The High Five
By the Book: The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit after more than a few Nittany Nation fans voiced concern and criticism of their expected approach in Madison. The Lions came out swinging on both sides of the ball, despite the slow start (see below). In fact, the defense opened with a three and out and the opening offensive play was a 20-yard pass over the middle to Brett Brackett. From there the Lions never looked back.
Power Lines: Penn State controlled the trenches on both sides of the ball. The defensive front four collapsed the pocket and clogged the lanes, giving up only 148 yards to Wisconsin's heralded running game and only seven points overall. The offensive line helped roll up 377 total yards and 48 points. A special tip of the hat to defensive Aaron Maybin, who appeared to have wings in this game. Oh, and nice job with the turnovers guys — Mark Rubin, you were robbed on that INT.
Leader of the Pack: Daryll Clark showed tremendous poise and comfort in this game. Despite the slow start and 50 passing yards in the first half, Clark ended up with a stellar 244 yards through the air. On the day he had one passing touchdown and two on the ground.
Special Indeed: Penn State's special team play was the complete package in this one — great coverage, impressive kicking (Kvin Kelly went 2/2 on FGs and 6/6 on XPs, Jeremy Boone had some big punts) and once again, the spark the team needed with Derrick Williams' 63-yard touchdown return.
Spreading the Wealth: Penn State had a stellar eight receivers who pulled in passes. Once again the Lions had a wealth of players step up when needed and made a statement to the conference ... and the country.
The Low Five
Ease Into It: Once again PSU illustrated it is not a first-quarter team, scoring only three points despite a variety of opportunities. However, once the second quarter started, the Lions woke up and put another 21 points on the board before the half.
Football 101: The 100-plus FOS members in our in-game chat got a kick out of the talking head's football lesson: "If the the ball hits the ground on an incomplete pass it's a dead play." Wow, what's next? "When a player on offense crosses the goal line with the ball it is called a touchdown and worth six points." This football inside tip brought to you by Football for Dummies, available at fine book stores everywhere.
Hold, Please: Boy, there was more holding in this one than in a customer service call center. I am not sure what the Big Ten constitutes as holding, but I am pretty sure pulling Maybin to the ground or water-skiing off of Jared Odrick's jersey might validate the flag being thrown here and there.
Quiet Camp: Kudos to the Badger fans showing up en force for this prime-time clash. But boy, for all the hype Camp Randall gets for it's hostile atmosphere, it seemed closer to a morgue. Maybe ESPN forgot its crowd mics this week, but this is the second prime-time game in as many weeks where the stadium failed to live up to its legend, at least out in TV Land.
Grounded: It's amazing Wisconsin ended up with 165 passing yards, because it appeared to abandon the passing game from the get-go. It had a few big plays which accounted for the bulk of the yards, but the Wisconsin offense sure seemed to have shades of PSU from the earlier part of this decade. Painful.
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