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It was not the 'speed of the SEC' or their supposed better athletes that did in Penn State in the Outback Bowl. It was the 5 INT's and blocked punt for a touchdown which allowed the Florida Gators to beat Penn State in the 2011 Outback Bowl.
What do you take from this game? Let us try and start off with the positives. The defense should be very good next year and played pretty well today. They played with an aggressive attitude, were fast to the ball and only had a few season typical mis-tackles.
For next year, we only lose Ollie Ogbu at DT, Colasanti at MLB and Gbadyu at OLB. And we have good depth at both of those positions. And I got very excited by the way Devon Still played a DT and Lynn played at DB today.
The offense on the other hand was very discouraging. The one thing I took away from this game is the starting QB for 2011 at Penn State is WIDE OPEN. McGloin did have some great moments during 2010 (Northwestern game comes to mind), but in our big games (Ohio State, Michigan State and Outback Bowl) he played well at times, but made huge mistakes which cost the team the game.
In those three games, especially the Ohio State and Outback Bowl, we had a very good chances to win both, but he played down right awful for long periods of time. He had 8 INT's in those three games, 3 of which were returned for touchdowns. Simply said he is Jekyll and Hide, he has great moments, brings a lot of needed emotion to the team, but he makes very bad decisions.
On offense, we are going to lose Klopaz at Center, Wisnieswski at LG, Royster at RB and Bracket at WR/TE. Now, everyone is excited for Silas Redd to take over the RB job (sorry, but Stephon Green has no chance at starting). But Bracket is very replaceable.
Of course the biggest concern going into 2011, other than our QB situation, will be can we establish a strong Offensive Line. That concern is like a broken record, we have that same concern every single year, which is so frustrating (why don't teams like Iowa, Ohio State or Wisconsin have a good to dominant o-line every single year)?
Now, on the special teams side of the ball, I guess it is pointless to ask for a full-time special teams coach. Joe Pa has never had a special teams coach, he is not going to start in his 46th year as a head coach. We do need to replace our place kicker, Colin Wagner. He has been solid, and our back-ups have zero experience.
Overall, the biggest disappointment today was McGloin's play. I guess I just hoped the second half of the Ohio State game (where he three 2 INT's for TD's) was an aberration. But now I remember his play in the 2010 Blue/White game he showed a knack for throwing to the other team (I think he had at least 2 INT's in the Blue/White game).
It will be very interesting to see how the starting job at QB plays out in 2011. We have McGloin, Bolden and don't forget about Paul Jones all coming back (you have to assume that Newsome will transfer). Paul Jones red-shirted this year, but showed nice potential in the 2010 Blue/White game.
Overall, 7-6 is a disappointing year for the Nittany Lions. We had no realistic hope to go undefeated, but everyone thought we would finish in the Top 25 and probably finished with 8-10 wins. Let's just hope we have a strong foundation for 2011.
We are Penn State
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