I say "JoePa" you say "Terno-ver"
While it certainly can be said that turnovers have been the Penn State's achillies heel this season, we took a bigger blow this past weekend in our loss to Wisconsin, 16-3 with key injuries.

We lost both our starting quarterback, Zack Mills, and his backup and our best flanker, Michael Robinson, within the span of the 1st quarter. Although this left our offense impaired for the rest of the game, we still managed to stay close. Even closer if it wasn't for those pesky turnovers. Our defense plays tough, but it's clear that if we are going to win any more games this season, we're going to need these guys back. The status of our guys from Paterno's mouth:
    Michael Robinson…when you get knocked out they have to proceed you to where it is going to take at least a week or two. He will not play this week. I talked to Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli and he said it may be three or four weeks before he will be cleared. Zack Mills was out yesterday and we told him to take it easy, but he is optimistic that he might be able to go this week. It is not his throwing arm. It is the other arm. He had a partial separation. I think they think they can strap it up and the whole bit, but if there is any danger, we won’t use him. Our medical people as I think most of you know from past experiences, are very conservative and they are going to think about the kids’ future before we do anything foolish. There is a chance that Zack might be ready this week.
Not too promising, especially playing in Minnesota. Those of you who say the hit on Robinson may have thought it flagrant. When asked about it, Paterno gave his standard 'yes' answer:
    Don’t get me into that, OK? I think all of you saw the game on television and if not probably had a chance to look it over. I think you can make your own decision on that.
Probably the biggest question, or accusation I've heard over the last few weeks is about Paterno himself. Mostly random fans (although a few PSU fans have spoken about it) are focused on Joe's age and whether he is competent to coach anymore. Now, most of these people haven't watched all the games, so they are just reading the party line, but one must consider age as a factor. I haven't seen anything in the 3 games that lead me to believe Joe isn't as competent as he was 10 years ago, when we went undefeated (and should have won the national championship but it was given to Nebraska because Osborne was retiring). I happen to agree with Joe's assessment of where they are at:
    Too many things are happening to us. I really thought we were ready for both Boston College and Wisconsin. Boston College was up there and we were all fired up. This game we go up there and we get banged up people in the first quarter, which changed everything we were going to do offensively. You have to change it. You have to be careful. Sometimes things just don’t go your way. If you start changing just for the sake of changing, you end up going backwards. We just have to hang in there and get better. It is as simple as that.
Change for change's sake isn't the way to go. Our team is making mental mistakes, and getting some really bad breaks. I honestly felt our team played better in the loss than when we beat Central Florida two weeks ago. We're getting better slowly, but the breaks are killing us.

If you want to see some bad coaching, all you needed to do was watch the timeout management from the Monday Night Football game. Poor timeout management left the Redskins with none left when they desperately could have used one in the waning moments of the game (an extra timeout would have given them a shot at a game-tying 37-yard field goal). However, the game's most baffling call came with 12 seconds left at the half, on a Redskins 3rd-and-goal from the 1. By using their last timeout with so little time, Joe Gibbs virtually told Parcells (and everyone watching) that he was going to throw the ball on 3rd down. Sure enough, when Mark Brunell rolled out from the play-fake, he found himself staring at two charging Dallas linebackers and 5 defensive backs covering their two receivers. They read the play! Parcells is a genius!!

At the very least, I shouldn't be hearing any shit from Redskins fans about Paterno anymore.

No comments: