Obli's Observations - Under Pressure

Obliviax

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First, I cannot remember watching a game I enjoyed more than Saturday. Perhaps with bowl game against Washington, the B1G Championship vs Wiscy or the tOSU win was the last time I felt this good after a win. The lead-up and entire first half set the expectation that we were going to lose yet we were never behind. Then to come out with THREE explosive, 40+ yard plays were awesome. I still feel happy!

Under Pressure. To me, the game was won with a) turnovers and b) 3 40+ yard explosive plays. PSU's D played a GREAT game but so did Wisconsin's. The difference was handling pressure. Wisconsin's Center snapped the ball high on the first fumbled TO, which caused the QB to have to rush the handoff. The second fumbled handoff, which Wisconsin recovered but lost 5 yards at a key time, was because the RB and QB were rushing due to the pressure of the Defense. The long plays were done because the first one was a blown coverage. Doton was left uncovered because W was getting really creative on offense. They ran a rare zone and there was a foul-up between the corner and Safety. One of the other long passes, the one that should have been a TD but was underthrown, was due to the S having to cover Dotson. That ain't gonna work. The third was a really good play call by Yercich when we were having some success with the quick WR hitch/screen. Dotson looked like he was going to block the safety when SC faked the hitch and then hit Dotson deep when the S having to cover the hitch left Dotson uncovered. A great play call but the S overreacted to try and fill for the hitch which was being successful at that point in the game. Pressure caused all six of those plays, as well as the two INT's in the last 2:30.

PSU handled the pressure W put us into in the first half. W did not handle the pressure PSU's defense forced upon them. Game.

Defense
  • To me, the unknowns fell into place in a very positive fashion. "Hey Arnold" Ebiketie is a godsend at DE. He's very good, quick and it tool W some time to adjust to him. A complete unknown, he really helped in the first half, especially.
  • Linebackers are big, tough and fast. Brooks had 8 solo tackles and a sack.
  • Mustipher really stuffed up the middle but that was it from the DT position with 7 tackles. I thought the other DT's were OK but nothing special.
  • The third level may be as good as we've ever had at PSU. Brisker was all over the place. I can't recall a S who had a better game for PSU in modern times (zone/read spread era). In Brown's INT to end the game, Brisker was right there as well and probably would have batted it down, if not intercepted it. also,
  • On the Brisker INT two things: Porter Jr.s break up the play before set this play up. Secondly, Mustopher dropped into coverage on a zone blitz while the LB blitzed. The QB had to make a quick adjustment to get the ball over PJ which left the ball in the air for a blink. The staff knew that play was coming, vacated it with the LB to bait them and PJ filled the zone. You can see Brisker waiting for the play as soon as the ball was snapped. Great Defensive call and play.
  • I hated the targeting call and it was a "home field" call. You can see that he comes in with his shoulder and his helmet just brushes off the QB's shoulder and into the side of his helmet. Brisker is "launching" but, my God, everyone "launches" when making a hit. So by the letter of the rule, it was a penalty but I was surprised when they called it (even though the announcers said it would be called).
  • Amazing these guys were in shape good enough to defend 94 plays and still outplay W in the last two minutes. Seemed like a lot of cramping though, and early in the game. Not sure why.

Offense
  • Maybe we should just skip the first half? The reality is that we played a VERY conservative first half on offense. I have no idea why we weren't probing their perimeter until the second half. Was the gameplan to run up the gut on one of the best defenses in college football? I get a series or two but it was pretty clear we couldn't make holes by the second series and our D was on the field constantly. 3 one and dones in a row. Ouch. The best thing I can say is that we didn't turn the ball over.
  • Our LG really struggled all game. The rest were much better but LG killed us and allowed them to blitz up the middle as the C had to account for missed by the LG and the LB'ers could delay blitz. Plus, it made it hard to adjust to their wild stunts.
  • I have no idea why we didn't run some short, quick passes early to get tempo and passing confidence up early. Also, to take away the blitz because blitzing leaves the CBs one-on-one so an easy slant can end up being a TD. We needed to loosen up their interior D plan and don't tell me this was an "adjustment" that needed halftime. It is simple play calling. You must come into every game with a plan that allows you to attack all levels across the entire field. We simply chose to NOT do that. I am not sure why.
  • As soon as we started with the quick hitches to the outside, things opened up. We even had a long run and am not sure why we didn't even try to run to the outside.
  • I thought Cain and Lee looked good. Cain seemed faster as did Lee. But neither had any holes all day. The RBs both did pass block exceptionally well to allow for the long passes. Cain had a very good outside run for 34 yards and if you take that play away, only had 14 yards rushing on 7 carries. Our RBs only carried the ball 12 times, total.
  • OK...where were the TEs? A way to exploit blitzing LBers is to fill the void they left with TEs. Nothin. W did it all day long with Turd Ferguson (who is a very good player).
  • Dotson is fast and good. Fact is, all of his long plays were broken coverage or the fake hitch and go where the S got caught. SC only put on the money and missed one that was wide open.
  • I really was not impressed with SC other than to say he did not succumb to pressure and made zero turnovers. But his passing was not good. He overthrew a wide-open Dotson and really underthrew him on two catches that should have been easy TD's but ended up just being long gains. He also missed a deep out that was wide open. He didn't run much or well.
  • Both KLS and Parker Washington played well. 8 catches for 76 yards combined but at critical times.
  • Playing the "stats game": Cain had a better YPC than Melussi (who looks like a really good RB) 6.0 to 3.9.
Special Teams
  • Do we talk about the kicking that created good field position all day?
  • Do we talk about leaving 4 easy points on the field (missed PAT and a 24 yard FG). We'd have been winning 20-10 coming down the stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter which would have changed everything.
  • Blocked FG was great. I watched an ESPN halftime show where they said that Wisconsin played a sloppy game with three turnovers and a "missed" FG. Sorry, those TO were forced (two INTs on desperate plays) and the FG was not "Missed". It was blocked. ESPN, please give credit where it is due! I know other leagues don't play defense. (and then, I had to laugh, because their premier game GA vs Clemson, was an even LOWER score).
  • I was surprised at the two punt catch interference calls. the first was legit but is almost never called unless it causes a fumble or is a very violent hit. The second was a bad call. I replayed it several times and the punter clearly had his "halo" but the player (Brown or Lyton?) was flying and it looked closer.
Finally, we scored the winning TD on a play with the QB under center giving Cain a full head of steam where he ran over two players to get into the end zone. Wholly shiat! I was very impressed with Wiscy and it seemed to be a really hard-hitting, hard-played game with good sportsmanship by two very disciplined teams. Production by the network was really good and I have a love-hate relationship with Gus. He really brings out excitement but sometimes overdoes it (jump around hype). They did miss the team doing backflips as I've heard, but not actually saw, that this was really fun and showed their athleticism after the game was over while celebrating. I really got a kick out of CJF taking the guy's hat after the game and yucking it up with PSU fans.

The B1G is there for anyone who can jump up and take it. tOSU's pass defense looks, suspect. Sparty looked good against NW, Iowa looked strong and UM played a cupcake. I am not convinced with Iowa yet. Indy had two horribly thrown balls that ended up with pick-sixes that crushed them. Penix succumbed to the pressure of pre-season hype.
 

