PSU got beat.
After the michigan game I said "we coulda won that one". After the Illinois game I said "we shoulda won that one". After this game... there's no "oulda". Unless maybe - Penn State woulda won that game if tosu hadn't shown up.
The game was quite uncharacteristic. - Historically, PSU's weakest defensive stand (ignoring, if you will the soft prevent of the 2nd half) is their first. Even under Jerry Sandusky, the first defensive series was a learning tool - let them get a few yards, maybe even a field goal - but that will be it. So after tosu scored a fifty yard field goal - I thought, well, that'll be it. Conversely, this season, the 2nd and 3rd quarters have been owned by the PSU offense (when they've preformed well), so when the PSU offense marched down the field for their first possession and scored a rushing td - I was surprised, happy, but surprised.
If only we could have stopped the game right then. If only. Because that would be the Lions' defense's best "stop" of the evening and the offense's only touchdown drive.
The defense was dismal. They just were. The whole team looked a little "off" - I don't know if it was tiredness, confusion, submission or what - it just wasn't their day. In the beginning of the game the defensive line was waving their hands in the air urging the crowd to yell (which by the way, despite the numbers wasn't as loud, imho, as past outings) but, early in the second quarter, they had their hands on the their hips, like they were exhausted. Our team and coaches had no answers (or completely misread the question) for the bucknuts. It really exposed, I think, what I've been saying for years, Tom Bradley is a good motivator and recruiter but he isn't a great coordinator - his defenses just aren't that sophisticated, and, apparently they aren't adaptive either.
After the game we were speculating that the tosu punter perhaps missed the bus to the airport because THE buckeyes NEVER PUNTED - never.
All things considered, the PSU offense played pretty well - up until the end they were (costly) mistake free and I only heard the name/condition "Laurenitis" once over the PA. The running backs were getting through the line and, for the most part, the receivers were catching the ball. But they couldn't keep up with the score - and, granted, they were on the field for 15 minutes less than the ohio offense. From what I saw (yes, I left with 7 minutes or so left on the clock) AM threw the ball toward Butler once the whole game.
I don't think that tosu is invincible - but they played a pretty solid game on Saturday. Considering the troubles that they had on offense in the beginning of the season (turnovers, lack of scoring) - they certainly righted the ship for their game against our Lions.
The students looked great with their white out - and I was impressed by how full the stands were a whole hour before the game. Unlike the rest of the stadium - they seemed to stay pretty focused and enthusiastic throughout the night.
Things were just "off" for this game - on the field and in the stands - I'm not saying that PSU could, should or would have won this game in any regard - but something wasn't right.
The tailgate, on the other hand, was everything right and good and great. More on that later.