Stadium observations, game thoughts and big picture comment (long)

KCLion

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I don't think there is any way to know that, but based on how MOST other new hires go this certainty seems WAAAAY too high.

Strongly, strongly disagree.
I mean that there’s a 90% chance that if we have a real search for the best coach we can get and keep, he will be better than Franklin.

I think most FBS coaches are better/smarter than Franklin.

But he is a superior recruiter, so that matters too.


Last sentence is debatable - superior recruiters should not have as many holes on the roster as we do right now. OL, DL, and LB will continue to be problems.
 
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Waltwam

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  • Stadium experience – I’d been to the Big House a bunch of times before. Beautiful weather, but a little windy. Not sure if that was apparent on TV, but the wind was definitely as issue at field level, especially for the kicker. The Maize Out was (predictably) underwhelming. It might look OK if everyone actually did it, but I’d put participation on maybe 70%. Lots of people wearing blue (some PSU fans in white) or other random colors. I kind of get if it’s really cold out and you don’t own a maize parka, but it was 55 degrees. I also noted that the crowd seemed less “classy” than times I’d been there in the past. There was a “**** Penn State” chant from the student section at the beginning of the game, the crowd boos the visiting team entrance (far more than you see at Beaver Stadium) and boos their own band when they do their “PSU tribute Song (I assume this was hail to the lion, but couldn’t hear because they were facing the visitor section which was the opposite site of the stadium from me). They also do this super annoying “You suck” sing along to whatever song the band plays after a 3rd or 4th down stop. Very juvenile. Anyway, I’ve certainly seen worse at away games, but the environment there has changed from 10 (or maybe even 5) years ago.

  • (disclaimer on comments on the game: I haven’t re-watched on TV yet, so there may have been things I couldn’t see from the stands)

  • I think the defense actually played OK in the first half. They gave up yards between the 20s and forced FGs. That’s generally what they’ve done all year. And they got a pick six. The FG at the end of the half was disappointing, but it was greatly aided by what I thought was a pretty bad DPI call against Dixon (the receiver appeared to initiate contact on the downfield defender). However, down 16-14 at the half was not unacceptable, given how little the offense did.
  • Speaking of the offense, I noted several pass plays that seemed to be “interesting designs” but it seemed that if the primary receiver wasn’t open (they generally weren’t) there didn’t seem to be a viable check down. Not sure if the secondary receivers just aren’t getting open, or if the play design focuses too much on getting the primary open at the expense of making everyone else just “window dressing.”
  • The real killers were the two long runs, which took that game from 17-16 PSU to 31-17 Michigan. The second one (Corum) seemed to involved a pretty blatant missed holding call (86 tackled 43) right in the hole at the point of attack. I get that holding could be called on every play yada-yada, but right at the point of attack just has to be called. Probably not a difference maker in the game, but certainly didn’t help.
  • On PSU’s possession after the first long run (score is 24-17 Michigan), the OPI against PSU was brutal. If that play stood it would have been 1st and 10 at the UM 27 (instead of 3rd and 19 at the PSU 48). Even if PSU only gets a FG there 24-20 feels a lot different. It sounds like the issue there was the receiver (Singleton) being past the LOS for a play that is designed pick (but blocking allowed if pass is behind the LOS). Not picking on Singleton but for those of you clamoring for “all freshmen, all the time”, this is a side effect of that.
  • At some point the TOP just caught up to the defense. You cannot let you opponent have the ball for 75% of the game and expect the defense to have any gas to get a stop when needed in the 4Q.
  • Anyone else find it odd that up 3 scores with 5 minutes left, Harbaugh still had all his starters in? He is, and forever will be, a milk drinking douche.
  • Big picture comments: no one likes to lose a game like that but for all the doom and gloom, how many posters here predicted we’d be 5-1 at this point? Or to ask another way, if I told you in August PSU would be 5-1, would you be OK with that? Also recall, that in 2016, PSU also got blown out by Michigan @ Michigan (I’d argue that was a much worse loss). I think most people would agree the 2016 PSU was a good team. An 11 win season is still on the table. We are….
The really interesting thing is the refs began calling some holding calls on UM after they got the 2 TD lead. If I'm remembering correctly, there were none in the first half.
 

crm114psu

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Superior recruiter to me implies talented depth at all positions. I have not seen that the last few years. Or maybe I'm looking at it wrong in that "superior" means "superior to Rutgers/Pitt/Iowa".

Guess it depends on what you consider "superior".
 

ivan brunetti

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The really interesting thing is the refs began calling some holding calls on UM after they got the 2 TD lead. If I'm remembering correctly, there were none in the first half.

