Game saw great sportsmanship

Commentary

I enjoyed reading Neil Rudel’s comments about the Rose Bowl, but there is one thing that I’d like to see mentioned.

The sportsmanship between the Nittany Lions and Trojans was the best I’ve seen anywhere in quite some time.

In a day when most athletes, especially in the pros, are into the “look at me” celebrations, it was quite refreshing to see the camaraderie between the two teams.

There were so many times after a play that players helped the opposing team’s players up off the ground and many pats on the helmet or on the back after a play.

There was no trash talking — just plain good football and sportsmanship, which is something that is missing in most all sports today.

I’m sure the coaching staffs had something to do with that, and they should be very proud of their young men.

Joe Yartin

Dysart

Future is bright for Lions

The Rose Bowl was an unbelievable game and setting, and I can’t be more proud of our team.

That said, it is clear that the Lions need to get better on defense.

All year I have marveled at the coaching job Brent Pry has done, given the key losses to graduation on defense and horrendous injuries.

But if we want to get to the next level — and we are darned close — we need a stud defensive lineman that can sack, put pressure and disrupt, similar to the Alabamas, Clemsons, Michigans and, yes, even the Ohio States of the world.

The Southern Cal quarterback is really good, but I doubt he could have pulled off a similar performance against any of the  above teams. And when was the last time PSU scored 49 and lost? (Editor’s note: It’s never happened. The 49 points were the most Penn State has ever scored in a loss).

I am confident that coach James Franklin and his staff will successfully improve this area and also the offensive line.

And make no mistake about it: The future is bright for the Nittany Lions, and given all the challenges, this has been one incredible year — one for the ages.

Tim Muri

Naperville, Ill.

Coaches let the team down

There are a number of players and coaches along with biased officiating that helped this Penn State football team self-destruct in losing to USC 52-49.

Penn State can place much of the blame on coaches James Franklin, Brent Pry and Joe Moorhead.  Player-wise, the secondary and Trace McSorley’s performances were substandard.

The game started poorly on the kickoff to Penn State’s Miles Sanders followed by two interceptions on the next several series.

This was by far McSorley’s worst game following the nine straight wins. The freshman QB from USC outplayed McSorley with more accurate passing and pocket awareness.

Game management by Franklin also contributed to the loss. Up until now, Pry was outstanding in his playcalling, but against USC, he failed. His secondary was shredded like swiss cheese. As for Moorhead, his playcalling was good at times but also equally subpar.

The officials were from the ACC, and their officiating was somewhat biased against Penn State.  What’s new?

When one evaluates Penn State’s season of 11-3, it was not expected and one could wonder when the crack in the bell would appear to blemish this season.

It came in the way that Penn State went about losing this Rose Bowl game.

Simply, Penn State didn’t finish the game. When they went ahead and led by two touchdowns until the last few minutes of play, they lost their focus.

The season is now disappointing because the Nits lost to a lower-rank team. Remember, it is how the team finishes the season, including a bowl game.

The Rose Bowl is a jinx for Penn State, especially when the opposition is USC.

In finality, the Big Ten is not the best conference. That distinction belongs to the SEC followed by the ACC.

Les Hart

Duncansville

Defensive grade too harsh

Concerning Neil Rudel’s report card from the Rose Bowl, I’m not sure the defense deserves an F.

Give a little credit to USC, which did a good job at picking up the blitz, and their quarterback was able to get out of trouble.

I wonder how much difference it would have been had PSU not had two starters suspended for the game.

My overall reaction to the loss was a sense of pride for this team. I can only imagine what they will be able to accomplish if they can start a game in the same way they started the second half of not only this game but all the other games they were behind at the half.

I’m excited for next season. Too bad we have to wait until September.

Dave Shaffer

Harrisburg

Playcalling got too conservative

I appreciated Neil Rudel’s column about this being a great year for PSU.

We all felt that, but this loss was a killer.

I had a house full of people who felt we were resorting to the old days of sitting on a lead to win.

In the fourth quarter, they shut the offense down and cost the team the game. We would like to know who is responsible for such a decision.

You would never see Alabama doing that.

Larry Andrews

Jersey Shore

We should ‘treasure this season’

I don’t know if we can say that this team played harder than any PSU team in recent memory.

In my mind, no team played harder than the 2012 version. That’s what made that team so much fun to watch and that season so indelible.

But this team was very special.

These guys were ruthless on offense and aggressive on defense, and they never saw a deficit that even remotely scared them.

Let’s just treasure this season with the knowledge that there are probably even greater ones in store.

Rick Weber

Fort Myers, Fla.

Time-consuming strategy failed

The bloom is off the rose.

Our Penn State coaches such as James Franklin, Joe Moorhead and Brent Pry have done a marvelous job in advancing the Nittany Lion football program into the national spotlight.

However, the playcalling on the last two possessions was an example of “up the middle Joe,” which we know can lead to predictability and is a useless time-consuming ploy — especially when a first down would most likely have won the game.

How ironic that the strength of our offense became our demise. We have elevated our wonderful coaching to the point they could possibly walk on water, but when needed most, they sunk.

Dave Kule

Laporte

Lions were fun to watch

Maybe Penn State didn’t belong in the Final Four, but I’m guessing the Nittany Lions would have at least scored against Clemson.

That said, this year’s Lions were more than just entertaining. They were fun.

Bill Camberg

Altoona