Sunday, October 13, 2013

FAIL! To the Victors!

FAIL!  FAIL! To Michigan!

What a game?!  Seriously?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Penn State blows a 21-10 half-time lead to fall behind 34-24?   YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Ficken misses a 40-yard FG in the first OT?!   YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Penn State blocks a FG in the first OT to send it into a second OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Both teams manage to kick field goals without incident in the second OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Allen Robinson fumbles on the first play of the third OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Gibbons misses a field goal from the 33 to send this game into a FOURTH OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!
Gibbons kicks a field goal.

THEM kicks a successful field go to go up 40-37?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

O'Brien goes for it on fourth and one in the fourth OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

And Penn State makes it?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!


Touchdown PSU on a sneak that failed to get a first down in the first quarter, which seemed like a couple of days ago?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!


This was the BEST GAME ever.  Not the best win (think OSU in 2005, or Nebraska in 2002, 1982, or the 1987 Fiesta Bowl) ever, but the most exciting up and down, back and forth, hit the other guy in the face, make a mistake and then atone for it game I have ever witnessed in person.  BAR NONE.  And the fact that it was against THEM?  Priceless.

I feel sorry for the fans that left to get a jump on traffic when it looked like the referines were going to find a way to make sure this previously undefeated THEM squad came out with another W, earned or not.

You left to beat the traffic?  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

I am not going to discuss the officiating in any detail, suffice it to say that is was another stellar performance by the Big Ten crew.  They did their best, but their best just wasn't good enough.  So many games against this team have been swayed by bad and, quite frankly, atrocious calls, that nothing surprises me anymore.  The crowd hailed loud boos on the crew late in the game, and there was a poetic justice, a perverse irony that a pass interference call against the wolverine defense helped set-up Penn State's winning touchdown to end the game 43-40.  I was sitting above the north end zone and it certainly looked like PI to me.  But I had already seen plays more egregious than this one not flagged, and plays far less obvious flagged.  You just never know what these Big Ten officials are going to call. 

For years, THEM fans have told Penn State fans to stop complaining and stop being whiners.  Bad calls equal out.  I'm not sure PSU actually benefitted from any bad calls yesterday, but for once, they didn't hurt us.  I have nothing to complain about.

I can't remember when the last time PSU came back from a 10 point deficit in the final quarter to win a game.  I'm sure it has happened (OSU for win #323 maybe).  Actually, against Northwestern last year we scored 22 points in the fourth to win 39-28.  But in the Big Ten JoePa era, those kinds of wins were few and far between.  And this win/comeback was all the more difficult with a freshman QB and only 50 ticks left on the Timex.

Allen Robinson almost pulled a Tony Johnson 2002, but replay overturned the bad call on the field this time.  Ain't modern technology great?  And then, in one of the "plays of the game" Allen Robinson grabbed the jump ball at the six inch line to set Penn State up for the tying TD in regulation.

And if the 2002 flashback catch/non catch on the sideline was not frightening enough, it appeared as if Penn State left too much time on the clock.  With 29 seconds left, Penn State elected to kick-off instead of squibbing.  The ghost of 2005 reared its ugly head, and THEM returned the ball to the 35 yard line.  One play later, the wolverines were on the PSU 40 and inching towards a game winning FG try.  The wolverines would get as close as the PSU 35 yard line, but with 7 seconds left, and only third down, Hoke opted to kick the FG instead of running another play to get a few more yards.  Bad choice for THEM; good one for us.  In what would be a foreshadowing of the ensuing OT conflict, Gibbons missed the 52-yarder, leaving it short instead of wide.

And the rest, as they say, is history. 
“History belongs to the victors, legends to the people, fantasy to literature. Only death is certain.”  --Péter Esterházy

Only the victors valiant wore Blue and White on this night.


