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The straight scoop from
Colonel Mustard

Sept. 9, 2002

Well, the warm-ups are over and we should be ready for a test. Our offense performed better, but against the weakest competition we have seen so far. The defense held Utah State down but was greatly aided by at least five dropped passes, and the guys who dropped them were open. The special teams and especially the kickers were terrific. I have to say that I can hardly remember a better group. The blocking on kick returns remains first-rate.

On D, as I said, that team was overmatched and our line got great pressure. Their QB had to be frustrated, and their little WR is a real player. We had picks but lost coverage a few times. Frank also had his starters in the game for a long time. Bland played well into the 4th quarter. I think the whole team kind of lost interest in the second half. Again, I have no complaints here. But this week will tell us what we are made of.

My friend Darren said that Frank would put it in the tank in the second half, and that is what he did. It was very good for the team that Stuntz got extensive playing time. Ross is fun to watch and he helps with Collins' loss. He is a real change of pace. I'd like to see what he could do with 20 carries. Diedrick doesn't seem like himself. I don't know what is wrong, but something is missing. Lord threw the ball pretty consistently, and Thomas can't be dropping it. Herian had a big catch, but we still have to do better against the nine-man front. I was deeply worried coming into the season about the WRs, but Pilkington is always open and along with Cornelson and Leflore gives us some pass receivers, not just blockers. Lord did a better job of seeing the field so hopefully that part of his game is developing. I believe we have a good team with a lot of young talent that should improve as the season progresses.

I don't think Penn State is any great shakes, but they are good and at home. This will be a real close game. This is the kind of game that Frank does not do well in — a ranked opponent on the road. The keys to the game are that Lord keeps his head and Frank makes in-game adjustments. As we said last year, he is great with game-planning but has done a poor job of adjusting. This game will come down to coaching because I think it is that close.

Your humble correspondent will be at the game. There will be reports on Friday and right after the game. I am looking forward to seeing how our team stands, and this game will tell us a great deal.
-- The Colonel



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