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PSU-Alabama wrapup...

September 11, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode

Between the Lions: Alabama 24, Penn State 3

TIDE UP
Athletic defending champs
outmuscle, overwhelm Nits
 
First quarter: Alabama 7, PSU 0
> PSU linebackers invisible again on ‘Bama’s first scoring drive, unable to cover receivers or apply any pressure when they blitz.
> Bad decision by Bolden on the first interception, but he sure didn’t get any help from Chaz Powell.
> Musburger apoplectic about pressure from Donte Hightower. “Now, you see why he’s one of the best!” Because no one blocks him on a simple stunt?
> It’s hard to imagine a defense getting manhandled any more severely that Penn State’s was in the first quarter: No pressure, poor coverage, poor tackling. We said it in the second quarter against Youngstown. This group is S-L-O-W.
 
Second quarter: Alabama 17, PSU 0
> Bama’s offense looks like PSU ‘94 on steroids -- and we mean that figuratively (we think)...
> Oh yeah, except that they’re missing last year’s Heisman winner.
> Let’s get this clear. The whooping administered in this game was not about scheme or game plan or even execution (although THAT certainly played a part). It was about a systematic decline in the quantity and quality of Penn State’s recruiting over the past five years. Alabama had better athletes at 22 of 22 positions.
> Who taught Brent Musburger what an iso is?
> Penn State’s formula for staying in this game involved Alabama making a couple of big mistakes. There was, of course, no way that the Lions could compete if THEY made the critical errors.

Third quarter: Alabama 17, PSU 0
> Penn State going for it on 4th-and-inches? Joe has definitely ceded some of the decision making.
> Bolden has looked fairly calm and collected and moved well in the pocket UNTIL the Lions get inside the Tide 30 and THEN he’s looked like a scared freshman.
> Graham Zug. C’mon man!
> Wow, three field goals and it’s 17-9, one possession game entering the fourth quarter.
> What does it say about this game and this team that they’re being shut out but at this point the offense is the bright spot for the evening.
 
Fourth quarter: Alabama 24, PSU 3
> It’s a tribute to how good Herbstreit is that we’re in the fourth quarter and we can’t think of one stupid thing he said so far.
> It’s good to see Davon Smith getting more involved in the offense.
> Obviously, Brett Brackett wasn’t able to get the kind of separation against elite athletes that he did against Youngstown State.
> Why would you show that reverse pass trailing 24-3?
> Evan Royster wasn’t a nonfactor in this game. Penn State’s rushing offense was a nonfactor. Sometimes we forget that they’re not synonymous.
 

The final word:
> This is about what most experts expected. Alabama was too good, too strong, too deep and at home. Despite the interceptions, we think Rob Bolden cemented his status as Penn State’s starting quarterback. The Lions have two gigantic areas of concern – the rushing game and the play of their linebackers – and two weeks to fix them before Big Ten play starts. Whether they can get that done could be the difference between 9-3 and 7-5. 

 
 

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