You won both the turnover battle and had fewer penalties and penalty yards. The football gods did everything in their power to help you.
 

crm114psu

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Well, you have quite the sense of humor. But, like the Biden administration, you refuse to answer the question! Never mind.
You want him to research a box score for you to provide support for Your theory. Do your own research.

And take your political bullshit to its proper forum.
 

Parkerdam555

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The football gods DID do everything in their power. It sure wasn't the football gods who sent that backup punter out there to kick off 35 yards out of bounds, giving Michigan a free 15 yard head start, down 17-16.
 

PSUEngineer89

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Superior recruiter to me implies talented depth at all positions. I have not seen that the last few years. Or maybe I'm looking at it wrong in that "superior" means "superior to Rutgers/Pitt/Iowa".

Guess it depends on what you consider "superior".
Superior recruiter needs to be taken in the context of a potential replacement for Franklin.

I'm pretty convinced that we couldn't get a much worse coach on X's and O's and on staff hiring.

I'm not so sure we'll get a better recruiter.
 

crm114psu

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I've done the research. If he wants to know, he can look it up himself!
You were the one wanting the details. I don't think he gives a rats ass. Take your useless information and go spin your conspiracy.
 

Parkerdam555

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Superior recruiter needs to be taken in the context of a potential replacement for Franklin.

I'm pretty convinced that we couldn't get a much worse coach on X's and O's and on staff hiring.

I'm not so sure we'll get a better recruiter.
We don't need a better recruiter. We need a better coach.
 
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bvillebaron

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Pretty good write up, thanks. All during the first half was telling a friend the D will be toast by the fourth quarter. Just can’t keep them on the field that long. Especially since we don’t have a lot of depth there.

So hard to predict the future schedule. As you pointed out about the 2016 team.....things can change rapidly and drastically. I don’t think any remaining team has the power run game of Michigan. Not even the Suckeyes. Michigan’s D was also stout which is a concern as O hi ya might be comparable there.

So the key, at least to my eyes, is how the O line develops. Tengwell should be back which helps. But they need to improve and quickly. Maybe now the staff will move a couple of the chess pieces around. The play calling seems to be pretty vanilla......more counter action, more quick hits to TE on run fakes, more quick pitches to the outside, more screens. We need an offense that moves the ball and allows the D to rest.
Exactly. The play calling sucked. Michigan takes 5 minutes off the clock but the defense holds for a FG. First offensive play? Predictable off tackle run for 1 yard. Another predictable run and incompletion on 3rd and long. Michigan has another long drive and defense again holds for a FG. Next offensive series? SOS as the first possession.
 
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Parkerdam555

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Exactly. The play calling sucked. Michigan takes 5 minutes off the clock but the defense holds for a FG. First offensive play? Predictable off tackle run for 1 yard. Another predictable run and incompletion on 3rd and long. Michigan has another long drive and defense again holds for a FG. Next offensive series? SOS as the first possession.
So many of the little things too:
1st play of the game is a 2 yard completion for Michigan and Porter commits a stupid moronic late hit.

17-16 and for no reason at all, Franklin sticks 99 in to kick off out of bounds by 30 yards, giving them another free 15.

The 30 yard dropped catch by Singleton.

The stupid fade on 4th and 6. Punt the damn ball and make them go 95 yards.

The OTHER stupid fade on 1st and goal.

43. Folks I don't want to pick on a kid. But....he has no business on that field.

0. Ditto.

A bunch of other stuff too but it's so dumb depressing lol
 

Parkerdam555

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in 2019 you could have said that

the 2020 and 2021 seasons have him moving closer to thin ice

far too early to write this season off, though
Kyle Whittingham is my guy.
Tough as nails.
His teams aren't soft.
His players develop.
He wins. Especially at home where he's damn near unbeatable
 
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The Spin Meister

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An altered state
Exactly. The play calling sucked. Michigan takes 5 minutes off the clock but the defense holds for a FG. First offensive play? Predictable off tackle run for 1 yard. Another predictable run and incompletion on 3rd and long. Michigan has another long drive and defense again holds for a FG. Next offensive series? SOS as the first possession.
Yep, was rally va I’ll and predicable. Really disappointed in Yurcich.
 

Waltwam

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You want him to research a box score for you to provide support for Your theory. Do your own research.

And take your political bullshit to its proper forum.
Crm, I will take my political bs to the proper forum, but be sure to tell everyone else to take their Psu bs to the proper forum!
Example- Ps admin. Bs, blaming our football ineptitude on university leadership, or our basketball programs failure on leadership. Or the way Joe was treated! That wasn't about football.......that was all politics.
 
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PSU2UNC

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Why is that funny? Whittingham would be a horrible choice for PSU head coach.

