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October 30, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode
BETWEEN THE LIONS
A LITTLE NIGHT MAGIC
Rejuvenated PSU outguns Michigan behind McGloin, Royster
It was over when:
Mr. Automatic Collin Wagner did his best John Cappelletti impression in converting a critical fourth-down late in the game on a fake field goal that kept Denard Robinson off the field for good.
Play of the day:
Honestly, we think it was Matt McGloin’s lumbering 11-yard scramble on a 3rd-and-10 on Penn State’s first series that set the tone for the entire evening.
+ Does Penn State have a quarterback controversy? They should. Sure, Rob Bolden has never had the luxury of quarterbacking with a running game in effect, but McGloin clearly was the X factor for the Lions Saturday.
+ The much-maligned (and rightly so) Penn State defense looked like a different unit Saturday, holding up admirably against the relentless Michigan offense. Devon Still and Nate Stupar, especially, played like men possessed, and Chaz Powell added a physical element at CB that was missing so far this season. No one is going to confuse them with the Purple People Eaters, but if they can maintain the level of play they showed Saturday, Penn State can be in every game down the stretch – and that includes Ohio State.
+ And speaking of men possessed, Evan Royster looked like his old self in becoming Penn State’s career rushing leader. Royster’s improved play was so obviously a matter of attitude that you have to ask why he wouldn’t play harder in PSU’s first seven games.
RichRod probably wouldn’t agree, but it seemed like a fairly well officiated game with a couple of questionable fourth-quarter calls balancing out. First, a flag wasn’t thrown when Derek Moye was obviously interfered with on a third-down play early in the quarter. But, an iffy late-hit call against Michigan a few minutes later set Penn State up for a clinching field goal.
@artzssportsfan: Looks like we just made Michigan our Bichigan.
@bcclist: Rich Rod just told the ref his call was a joke. It would have been awesome if the ref yelled back, "Who are you to judge?"
@sjflynn: McGloin for president.
We were right:
We said on the radio earlier this week and in our prediction column that we thought the Penn State offense was coming around. Obviously, the Michigan defense had a lot to do with that Saturday, but still it was a very encouraging effort both from a play calling and execution point of view.
We were wrong:
While it surrendered 31 points and lord knows how many yards, Penn State’s defense was not outclassed by Denard Robinson and was able to get several key stops in the game.