Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blue White Roundup Week Four (Michigan)

RUTS brings us the questions for the most important week of Penn State football for this year....EVER! My feeble answers are below for answers that are actually good please check out BSD, TNL, WWN, and The Nittany Notebook.
1. Reportedly, Penn State is playing some school in a mitten-shaped state this weekend. Are any of you actually optimistic for the Michigan game?
I am optimistic but that is tempered with a terrible dread that permeates my very soul. PSU sits at 3-0 heading into this weekend's matchup, however, the Lions have not looked spectacular in any of the games. Michigan has looked terrible in two of their first three games but absolutely stomped a terrible Notre Dame team. Was that enough to awaken the sleeping giant in AA? I think PSU is the better team but beating Michigan has seemed next to impossible for PSU in the last few years.
2. Okay, we all know that Penn State has lost eight straight games against Michigan since 1997. Plenty of PSU fans blame the coaches' offensive game planning, calling it predictable and bland. Fair criticism? If the definition of "insane" is repeating the same act over and over again and expecting a different result, does this make our coaching staff absolutely crazy?
We will find out on Saturday. App. St. and Oregon were nice enough to write a little book called "How To Beat Michigan". The way you do it is by spreading the field and exposing a secondary that has looked slow. This involves putting four WRs on the field for most of the game. PSU certainly has the depth at WR to do this but will the coaches actually do it? I will say: Yes. PSU will open up the offense, spread Michigan out and PSU will be able to score points against a weak Michigan secondary.
3. List three things Penn State absolutely must do in order to finally beat Michigan.
First, you have to stop Mike Hart. If Hart is allowed to run wild PSU's chances of winning decrease dramatically. To do this you are going to have to stack the box and leave the DBs out on an island. However, you have to think that King, Sargeant, and Wallace are up to the task.
Second, the defense has to get pressure on the QB. Mallett and Henne are both relatively immobile, pocket QBs, so, no matter who is back there you can't give him time to throw the ball. Again, this will leave the DBs on an island but it simply has to be done.
Third, Penn State needs to spread Michigan out when the Lions have the ball.
Lightning Round
Would you rather be facing a one-legged Henne or a two-legged Mallet this weekend?
Two Legged Mallett. Henne isn't mobile anyway so all you do is replace an statue with experience and accuracy with a statue that is inexperienced and less accurate.
Your score prediction?
PSU: 30
Mich: 27
Do you see any upsets on the Big Ten horizon this week?
I think Indiana could beat Illinois. I just don't see the Hawkeyes giving Wisconsin too much of a fight. So, I guess not.
In one word, tell us if the constant griping by Penn State fans about Big Ten officiating is valid.

Old-news. (griping about it close to the game in question is fine, however, some of the older gripes need to be put to bed!)



Mac G said...

Check out this new Big Ten Poon Blog that just started. It could use some Hot Penn St. ladies.


Andrew said...

not sure i agree with your theory about the spread. the keys to app st and oregon were that they ran the spread OPTION offense, ie, they had the ability to run the QB all over the field. morelli is more mobile than henne/mallett, but let's not pretend he's anywhere close to edwards/dixon. also (my ignorance coming into play), does PSU even have a shotgun zone read spread option formation in their playbook?

JB said...

PSU shouldn't even dream of running a spread zone read offense with Morelli. However, if you put 3-4 WRs on the field and freakishly athletic Quarless at TE you create major match-up problems. Michigan's LBs are not very good and would have fits trying to cover a large, fast TE. Similarly, I have not seen any depth out of UM's DBs. Where as PSU has an able stable of talented WRs.
In sum, spreading the field could create mis-matches in PSU's favor.