NewEra 2014

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Jan 3, 2014
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Nice job as usual, Obli. Here are some of my observations:

1) I thought the white out last year with no fans signaled the low point with respect to COVID last year, but the jump around signaled a return to normalcy. I thought it was great, and seeing Jenny Taft spin around during the jump around was an expression of joyfulness that we all could use.
2) Gus Johnson and the Fox crew like sports, and it is refreshing to see that when so many media members in the sports world don't seem to actually like sports.
3) The game was a lesson in teams not capitalizing when they should, and it coming back to bite them. I liked our chances when the game was 0-0 at half, because we could have easily been down by 14 points or more.
4) The targeting hit was a bad call, but that play gets called incorrectly for targeting more often than it doesn't. I wasn't surprised with the call.
5) Penn State loses that game if we have O'Neill's crew.
 

tototootsi

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Aug 2, 2003
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You forgot to mention that the clock guy started started the clock late on one of the W plays during the last two minutes. Otherwise good comments.
 
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bvillebaron

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Nice job as usual, Obli. Here are some of my observations:

1) I thought the white out last year with no fans signaled the low point with respect to COVID last year, but the jump around signaled a return to normalcy. I thought it was great, and seeing Jenny Taft spin around during the jump around was an expression of joyfulness that we all could use.
2) Gus Johnson and the Fox crew like sports, and it is refreshing to see that when so many media members in the sports world don't seem to actually like sports.
3) The game was a lesson in teams not capitalizing when they should, and it coming back to bite them. I liked our chances when the game was 0-0 at half, because we could have easily been down by 14 points or more.
4) The targeting hit was a bad call, but that play gets called incorrectly for targeting more often than it doesn't. I wasn't surprised with the call.
5) Penn State loses that game if we have O'Neill's crew.
You were surprised by the targeting call. Knew immediately that they were going to call it targeting even though it wasn’t IMO.
 

PSU Soupy

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Other added thoughts to the excellent as usual OP.
Defense:
1) Surprised at the effectiveness of Luketa at DE. Like him at DE more than at MLB.
2) Better tackling than we have seen the past few years from PSU....some of the runs up the middle gained more yards than I would have liked....but almost 0 YAC by their TE or WR.
3) Mustipher has improved.....Tangelo seemed to play OK...Vilbert Smith seemed more solid than I remember, Tarburton, Johnny on the spot on the fumble and almost a tremendous play on the INT. He was good.
4) Best secondary play we have had in multiple years......Safties, Corners played well. Hardy played well as "nickle or dime" He broke up 2-3 passes.
5) Brisker and AK playing that well during the game after getting injured was super to see.

Offense:
1) Not much from TEs, but that will come. They were on the field a lot and will give MY some additional toys to work into the system. Have to get the ball to the 3 TEs.
2) LG was problematic.....better in 2nd half but even then not great.
3) RB blitz pickup by Cain and Lee was very good. Especially Cain, watch the first TD to Jahan....Cain bails out Harvard LG who had the backside and the MLB ran right by Wilson. Cain picked him up.
4) Clifford had no turnovers but threw 3-4 balls into very risky areas that could have been picked in the 1st half.

Overall great first week. Team will work on running ball next week....cleaning up some issues and be ready for Auburn the following week.
 

PSU2UNC

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Feb 9, 2016
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I always appreciate your write ups.

A few things to add:

1) SC didn't play great, but he doesn't have to play great for PSU to win 11 games this year. Not turning the ball over is HUGE. Making enough big plays is enough. He did that. I expect he will get better as the year goes on as he becomes more comfortable with the offense (also, Wisconsin is possibly the best defense they will see all year).

2) Lee (in limited carries) look indecisive. Instead of just dragging guys for 3 yards like last year he was trying to make Saquon-like cutbacks. That's not his forte.

3) Really impressed with the defense as well as with special teams (other than FG kicking). The kick catch interference penalties are either bad calls or the rule needs to be changed. If it is supposed to be interpreted as "the player gets 1 yard to make the catch" that is still not a definitive rule because "1 yard" is not a unit of time. If the cover team is flying that "1 yard" is bang bang (which is what we saw yesterday). I'd be a proponent of eliminating the rule. You either call a fair catch or your don't (obviously you can't hit the returner until he touches the ball). Otherwise, you almost have to make it "one second" instead of one yard and "one second" is too long to give the returner.

4) Officiating wasn't great. In addition to the above, they missed at least five obvious holding penalties against Wisconsin, and I disagree with the targeting penalty. I think the standard for targeting against a runner is pretty high and that hit wasn't egregious.
 

psualt

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Good analysis.

I didn’t dvr the first half but watching live yesterday was sure the defender came in from side to hit punt returner on first one. The rule says one yard in front the width of returners’ shoulders. I don’t know what they could have been thinking there.
 

psualt

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Nov 2, 2014
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I always appreciate your write ups.

A few things to add:

1) SC didn't play great, but he doesn't have to play great for PSU to win 11 games this year. Not turning the ball over is HUGE. Making enough big plays is enough. He did that. I expect he will get better as the year goes on as he becomes more comfortable with the offense (also, Wisconsin is possibly the best defense they will see all year).

2) Lee (in limited carries) look indecisive. Instead of just dragging guys for 3 yards like last year he was trying to make Saquon-like cutbacks. That's not his forte.

3) Really impressed with the defense as well as with special teams (other than FG kicking). The kick catch interference penalties are either bad calls or the rule needs to be changed. If it is supposed to be interpreted as "the player gets 1 yard to make the catch" that is still not a definitive rule because "1 yard" is not a unit of time. If the cover team is flying that "1 yard" is bang bang (which is what we saw yesterday). I'd be a proponent of eliminating the rule. You either call a fair catch or your don't (obviously you can't hit the returner until he touches the ball). Otherwise, you almost have to make it "one second" instead of one yard and "one second" is too long to give the returner.

4) Officiating wasn't great. In addition to the above, they missed at least five obvious holding penalties against Wisconsin, and I disagree with the targeting penalty. I think the standard for targeting against a runner is pretty high and that hit wasn't egregious.
It’s one yard in front which is a lot different than one yard all around. Clemson GA there was one where the guy was literally on top of him with no call.
 

Cowbell Man

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You were surprised by the targeting call. Knew immediately that they were going to call it targeting even though it wasn’t IMO.
I wasn’t surprised it was reviewed to targeting but after watching the Minnesota receiver get knocked out cold by OSU’s helmet torpedo and lost the ball in the process….AND have the play reviewed regarding the fumble all the while ignoring a crown to helmet hit…it was disappointing to see Ellis get flagged for one considerably less “worse”.

Regarding Dotson, while it would be an exaggeration to say “every play” but it would be fair to say he spent a lot of time running around uncovered. W simply had no answer for him and they tried several different coverages.
What was curious to me was SC, when rolling, seeming to not know where his guys would be. Then look for the dump off. His 3rd down run in the red zone to the sideline where he faked a pass late like McSorely….Sean…man…just RUN and get the first down!
 

Midnighter2

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First, I cannot remember watching a game I enjoyed more than Saturday. Perhaps with bowl game against Washington, the B1G Championship vs Wiscy or the tOSU win was the last time I felt this good after a win. The lead-up and entire first half set the expectation that we were going to lose yet we were never behind. Then to come out with THREE explosive, 40+ yard plays were awesome. I still feel happy!

Under Pressure. To me, the game was won with a) turnovers and b) 3 40+ yard explosive plays. PSU's D played a GREAT game but so did Wisconsin's. The difference was handling pressure. Wisconsin's Center snapped the ball high on the first fumbled TO, which caused the QB to have to rush the handoff. The second fumbled handoff, which Wisconsin recovered but lost 5 yards at a key time, was because the RB and QB were rushing due to the pressure of the Defense. The long plays were done because the first one was a blown coverage. Doton was left uncovered because W was getting really creative on offense. They ran a rare zone and there was a foul-up between the corner and Safety. One of the other long passes, the one that should have been a TD but was underthrown, was due to the S having to cover Dotson. That ain't gonna work. The third was a really good play call by Yercich when we were having some success with the quick WR hitch/screen. Dotson looked like he was going to block the safety when SC faked the hitch and then hit Dotson deep when the S having to cover the hitch left Dotson uncovered. A great play call but the S overreacted to try and fill for the hitch which was being successful at that point in the game. Pressure caused all six of those plays, as well as the two INT's in the last 2:30.