1) His W/L record is the same as Franklin's -- no upgrade there.
2) The only coaching experience he has outside of the state of Utah is in Idaho. No experience in the mid West, South or East (all PSU recruiting hotbeds).
3) He is Mormon.
 
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TangSoo

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Why is that funny? Whittingham would be a horrible choice for PSU head coach.

1) His W/L record is the same as Franklin's -- no upgrade there.
2) The only coaching experience he has outside of the state of Utah is in Idaho. No experience in the mid West, South or East (all PSU recruiting hotbeds).
3) He is Mormon.
Yeah, but how do his wives look?
 

PSU2UNC

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I finally got around to watching the TV broadcast of the game. I wanted to see:

a) things I may have missed from the stands
b) how the game played out when you remove the emotion of "as it's happening"

Couple of additional observations:

1) PSU was very much in the game until halfway through the third quarter. It wasn't pretty, but PSU was driving to tie it at 24 when the OPI penalty stalled the drive. Without that penalty, PSU has first down inside the UM 25 with a fair amount of momentum. The penalty resulted in them having to go for it on 4th down and not getting it. The next UM offense play was the Corum TD.

2) I didn't love the 4th down playcall there, but Clifford made a really nice throw that PW probably should have caught (tough catch, but both hands on the ball).

3) So the two plays that turned the game were the OPI and the Corum run.

4) Speaking of the former, while the penalty was on a TE, that was Singleton's fault for running his route 1 yard past the LOS. I don't want to pick on him because I think he will be a great player, but he did not have a good day. In addition to that penalty, he mishandled two KO returns, dropped the nice long ball by Allar and failed to produce much on offense (the last part not entirely his fault; some of that is on OL). For those of you who always want the freshmen phenoms to play, this (lots of mistakes) is part of that equation.

5) Michigan's offensive backups did not enter the game until 2 minutes left to play despite being up by 3 scores much earlier than that. Classless by Harbaugh. Eff that guy.

Anyway, happy to put this game behind us and move on to a victory over Minnesota.
 

PSU2UNC

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One thing is for sure.

Franklin won’t win it.

They put him on the preseason list for 5 straight years.

Given how it’s worked out, does that say more about Franklin, or more about the judgment of the list makers?
There are lots of coaches on the preseason list who don't win.

Franklin probably should have won in 2016 -- McCarthy won at Colorado for turning the program around, but they got crushed in their conference championship game, and crushed in their bowl game.
 

ryoder1

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I finally got around to watching the TV broadcast of the game. I wanted to see:

a) things I may have missed from the stands
b) how the game played out when you remove the emotion of "as it's happening"

Couple of additional observations:

1) PSU was very much in the game until halfway through the third quarter. It wasn't pretty, but PSU was driving to tie it at 24 when the OPI penalty stalled the drive. Without that penalty, PSU has first down inside the UM 25 with a fair amount of momentum. The penalty resulted in them having to go for it on 4th down and not getting it. The next UM offense play was the Corum TD.

2) I didn't love the 4th down playcall there, but Clifford made a really nice throw that PW probably should have caught (tough catch, but both hands on the ball).

3) So the two plays that turned the game were the OPI and the Corum run.

4) Speaking of the former, while the penalty was on a TE, that was Singleton's fault for running his route 1 yard past the LOS. I don't want to pick on him because I think he will be a great player, but he did not have a good day. In addition to that penalty, he mishandled two KO returns, dropped the nice long ball by Allar and failed to produce much on offense (the last part not entirely his fault; some of that is on OL). For those of you who always want the freshmen phenoms to play, this (lots of mistakes) is part of that equation.

5) Michigan's offensive backups did not enter the game until 2 minutes left to play despite being up by 3 scores much earlier than that. Classless by Harbaugh. Eff that guy.

Anyway, happy to put this game behind us and move on to a victory over Minnesota.
We seemed to just run out of gas after the missed 4th down. It's like the D said that is all we got because from that moment on we really were dominated and our heads were not in it.

I thought we would play much better offensively in the 2nd half and potentially win after we lingered around the first half.

I did not like the 4th down call. Seemed low percentage and required perfect execution. Would have liked to see a throw to the TE but maybe that was covered.

We have to bounce back and beat Minny. Hopefully the White Out reenergizes us and we can have a solid win that gets us back on track and builds confidence and momentum for OHowIHate.

Questions for you since you were at the game:

How loud was it compared to Beaver Stadium and in particular how loud was their student section compared to ours?

Did we seem affected at all by the crowd noise?

Any interactions with scUM fans? Were they cool, just neutral (not good or bad) or were they horse's rear ends? Maybe depends on whether they were older or younger.
 
