Penn State Falls To USC In A Classic Rose Bowl, 52-49

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Craig Fitzgerald's Biggest Fan's picture

Sad end to an amazing season. I don't see any compelling reason we don't end the year ranked top 6, maybe top 5.

This year was a great reminder of how fun college football can be. A welcomed reminder after the past few seasons of middling at .500

PP
Craig Fitzgerald's Biggest Fan's picture

Or 7th... I still stand that 5th or 6th is more accurate.

PP
DoubleLion0408's picture

I am ready for spring ball. I fully expect a few changes in the pipe. Possibly a shift in defensive schemes to a flexible 3-4 similar to the one Alabama uses. The types of players they are recruiting and the current roster screams 3-4.  Should be interesting to see how the QB competition goes, and yeah, I do expect the position to be up for grabs. It has to be if this team is to compete for a title next year. The O-line might be in a state of flux heading into summer.

Success with honor

PP
Craig Fritz's picture

Nothing about the current roster or people they've recruited scream 3-4. They'll never do it unless they recruit a 300+ DT. They were top 5 in the nation in TFL the last 2 years. They're not going to drastically change scheme. OL is actually pretty much set outside of one spot. 

DoubleLion0408's picture

Sorry but yest it does. If you don't see it, I really don't know what to say that wouldn't come off as insulting so I won't respond. And no, I do not think the line is set. We could see big changes on the horizon. Other than Bates, I don't think anyone has a starting job locked down, and Bates could move to center. 

Success with honor

PP
Craig Fritz's picture

Who's the DT on the roster that commands a double team on every play? Who's his backup? What 4 LBs are going to start? It's still our position of least depth on the whole team. Who of Nelson, Mahon, Bates and McGovern are grabbing pine next year and who is replacing them?

DoubleLion0408's picture

I think your understanding of a 3-4 is limited. Other than Sickels (assuming he returns) and Buckholz, who both project to pas rushing 3-4 ends the current crop of ends project rather nicely to outside linebacker including several redshirt and incoming freshmen. You don't need a space eating 0 technique to effectively run a 3-4. There are plenty of teams that successfully use a 1 technique nose in an odd front and State has several of them with another coming in and he could be a 0 if they wanted him to be. The other tackles easily project to ends. Look at the roster. If they were to switch to a 3-4 with 1 technique nose tackle, they go four deep across the entire front seven and like most teams that use that type of alignment, the nickle and dime packages use more or less even fronts.

Success with honor

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Craig Fritz's picture

Seriously, you can drop the condescending tone. Sickels is probably not returning. But please, share your front 7 4-deep. 

Dan Smith's picture

You are correct that we have enough guys on this roster to field a 3-4 defensive line. You can make a 3-deep at 1-tech, 3-tech, and 5-tech with them without an issue. 

You are incorrect that we have enough guys to play the four linebacker positions in a 3-4.

Staff Writer - Roar Lions Roar

Craig Fritz's picture

And having bodies is one thing, coaching a scheme overhaul is entirely different. Has Pry ever called a 3-4 base? Have we recruited for a 3-4 base? 

DoubleLion0408's picture

That is a very good point on Brent Pry. I don't know. But Tom Bradley didn't have any prior to the 2006 season when they used an odd front for a good portion of the season with 31, 20, 40 and 45 at linebacker. Tim Shaw was a quasi end on a lot of plays. But, I do think we have recruited for a base 3-4 the last few years. Honestly, a 3-4 with a 1 Technique nose isn't that much different from some 4-3 alignments.

Success with honor

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DoubleLion0408's picture

I made the case for the four linebacker positions.
 

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Dan Smith's picture

Your case for the four linebacker positions is "It's fine for just about every backup to be a freshman."

Staff Writer - Roar Lions Roar

DoubleLion0408's picture

I never said that, in fact, I said the opposite. When you project the roster to a 3-4, there is one redshirt freshmen in the two deep and he is Simmons would be in the two deep regardless. Please read.

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Dan Smith's picture

I don't see how. Sickels is probably going pro, but even if he does not, you acknowledge he's not a 3-4 OLB. Nor is Buchholz. Schwan is gone, so that leaves two "outside linebackers" on the roster who are not freshmen in Torrence Brown and Shareef Miller. So right off the bat, we're talking about a two deep at OLB with exactly zero experienced backups.

Then you move inside. Farmer would likely have to move back to safety in this scenario, and I think relying on Cooper for anything is not a great strategy. So your starters are Cabinda and Bowen, backed up by Brandon Smith (if he comes back) and I guess Cam Brown? This all seems like a huge mess to me.

