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 The straight scoop
 from Colonel Mustard

 

Sept. 16, 2002

Well, that was as poor a performance as I can remember. The '90 Oklahoma game and several from '67 and '68 come close. We were disorganized on defense and didn't appear to have a plan on offense.

Penn State would protect the passer and give our zone coverage time to get deeper and then throw crossing routes underneath. They did this by my count at least six times. We could not come up with an answer. We needed more pressure, because if you play a zone, time is the enemy. The longer a play takes, the deeper the zones are and holes develop. Their plan was very well thought out. They ran the Crouch option series out of the shotgun and made yards when they needed to. (You will see that play incessantly in two weeks.) They ran it over and over, and we didn't adjust. I wouldn't say the defense gave up, but they were disheartened. At the game I saw guys coming in and out of the game late on the defensive side. We had a lot of trouble getting organized before the snap. Heck, we got caught standing around on a snap. I thought Kelsay and Bland played good games. Ricketts gave up a long completion but he was there. They beat us with a scheme, not beating individuals. Having said that, we missed and overran a lot of plays. We have to finish better. The most telling stat is that we gave up 400 yards in the second and third quarters. Think about that; it is staggering. This group didn't give up -- I believe they were frustrated because it seemed as though they weren't sure what to do. That hurt their confidence.

On offense, Lord had a poor game, but he did not lose the game and I don't think we could have won if he'd had a great game. As I have said, I am not sure he is the long-term answer, but with Dukes hurt he is our guy this year. His problem is reading defenses. He makes some erratic throws but also some good ones. He doesn't find the open man -- that is my problem with him. He did a great job of scrambling. And that is our best offensive play. That is what I have been saying -- we have to find some way to move the ball and stick with it. when Penn State needed yards they ran shotgun option or the delayed cross. We had no consistency. Diedrick is a fine power runner but we have him on sweeps and counters which are not his strength. We need to see more of Pilkington and Davis -- those guys make things happen. I am fine with alternating Ross and Diedrick. I think Ross has a chance to be a star. Whatever it is we need to develop an offensive personality and gameplan around it. This whole year I haven't been sure just what we are trying to do. Frank has to figure this out quick.

Our special teams were no factor, which is too bad because we have great ones. This was an even game for a quarter and a half. Once again our gameplan to start with was sound. But we didn't adjust and Penn State had answers to stop us and we at times couldn't slow them down. Then we make a big mistake and the game is over.

This season can be saved because I think Iowa State is very beatable and the rest of our division appears weak. But this team looks disorganized and I believe lacks confidence. I could feel that the other night with their body language. Frank needs to fix this quick or he will lose this team. More on what we need to do on the off-week.
 
-- The Colonel
 
P.S. -- The Penn State fans were the worst I have ever encountered. We need to remember that next year.

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