giving up 10 points was not the problem.
Offense
  • WTF?
  • SC was bad and got worse. He actually had a lower QB rating than Sitkowski (20.7 to 17.8). That is lower than a snake's belly.
  • There was a horrible non-call when SC was cheap-shotted by an ILL DL that wasn't called. SC was injured and barely made it off the field. He was probably in the 80% range before that and around 50% after. He just sucked, really. The kid is a gamer and fights through but CJF HAS TO KNOW when the kid is too hurt because he isn't going to say it. And that cost the team.
  • I believe we were deep into the third quarter before we ran our first WR screen, which has been a bread and butter play for us all year. It is the play that loosened up both Wiscy's and Auburn's defenses. Why?
  • When the run game isn't working, you go to your short to medium passing game. You exploit all levels and all of the three sections of the field (left, right , center). We had only TWO competitions to a RB (lovett) and 3 to TEs.
  • We score a TD on a slant. More slants you say? Nope.
  • Where are our vaunted TEs? Johnson dropped a VERY important pass over the middle and also missed a very catchable pass in the EZ that would. have won the game in OT.
  • In the end, zero creativity when the RG was shut down. CJF should have put Roberson in for at least one series in the third quarter to run the ball and change things up. Also would have given SC time to catch his breath and sort out his head. His passes were off all day and the weather was not that bad. I am sure the injury along with dropped passes were in his head and he started to overthink things when he couldn't run. He had 5 runs for -28 yards. In CJF's defense, he didn't want a TO because we were winning by 3. I get it.
  • Then we missed a chip shot FG......perfect storm.
9 OTs and other things
  • This was the lowest energy game I can remember. I don't think there were over 70k in the stands. The team picked that up and had zero energy. None. They simply weren't mentally prepared. Nobody seemed to want to be there.
  • The worst call of the game was the fumble forward progress call. First, it took WAY TOO long and looked like. a fix. OK, in my dreams I can see that perhaps a whistle blew. I didn't hear one. But I watched the rest of the game and never was there a quick whistle. But what was worse is that they marked the ball as "no gain". It was set at the ten-yard line when should have been marked at the 7 or 8. In all of the confusion, they marked it in the wrong place. Every fan was yelling and the PSU coaches didn't seem to notice it. Horrible. ILL ended up getting a first down on 3rd and 3 which should have been 5 and would have changed the play-calling sequence.
  • There was a horrible non-call when their DL roughed SC, and may have been the turning point of the game because SC was iffy to start but incompetent after that hit. The scoreboard played it 20 times, which I was shocked to see.
  • the sequence where they called the illegal lineman downfield then pass interference, followed by a facemask on PSU to give ILL a first down was crazy. The ref crew, again, looked dazed and confused the entire game. There was also a horrible PI call on Porter for a key first down that was really bad.
  • Again, poor coaching but the 7 OTs are DO OR DIE!!!! A fumble or INT is immaterial unless it is recovered and the defender goes the length of the field. Reach the ball out for shit's sake! Cain didn't and missed a game-winning score. PSU has to coach the kids to go all out and make that play...there is no tomorrow.
  • With SC hurt, not a single sprint out which is the go-to play there. Spring the QB out. If the OLB stays back you run the ball and burry your shoulder into his gut and push him back into the endzone after pump faking. If he comes, you hit a TE at the goal line for a short pass. Again, poor play calling. So we throw a pass to SC but don't run a sprint out pass....sheesh.
  • Brisker HAS TO make the INT. Has to. That will haunt him for years. We also missed an easy INT in regulation by a LB (12 or 13, can't recall)

A perfect storm of shit. Brisker dropped INT, Johnson dropped pass, missed chip shot FG, Cain not reaching the ball into the endzone, SC getting hurt, no confidence in other QBs, Levis in KY, bad call by the refs, bad weather at the wrong time, missing PJ....

nine overtimes, and NCAA record, and we lose to an inferior team to a crappy coach who's been fired several times who outcoached us. What did I miss?
It was a very embarrassing loss - especially at home to a very poor Illinois team. PSU defense was non existent, getting run over by a one dimensional offense. PSU didn't deserve to win this game - outplayed and outcoached from start to finish. Playing for a second tier bowl now - no way this team beats OSU - it may be ugly.
 

slykens

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Nov 21, 2016
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It was a very embarrassing loss - especially at home to a very poor Illinois team. PSU defense was non existent, getting run over by a one dimensional offense. PSU didn't deserve to win this game - outplayed and outcoached from start to finish. Playing for a second tier bowl now - no way this team beats OSU - it may be ugly.
I am pushing back on the “defense was bad” narrative.

