MSU: The High Five

It was a game of a lot of early lows and some late highs; get a review of them here as Penn State falls 28-22 to the Spartans.

Give that the team started out with a series of lows, we'll recap them first.


Low Noon: It's amazing what a difference a few mere hors can make, but for Penn State they're a world of difference because once again the Lions came out flat, getting into the red-zone only once and grabbing only three points in the first half. It's baffling as to why this team can't seem to get up for noon kickoffs.

Throw Pillows: Whereas the defense managed to contain Edwin Baker for much of the game, the Penn State secondary continued to play soft, allowing Kirk Cousins chances to pick up first downs and get out of some rough situations. There were lots of missed opportunities in this aspect of the game.

Loose Wrapping: PSU's trend of poor tackling continued in this game. Michigan State was rarely stopped by first engagement, and managed to regularly bust through tacklers to extend their yardage pickups. Tom Bradley and company will have to go back to the drawing board on how to get the defense up-and-at-em when it comes to tackling.

Tire Check: He may have Ferrari-like speed, but someone needs to get Devon Smith a new set of tires. Smith could be an amazing weapon in this offense, and there's no doubt Smith is downright fast, but that advantage is regularly neutralized by his inability to stay on his feet consistently, typically with not a defender within five yards of him.

Sloppy State: For being one of the least penalized team in the country, the Lions had a bad day when it came to penalties, several of which were drive killers. The offensive line in particular hurt the offense with false starts and holds. On the day the squad ended up with eight penalties for 67 yards.


Weak Whistles: You can't blame the officials on the outcome, but boy they didn't help to boost up the reputation of Big Ten officiating. Not only were they flag happy, but seemingly inconsistent when it came to holding calls and they seemed to blow it on the late Derek Moye touchdown.


Moxie Man: Sure he had some lackluster moments, and he tends to like to take risks tossing into tight windows, but Matt McGloin ended the day going 23 for 43 for 312 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, that was taken right back. He had a slow start, but had an impressive second half.

Dig Deep: It's hard to deny Penn State dug deep and fought back after falling down 21-3. The Lions scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. If they had the energy, urgency and emotion even a half a quarter earlier it may have been a different outcome. But it was a positive that they refused to quit even as the lead seemed insurmountable.

Line It Up: The PSU offensive line had a solid day, not only blocking for 312 passing yards, but also opening up lanes for Evan Royster to get 6.1 yards per carry with a total 85 yards. Penn State went away from the run game late, but they had consistent success through the early goings.

Moye Bien: Derek Moye was relatively quiet early on, but changed the game almost single-handedly late in the fourth. After making some impressive grabs, he was stripped of a circus-like touchdown catch. He then stripped the ball on a key MSU interception and stormed back with a touchdown grab.

Brown Delivers: Justin Brown had a solid showing after a good week of practice. On the day he pulled in six passes for 106 yards, including a 45-yard pickup.

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