Staff Writer - Roar Lions Roar

Dan Smith's picture

Are you actually suggesting a team with no true nose tackle and poor linebacker depth is set up to move to a 3-4? This is an odd argument to make to begin with, made all the more strange by the condescending tone you have taken with Craig. I can only speculate because you have failed to detail your thoughts beyond "it should be obvious," but it feels like you're trying to build an entire defense around the idea that Shane Simmons may be a better 3-4 edge rusher than 4-3 edge rusher.

Staff Writer - Roar Lions Roar

ChickenCosmo's picture

Hell of a season. It's good to be in the conversation again.

Hate to bring it up...absolutely love Moorhead, but still scratching my head over the decisions to run on first down and throw a prayer on third down on our final drive. With a third down run, we could've forced overtime.

Regardless, a lot of fun. And with the players we return, next year should be a blast, too.

PP
Craig Fritz's picture

I think the thing to remember is McSorley has multiple reads on every play and you don't anticipate an INT being returned to your own 33. It was an unfortunate decision that cost them, for sure.

Tailgate Shogun's picture

Great game, great season. Sad to see it all end. How long until Blue White....?

PP
Milkman23's picture

At 49 points, I looked at the clock, considered who they were playing and thought: they need one more score.  Then I watched as the offense couldn't continue the great run they were on, and Darnold played lights out.  But what I really think was the key, is Brandon leaving the game after the interception.  He was having a great game and while they couldn't sack Darnold, with Bell on the field the defense was getting stops.  When he left the game, shortly thereafter old "mo" changed.

The ending made me cry.  So much effort.  So much heart.  Incredible courage and leadership.

Great season, and even in losing, a GREAT game.

For an old Blue Hen, this reminded me of the "shootout" with Youngstown in an FCS/D1AA playoff game (look it up).  Neither team would quit, and neither team deserved to lose.  Priceless.

Milkman23

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Milkman23's picture

One other thing.  RE the O line, the competition is going to be fierce for starting positions.  You don't think Menet and Fries are going to go all out to try to win a spot?  With Nelson and Mahon back (and I am sure I am forgetting someone) that is at LEAST 6 guys for 5 spots. Whoohooo....  offensive line depth and talent!!  Does Barkley go for 2K +?

As to the D, Windsor is already 305, so he could do the nose tackle thing, but it just doesn't seem to be where Pry's strength and expertise lie.  What I could see happening is some form of hybrid stand up defensive end, maybe Simmons, who comes off the edge like the guy from Clemson that got drafted by Houston (I'm old and the name escapes me but we all know the picture of him blowing up the Michigan man in the bowl game :) ).  The recruits seem to be a bit larger and more athletic, but as noted by Craig, linebacker needs some depth.  The Reeder transfer is still a problem.

Milkman23

PP
Craig Fritz's picture

Agree on the OL depth. There will be 4 talented backups and a lot of flexibility. I can't see Nelson or Mahon getting replaced. I don't think they're returning to be backups. 

larchpsu08's picture

Unbelievable season and oh so close to the cherry on top. This team made Penn State fun again. I do not think any of us could say the teams of recent memory could have overcome the multiple touchdown deficits this team faced throughout the year. Kudos to them for once again not letting this one turn into a blowout. A couple plays here and there and we would have been the ones basking in confetti. 

Some thoughts on the game from being in attendance. 

1. Great PSU turnout from what I could see. Every merchandise tent was well picked over of PSU paraphernalia (I know because I was stalking a few items and they kept running out of sizes or being totally sold out.)

2, What do I do with all of the Rose Bowl stuff I bought? I'll likely still wear it, but probably not as often as I would have with a victory. Was awesome seeing so many with Rose Bowl 1995 stuff and 1994 season apparel.

3. Had a few intolerable USC interactions in the stands and outside but overall it was pretty good. Not happy with NLC members that likely sold large chunks of tickets on the aftermarket to said fans. 

4. Where was the sun? My first trip to California and I was definitley looking for better weather, but as a player I loved those kinds of temps. 

5. With McSorely we live and die by the gunslinger mentality and as a first year starter he rewarded us so many times. This season provides much to build on. Can't wait.

This could go on forever, but I'm just wondering what everyone's thoughts were from those in attendance on the atmosphere and experience (Can they add another jumbotron for our next visit?) I was in Section 12 Row 37.

PP
Craig Fritz's picture

Thanks for sharing. Love hearing game stories. 

millzners's picture

Hard to imagine with 2:30 left and the ball and a TD lead that we would lose the game in regulation.  I kept hoping McSorely would with run the ball himself on many of those last 3 drives... 

PP
speedomike's picture

Welp, we're here. I've been a PSU fan for almost 20 years and always thought we could be among the elites of college football. This isn't a senior-laden squad that's destined to fall back to mediocrity. We're going to be good for a while. Weird to think about.

PP