PSU handled the pressure W put us into in the first half. W did not handle the pressure PSU's defense forced upon them. Game.

Defense
  • To me, the unknowns fell into place in a very positive fashion. "Hey Arnold" Ebiketie is a godsend at DE. He's very good, quick and it tool W some time to adjust to him. A complete unknown, he really helped in the first half, especially.
  • Linebackers are big, tough and fast. Brooks had 8 solo tackles and a sack.
  • Mustipher really stuffed up the middle but that was it from the DT position with 7 tackles. I thought the other DT's were OK but nothing special.
  • The third level may be as good as we've ever had at PSU. Brisker was all over the place. I can't recall a S who had a better game for PSU in modern times (zone/read spread era). In Brown's INT to end the game, Brisker was right there as well and probably would have batted it down, if not intercepted it. also,
  • On the Brisker INT two things: Porter Jr.s break up the play before set this play up. Secondly, Mustopher dropped into coverage on a zone blitz while the LB blitzed. The QB had to make a quick adjustment to get the ball over PJ which left the ball in the air for a blink. The staff knew that play was coming, vacated it with the LB to bait them and PJ filled the zone. You can see Brisker waiting for the play as soon as the ball was snapped. Great Defensive call and play.
  • I hated the targeting call and it was a "home field" call. You can see that he comes in with his shoulder and his helmet just brushes off the QB's shoulder and into the side of his helmet. Brisker is "launching" but, my God, everyone "launches" when making a hit. So by the letter of the rule, it was a penalty but I was surprised when they called it (even though the announcers said it would be called).
  • Amazing these guys were in shape good enough to defend 94 plays and still outplay W in the last two minutes. Seemed like a lot of cramping though, and early in the game. Not sure why.

Offense
  • Maybe we should just skip the first half? The reality is that we played a VERY conservative first half on offense. I have no idea why we weren't probing their perimeter until the second half. Was the gameplan to run up the gut on one of the best defenses in college football? I get a series or two but it was pretty clear we couldn't make holes by the second series and our D was on the field constantly. 3 one and dones in a row. Ouch. The best thing I can say is that we didn't turn the ball over.
  • Our LG really struggled all game. The rest were much better but LG killed us and allowed them to blitz up the middle as the C had to account for missed by the LG and the LB'ers could delay blitz. Plus, it made it hard to adjust to their wild stunts.
  • I have no idea why we didn't run some short, quick passes early to get tempo and passing confidence up early. Also, to take away the blitz because blitzing leaves the CBs one-on-one so an easy slant can end up being a TD. We needed to loosen up their interior D plan and don't tell me this was an "adjustment" that needed halftime. It is simple play calling. You must come into every game with a plan that allows you to attack all levels across the entire field. We simply chose to NOT do that. I am not sure why.
  • As soon as we started with the quick hitches to the outside, things opened up. We even had a long run and am not sure why we didn't even try to run to the outside.
  • I thought Cain and Lee looked good. Cain seemed faster as did Lee. But neither had any holes all day. The RBs both did pass block exceptionally well to allow for the long passes. Cain had a very good outside run for 34 yards and if you take that play away, only had 14 yards rushing on 7 carries. Our RBs only carried the ball 12 times, total.
  • OK...where were the TEs? A way to exploit blitzing LBers is to fill the void they left with TEs. Nothin. W did it all day long with Turd Ferguson (who is a very good player).
  • Dotson is fast and good. Fact is, all of his long plays were broken coverage or the fake hitch and go where the S got caught. SC only put on the money and missed one that was wide open.
  • I really was not impressed with SC other than to say he did not succumb to pressure and made zero turnovers. But his passing was not good. He overthrew a wide-open Dotson and really underthrew him on two catches that should have been easy TD's but ended up just being long gains. He also missed a deep out that was wide open. He didn't run much or well.
  • Both KLS and Parker Washington played well. 8 catches for 76 yards combined but at critical times.
  • Playing the "stats game": Cain had a better YPC than Melussi (who looks like a really good RB) 6.0 to 3.9.
Special Teams
  • Do we talk about the kicking that created good field position all day?
  • Do we talk about leaving 4 easy points on the field (missed PAT and a 24 yard FG). We'd have been winning 20-10 coming down the stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter which would have changed everything.
  • Blocked FG was great. I watched an ESPN halftime show where they said that Wisconsin played a sloppy game with three turnovers and a "missed" FG. Sorry, those TO were forced (two INTs on desperate plays) and the FG was not "Missed". It was blocked. ESPN, please give credit where it is due! I know other leagues don't play defense. (and then, I had to laugh, because their premier game GA vs Clemson, was an even LOWER score).
  • I was surprised at the two punt catch interference calls. the first was legit but is almost never called unless it causes a fumble or is a very violent hit. The second was a bad call. I replayed it several times and the punter clearly had his "halo" but the player (Brown or Lyton?) was flying and it looked closer.
Finally, we scored the winning TD on a play with the QB under center giving Cain a full head of steam where he ran over two players to get into the end zone. Wholly shiat! I was very impressed with Wiscy and it seemed to be a really hard-hitting, hard-played game with good sportsmanship by two very disciplined teams. Production by the network was really good and I have a love-hate relationship with Gus. He really brings out excitement but sometimes overdoes it (jump around hype). They did miss the team doing backflips as I've heard, but not actually saw, that this was really fun and showed their athleticism after the game was over while celebrating. I really got a kick out of CJF taking the guy's hat after the game and yucking it up with PSU fans.

The B1G is there for anyone who can jump up and take it. tOSU's pass defense looks, suspect. Sparty looked good against NW, Iowa looked strong and UM played a cupcake. I am not convinced with Iowa yet. Indy had two horribly thrown balls that ended up with pick-sixes that crushed them. Penix succumbed to the pressure of pre-season hype.

You nailed it. And your excitement for the game is palpable. Fun to watch and even more fun to talk about - I really, really thought the game was over on W's final drive when we got a penalty; then, the fumble and taking time off the clock totally changed everything. I don't know what to think about SC; we won, but we have to figure out a way to use more weapons on offense - especially the TE's and Washington. Of course, nothing happens without a good OL, and once again, we're lacking there.

Still, I'll take a road win any day at Camp Randall, especially over a Top 15 team. And AK-17 is a great example of the good that can come of the transfer portal - his former team got pummeled yesterday, meanwhile he's on everyone's radar now after his showcase against Wiscy. I also still think the targeting call on Brooks was bogus (as were the two 'interference' penalties on our PR team - watching the UCLA/LSU game last night they constantly crowded the punt returner and I saw a hit identical to Brooks' on the QB without even a mention of a penalty) - and he played a hell of a game. If we can get Smith to quit trying to kill people and Jacobs more involved, the D will be in really, really good shape (the key though is Brisker, who had several close injury calls yesterday).

Also - flips below!


Also, you said 'probing'....

beavis-and-butthead.gif
 

kickerinaz

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I really wondered where the running game was. Looked like the outside would have been a good place to attack. It's kind of a glass half empty: geez wait till we can establish the run which I think we can. Think we will be good on O with a little time . Per above D was awesome . James invests in special teams and it pays off .

Edit: Good write up thx
 
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Obliviax

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I always appreciate your write ups.

A few things to add:

1) SC didn't play great, but he doesn't have to play great for PSU to win 11 games this year. Not turning the ball over is HUGE. Making enough big plays is enough. He did that. I expect he will get better as the year goes on as he becomes more comfortable with the offense (also, Wisconsin is possibly the best defense they will see all year).