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PSU2UNC

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Questions for you since you were at the game:

How loud was it compared to Beaver Stadium and in particular how loud was their student section compared to ours?
At it's loudest it was sort of typical Beaver Stadium conference game third down loud. No where near approaching White Out loud. It was VERY quiet after the pick six and stayed quiet until the first long TD run. To their credit (I guess?) it is louder there now than it used to be. I think has more to do with the press box/luxury box renovations keeping more sound in. The bowl shape of the stadium just isn't conducive to getting that loud.
Did we seem affected at all by the crowd noise?
No. My guess is that Auburn was much louder and the Shoe definitely gets louder.
Any interactions with scUM fans? Were they cool, just neutral (not good or bad) or were they horse's rear ends? Maybe depends on whether they were older or younger.
No bad interactions this trip. Has a nice conversation with an older (55+) fan who complimented PSU on the creamery and the butcher block. The only really bad interaction I had there (other than minor trash talk) was years ago when a frat guy on the front lawn of the house trying to use a hose to wet down any PSU fans walking by. But I think that's more of a function of drunk 20 years olds being drunk 20 year olds than anything else.
 
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crm114psu

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That team was never "in" that game. Looking at the ease in which UM moved the ball on offense and the total control they exerted over the PSU offense, it was pretty clear early on what the outcome was going to be. The defense was able to prevent an early total collapse but at the end of the half they had already played the equivalent of an entire game. So while they kept it close, there was never really any doubt who controlled the game.
 

PSU2UNC

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That team was never "in" that game. Looking at the ease in which UM moved the ball on offense and the total control they exerted over the PSU offense, it was pretty clear early on what the outcome was going to be. The defense was able to prevent an early total collapse but at the end of the half they had already played the equivalent of an entire game. So while they kept it close, there was never really any doubt who controlled the game.
Dude it was 24-17 with 22 minutes left in the game and PSU had the ball on the Michigan 24 (sans penalty). They were VERY much in that game despite Michigan being able to run the ball easily.
 

MacNit07

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Dude it was 24-17 with 22 minutes left in the game and PSU had the ball on the Michigan 24 (sans penalty). They were VERY much in that game despite Michigan being able to run the ball easily.
The final score was a blow out.

We made a couple of nice plays. Kudos to Cliffy on that fake/long run and a nice long pass. And to the D for the tip drill score.

But beyond that, we were bullied pillar to post - thoroughly dominated and humiliated. Michigan never punted. Darn lucky the score was not something like 51-3.

On to Minnesota. We are going in the wrong direction.
 
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PSU2UNC

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The final score was a blow out.

We made a couple of nice plays. Kudos to Cliffy on that fake/long run and a nice long pass. And to the D for the tip drill score.

But beyond that, we were bullied pillar to post - thoroughly dominated and humiliated. Michigan never punted. Darn lucky the score was not something like 51-3.
Michigan is lucky PSU didn't score on their 2nd drive of the 2nd half. That would have tied it at 24 and made it very different ball game (see two can play the totally made up scenario game).

Upon re-watch, it was clear the game was much closer than the final score.
On to Minnesota. We are going in the wrong direction.
The team is moving in the correct direction. On to the next opponent. 1-0. Get the win. Full stop.
 

PSUEngineer89

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Michigan is lucky PSU didn't score on their 2nd drive of the 2nd half. That would have tied it at 24 and made it very different ball game (see two can play the totally made up scenario game).

Upon re-watch, it was clear the game was much closer than the final score.

The team is moving in the correct direction. On to the next opponent. 1-0. Get the win. Full stop.
You are delusional.

They ran for over 400 yards. 400 yards.

That only happens when the other team is simply destroying you.

It was worse than the score.

Not one intelligent person thinks we weren't very, very fortunate to be where we were at halftime.

But anything to back your boy, Franklin.
 
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lazydave841

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Kyle Whittingham is my guy.
Tough as nails.
His teams aren't soft.
His players develop.
He wins. Especially at home where he's damn near unbeatable

Whittingham does very good for where he is, but it's baffling that somebody would act like he's an upgrade. He has precisely 2 seasons in which he lost 2 games or less (hint, one was a 3-2 covid year).

The PAC 12, definitely weaker than the Big 10, yes or no?

If he brings his record to PSU, yall would be ready to run him off too. If you want to say, bring in Saban. Bring in Urban. Bring in Dabo. Sure. That's the only 3 guys who have the current track record that would satisfy the "10-2 is the minimum" yet pout over losing to Michigan crowd.
 

PSU2UNC

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You are delusional.

They ran for over 400 yards. 400 yards.

That only happens when the other team is simply destroying you.

It was worse than the score.

Not one intelligent person thinks we weren't very, very fortunate to be where we were at halftime.

But anything to back your boy, Franklin.
Yards don't matter. The score is what matters.