Sunday, December 03, 2006

PSU Vs. Tennessee

It is official, PSU will face off against Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. The Volunteers are 9-3, their only losses are to Florida, LSU, and Arkansas (ranked #2, 4, and 12 respectively). Pretty good teams, kind of seems like the losses PSU has (ND, Ohio St., Michigan, Wisconsin. All teams ranked in the top 11) .
Tennessee has made its living on the backs of Erik Ainge and Robert Meachem. Ainge is a quality QB, he completed 66.9% of his passes and racked up over 2700 yards in passing. This includes 19 Tds and only 8 picks. Ainge, clearly has a favorite wide receiver, Robert Meachem, who has accounted for 1265 receiving yards (thats just a shade under 40% of the Tenn.'s passing yards). Mr. Meachem also caught 11 of those 18 TDs I mentioned earlier. In short, Justin King is going to have his hands full.
The running game has not been a strong suit for the Volunteers. Their ground attack was led by LaMarcus Coker who rushed for only 660 yards but averaged over 6 ypc. So while not untalented the men in orange prefer the air to the ground.
I'd like to see Penn State put pressure on Ainge and bump Meachem at the line. Hopefully, this would frustrate what has been a potent hook-up for Tenn. The Lions also need to control the ball and keep the Tennessee offense off the field. This job falls squarely into the hands of Tony Hunt. A good game for Tony means the Lions will be successful. If Tennessee decides to crowd the line of scrimmage (and if I were them I would) Morelli is going to have to have a few deep passes to get the safeties to back up. This might be a little bit much to hope for but a guy has to have dreams. However, if Morelli has some success I think Penn State will win in a very close, low scoring, game.



Ken said...

I'm glad to see Penn excited about the game.

I don't think Penn St stands a chance against a full strength UT team. UT's losses were without an injured Ainge and/or Coker. The losses to Fla and LSU were super close; both caalme down to the final drive.

Injuries are part of the game and I don't know how they may have impacted Penn's season. I do think UT would have won against LSU and Arkansas without key injuries though.

UT did also have a quality win against Cal. I hesitate to make much of it since I think the Pac 10 is a bit overated, but folks who get paid alot to know more about this than I do seem to give them alot of respect.

Regardless of what I think the outcome will be, I'm excited to have two schools with a long tradition playing. If Penn St were playing someone other than UT I'd be all about Joe Pa leading them to a win. He is a class act all the way and I think the world of him.


JB said...

I agree. It is always much more fun when two storied programs face off.