2) Lee (in limited carries) look indecisive. Instead of just dragging guys for 3 yards like last year he was trying to make Saquon-like cutbacks. That's not his forte.

3) Really impressed with the defense as well as with special teams (other than FG kicking). The kick catch interference penalties are either bad calls or the rule needs to be changed. If it is supposed to be interpreted as "the player gets 1 yard to make the catch" that is still not a definitive rule because "1 yard" is not a unit of time. If the cover team is flying that "1 yard" is bang bang (which is what we saw yesterday). I'd be a proponent of eliminating the rule. You either call a fair catch or your don't (obviously you can't hit the returner until he touches the ball). Otherwise, you almost have to make it "one second" instead of one yard and "one second" is too long to give the returner.

4) Officiating wasn't great. In addition to the above, they missed at least five obvious holding penalties against Wisconsin, and I disagree with the targeting penalty. I think the standard for targeting against a runner is pretty high and that hit wasn't egregious.
Coach Franklin made a comment after the game that we have running backs to think they can box it to the outside then said that would be fixed. I am sure he was talking about Lee. I will say this about Lee, the dude doesn’t go down
 

cntblvitsbutter

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Aug 31, 2003
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How successful a season this year is gonna be pretty much comes down to Clifford. Mustipher, Brooks, Brisker and Brown have shown they can provide stout up the middle defense and will keep PSU competitive in all games. But teams will keep crowding the LOS daring Clifford to pass. The one pass that really worries me about Clifford is the out to Dotson that he threw at his feet. There was no pressure and Dotson was wide open, so he had plenty of time to drill it in there. Remember the announcer saying something like that is a simple pitch and catch play that has got to be made.
 

PSU73

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ColumbusOh via PortVue/CLE/Houston/CLE
I don't know how 'loud' Camp Randall stadium can get with a capacity, excited crowd, but, it seemed to have not had any influence on the team that I could tell.
OT, what was the name of the song played for the dance around? I couldn't make the song out very well.
 

lazydave841

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We need to run the ball excellent vs Ball State. Of course, it's going to mean nothing until we do it vs Auburn week 3, but if we struggle next week rushing, that isn't good.
 

Obliviax

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I don't know how 'loud' Camp Randall stadium can get with a capacity, excited crowd, but, it seemed to have not had any influence on the team that I could tell.
OT, what was the name of the song played for the dance around? I couldn't make the song out very well.
 
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lazydave841

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It was a cool human interest story moment after no crowds last year.

And I'm sure it's awesome to be in the middle of rooting for them.
 

MrDibbs

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Feb 16, 2004
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Thanks, Obli. The 2021 season has officially begun with your first Observations posting. Great job.

I can't add anything that has not already been stated by more astute posters except I will wholeheartedly agree that yesterday's victory was as satisfying as any since the 2016 B1G Championship and the O$U win earlier that season.

I am certain that Franklin told the kids to enjoy their victory, but the next chapter starts today (Sunday) and Ball State will not be a pushover. Lack of focus will kill the good vibe of a win in Madison.

Time for this old guy to do Jumparound in the backyard and look for Jenny Taft.
 

SR108

Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2004
15,810
5,058
1
First, I cannot remember watching a game I enjoyed more than Saturday. Perhaps with bowl game against Washington, the B1G Championship vs Wiscy or the tOSU win was the last time I felt this good after a win. The lead-up and entire first half set the expectation that we were going to lose yet we were never behind. Then to come out with THREE explosive, 40+ yard plays were awesome. I still feel happy!

Under Pressure. To me, the game was won with a) turnovers and b) 3 40+ yard explosive plays. PSU's D played a GREAT game but so did Wisconsin's. The difference was handling pressure. Wisconsin's Center snapped the ball high on the first fumbled TO, which caused the QB to have to rush the handoff. The second fumbled handoff, which Wisconsin recovered but lost 5 yards at a key time, was because the RB and QB were rushing due to the pressure of the Defense. The long plays were done because the first one was a blown coverage. Doton was left uncovered because W was getting really creative on offense. They ran a rare zone and there was a foul-up between the corner and Safety. One of the other long passes, the one that should have been a TD but was underthrown, was due to the S having to cover Dotson. That ain't gonna work. The third was a really good play call by Yercich when we were having some success with the quick WR hitch/screen. Dotson looked like he was going to block the safety when SC faked the hitch and then hit Dotson deep when the S having to cover the hitch left Dotson uncovered. A great play call but the S overreacted to try and fill for the hitch which was being successful at that point in the game. Pressure caused all six of those plays, as well as the two INT's in the last 2:30.

PSU handled the pressure W put us into in the first half. W did not handle the pressure PSU's defense forced upon them. Game.

Defense
  • To me, the unknowns fell into place in a very positive fashion. "Hey Arnold" Ebiketie is a godsend at DE. He's very good, quick and it tool W some time to adjust to him. A complete unknown, he really helped in the first half, especially.
  • Linebackers are big, tough and fast. Brooks had 8 solo tackles and a sack.
  • Mustipher really stuffed up the middle but that was it from the DT position with 7 tackles. I thought the other DT's were OK but nothing special.
  • The third level may be as good as we've ever had at PSU. Brisker was all over the place. I can't recall a S who had a better game for PSU in modern times (zone/read spread era). In Brown's INT to end the game, Brisker was right there as well and probably would have batted it down, if not intercepted it. also,
  • On the Brisker INT two things: Porter Jr.s break up the play before set this play up. Secondly, Mustopher dropped into coverage on a zone blitz while the LB blitzed. The QB had to make a quick adjustment to get the ball over PJ which left the ball in the air for a blink. The staff knew that play was coming, vacated it with the LB to bait them and PJ filled the zone. You can see Brisker waiting for the play as soon as the ball was snapped. Great Defensive call and play.
  • I hated the targeting call and it was a "home field" call. You can see that he comes in with his shoulder and his helmet just brushes off the QB's shoulder and into the side of his helmet. Brisker is "launching" but, my God, everyone "launches" when making a hit. So by the letter of the rule, it was a penalty but I was surprised when they called it (even though the announcers said it would be called).
  • Amazing these guys were in shape good enough to defend 94 plays and still outplay W in the last two minutes. Seemed like a lot of cramping though, and early in the game. Not sure why.