The stats from GoPSUsports:

FIRST DOWNS...................2124
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............54-14944-85
PASSING YDS (NET).............240305
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........29-15-245-23-2
Fumble Returns-Yards..........1-240-0
Punt Returns-Yards............0-03-26
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........6-1542-39
Interception Returns-Yards....2-52-32
Punts (Number-Avg)............6-40.84-44.8
Possession Time...............36:1323:47
Third-Down Conversions........4 of 183 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions.......0 of 02 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......2-35-6
Sacks By: Number-Yards........4-163-22

Above, I put "plays of the game" in quotes, because there were several.  The fumble by Zwinak to open the second half was one.  Not good for us, but sparked the wolverine resurgence.  The Allen Robinson fumble in the third OT.  Again, not a great play for us, but it could have been disastrous.  The blocked field goal by Baublitz.  Great!  The catches by Allen Robinson in the final drive--exceptional.

The defense held Toussaint (Mr. Halloween) to 27 yards.  Unfortunately, Gardner posted 121 yards to make their offense look presentable.  The wolverines controlled time of possession--a lot of good that did THEM.

Technically, his name translates to All Saint's Day, but close enough to be funny.

The key stats, which you don't see above--are the missed/blocked field goals by both teams.  Penn State (read Bill O'Brien) again gambled on fourth and short fairly deep in his own territory--and lost.  But this week, it did not cost us any points directly, as the defense held and forced a punt.  However, it set-up bad field position and THEM eventually added a field goal to go up 10-7.


Penn State won the toss and deferred.  After fumbling the first possession away, that didn't work out so well.  THEM won the toss in OT.  Didn't work out so well for THEM either.

The homecoming crowd numbered 107,884.  Most stayed until the very end.

According to a television announcer I heard, this was the LONGEST game in Big Ten history.

The drum major stuck both flips and the half time show featured the a cappella group, The Statesmen, as well as the Alumni Band.

One of the people in our group wore a THEM jersey (at least it was white!)  He is a student at PSU Altoona.  Don't ask me.  My daughter brought him.  Some girls bring home dead beat derelicts with tattoos and piercings.  My daughter brought home a THEM fan.  What can I say?  She tells me he is just a friend--not a boyfriend.  So I've got that going for me.

Why do opposing fans have to be so obnoxious?  Such as asking all the white-clad PSU fans why they are no longer standing and cheering after the wolverines made a play?  You can't possibly be THAT stupid, so it must be asked for the sole purpose of being annoying.  My brother-in-law's friend was behind us, and he asked my daughter's "friend" what his name was.  After telling him, he said.  "Nice to meet you, ___.  Now shut the [bleep] up."  He felt sorry, though--he thought he was only thinking it, but he actually said it out loud.  Our win made the trip home much more tolerable, although his tears were annoying at times.

The Goodyear Blimp sailed over Beaver Stadium in a rare appearance.  This must have been a B1G game!

Penn State is 4-3 in OT games, riding a four game winning streak in post-regulation play.


The Cornhuskers threshed and thrashed Purdue 44-7.  Michigan State had no problem against the Hoosiers, winning 42-28.  And Wisconsin went all Bret Bielema over Northwestern, running up a 35-6 victory over the Wildcan'ts.

Speaking of Bielema, Arkansas was smothered by South Carolina 52-7.  Schaudenfreude, baby.

Illinois, Iowa, the Suckeyes, and Minnesota were all off.

SHEDDING TEARS:  (plenty to go around this week--"upset" Saturday)

1.  Stanford falls to Utah, 27-21.
2.  Georgia falls to Mizzou 41-26.  Five offensive starters for Georgia were out.  Boo Hoo.  Try playing with 65 scholarships, bulldogs.
3.  Oklahoma lost the Red River Rivalry to Texas, 36-20.
4.  Virginia Tech beat Pitt 19-9.  Oh, wait.  That wasn't an upset.
5.  Temple (0-6) loses to Cincy 38-20.
6.  Rutgers falls to Louisville 24-10.
7.  Virginia loses to Maryland 27-26.  Hope they missed an extra point! ;)


This is a big one, Billy!
Bye Week.

The Buckeyes at Columbus are on deck.  The Bucks face Iowa next week in Columbus.

This is a big one.  Gotta pull out the old Billy (O'Brien) Baroo.  Oooo, Billy, Billy, Billy.

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