In a surprising "week after Halloween" prank, those two fun loving head coaches, Joe Paterno and Jim Tressel, pulled a fast one on college football fans by having their teams swap uniforms for the Ohio State vs. Penn State game.
As expected, the powerful Penn State defense, led by Jared Odrick (wearing Cameron Heyward's No. 97) wreaked havoc on the Ohio State offense.
Terrelle Pryor, wearing Daryll Clark's No. 17, looked like the proverbial "deer in the headlights." Unable to run, and with little time to throw, his passes were off-target and ineffective. The running game was no better.
The Nittany Lion D clearly didn't mind wearing red and gray as they spent most of the afternoon in the Ohio State backfield dropping runners for losses.
On the other hand, the Ohio State defense was not helped by wearing the storied uniforms of Navarro Bowman and Sean Lee. They spent the afternoon on their heels chasing down runners from behind after long gains. The Penn State offense clearly enjoyed wearing the Ohio State uniforms, reeling off runs to both the inside and to the outside. Clark, wearing Pryor's No. 2, unleashed the running game that we all knew he was capable of delivering.
The prank was revealed at the post-game press conference when Tressel pulled off his face mask to reveal a laughing Joe Paterno. Clark asked facetiously if he had won a "buckeye" for his helmet. In reply, coach Paterno not only awarded a "buckeye" to Clark, but also to all the players on his special teams, because, they are indeed "special."
In a related note, the "NitWit" of the week is Neil Rudel, who correctly picked a 17-point margin. He gets minus one point for his "achievement."
T-shirt idea backfires on PSU
Your readers might remember recently a short piece in the Mirror that a Penn State Marketing Association group had to pull its T-shirt off the market.
Showing a picture on the shirt which depicted the Penn State Nittany Lion mascot having his hand on the shoulder of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and holding a tissue box in front of the quarterback was regarded as being very insensitive.
It came back to haunt both the football team and Penn State in last Saturday's game. The Lions were embarrassed and thrown around like toys to the Ohio State Buckeyes before the fourth-largest crowd ever at Penn State in the second whiteout game this year.
We all know Terrelle is a very arrogant young man who doesn't think before he puts his foot in his mouth. But he is also a very talented young athlete who told Penn State football coaches something about he didn't like country living.
And then there was coach Paterno and his son, Jay, saying QB Daryll Clark was not getting enough credit. Daryll had his chance to showcase his talents on national television. Boy did he fail his audition!
Pryor is a work in progress and will most likely be looked at as a wide receiver in the NFL instead of as a quarterback. But he showed Clark why he potentially might be the better of the two quarterbacks.
So much for the Spread HD, which has fizzled to whatever.
This Penn State team was the best team in the Big Ten Conference during preseason, at least on paper, despite rebuilding the offensive line, finding new wide receivers and rebuilding the secondary. Against the Buckeyes, the Nits couldn't find their running game, Clark couldn't find his receivers or they couldn't hold onto the ball, and the defense collapsed at times.
Where was the pass rush? The Nittany Lions failed to finish a complete game.
So now they are out of the national title hunt, out of the BCS bowl picture and will not win the Big Ten title outright or even share it.
The sad part is they were in charge of their own destiny. And perhaps the biggest loser is none other than Clark, who is crying now with the box of tissues.
Lions would beat Pitt
I had the pleasure of working in Pittsburgh before retiring from Penn State University. I believe the Lions would beat Pitt.