Offense
  • Maybe we should just skip the first half? The reality is that we played a VERY conservative first half on offense. I have no idea why we weren't probing their perimeter until the second half. Was the gameplan to run up the gut on one of the best defenses in college football? I get a series or two but it was pretty clear we couldn't make holes by the second series and our D was on the field constantly. 3 one and dones in a row. Ouch. The best thing I can say is that we didn't turn the ball over.
  • Our LG really struggled all game. The rest were much better but LG killed us and allowed them to blitz up the middle as the C had to account for missed by the LG and the LB'ers could delay blitz. Plus, it made it hard to adjust to their wild stunts.
  • I have no idea why we didn't run some short, quick passes early to get tempo and passing confidence up early. Also, to take away the blitz because blitzing leaves the CBs one-on-one so an easy slant can end up being a TD. We needed to loosen up their interior D plan and don't tell me this was an "adjustment" that needed halftime. It is simple play calling. You must come into every game with a plan that allows you to attack all levels across the entire field. We simply chose to NOT do that. I am not sure why.
  • As soon as we started with the quick hitches to the outside, things opened up. We even had a long run and am not sure why we didn't even try to run to the outside.
  • I thought Cain and Lee looked good. Cain seemed faster as did Lee. But neither had any holes all day. The RBs both did pass block exceptionally well to allow for the long passes. Cain had a very good outside run for 34 yards and if you take that play away, only had 14 yards rushing on 7 carries. Our RBs only carried the ball 12 times, total.
  • OK...where were the TEs? A way to exploit blitzing LBers is to fill the void they left with TEs. Nothin. W did it all day long with Turd Ferguson (who is a very good player).
  • Dotson is fast and good. Fact is, all of his long plays were broken coverage or the fake hitch and go where the S got caught. SC only put on the money and missed one that was wide open.
  • I really was not impressed with SC other than to say he did not succumb to pressure and made zero turnovers. But his passing was not good. He overthrew a wide-open Dotson and really underthrew him on two catches that should have been easy TD's but ended up just being long gains. He also missed a deep out that was wide open. He didn't run much or well.
  • Both KLS and Parker Washington played well. 8 catches for 76 yards combined but at critical times.
  • Playing the "stats game": Cain had a better YPC than Melussi (who looks like a really good RB) 6.0 to 3.9.
Special Teams
  • Do we talk about the kicking that created good field position all day?
  • Do we talk about leaving 4 easy points on the field (missed PAT and a 24 yard FG). We'd have been winning 20-10 coming down the stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter which would have changed everything.
  • Blocked FG was great. I watched an ESPN halftime show where they said that Wisconsin played a sloppy game with three turnovers and a "missed" FG. Sorry, those TO were forced (two INTs on desperate plays) and the FG was not "Missed". It was blocked. ESPN, please give credit where it is due! I know other leagues don't play defense. (and then, I had to laugh, because their premier game GA vs Clemson, was an even LOWER score).
  • I was surprised at the two punt catch interference calls. the first was legit but is almost never called unless it causes a fumble or is a very violent hit. The second was a bad call. I replayed it several times and the punter clearly had his "halo" but the player (Brown or Lyton?) was flying and it looked closer.
Finally, we scored the winning TD on a play with the QB under center giving Cain a full head of steam where he ran over two players to get into the end zone. Wholly shiat! I was very impressed with Wiscy and it seemed to be a really hard-hitting, hard-played game with good sportsmanship by two very disciplined teams. Production by the network was really good and I have a love-hate relationship with Gus. He really brings out excitement but sometimes overdoes it (jump around hype). They did miss the team doing backflips as I've heard, but not actually saw, that this was really fun and showed their athleticism after the game was over while celebrating. I really got a kick out of CJF taking the guy's hat after the game and yucking it up with PSU fans.

The B1G is there for anyone who can jump up and take it. tOSU's pass defense looks, suspect. Sparty looked good against NW, Iowa looked strong and UM played a cupcake. I am not convinced with Iowa yet. Indy had two horribly thrown balls that ended up with pick-sixes that crushed them. Penix succumbed to the pressure of pre-season hype.
This was a big win! This team showed character and toughness. The Defense is a lot better than I expected. Depth is still an issue. The OLine needs to get better, however I think their problem was being out schemed rather than talent and physicality. Wiscy stunted, slanted and twisted quite a bit and we did not seem prepared.

Cllifford has to play a lot better. He got away with a couple of poor throws in the first half that could have been intercepted. The real difference in the game was our defense made their QB pay for his bad throws.

If we can stay away from injuries and get better play from Clifford and the OLine, we have a chance to go into Columbus undefeated.

The Iowa game will be telling.
 
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Aug 8, 2003
20
17
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Northern NJ
First, I cannot remember watching a game I enjoyed more than Saturday. Perhaps with bowl game against Washington, the B1G Championship vs Wiscy or the tOSU win was the last time I felt this good after a win. The lead-up and entire first half set the expectation that we were going to lose yet we were never behind. Then to come out with THREE explosive, 40+ yard plays were awesome. I still feel happy!

Under Pressure. To me, the game was won with a) turnovers and b) 3 40+ yard explosive plays. PSU's D played a GREAT game but so did Wisconsin's. The difference was handling pressure. Wisconsin's Center snapped the ball high on the first fumbled TO, which caused the QB to have to rush the handoff. The second fumbled handoff, which Wisconsin recovered but lost 5 yards at a key time, was because the RB and QB were rushing due to the pressure of the Defense. The long plays were done because the first one was a blown coverage. Doton was left uncovered because W was getting really creative on offense. They ran a rare zone and there was a foul-up between the corner and Safety. One of the other long passes, the one that should have been a TD but was underthrown, was due to the S having to cover Dotson. That ain't gonna work. The third was a really good play call by Yercich when we were having some success with the quick WR hitch/screen. Dotson looked like he was going to block the safety when SC faked the hitch and then hit Dotson deep when the S having to cover the hitch left Dotson uncovered. A great play call but the S overreacted to try and fill for the hitch which was being successful at that point in the game. Pressure caused all six of those plays, as well as the two INT's in the last 2:30.

PSU handled the pressure W put us into in the first half. W did not handle the pressure PSU's defense forced upon them. Game.

Defense
  • To me, the unknowns fell into place in a very positive fashion. "Hey Arnold" Ebiketie is a godsend at DE. He's very good, quick and it tool W some time to adjust to him. A complete unknown, he really helped in the first half, especially.
  • Linebackers are big, tough and fast. Brooks had 8 solo tackles and a sack.
  • Mustipher really stuffed up the middle but that was it from the DT position with 7 tackles. I thought the other DT's were OK but nothing special.
  • The third level may be as good as we've ever had at PSU. Brisker was all over the place. I can't recall a S who had a better game for PSU in modern times (zone/read spread era). In Brown's INT to end the game, Brisker was right there as well and probably would have batted it down, if not intercepted it. also,
  • On the Brisker INT two things: Porter Jr.s break up the play before set this play up. Secondly, Mustopher dropped into coverage on a zone blitz while the LB blitzed. The QB had to make a quick adjustment to get the ball over PJ which left the ball in the air for a blink. The staff knew that play was coming, vacated it with the LB to bait them and PJ filled the zone. You can see Brisker waiting for the play as soon as the ball was snapped. Great Defensive call and play.
  • I hated the targeting call and it was a "home field" call. You can see that he comes in with his shoulder and his helmet just brushes off the QB's shoulder and into the side of his helmet. Brisker is "launching" but, my God, everyone "launches" when making a hit. So by the letter of the rule, it was a penalty but I was surprised when they called it (even though the announcers said it would be called).
  • Amazing these guys were in shape good enough to defend 94 plays and still outplay W in the last two minutes. Seemed like a lot of cramping though, and early in the game. Not sure why.