The stat sheet might not be pretty but the scoreboard says they gave up 10 in regulation. Any competent offense beats everyone but Georgia if their opponent only scores 10.
 
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fairfaxlion2

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Oct 12, 2014
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I am pushing back on the “defense was bad” narrative.

The stat sheet might not be pretty but the scoreboard says they gave up 10 in regulation. Any competent offense beats everyone but Georgia if their opponent only scores 10.

I still say - we would have beaten them by 7 if Clifford sat
 

lazydave841

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Jan 9, 2021
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I still say - we would have beaten them by 7 if Clifford sat

Probably beat them by two if we put Roberson in there for a bootleg in OT.

Or if Warren throws that pass to SC with his right hand instead of left.

Or if Dotson replaces Warren on that play.

Frig
 

HazletonLion

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Nov 17, 2003
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For those at the game. How does TR look during warm ups ? Touch, accuracy, interest, leadership etc. Just curious.
 

MANASSASPSU

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I think Franklin enjoying the LSU and USC rumors have become a distraction with the staff and players everyone was unfocused yesterday.
Franklin enjoys his name being tossed around
 
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Obliviax

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For those at the game. How does TR look during warm ups ? Touch, accuracy, interest, leadership etc. Just curious.
He looked good but every body looks good in warm ups. He doesn’t have the zip on the passes but he is very athletic.
 
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CoastGuard2018

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I think Franklin enjoying the LSU and USC rumors have become a distraction with the staff and players everyone was unfocused yesterday.
Franklin enjoys his name being tossed around
I realize he has to push the admin for facilities upgrades but for once I just wish he would dispel the rumors publicly albeit we don’t know what he says to the team, recruits and assistants
 

ryoder1

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First, a personal note. I had to take a 7am flight out of CLE to Vegas Sunday morning and figured I could attend the game, get on the road by 4 and be home by 8PM. With the 9 OTs, few left early so it created a mad dash for the entire crowd. I ended up getting home ~ 10 pm and got up at 5am to catch my 7 am flight. Damn!

Outcoached by Bret Bielema! Wow.

