Posted by Joe Chuba on 12/03 at 09:01 AM
Steve Jones on Penn State’s positives coming out of the Michigan State loss
The regular came to a close for the NIttany Lions Saturday with a loss to Michigan State 28-22. Penn State fought back and was an onside kick away from making Michigan State sweat out its share of the Big Ten title.
Penn State has been one of the better teams in the nation in fewest penalties but Saturday that was a major problem. Suddenly they had six called on them and each one was a legitimate call. The opening drive had Michigan State on its heels until a delay of game penalty derailed the momentum and the drive. Quarterback Matt McGloin has done well but in that case he needs to be aware of that play clock when the ball is on the ten yard line. It is hard for the coaches to call a time out when the lineman is 15 yards away from the edge of the bench box. Against Indiana when Penn State was milking the clock near the end and nursing a ten point lead the ball was snapped once with 17 on the play clock instead of two. That comes with experience.
Michigan State ran for 163 yards. That is not a huge number but it just seemed that whenever they needed to go to the ground game they had it. Edwin Baker is now over 1,200 yards for the season and he ran hard Saturday.
Michigan State also showed what it was made of. When Penn State finally garnered some momentum and cut the Michigan State lead to 21-10 and had Beaver Stadium loud and excited, the Spartans turned right around and put together a touchdown drive to blunt the momentum and maintain control of the game. That was a championship drive by them in the clutch.
Penn State never quit and kept coming back. The moment everyone remembers is the interception in the end zone by Trenton Robinson who for some unknown reason decided to bring the ball out. Derek Moye never quit on the play… never thought the game was over… and stripped him of the ball and recovered it. It was only appropriate that he scored the touchdown on the next play.
It has been a season with tough road games and lots of injuries. Now the bowl season is upon us and this will give some of the Nittany Lions a chance to heal up and the addition practice will be critical to a team with 59 freshmen and sophomores. The hope is to use the practice to not only get better but win the game and set the tone for the winter program and the 2011 season.
Check back next week for a look at Penn State’s bowl projection.
Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV
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