Offense
  • Maybe we should just skip the first half? The reality is that we played a VERY conservative first half on offense. I have no idea why we weren't probing their perimeter until the second half. Was the gameplan to run up the gut on one of the best defenses in college football? I get a series or two but it was pretty clear we couldn't make holes by the second series and our D was on the field constantly. 3 one and dones in a row. Ouch. The best thing I can say is that we didn't turn the ball over.
  • Our LG really struggled all game. The rest were much better but LG killed us and allowed them to blitz up the middle as the C had to account for missed by the LG and the LB'ers could delay blitz. Plus, it made it hard to adjust to their wild stunts.
  • I have no idea why we didn't run some short, quick passes early to get tempo and passing confidence up early. Also, to take away the blitz because blitzing leaves the CBs one-on-one so an easy slant can end up being a TD. We needed to loosen up their interior D plan and don't tell me this was an "adjustment" that needed halftime. It is simple play calling. You must come into every game with a plan that allows you to attack all levels across the entire field. We simply chose to NOT do that. I am not sure why.
  • As soon as we started with the quick hitches to the outside, things opened up. We even had a long run and am not sure why we didn't even try to run to the outside.
  • I thought Cain and Lee looked good. Cain seemed faster as did Lee. But neither had any holes all day. The RBs both did pass block exceptionally well to allow for the long passes. Cain had a very good outside run for 34 yards and if you take that play away, only had 14 yards rushing on 7 carries. Our RBs only carried the ball 12 times, total.
  • OK...where were the TEs? A way to exploit blitzing LBers is to fill the void they left with TEs. Nothin. W did it all day long with Turd Ferguson (who is a very good player).
  • Dotson is fast and good. Fact is, all of his long plays were broken coverage or the fake hitch and go where the S got caught. SC only put on the money and missed one that was wide open.
  • I really was not impressed with SC other than to say he did not succumb to pressure and made zero turnovers. But his passing was not good. He overthrew a wide-open Dotson and really underthrew him on two catches that should have been easy TD's but ended up just being long gains. He also missed a deep out that was wide open. He didn't run much or well.
  • Both KLS and Parker Washington played well. 8 catches for 76 yards combined but at critical times.
  • Playing the "stats game": Cain had a better YPC than Melussi (who looks like a really good RB) 6.0 to 3.9.
Special Teams
  • Do we talk about the kicking that created good field position all day?
  • Do we talk about leaving 4 easy points on the field (missed PAT and a 24 yard FG). We'd have been winning 20-10 coming down the stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter which would have changed everything.
  • Blocked FG was great. I watched an ESPN halftime show where they said that Wisconsin played a sloppy game with three turnovers and a "missed" FG. Sorry, those TO were forced (two INTs on desperate plays) and the FG was not "Missed". It was blocked. ESPN, please give credit where it is due! I know other leagues don't play defense. (and then, I had to laugh, because their premier game GA vs Clemson, was an even LOWER score).
  • I was surprised at the two punt catch interference calls. the first was legit but is almost never called unless it causes a fumble or is a very violent hit. The second was a bad call. I replayed it several times and the punter clearly had his "halo" but the player (Brown or Lyton?) was flying and it looked closer.
Finally, we scored the winning TD on a play with the QB under center giving Cain a full head of steam where he ran over two players to get into the end zone. Wholly shiat! I was very impressed with Wiscy and it seemed to be a really hard-hitting, hard-played game with good sportsmanship by two very disciplined teams. Production by the network was really good and I have a love-hate relationship with Gus. He really brings out excitement but sometimes overdoes it (jump around hype). They did miss the team doing backflips as I've heard, but not actually saw, that this was really fun and showed their athleticism after the game was over while celebrating. I really got a kick out of CJF taking the guy's hat after the game and yucking it up with PSU fans.

The B1G is there for anyone who can jump up and take it. tOSU's pass defense looks, suspect. Sparty looked good against NW, Iowa looked strong and UM played a cupcake. I am not convinced with Iowa yet. Indy had two horribly thrown balls that ended up with pick-sixes that crushed them. Penix succumbed to the pressure of pre-season hype.
Really excellent write up as usual. Didn’t notice LG but how can we be so bad there?
 
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SLion

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
1,073
1,264
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Nice post..the other note on AK-17 is watch final INT. It was bang bang but he may have slightly knocked Mertz at feet causing it to be under thrown. He absolutely blew past tackle and was going to sack QB in a split. Have not seen that type of quickness at DE in long while. If we had him against OSU in 2017 or 2018, might have been different outcome in 4th.
 

PaoliLion

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2003
10,680
5,235
1
First, I cannot remember watching a game I enjoyed more than Saturday. Perhaps with bowl game against Washington, the B1G Championship vs Wiscy or the tOSU win was the last time I felt this good after a win. The lead-up and entire first half set the expectation that we were going to lose yet we were never behind. Then to come out with THREE explosive, 40+ yard plays were awesome. I still feel happy!

Under Pressure. To me, the game was won with a) turnovers and b) 3 40+ yard explosive plays. PSU's D played a GREAT game but so did Wisconsin's. The difference was handling pressure. Wisconsin's Center snapped the ball high on the first fumbled TO, which caused the QB to have to rush the handoff. The second fumbled handoff, which Wisconsin recovered but lost 5 yards at a key time, was because the RB and QB were rushing due to the pressure of the Defense. The long plays were done because the first one was a blown coverage. Doton was left uncovered because W was getting really creative on offense. They ran a rare zone and there was a foul-up between the corner and Safety. One of the other long passes, the one that should have been a TD but was underthrown, was due to the S having to cover Dotson. That ain't gonna work. The third was a really good play call by Yercich when we were having some success with the quick WR hitch/screen. Dotson looked like he was going to block the safety when SC faked the hitch and then hit Dotson deep when the S having to cover the hitch left Dotson uncovered. A great play call but the S overreacted to try and fill for the hitch which was being successful at that point in the game. Pressure caused all six of those plays, as well as the two INT's in the last 2:30.

PSU handled the pressure W put us into in the first half. W did not handle the pressure PSU's defense forced upon them. Game.

Defense
  • To me, the unknowns fell into place in a very positive fashion. "Hey Arnold" Ebiketie is a godsend at DE. He's very good, quick and it tool W some time to adjust to him. A complete unknown, he really helped in the first half, especially.
  • Linebackers are big, tough and fast. Brooks had 8 solo tackles and a sack.
  • Mustipher really stuffed up the middle but that was it from the DT position with 7 tackles. I thought the other DT's were OK but nothing special.
  • The third level may be as good as we've ever had at PSU. Brisker was all over the place. I can't recall a S who had a better game for PSU in modern times (zone/read spread era). In Brown's INT to end the game, Brisker was right there as well and probably would have batted it down, if not intercepted it. also,
  • On the Brisker INT two things: Porter Jr.s break up the play before set this play up. Secondly, Mustopher dropped into coverage on a zone blitz while the LB blitzed. The QB had to make a quick adjustment to get the ball over PJ which left the ball in the air for a blink. The staff knew that play was coming, vacated it with the LB to bait them and PJ filled the zone. You can see Brisker waiting for the play as soon as the ball was snapped. Great Defensive call and play.
  • I hated the targeting call and it was a "home field" call. You can see that he comes in with his shoulder and his helmet just brushes off the QB's shoulder and into the side of his helmet. Brisker is "launching" but, my God, everyone "launches" when making a hit. So by the letter of the rule, it was a penalty but I was surprised when they called it (even though the announcers said it would be called).
  • Amazing these guys were in shape good enough to defend 94 plays and still outplay W in the last two minutes. Seemed like a lot of cramping though, and early in the game. Not sure why.