Defense:
  • On the first play, Ill came out with seven offensive linemen and two tight ends. That was nine upfront a QB and an RB. (and a damn good one). I honestly don't believe I've ever seen that. They ran several variations of this but almost never had more than one WR on the field.
  • Penn State's answer to this was a cover two. That is 4DL, 3LB, 2CB and 2S. That leaves 9 big guys blocking 7 big to medium guys and two more to take out a CB or S who was in the 200 lb range.
  • Illinois: Genius. PSU: Insanity.
  • No PJ certainly hurt but it wouldn't have made much difference. But with 9 OTs, just a little difference may have won the game. But I suspect those inside runs would simply have been outside runs.
  • PSU never had a plan for this, never imagined it. I am sure tossing in 6 DL would have been difficult because people wouldn't know their assignments.
  • Run a goal-line defense, you say? Not a bad idea until you realize that PSU had a lead almost the entire game and would have risked giving up an easy, long score.
  • It really was the perfect storm for ILL....a PSU defense thin at DL with their best DL out, a really cold and rainy day limited offensive creativity, PSU trying to play a conservative game to hold onto a lead by not giving up a long score or turnover.
  • PSU defended the 7 one-play overtimes because the "long score" and "lead" were no longer concerns.
  • But, you give up ten points in college football, you expect to win 99 times out of 100.
  • In the end, I'd have liked to have forced them out of that game plan but giving up 10 points was not the problem.
Offense
  • WTF?
  • SC was bad and got worse. He actually had a lower QB rating than Sitkowski (20.7 to 17.8). That is lower than a snake's belly.
  • There was a horrible non-call when SC was cheap-shotted by an ILL DL that wasn't called. SC was injured and barely made it off the field. He was probably in the 80% range before that and around 50% after. He just sucked, really. The kid is a gamer and fights through but CJF HAS TO KNOW when the kid is too hurt because he isn't going to say it. And that cost the team.
  • I believe we were deep into the third quarter before we ran our first WR screen, which has been a bread and butter play for us all year. It is the play that loosened up both Wiscy's and Auburn's defenses. Why?
  • When the run game isn't working, you go to your short to medium passing game. You exploit all levels and all of the three sections of the field (left, right , center). We had only TWO competitions to a RB (lovett) and 3 to TEs.
  • We score a TD on a slant. More slants you say? Nope.
  • Where are our vaunted TEs? Johnson dropped a VERY important pass over the middle and also missed a very catchable pass in the EZ that would. have won the game in OT.
  • In the end, zero creativity when the RG was shut down. CJF should have put Roberson in for at least one series in the third quarter to run the ball and change things up. Also would have given SC time to catch his breath and sort out his head. His passes were off all day and the weather was not that bad. I am sure the injury along with dropped passes were in his head and he started to overthink things when he couldn't run. He had 5 runs for -28 yards. In CJF's defense, he didn't want a TO because we were winning by 3. I get it.
  • Then we missed a chip shot FG......perfect storm.
9 OTs and other things
  • This was the lowest energy game I can remember. I don't think there were over 70k in the stands. The team picked that up and had zero energy. None. They simply weren't mentally prepared. Nobody seemed to want to be there.
  • The worst call of the game was the fumble forward progress call. First, it took WAY TOO long and looked like. a fix. OK, in my dreams I can see that perhaps a whistle blew. I didn't hear one. But I watched the rest of the game and never was there a quick whistle. But what was worse is that they marked the ball as "no gain". It was set at the ten-yard line when should have been marked at the 7 or 8. In all of the confusion, they marked it in the wrong place. Every fan was yelling and the PSU coaches didn't seem to notice it. Horrible. ILL ended up getting a first down on 3rd and 3 which should have been 5 and would have changed the play-calling sequence.
  • There was a horrible non-call when their DL roughed SC, and may have been the turning point of the game because SC was iffy to start but incompetent after that hit. The scoreboard played it 20 times, which I was shocked to see.
  • the sequence where they called the illegal lineman downfield then pass interference, followed by a facemask on PSU to give ILL a first down was crazy. The ref crew, again, looked dazed and confused the entire game. There was also a horrible PI call on Porter for a key first down that was really bad.
  • Again, poor coaching but the 7 OTs are DO OR DIE!!!! A fumble or INT is immaterial unless it is recovered and the defender goes the length of the field. Reach the ball out for shit's sake! Cain didn't and missed a game-winning score. PSU has to coach the kids to go all out and make that play...there is no tomorrow.
  • With SC hurt, not a single sprint out which is the go-to play there. Spring the QB out. If the OLB stays back you run the ball and burry your shoulder into his gut and push him back into the endzone after pump faking. If he comes, you hit a TE at the goal line for a short pass. Again, poor play calling. So we throw a pass to SC but don't run a sprint out pass....sheesh.
  • Brisker HAS TO make the INT. Has to. That will haunt him for years. We also missed an easy INT in regulation by a LB (12 or 13, can't recall)

A perfect storm of shit. Brisker dropped INT, Johnson dropped pass, missed chip shot FG, Cain not reaching the ball into the endzone, SC getting hurt, no confidence in other QBs, Levis in KY, bad call by the refs, bad weather at the wrong time, missing PJ....

nine overtimes, and NCAA record, and we lose to an inferior team to a crappy coach who's been fired several times who outcoached us. What did I miss?
Great analysis. This was a classic play not to lose that Franklin loves to do and we....lose. I believe Franklin thought we could hold on and win it at the end with one of our playmakers like Dotson breaking loose and we win 17-10. He must have thought that a hobbled, injured Clifford gave us a better shot vs Roberson perhaps for preventing a TO. Only thing I can think of as it is an example of playing not to lose and milking a lead.

