Penn State

A Win Is A Win. But Have We Improved?

It's good to see Penn State win handily against Syracuse, but Terry was very unhappy with how we won.  "We're lousy!" he kept yelling to me in the stands. Even when we were up by 28 points. 


What bothered Terry more than anything else was the fact that we couldn't score a touchdown from the one-yard line.  He would have preferred that we take a field goal on that drive as well.  "When you have the chance, take the points!," he yelled. 


I think we expected improvement over last week's game.  And improvement, especially in the running game, was hard to discern.  We were limited to 78 yards rushing, and achieved 240 yards passing. We were ahead by only 14 points at the half.  We weren't comfortable with a win until well into the 4th quarter.  


On the other hand, we sort of expected a tougher game.  So a 28-7 win isn't bad.  Our defense basically shut down Syracuse, and created a couple of turnovers.  They put the needed pressure on Greg Paulus, Syracuse's quarterback, and Ryan Nassib, his backup.  The defense held the Syracuse offense to 200 yards total, and only 13 first downs.  Syracuse achieved only 65 yards rushing.


So...what's the problem?  A win's a win, right?  I'm not sure I'm as dissatisfied as Terry is.  I see the game as more of a defensive battle in that we controlled Syracuse effectively.  But I'm concerned about the ground game and the inconsistent offensive line, despite the fact that we scored 4 touchdowns. 


What do you think?


P.S.  Two Syracuse fans in front of us disguised themselves in Penn State gear.  Evidently they were afraid to show up in orange for fear of being harassed.  But they showed their true colors on one of Paulus's completions.  We had a good time teasing them after that, in a good-natured way.  They really didn't have anything to worry about, at least in our section of the stands!


The "Classic Day" was fun for those who participated, and the music was great.  Most fans seemed "unconscious and unaware" that such a theme day was declared until they arrived at the stadium.  The weather forecast didn't help the theme day, although fortunately there was no real rain - just a bit of drizzle - during the game.