Offense
  • Maybe we should just skip the first half? The reality is that we played a VERY conservative first half on offense. I have no idea why we weren't probing their perimeter until the second half. Was the gameplan to run up the gut on one of the best defenses in college football? I get a series or two but it was pretty clear we couldn't make holes by the second series and our D was on the field constantly. 3 one and dones in a row. Ouch. The best thing I can say is that we didn't turn the ball over.
  • Our LG really struggled all game. The rest were much better but LG killed us and allowed them to blitz up the middle as the C had to account for missed by the LG and the LB'ers could delay blitz. Plus, it made it hard to adjust to their wild stunts.
  • I have no idea why we didn't run some short, quick passes early to get tempo and passing confidence up early. Also, to take away the blitz because blitzing leaves the CBs one-on-one so an easy slant can end up being a TD. We needed to loosen up their interior D plan and don't tell me this was an "adjustment" that needed halftime. It is simple play calling. You must come into every game with a plan that allows you to attack all levels across the entire field. We simply chose to NOT do that. I am not sure why.
  • As soon as we started with the quick hitches to the outside, things opened up. We even had a long run and am not sure why we didn't even try to run to the outside.
  • I thought Cain and Lee looked good. Cain seemed faster as did Lee. But neither had any holes all day. The RBs both did pass block exceptionally well to allow for the long passes. Cain had a very good outside run for 34 yards and if you take that play away, only had 14 yards rushing on 7 carries. Our RBs only carried the ball 12 times, total.
  • OK...where were the TEs? A way to exploit blitzing LBers is to fill the void they left with TEs. Nothin. W did it all day long with Turd Ferguson (who is a very good player).
  • Dotson is fast and good. Fact is, all of his long plays were broken coverage or the fake hitch and go where the S got caught. SC only put on the money and missed one that was wide open.
  • I really was not impressed with SC other than to say he did not succumb to pressure and made zero turnovers. But his passing was not good. He overthrew a wide-open Dotson and really underthrew him on two catches that should have been easy TD's but ended up just being long gains. He also missed a deep out that was wide open. He didn't run much or well.
  • Both KLS and Parker Washington played well. 8 catches for 76 yards combined but at critical times.
  • Playing the "stats game": Cain had a better YPC than Melussi (who looks like a really good RB) 6.0 to 3.9.
Special Teams
  • Do we talk about the kicking that created good field position all day?
  • Do we talk about leaving 4 easy points on the field (missed PAT and a 24 yard FG). We'd have been winning 20-10 coming down the stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter which would have changed everything.
  • Blocked FG was great. I watched an ESPN halftime show where they said that Wisconsin played a sloppy game with three turnovers and a "missed" FG. Sorry, those TO were forced (two INTs on desperate plays) and the FG was not "Missed". It was blocked. ESPN, please give credit where it is due! I know other leagues don't play defense. (and then, I had to laugh, because their premier game GA vs Clemson, was an even LOWER score).
  • I was surprised at the two punt catch interference calls. the first was legit but is almost never called unless it causes a fumble or is a very violent hit. The second was a bad call. I replayed it several times and the punter clearly had his "halo" but the player (Brown or Lyton?) was flying and it looked closer.
Finally, we scored the winning TD on a play with the QB under center giving Cain a full head of steam where he ran over two players to get into the end zone. Wholly shiat! I was very impressed with Wiscy and it seemed to be a really hard-hitting, hard-played game with good sportsmanship by two very disciplined teams. Production by the network was really good and I have a love-hate relationship with Gus. He really brings out excitement but sometimes overdoes it (jump around hype). They did miss the team doing backflips as I've heard, but not actually saw, that this was really fun and showed their athleticism after the game was over while celebrating. I really got a kick out of CJF taking the guy's hat after the game and yucking it up with PSU fans.

The B1G is there for anyone who can jump up and take it. tOSU's pass defense looks, suspect. Sparty looked good against NW, Iowa looked strong and UM played a cupcake. I am not convinced with Iowa yet. Indy had two horribly thrown balls that ended up with pick-sixes that crushed them. Penix succumbed to the pressure of pre-season hype.

Very good write-up and I agree with everything you said. A few other observations:
  • Our Defense did not look tired at the end. This is the best conditioned PSU defensive I’ve seen.
  • Our punting was quite good - always an underrated part of the game.
  • It was nice to see much fewer runs from SC - we used him as a runner way too much over the last two years
 

KC-KS-Lion

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2005
2,501
647
1
First, I cannot remember watching a game I enjoyed more than Saturday. Perhaps with bowl game against Washington, the B1G Championship vs Wiscy or the tOSU win was the last time I felt this good after a win. The lead-up and entire first half set the expectation that we were going to lose yet we were never behind. Then to come out with THREE explosive, 40+ yard plays were awesome. I still feel happy!

Under Pressure. To me, the game was won with a) turnovers and b) 3 40+ yard explosive plays. PSU's D played a GREAT game but so did Wisconsin's. The difference was handling pressure. Wisconsin's Center snapped the ball high on the first fumbled TO, which caused the QB to have to rush the handoff. The second fumbled handoff, which Wisconsin recovered but lost 5 yards at a key time, was because the RB and QB were rushing due to the pressure of the Defense. The long plays were done because the first one was a blown coverage. Doton was left uncovered because W was getting really creative on offense. They ran a rare zone and there was a foul-up between the corner and Safety. One of the other long passes, the one that should have been a TD but was underthrown, was due to the S having to cover Dotson. That ain't gonna work. The third was a really good play call by Yercich when we were having some success with the quick WR hitch/screen. Dotson looked like he was going to block the safety when SC faked the hitch and then hit Dotson deep when the S having to cover the hitch left Dotson uncovered. A great play call but the S overreacted to try and fill for the hitch which was being successful at that point in the game. Pressure caused all six of those plays, as well as the two INT's in the last 2:30.

PSU handled the pressure W put us into in the first half. W did not handle the pressure PSU's defense forced upon them. Game.

Defense
  • To me, the unknowns fell into place in a very positive fashion. "Hey Arnold" Ebiketie is a godsend at DE. He's very good, quick and it tool W some time to adjust to him. A complete unknown, he really helped in the first half, especially.
  • Linebackers are big, tough and fast. Brooks had 8 solo tackles and a sack.
  • Mustipher really stuffed up the middle but that was it from the DT position with 7 tackles. I thought the other DT's were OK but nothing special.
  • The third level may be as good as we've ever had at PSU. Brisker was all over the place. I can't recall a S who had a better game for PSU in modern times (zone/read spread era). In Brown's INT to end the game, Brisker was right there as well and probably would have batted it down, if not intercepted it. also,
  • On the Brisker INT two things: Porter Jr.s break up the play before set this play up. Secondly, Mustopher dropped into coverage on a zone blitz while the LB blitzed. The QB had to make a quick adjustment to get the ball over PJ which left the ball in the air for a blink. The staff knew that play was coming, vacated it with the LB to bait them and PJ filled the zone. You can see Brisker waiting for the play as soon as the ball was snapped. Great Defensive call and play.
  • I hated the targeting call and it was a "home field" call. You can see that he comes in with his shoulder and his helmet just brushes off the QB's shoulder and into the side of his helmet. Brisker is "launching" but, my God, everyone "launches" when making a hit. So by the letter of the rule, it was a penalty but I was surprised when they called it (even though the announcers said it would be called).
  • Amazing these guys were in shape good enough to defend 94 plays and still outplay W in the last two minutes. Seemed like a lot of cramping though, and early in the game. Not sure why.