There was a point in that game, probably mid 3rd after it was clear we made no defensive adjustments at halftime and SC had nothing left that people's thoughts about the outcome of the game went from being an ugly PSU win to we could very well lose this game. At that juncture is when Roberson needed to be inserted. But Franklin puckered up and was just hoping we could hold on, bad decision.

By the time OT arrived he felt locked into Clifford dedpite limited playcalling. The fact that we could only gind the end zone once in all those OTs speaks to jow inept the offense is. Absolutely no run game. Totally agree about Cain not stetching the ball over yet the Illinois RB knows how to do that. Why is that?

On the pass to Clifford that Illini defender was bearing in on Warren and rushed everything. Timing got screwed up combined with a limited Clifford spelled doom. Who was supposed to block that guy? Just another example of someone not making a simple play.

At the end of the day this game comes down to another example of a PSU Franklin team completely lacking physical and mental toughness. Losing and getting outcoached is a sequel in this bad movie. Look at all the come from ahead key losses we have had under Franklin....U$C, O$U in '17 and '18, MSU in '17 and '18. I am sure there are more.
 

Bobpsu

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Excellent summary. Just one comment here regarding the 70k in the stands. A one loss team at Georgia or Alabama or Ohio State will still fill the stands against a junior high school team. What does this say about Penn State fans? Especially those who are relatively close to State College.
Pure bullshit 🖕
 

MANASSASPSU

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Jan 18, 2007
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I realize he has to push the admin for facilities upgrades but for once I just wish he would dispel the rumors publicly albeit we don’t know what he says to the team, recruits and assistants
I agree about the leverage. However a simple statement like “PENN State is where I want to be” would be something that knocks down the everyday rumors and gives the program a sense of calm.
 
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fairfaxlion2

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I agree about the leverage. However a simple statement like “PENN State is where I want to be” would be something that knocks down the everyday rumors and gives the program a sense of calm.

If it is about getting leverage for new facilities, he has an insane way of going about it.

He should try and lobby the board or build coalitions of people who are on his side. Nobody likes doing that stuff, but that's what he should do.

Floating rumors that you are out the door is not a normal way to get approval for projects

OTOH if he has to deal with our wacko board, I can understand the temptation to play hardball
 

jroman1

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Oct 30, 2005
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Jim Thorpe
First, a personal note. I had to take a 7am flight out of CLE to Vegas Sunday morning and figured I could attend the game, get on the road by 4 and be home by 8PM. With the 9 OTs, few left early so it created a mad dash for the entire crowd. I ended up getting home ~ 10 pm and got up at 5am to catch my 7 am flight. Damn!

Outcoached by Bret Bielema! Wow.

