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September 18, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode
Between the Lions: Penn State 24, Kent State 0
Mistake prone and lethargic,
Lions win very ugly vs. Kent
First quarter: Penn State 14, Kent State 0
> Brian Griese (forever know to PSU fans as just “Brian” thanks to his dad) off track early referring to “Steven” Wisniewski, but makes up for it with some nice insight on quarterback and secondary play throughout first quarter.
> Wow, great instinctive play on the interception by D’Anton Lynn, the kind of play the Penn State secondary rarely makes anymore.
> Good job by Bolden on the TD sneak. When you’ve got inches, you just burrow in behind the center, but when you need a half a yard, you’ve got to wait a split second and find a crease.
> Golden Flashes missing opportunities to move the ball on State. Instead, first two possessions end on interception and flubbed punt, just what doctor ordered for Penn State team that might have been primed for a letdown.
Second quarter: Penn State 14, Kent State 0
> Ouch. Bolden might not live to see his sophomore season if he takes many more hits like the one he took on the first play of the second quarter.
> Uh oh, Penn State still might be primed for a letdown.
> Bolden takes a totally unnecessary hit. Kevin Newsome should stay loose.
> Evan Royster has disappeared since TD run. No mention of injury by TV crew and no report from sideline. Terrible.
> Instead of Silas Redd, PSU appears to be going with Chaz Powell at RB. Huh?
> In the hurry up, Bolden does a nice job coming off his first progression, but forces the ball into his second look – and an interception.
Third quarter: Penn State 17, Kent State 0
> PSU defensive line played better (in wake of Jack Crawford and Eric Latimore benching), but linebackers still nearly invisible. Are we the only ones noticing this? No splash plays. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
> You have to wonder what’s up with Crawford, too. Before the season, some NFL scouts were projecting him as an eventual first-round draft pick, but he’s been slow and ineffective so far.
> Two straight turnovers near midfield and Kent can’t do a thing. The Nits could have been had today. Had the opponent been Temple, this might be a 28-7 deficit.
> Make that three straight turnovers. Bolden looking really rattled for first time. Could those first half hits play a role in that?
> Strange decision by KSU to pooch punt on fourth down. Their coach is playing this like it’s a one-possession game.
> BIG drive for PSU, Stephfon Green and Rob Bolden, 17 plays leading to a field-goal that makes it a three-possession game. Green is a strong human being.
> Green with a big run on the last play of the third quarter.
> Royster appears to have lost his mojo, he might have lost his job and he's in danger of losing a couple million dollars.
Fourth quarter: Penn State 24, Kent State 0
> Brian contends there are “no whispers at Penn State now about Joe Paterno retiring.” Based on his tone, that was a serious statement.
> Crawford finally heard from with a sack.
> Brian correctly assesses Bolden’s TD throw to Davon Smith as a poorly thrown ball. Brian knows his football, but he’s still got a long way to go as a broadcaster. We’ll consider him a work in progress – for now.
> KSU’s Spencer Keith was incompetent at quarterback Saturday. There’s just no other way to put it. Our pregame assessment of Penn State’s mindset and level of play today was dead on. We just had no idea Kent State could be that bad.
The final word:
> It’s easy to say this from the couch in your living room (but sometimes that’s the best perspective) but the Penn State coaching staff has got to figure out who wants to play football this season and who doesn’t. From the outside looking in, it appears there are several Nittany Lions players who aren’t interested in giving full effort and that’s never going to fly once the Big Ten season starts.