Penn State vs. Michigan: Blue-White Roundtable

Our good friend Adam Collyer over at Black Shoe Diaries was able to regain control of the roundtable this week, and pick up the pieces after the tough Indiana loss.  Make sure you check in on JoePa’s Doghouse, The 50 Yard Lion, and Nittany Lions Den as well for all of this week’s responses. My responses, as well as Eric’s are below.

Lets get this out of the way. The Internet exploded after Saturday’s loss to Indiana. Were you as surprised as most seemed to be?  What was the biggest problem?

Matt: I don’t know how you couldn’t be surprised at the way the game played out.  The Hoosiers had one of the worst statistical defenses in the country, but PSU, despite the 410 yards of offense, never really felt like they got much going, especially on the ground.  Much like (angry) OB, I’ve moved on though, and am ready for Michigan.  If nothing else, a 20 point loss in Bloomington should have woken this squad up.

Eric: I wasn’t surprised that Indiana was able to score that much. I just thought that the Penn State defense would get a few more stops than they did and look at least a little better than they looked. I was surprised that Indiana was able to run on Penn State so easily and I thought Penn State was better conditioned for that offensive tempo (they looked gassed). They were coming off a bye and knew exactly how fast Indiana likes to go on offense. In my opinion, the defense as a whole and the inconsistency on offense were the biggest problems.

We’ve had our share of heartbreakers and memories against Michigan. What’s the most memorable win?  What’s the most brutal loss?

Matt: 2005 is the easy answer for most brutal loss.  I was there, about 30 rows up in the end zone where Henne hit Manningham for the win.  2002 has a special place in my heart as well, being there with the Blue Band.  If only I could find that picture of the divot about a yard in bounds where Tony Johnson was rule out.  2008 sticks out as the best win for a few reasons.  One, breaking the streak, but also how they did it.  32 unanswered points in the 2nd half to blow the game open was mighty enjoyable, especially on a homecoming Saturday night.

Eric: I’m not a lifetime Penn State fan like a lot of the students and alumni I know. I started to get into them early in my high school career. But the win during my freshman year (2010) was memorable because it was the first whiteout I ever experienced, it was a night game and it was Matt McGloin’s first start (and he played quite well). 2008 was also great because Penn State absolutely obliterated Michigan after that slow start. Most brutal loss is obviously 2005. Nothing more needs to be said about that.

It’s Homecoming Weekend in State College. What’s your favorite homecoming story?  Feel free to tell a non-PG version…

Matt: My group of friends and I got cut off.  At the Skeller. At 2:30 in the afternoon the Friday before the infamous ’04 Iowa homecoming game.  I didn’t know that was possible.

Eric: I wish I had a good Homecoming story. Maybe I will once I’m an alumnus after this school year.

Score predictions?

Matt: PSU will come out and play a much more sound game than they did Saturday in Bloomington.  However, the lack of depth on the line and at linebacker will wear down in the 2nd half against a powerful Michigan rushing attack, and Michigan gets a 27-23 win.  The PSU internet bursts into flames that will never be put out.

Eric: Michigan (unfortunately) wins, 31-17.

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