Defense:
  • On the first play, Ill came out with seven offensive linemen and two tight ends. That was nine upfront a QB and an RB. (and a damn good one). I honestly don't believe I've ever seen that. They ran several variations of this but almost never had more than one WR on the field.
  • Penn State's answer to this was a cover two. That is 4DL, 3LB, 2CB and 2S. That leaves 9 big guys blocking 7 big to medium guys and two more to take out a CB or S who was in the 200 lb range.
  • Illinois: Genius. PSU: Insanity.
  • No PJ certainly hurt but it wouldn't have made much difference. But with 9 OTs, just a little difference may have won the game. But I suspect those inside runs would simply have been outside runs.
  • PSU never had a plan for this, never imagined it. I am sure tossing in 6 DL would have been difficult because people wouldn't know their assignments.
  • Run a goal-line defense, you say? Not a bad idea until you realize that PSU had a lead almost the entire game and would have risked giving up an easy, long score.
  • It really was the perfect storm for ILL....a PSU defense thin at DL with their best DL out, a really cold and rainy day limited offensive creativity, PSU trying to play a conservative game to hold onto a lead by not giving up a long score or turnover.
  • PSU defended the 7 one-play overtimes because the "long score" and "lead" were no longer concerns.
  • But, you give up ten points in college football, you expect to win 99 times out of 100.
  • In the end, I'd have liked to have forced them out of that game plan but giving up 10 points was not the problem.
Offense
  • WTF?
  • SC was bad and got worse. He actually had a lower QB rating than Sitkowski (20.7 to 17.8). That is lower than a snake's belly.
  • There was a horrible non-call when SC was cheap-shotted by an ILL DL that wasn't called. SC was injured and barely made it off the field. He was probably in the 80% range before that and around 50% after. He just sucked, really. The kid is a gamer and fights through but CJF HAS TO KNOW when the kid is too hurt because he isn't going to say it. And that cost the team.
  • I believe we were deep into the third quarter before we ran our first WR screen, which has been a bread and butter play for us all year. It is the play that loosened up both Wiscy's and Auburn's defenses. Why?
  • When the run game isn't working, you go to your short to medium passing game. You exploit all levels and all of the three sections of the field (left, right , center). We had only TWO competitions to a RB (lovett) and 3 to TEs.
  • We score a TD on a slant. More slants you say? Nope.
  • Where are our vaunted TEs? Johnson dropped a VERY important pass over the middle and also missed a very catchable pass in the EZ that would. have won the game in OT.
  • In the end, zero creativity when the RG was shut down. CJF should have put Roberson in for at least one series in the third quarter to run the ball and change things up. Also would have given SC time to catch his breath and sort out his head. His passes were off all day and the weather was not that bad. I am sure the injury along with dropped passes were in his head and he started to overthink things when he couldn't run. He had 5 runs for -28 yards. In CJF's defense, he didn't want a TO because we were winning by 3. I get it.
  • Then we missed a chip shot FG......perfect storm.
9 OTs and other things
  • This was the lowest energy game I can remember. I don't think there were over 70k in the stands. The team picked that up and had zero energy. None. They simply weren't mentally prepared. Nobody seemed to want to be there.
  • The worst call of the game was the fumble forward progress call. First, it took WAY TOO long and looked like. a fix. OK, in my dreams I can see that perhaps a whistle blew. I didn't hear one. But I watched the rest of the game and never was there a quick whistle. But what was worse is that they marked the ball as "no gain". It was set at the ten-yard line when should have been marked at the 7 or 8. In all of the confusion, they marked it in the wrong place. Every fan was yelling and the PSU coaches didn't seem to notice it. Horrible. ILL ended up getting a first down on 3rd and 3 which should have been 5 and would have changed the play-calling sequence.
  • There was a horrible non-call when their DL roughed SC, and may have been the turning point of the game because SC was iffy to start but incompetent after that hit. The scoreboard played it 20 times, which I was shocked to see.
  • the sequence where they called the illegal lineman downfield then pass interference, followed by a facemask on PSU to give ILL a first down was crazy. The ref crew, again, looked dazed and confused the entire game. There was also a horrible PI call on Porter for a key first down that was really bad.
  • Again, poor coaching but the 7 OTs are DO OR DIE!!!! A fumble or INT is immaterial unless it is recovered and the defender goes the length of the field. Reach the ball out for shit's sake! Cain didn't and missed a game-winning score. PSU has to coach the kids to go all out and make that play...there is no tomorrow.
  • With SC hurt, not a single sprint out which is the go-to play there. Spring the QB out. If the OLB stays back you run the ball and burry your shoulder into his gut and push him back into the endzone after pump faking. If he comes, you hit a TE at the goal line for a short pass. Again, poor play calling. So we throw a pass to SC but don't run a sprint out pass....sheesh.
  • Brisker HAS TO make the INT. Has to. That will haunt him for years. We also missed an easy INT in regulation by a LB (12 or 13, can't recall)

A perfect storm of shit. Brisker dropped INT, Johnson dropped pass, missed chip shot FG, Cain not reaching the ball into the endzone, SC getting hurt, no confidence in other QBs, Levis in KY, bad call by the refs, bad weather at the wrong time, missing PJ....

nine overtimes, and NCAA record, and we lose to an inferior team to a crappy coach who's been fired several times who outcoached us. What did I miss?
I always wait with bated breath for your take on the game. Thank you for taking the time to lay it all out there.
 
