Pass rush + Stable QB + Redd's rushing = Another Paterno record
|The Northwestern defense had a hard time|
getting its hands on Silas Redd Saturday.
(Associated Press photo)
+In a game where Penn State might have finally settled on a starting quarterback, it was the legs of Silas Redd and the Nittany Lions' relentless pass rush that allowed the team to finally wear out Northwestern's scrappy offense. The win tied Joe Paterno with Eddie Robinson for the all-time Division I wins lead.
It was over when:
+...Penn State took control with a little over 8:00 left and leaned on Stephfon Green to grind out three first downs and take the clock under 3:00 before punting. That, combined with the late injury suffered by Dan Persa, left the Wildcats without hope.
Play of the game:
+ Northwestern took the second half kickoff and was well on its way to a go-ahead touchdown when a Dan Persa pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and linebacker Gerald Hodges grabbed it and rambled 50+ yards before running out of gas at the Wildcat 19. When Silas Redd took it in on the next play, the Lions suddenly had a 10-point lead.
Player of the game:
+ Hodges was omnipresent with 13 tackles and two sacks to go with his huge INT.
+If you were looking to put an end to PSU's rotating quarterback silliness, you couldn't ask for more than you got Saturday from Matt McGloin, who got the ball down the field early in a shootout and then made smart throws late to protect a lead. Now, the big question: Is Joe Paterno looking to put an end to PSU's rotating quarterback silliness?
+ Wow, what a critical mistake by Pat Fitzgerald calling timeout before a third-down play in the red zone with 0:56 left in the second quarter! If they let the clock go and run the play and make a first down, there's still at least 0:36 remaining, enough time for five plays. If they fail on third down, Penn State is left with 30 seconds instead of 50. There was absolutely no need to call a timeout there
In the booth:
+ OK, here's the rule: If you're going to do an intro about Joe Paterno's impact on college football, you have to have at least ONE new piece of information or anecdote or statistic. If you do not have ANYTHING NEW, which was the case with the Big Ten Network open Saturday, then it's no go.
+ Lisa Byington did a serviceable job playing straight man in a sideline interview with funnyman and NU alum Seth Meyers. That's a tough gig for someone who's used to asking pointed questions. Meyers, btw, is a huge Steelers fan, as well.
+ Tom Hart again proved he's just not cut out for play by play. He's got a great voice and a smooth delivery, but he's just not aware of what's happening on the field. This week, Hart did not see the flag on Stephfon Green's nullified TD until almost a full 15 seconds after the play ended. All the viewers knew it was there, the players knew it was there. The play-by-play guy? No clue.
+ We cannot understand why the replay official would not stop the game and take a another look at the Curtis Drake near-reception in the end zone just before halftime. There's nothing to lose in doing it, you just make sure you get the play right. In not stopping the clock, you risk a botched call. Get. It. Right.
And now, a word from our sponsors...
+ Nice to see Ndamukong Suh getting some endorsement dollars from a company that makes sense for him: Omaha Steaks. (Unlike John Lynch and those freakin' avocadoes.)
+ @NeilRudel: Who said take the under? (Blogger's note: Not us!)
+ @RobMichel: Silas Redd is the best thing to come out of Connecticut since..... Actually, he's the best thing ever to come out of Connecticut.
+ @15MinutesBlog: Daniel Sepulveda punting tonight for Northwestern. #Touchback. #Touchback. #Touchback.
+ @RickeyB3: I like what Rob Bolden did tonight.
We were right:
+We told you that Penn State's defense could play reasonably well and still see Northwestern's dangerous offense put a lot of points on the board.
We were wrong:
+ We thought the Lions two red zone field goals instead of touchdowns in the first half might cost them in the long run, but the defense made sure that wasn't the case with an inspired second half.
+ Penn State returns home to face Illinois, whose stock has dropped considerably after losing its last two to Ohio State and Purdue. The game was projected as a "pick em" earlier this week but we'd bet the Nits will be 4-point favorites now.