JoePa's Doghouse

Blue-White Roundtable: A New “Hope” Edition

A week after such a highly anticipated game, the possibility of a letdown always exists.

Of course, the conference schedule makers did us no favors by throwing “the Temple of the Big Ten” at our feet, merely one week after Ohio State. Think about it- we play Purdue every year and the games are always boring and far from memorable. Blah.

Someone who never elicits a “blah,” good ol Adam from Black Shoe Diaries has some more questions this week. Be sure to head on over to BSD later this week for a “greatest hits” of sorts. In the meantime, check out what these peeps are saying:

Nittany Lions Den
Black Shoe Diaries
The 50-Yard Lion

Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…

Question #1 What are your thoughts on the loss to Ohio State on Saturday night?

The Underdogs: Winning 12 against 16 is never easy, so I'm not terribly deflated despite being incredibly disappointed in the B1G's decision to send referines dressed as nuts to State College for a Halloween surprise. The game seemed a bit like the microcosm of the entire offseason, which I'm wondering is affecting the psychology of the squad. Although resilient and optimistic, one break after another kept going against us, whether it was of our own doing or not, ultimately leading to deflation and acceptance. Based on our per quarter scoring, it seems as though the staff and team gameplan and prepare well (we get off to fast starts), then opponents make adjustments at halftime (outscoring us in 3rd), and then we re-adjust and win 4th Q. However, vs OSU we got off to a fast start in everything except scoring. Missed a few big opportunities, then the defensive holding on the punt, ultimately leading to OSU's tying score before half really seemed to deflate the team and shift momentum. Had we been up 14-0, 17-7, or 21-0, fully taking advantage of our 1st half opps, the score could've and probably should've been different. Moving the ball isn't so great if you can't score the ball. Then you're just Arsenal (a reference completely lost on Rowlff since it has nothing to do with pirates, teeny bopper movies, or death metal).

Rowlff Dogg: You can’t win them all. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the opposing team. Ohio State won both lines of scrimmage and blitzed very effectively. Penn State had plenty of opportunities, but never was able to make the big play. The talent disparity between the two teams is only going to widen over the next few years, so I’m hopeful that Penn State’s staff learned from this loss and will use it to make themselves better coaches down the road.

J Schnauzer: I'd be lying if said I wasn't disappointed, but this is more an indication that Ohio State is further along in its redevelopment than Penn State. It's not too surprising to see the Buckeyes find a way to win despite limitations. What's frustrating is that any other year I would say, "we'll get them next year," but unfortunately this may be the closest we'll get to a win over Ohio State in the next five years.

Question #2 Penn State has had some trouble with referees before, and there are plenty who are willing to discuss it again this week. How poor was Saturday night's officiating? Did it cost us the game? Does it impact the Big Ten's reputation?

The Underdogs: It will not impact the reputation at all because we're so used to it, everyone within our conference is so used to us bitching about it, and everyone outside of the conference doesn't give a shit. Proceed as normal. They were bad, but the big ten has always been lenient about holding. There is a reason NFL types have said before they have had to completely re-coach Michigan linemen how to block. While I've never seen such blatant holding go uncalled (exception: Courtney Brown), I did not see much of the utterly indefensible calls we've seen in the past: Eddie George fumbling in '95 being ruled down - TD pass to Terry Glenn on the next play, the entire '05 Michigan game including the blatant plus1 spots for them and minus1 spots for us any Alabama fan would appreciate, Tony Johnson called out of bounds in '02, or the OSU tight end clearly dropping the ball in front of the ref being ruled a catch. Those? There were none of those. In this game, OSU just got away with more holding than we did and were more aggressive in taking advantage of officiating incompetence.

Rowlff Dogg: The referees were terrible. Mike Mauti wasn’t held on Braxton Miller’s touchdown scramble. He was sacked, pillaged, plundered, full-nelsoned, and disemboweled, all while watching his dog get killed.

But no, the poor officiating did not cost us the game. The refs did not prevent an easy McGloin-to-Robinson touchdown on the first drive. They did not cause SOA to drop a gift pick-six. They did not force a terrible pick-six from McGloin to start the second half.

As for the Big Two’s reputation? Nah, the refs’ bias does nothing to dim the luster of the Big Ohio-Michigan Conference…

J Schnauzer: There were some bad calls, but this game broke open wide enough to make me feel the Buckeye would have won even without the unfortunate calls. The referees have no impact on the Big Ten's reputation: the fact that both teams were ineligible from the two highest profile scandals in recent history had an impact on the Big Ten's reputation.

Question #3 Purdue comes into the game this week after a brutal loss to Minnesota, followed by a rough statement by their athletic department. Is Danny Hope on the hot sat?

The Underdogs: Could this be a trap game? It could go one of two ways, the Purdue team steps up and tries to win one for the moustachioed Gipper or they roll over and die. However, these two things aren't mutually exclusive. See: last week's game vs OSU and every single Super Bowl blow-out. One team comes out amped and when things start going against them they snow ball and the believed inevitability and helplessness becomes reality.

Rowlff Dogg: Dare I say that Jerry “Kill-ed” Danny’s “Hope” of returning next year…

Purdue is a very tough school to win at consistently. I think Joe Tiller should get more retroactive credit than Danny Hope blame for the state of the Boilermakers right now.

J Schnauzer: Yes. Purdue should be challenging a weakened Badgers team for the divisional spot in the Championship game, but they almost gifted the whole thing to them before November.

Question #4 Prediction?

The Underdogs: The afforementioned happens, but how hyped can Purdue really get. Something about their field just puts me to sleep. EVEN THEIR FIELD IS BORING. Seriously, are half the B1G fields double sized with extra length grass or does the product on the field just make it seem that way? Neither would surprise me despite the NCAA's no fun regulations against alterations to field size and shape. Purdue wins only if the field is round this weekend. Rape Apologizing Culture Mongers 33, Dozy Engineers with a Big Drum to Keep Everyone Awake 9.

Rowlff Dogg: Penn State 44, Purdue 13. There will be no let down for this team.

J Schnauzer: Penn State rights the ship. PSU 45, Purdue 17

About Rowlff Dogg

Of all the doghouses in all the towns in all the world, you walked into Rowlff Dogg's.
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