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91Joe95

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2003
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If it is about getting leverage for new facilities, he has an insane way of going about it.

He should try and lobby the board or build coalitions of people who are on his side. Nobody likes doing that stuff, but that's what he should do.

Floating rumors that you are out the door is not a normal way to get approval for projects

OTOH if he has to deal with our wacko board, I can understand the temptation to play hardball

I don't understand his angst, he got the funding.
 

86PSUPaul

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Aug 17, 2017
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Great writeup, one technical detail, Levis wasn’t in KY yesterday,he was in SC. He was there visiting his girlfriend (a PSU student) and spent a bunch of time at my friends tailgate.
 
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The Spin Meister

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Nov 27, 2012
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An altered state
Great analysis. This was a classic play not to lose that Franklin loves to do and we....lose. I believe Franklin thought we could hold on and win it at the end with one of our playmakers like Dotson breaking loose and we win 17-10. He must have thought that a hobbled, injured Clifford gave us a better shot vs Roberson perhaps for preventing a TO. Only thing I can think of as it is an example of playing not to lose and milking a lead.

There was a point in that game, probably mid 3rd after it was clear we made no defensive adjustments at halftime and SC had nothing left that people's thoughts about the outcome of the game went from being an ugly PSU win to we could very well lose this game. At that juncture is when Roberson needed to be inserted. But Franklin puckered up and was just hoping we could hold on, bad decision.

By the time OT arrived he felt locked into Clifford dedpite limited playcalling. The fact that we could only gind the end zone once in all those OTs speaks to jow inept the offense is. Absolutely no run game. Totally agree about Cain not stetching the ball over yet the Illinois RB knows how to do that. Why is that?

On the pass to Clifford that Illini defender was bearing in on Warren and rushed everything. Timing got screwed up combined with a limited Clifford spelled doom. Who was supposed to block that guy? Just another example of someone not making a simple play.

At the end of the day this game comes down to another example of a PSU Franklin team completely lacking physical and mental toughness. Losing and getting outcoached is a sequel in this bad movie. Look at all the come from ahead key losses we have had under Franklin....U$C, O$U in '17 and '18, MSU in '17 and '18. I am sure there are more.
Methinks it was an option and one was supposed to block him. If the guy covered Clifford, Warren was supposed to run it in. If the guy rushed, then throw it to Clifford.
 

Midnighter2

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Jan 21, 2021
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Still stunned at Brandon Smith’s lack of
football awareness/IQ. On the double reverse you can see instead of jumping to block the pass or wrapping up he tries his patented shoulder charge (which does nothing to disrupt the throw) and on the forced fumble instead of going after the ball he gets up ready to hot dog until he sees his teammates running for the ball. If he had Brooks’s sense for the game he’d be unstoppable.
 

RTRMR

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Oct 14, 2018
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Still stunned at Brandon Smith’s lack of
football awareness/IQ. On the double reverse you can see instead of jumping to block the pass or wrapping up he tries his patented shoulder charge (which does nothing to disrupt the throw) and on the forced fumble instead of going after the ball he gets up ready to hot dog until he sees his teammates running for the ball. If he had Brooks’s sense for the game he’d be unstoppable.
Does Brooks have another year?
 
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BBrown

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Two things come to mind:
1) Throw analytics out the window for this game.
2) IIRC, Franklin previously stated that PSU will be aggressive in everything they do, but he often plays conservative, and certainly did in this game. Granted, it is hard to be aggressive when you can't run the ball and your QB is limited, and apparently you don't have a capable back-up. Wonder why PSU didn't just run blitz, but read on another summary that LBs were consistently missing their gaps and assignments. This is especially strange when earlier D was praised for playing like a team and being very disciplined in their assignments. Agree, they were outcoached and outmanned in this game.
3) An aside, unless things change dramatically, rest of season could be ugly. Have to wonder what the impact of that might be, re: recruiting, transfer portal, and on team.
As long as they don't do something stupid like letting Franklin go I think recruiting will be ok.
I expected the portal to be spinning like crazy even when we were 4-0.
I expect some WR's, RB's and QB's all to be portaling out. I'm surprised Roberson didn't do it on Sunday.
I also think the staff will be even more aggressive on getting help from the portal this year. But please no more Lackawanna OL men or Harvard transfers.
 

