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Sigarette Smoke


MEMBER SINCE   April 19, 2018

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Comment 12 Sep 2019

Obvious thing that must be included in the Year Four Playbook -- give up another safety in hilarious fashion. This year, I suggest the Pregarooski, in which Kenny Pickett stuffs the ball under the front of his uniform and slowly ambulates through the end zone* while pretending to shop for yoga pants.

After the game, Narduzzi must grumble about Penn State taking the low road by harming an obviously pregnant quarterback barely into his second trimester. "I don't know. I coach Pitt. You'd have to ask them about it. I sleep well at night. I have a princess tent with unicorn pillows. Next question."

* - he is eaten by YGM in 1.3 seconds

Comment 16 Oct 2018

AND WITH ALL OF THIS SAID...

People, do you really think we're getting someone who can both recruit and coach up talent better than James Franklin? Are you high? He's the right guy for this situation, but the ascent isn't always smooth and bad/unlucky garbage happens sometimes. Be grateful that the losses mean so much, because this program could still be rubble right now without Bill O'Brien and James Franklin's efforts.

Comment 16 Oct 2018

So many different way to characterize this program right now.

Up until probably right now, Franklin's build has been ahead of schedule. The conference championship was way ahead of schedule and last year's 11-2 season was both a sustaining of that success and a missed opportunity due to the blown lead in Columbus and the fluky happenings in East Lansing.

This is the first time in the last 2-3 seasons where we might be able to say the program is a little behind schedule, but it's due to a number of things that practically every level-headed observer saw back in August (and a few things that nobody really predicted):

  • DT and LB depth is bad, bad, bad, and the players who are currently occupying those positions aren't performing well, especially outside of the two starting DT's. Unfortunately, those positions are difficult for really young players to step in and perform at a high level unless they're absolute freaks. PSU is recruiting very well but isn't at the stage where they can throw a true freshman into those positions and get great results (not even Micah Parsons, who is really playing there out of necessity).
  • It may have gone a bit underplayed in the summer but K has obviously been a disaster outside of 35 yards, which is still a little strange to be because Pinegar's extra points generally seem well-struck and right down the middle.

Problem is, there have been a number of unexpected problems that have really compromised PSU's ability to navigate the problems that were obvious in the preseason:

  • WR's outside of Hamler aren't getting open and aren't making contested catches. I'm not sure if this is a personnel issue, a Ricky Rahne issue, or (most likely) a combination of the two. The offense obviously misses Gesicki when things break down, despite Freiermuth's rather stunning quick maturation (he's really the #2 option in the passing game at this point, behind Hamler). The veteran WR's either aren't getting free, aren't making easy catches, aren't making contested catches, or some combination of the three. The team needed  Juwan Johnson to be the prime, #1 WR that they've been touting for the past two years. Hasn't happened. DAT has been missing on offense. Aside from Hamler, nobody that is particularly frightening from a defensive coordinator's perspective.
  • The secondary has been a mess, which is something I don't think anybody really predicted. Reid still doesn't look comfortable. Amani's been beat a lot. Not really getting great play out of either safety position. Even some of the younger guys like TCF have really struggled when it counted most. The tackling has been atrocious, some of the worst I can remember in watching this team closely for 25-ish years.
  • The OL has been okay-to-good. They need to be great in order to compensate for the hampered passing game. It's pretty clear that the offense can't survive Trace having a C+ game like he did on Saturday.
  • The Tommy Stevens stuff has either been missing due to early-season injury, completely ineffective, or outright abandoned.
  • The lack of preparation/execution on special teams is galling. With the athletes on this roster, PSU should be dominating that phase of the game. Hamler and DAT have returned kicks/punts well. Gillikin's been good, not really great. That's really it. Getting burned repeatedly on fakes and onside kicks is just sloppy as hell.

The team still lacks the ability to make the one or two plays needed to close out a game. Great teams are able to do that, even on bad days (or combination of "bad day" and "horrifically unlucky day" like this past Saturday). PSU isn't there yet. That isn't to say that it's unattainable, but I think that being ahead of schedule for a few years has warped our perspective on what this team actually has talent-wise and where they should really be right now. Still too many holes in the roster, still not entirely sure the coaching staff has all the weapons it needs or the ability to use them properly.

Comment 11 Oct 2018

LET US NOT FORGET THAT NOTED VILLAINOUS TURD, MARK DANTONIO, once called multiple timeouts at the end of a Rose Bowl clinching, 49-18 home Penn State victory because he is that sludgy juice that accumulates at the bottom of your garbage can.

Comment 04 Oct 2018

The plan was fine. They weren't converting the plan into as many points as they should've in the first half, though. If you told me Saturday afternoon that PSU would gain 492 yards against Ohio F**king State, I would've been overjoyed. That's more than any team gained against them last year.

Comment 04 Oct 2018

Yeah, they've finished in the top ten in consecutive years. That's happened exactly two other times since Penn State's last national championship.

Spare us the "earning your money" garbage.

Comment 03 Oct 2018

Okay, specifics? How has the staff failed to teach/coach the players? What are the staff's mistakes in the biggest games? What are these same deficiencies? What the hell does "put them in a great position to win" mean?

Comment 03 Oct 2018

And that's exactly what Franklin said during that post-game press conference. He knows it, and I trust him to eventually get PSU there.

Comment 03 Oct 2018

Johnson is as naturally talented and physically gifted as any receiver in the country.

So, maybe he's not? He's not really a downfield threat. His hands are suspect as hell. He doesn't take over games the way a #1 is supposed to. He has two career touchdowns.

He's basically a complementary piece at this point. Really, the most disappointing player on the entire offense.