The Roundtable was originally going to be posted yesterday, but it was HELD up by the Big Ten refs. Surely, if Penn State players so much as looked at this post, I’d be typing 15 yards behind my computer.
Someone who we never has to worry about the refs, 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:
Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…
Question #1 We have to start with officiating. One offensive holding called in our favor since the Northwestern game. The sideline encroachment penalty after the punt. The Matt Lehman touchdown that wasn't. What's going on here?
The Underdogs: Objection: leading question. /pleads fifth.
Rowlff Dogg: I’ve had a DVR for a very long time. The Nebraska game was the first time I didn’t have the stomach to re-watch. I have no words to describe what has been going on since we joined the Big Ten. Heck, just imagine how Minnesota must feel. They’ve had 2 blown calls go against them while playing Hated Penn State (1997, 2006).
The best way to deal with the biased officiating and pro-Michigan/pro-Ohio State campaigning is to beat them. Beat them often. Beat them bad.
Unfortunately, the biggest pisser about the sanctions is that we have to continue to wait. Since the late 90’s, it was obvious that Penn State would never dominate the Big Ten with JoePa in control. Now we finally have a very good coach, but his hands are tied for quite a while. Grrrr!
J Schnauzer: The problem with officiating conspiracy theories is that they always come after games, never before. Prove that there is an ongoing conspiracy, or prove that it is occurring to Penn State and no one else in the league, or explicitly state what concerns you about the upcoming Indiana and Wisconsin crews. If you can not, then the harsh reality is that Big Ten refs are erratic and incompetent.
Question #2 Penn State came out swinging and built a strong lead in the first half, but collapsed in the second, particularly on defense. What happened there? What accounts for the kinds of lapses that Penn State has exhibited in third quarters all year?
The Underdogs: I don't know. Does anybody know? If you've got ideas I suggest you direct them to BOB's email account where they'll immediately wind up in a spam folder designated for automatic responses stating something along the lines of, "we're just focusing on the next game. Thanks for your interest." With respect to JSchnauzer's accusation that "nobody complains about officiating conspiracy before games," PSU getting the raw end of bad calls at critical moments of important games is as inevitable as our lazy 3rd quarter performances. But what are YOU going to do about it? I have a tendency to start fast with my gameday drinking and slow as the game unfolds and my pacing nerves give way to ennui/ecstasy (depending on how the game is going). So surely our fates are somehow cosmically connected. With the early kickoff this weekend, I'll pace myself early and hit the accelerator at half-time to do my part. Problem solved.*
*Promise voided if PSU happens to be trailing in the 1st half to Indiana.
Rowlff Dogg: The excellent numbers Penn State has put up in the first quarter makes their lousy numbers in the third quarter so perplexing. Clearly, the coaches can gameplan an opponent. So, what are they doing in the locker room- drinking milk and petting kittens?
Are NFL halftimes 30 minutes long? If so, perhaps no one bothered to tell Bill O’Brien that college halftimes are only 20 minutes. That’s the best explanation I’ve got.
J Schnauzer: Depth. Less-than-great teams have a habit of keeping it close in the first half before allowing mistakes in concentration and experience get the better of them. The starting players Penn State has are great, but the transfers are taking their toll. These 3rd quarter collapses will only become more regular in the following years.
Question #3 Indiana's offense has put up big numbers against many teams this year. How will Penn State try to quiet the Hoosiers?
The Underdogs: Ideally, doing what Wisconsin did and pounding the ball for Nebraska circa mid-nineties ungodly levels of rushing yards.
Rowlff Dogg: The key is to play level-headed and not let Indiana capitalize on players’ lingering Nebraska frustrations. The talent difference is enough for Penn State to play within itself and win handily. Despite some nice Indiana point totals, there is no need to do anything special in order for a Penn State victory.
J Schnauzer: Play solid defense throughout the game.
Question #4 Prediction?
The Underdogs: We lack the predictable and dependable grind of Wisconsin, but we can still run the ball well enough to keep Indiana's passing game off the field and in perpetual catch up mode. Indiana scores a few late to make it closer than it should be, 35-29. And in proper respect of that score, the NCAA and B..!..G (my new, preferred method of spelling knuckle-knuckle-finger-knuckle-knuckle) tack on a few more punitive measures for the offseason.
Rowlff Dogg: Penn State 40, Indiana 17. In other battles this weekend, I predict the Cullens will triumph over the Volturi.
J Schnauzer: The streak goes on. Penn State 34, Indiana 22.