Offense
  • Maybe we should just skip the first half? The reality is that we played a VERY conservative first half on offense. I have no idea why we weren't probing their perimeter until the second half. Was the gameplan to run up the gut on one of the best defenses in college football? I get a series or two but it was pretty clear we couldn't make holes by the second series and our D was on the field constantly. 3 one and dones in a row. Ouch. The best thing I can say is that we didn't turn the ball over.
  • Our LG really struggled all game. The rest were much better but LG killed us and allowed them to blitz up the middle as the C had to account for missed by the LG and the LB'ers could delay blitz. Plus, it made it hard to adjust to their wild stunts.
  • I have no idea why we didn't run some short, quick passes early to get tempo and passing confidence up early. Also, to take away the blitz because blitzing leaves the CBs one-on-one so an easy slant can end up being a TD. We needed to loosen up their interior D plan and don't tell me this was an "adjustment" that needed halftime. It is simple play calling. You must come into every game with a plan that allows you to attack all levels across the entire field. We simply chose to NOT do that. I am not sure why.
  • As soon as we started with the quick hitches to the outside, things opened up. We even had a long run and am not sure why we didn't even try to run to the outside.
  • I thought Cain and Lee looked good. Cain seemed faster as did Lee. But neither had any holes all day. The RBs both did pass block exceptionally well to allow for the long passes. Cain had a very good outside run for 34 yards and if you take that play away, only had 14 yards rushing on 7 carries. Our RBs only carried the ball 12 times, total.
  • OK...where were the TEs? A way to exploit blitzing LBers is to fill the void they left with TEs. Nothin. W did it all day long with Turd Ferguson (who is a very good player).
  • Dotson is fast and good. Fact is, all of his long plays were broken coverage or the fake hitch and go where the S got caught. SC only put on the money and missed one that was wide open.
  • I really was not impressed with SC other than to say he did not succumb to pressure and made zero turnovers. But his passing was not good. He overthrew a wide-open Dotson and really underthrew him on two catches that should have been easy TD's but ended up just being long gains. He also missed a deep out that was wide open. He didn't run much or well.
  • Both KLS and Parker Washington played well. 8 catches for 76 yards combined but at critical times.
  • Playing the "stats game": Cain had a better YPC than Melussi (who looks like a really good RB) 6.0 to 3.9.
Special Teams
  • Do we talk about the kicking that created good field position all day?
  • Do we talk about leaving 4 easy points on the field (missed PAT and a 24 yard FG). We'd have been winning 20-10 coming down the stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter which would have changed everything.
  • Blocked FG was great. I watched an ESPN halftime show where they said that Wisconsin played a sloppy game with three turnovers and a "missed" FG. Sorry, those TO were forced (two INTs on desperate plays) and the FG was not "Missed". It was blocked. ESPN, please give credit where it is due! I know other leagues don't play defense. (and then, I had to laugh, because their premier game GA vs Clemson, was an even LOWER score).
  • I was surprised at the two punt catch interference calls. the first was legit but is almost never called unless it causes a fumble or is a very violent hit. The second was a bad call. I replayed it several times and the punter clearly had his "halo" but the player (Brown or Lyton?) was flying and it looked closer.
Finally, we scored the winning TD on a play with the QB under center giving Cain a full head of steam where he ran over two players to get into the end zone. Wholly shiat! I was very impressed with Wiscy and it seemed to be a really hard-hitting, hard-played game with good sportsmanship by two very disciplined teams. Production by the network was really good and I have a love-hate relationship with Gus. He really brings out excitement but sometimes overdoes it (jump around hype). They did miss the team doing backflips as I've heard, but not actually saw, that this was really fun and showed their athleticism after the game was over while celebrating. I really got a kick out of CJF taking the guy's hat after the game and yucking it up with PSU fans.

The B1G is there for anyone who can jump up and take it. tOSU's pass defense looks, suspect. Sparty looked good against NW, Iowa looked strong and UM played a cupcake. I am not convinced with Iowa yet. Indy had two horribly thrown balls that ended up with pick-sixes that crushed them. Penix succumbed to the pressure of pre-season hype.
Someone needs to explain to me how someone can 'launch' when his is stationary with both feet on the ground...maybe just a technicality.
 
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BriarwoodBash

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Feb 9, 2016
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I don't know how 'loud' Camp Randall stadium can get with a capacity, excited crowd, but, it seemed to have not had any influence on the team that I could tell.
OT, what was the name of the song played for the dance around? I couldn't make the song out very well.
The students were loud but the rest of the stadium didn’t join in until the 4 th Q, then only for one series. When they got loud, we hit anther pass downfield and they got quite and stayed quiet. Nowhere close to our crowd when we crank it up for big games.
 

PSU2UNC

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Feb 9, 2016
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It’s one yard in front which is a lot different than one yard all around. Clemson GA there was one where the guy was literally on top of him with no call.
My point is that one yard is the wrong unit of measurement to be considering. It should be a unit of time because that is independent of the speed of the gunner.

Consider the math:

A very fast football player at top speed can run 22 mph which is 38720 yards per hour, which is 645 yards per minute, which is 11 yards per second. IOW, it takes 0.09 seconds to cover a yard. Let's call it 0.1 seconds. First, asking a ref to accurately determine 0.1 seconds is impossible. Second, I guarantee there was at least 0.1 seconds between when the returner caught the ball and when he was hit in both instances.
 

PSU2UNC

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IMO, if he cleanly caught the ball, there was no interference. If a gunner was that close, the returner should have signaled for a fair catch. Lyton was penalized for being too fast.
This is a great point and gives me the following thought:

I think "kick catch interference" is analogous to "pass interference".

On a PI penalty, you either get the penalty or the catch, not both.

What would happen if the gunner hit the returner "early", but the guy caught it, bounced off the hit and ran for 30 yards? They get the 30 yard return, plus 15 yards? That's nonsensical.

I think that penalty should be "option to re-kick with penalty yardage enforced pre-kick" (not sure 15 yards makes sense there, but maybe it does) or " decline the penalty and accept the result of the play"

Am I missing any logical constructs or other comparisons within the rules that make this a bad idea?

(an aside: if the returner calls a fair catch and then gets hit, that's a player safety foul and should be result of the play, plus 15, just like late hit. The returner not calling a fair catch is on him and he gets what he gets)
 

AWS1022

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Nov 12, 2011
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Thanks, Obli. The 2021 season has officially begun with your first Observations posting. Great job.

I can't add anything that has not already been stated by more astute posters except I will wholeheartedly agree that yesterday's victory was as satisfying as any since the 2016 B1G Championship and the O$U win earlier that season.

I am certain that Franklin told the kids to enjoy their victory, but the next chapter starts today (Sunday) and Ball State will not be a pushover. Lack of focus will kill the good vibe of a win in Madison.

Time for this old guy to do Jumparound in the backyard and look for Jenny Taft.
I’m not sure why some posters are thinking Ball State is some kind of juggernaut. Sure they won some games last year, but most were by a Td or less against MAC opponents and they won a bowl game but it was against San Jose State. Throw in it was a Covid year where some traditionally good teams were bad and some bad teams were good and I don’t think we can see Ball State as some titan opponent.
 

PSU2UNC

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I’m not sure why some posters are thinking Ball State is some kind of juggernaut. Sure they won some games last year, but most were by a Td or less against MAC opponents and they won a bowl game but it was against San Jose State. Throw in it was a Covid year where some traditionally good teams were bad and some bad teams were good and I don’t think we can see Ball State as some titan opponent.
They (Ball St) also struggled mightily with a bad FCS team (W. Illinois) this week. If Ball St was a strong G5 team, they would have won by 3 or 4 TD. The final was 31-21.
 

AWS1022

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They (Ball St) also struggled mightily with a bad FCS team (W. Illinois) this week. If Ball St was a strong G5 team, they would have won by 3 or 4 TD. The final was 31-21.
Exactly….they’re coming off a year where they played no OOC games and the league didn’t even start until November and they won a bunch of close games, so at best they were a good MAC team (but not a great one). And they played a G5 team in a bowl game, but because they were 7-1, they strike fear in our hearts. They haven’t played in front of a crowd since 2019 and they’re going to come into Beaver Stadium in their second game after barely beating a bad team and we just beat the #12 team on the road, but we should be the team that’s worried….come on.
 

lazydave841

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Scared poster mentality. Same reason many expected a loss to Wisconsin. I don't look for this one to be close. I think we run up the gut and throw deep. We aren't opening up the playbook for them.
 

PSU2UNC

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Feb 9, 2016
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Exactly….they’re coming off a year where they played no OOC games and the league didn’t even start until November and they won a bunch of close games, so at best they were a good MAC team (but not a great one). And they played a G5 team in a bowl game, but because they were 7-1, they strike fear in our hearts. They haven’t played in front of a crowd since 2019 and they’re going to come into Beaver Stadium in their second game after barely beating a bad team and we just beat the #12 team on the road, but we should be the team that’s worried….come on.
Having said that, PSU needs to come ready to play, work on improving what was "meh" against UW and not look ahead to Auburn. I fully expect a 3 score win by PSU, but as with any game, PSU needs to come to play and not take their opponent lightly.
 

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