Obliviax

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As long as they don't do something stupid like letting Franklin go I think recruiting will be ok.
I expected the portal to be spinning like crazy even when we were 4-0.
I expect some WR's, RB's and QB's all to be portaling out. I'm surprised Roberson didn't do it on Sunday.
I also think the staff will be even more aggressive on getting help from the portal this year. But please no more Lackawanna OL men or Harvard transfers.
Joe always taught that it is never as bad as it seems after a loss, or as good as it seems after a win.

ILL took advantage of a perfect storm to help them win: bad weather, injured QB who gets injured more as the game went on, some crappy officiating, low energy, nursing a small lead. Hats off to Buffalo Brett B for coming up with an innovative idea. It will be interesting to see how that works for him down the stretch.

I think PSU shows up next week against tOSU. Their two WR's are the best tandem in college football right now but we've got some great CBs and will bring a pass rush that they haven't seen in a while. And they've got a LOT to prove. It was one thing to lose to Iowa in Iowa with your second team QB. it is another to lose at home against one of the worst teams in the B1G.
 

BBrown

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Joe always taught that it is never as bad as it seems after a loss, or as good as it seems after a win.

ILL took advantage of a perfect storm to help them win: bad weather, injured QB who gets injured more as the game went on, some crappy officiating, low energy, nursing a small lead. Hats off to Buffalo Brett B for coming up with an innovative idea. It will be interesting to see how that works for him down the stretch.

I think PSU shows up next week against tOSU. Their two WR's are the best tandem in college football right now but we've got some great CBs and will bring a pass rush that they haven't seen in a while. And they've got a LOT to prove. It was one thing to lose to Iowa in Iowa with your second team QB. it is another to lose at home against one of the worst teams in the B1G.
I have sat through a lot of bad weather games, and while the first half was kind crappy I really didn't think it had that much of an effect on the game or at least it shouldn't have.
Officiating was bad. Not the reason we lost but it was bad. I think both Illinois and PSU fans would agree to that.
It will be interesting to see how it works out for them. My gut feeling is it wont. Like you said it was a perfect storm.
I don't even know what to think of OSU. We always seem to play them tough but with a injured Clifford and no viable backup
I don't like what i'm feeling.
 
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Obliviax

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I have sat through a lot of bad weather games, and while the first half was kind crappy I really didn't think it had that much of an effect on the game or at least it shouldn't have.
Officiating was bad. Not the reason we lost but it was bad. I think both Illinois and PSU fans would agree to that.
It will be interesting to see how it works out for them. My gut feeling is it wont. Like you said it was a perfect storm.
I don't even know what to think of OSU. We always seem to play them tough but with a injured Clifford and no viable backup
I don't like what i'm feeling.
I don't disagree with much of what you said....but the weather really hurt with a QB that couldn't throw. They prepared for a ground game and that is what they got. We were not prepared for whatever reason. But football is more psych and momentum than any other sport. Consider you've got to have 40+ on the same page and energized. With guys getting hurt during the game, making mental errors, not getting key INTs, penalties, AND the weather we just fell into a malaise. The fans were phoning it in as well.

Time to move on.
 
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BBrown

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I don't disagree with much of what you said....but the weather really hurt with a QB that couldn't throw. They prepared for a ground game and that is what they got. We were not prepared for whatever reason. But football is more psych and momentum than any other sport. Consider you've got to have 40+ on the same page and energized. With guys getting hurt during the game, making mental errors, not getting key INTs, penalties, AND the weather we just fell into a malaise. The fans were phoning it in as well.

Time to move on.
I'm not sure what the people saw in practice that thought Clifford was looking good and ready to go. The comments around me were that he even looked gimpy just trying to hand the ball off and that was during the first 2 series. SMH. Massive failure by both Franklin and MY on that, massive.