Iowa Pre-Game

pennstate92
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:33 am

Iowa Pre-Game

Postby pennstate92 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:36 pm

ABC, Kinnick, 730pm (I think).

Good first real test of the year (I think Pitt showed they are truly second division this year). Iowa's first and second string RB's both banged up. One thing I'll guarantee about Iowa, though, is that their line knows how to block, and that their tight ends will have about 12 catches and a couple of TD's in this game.

We're gonna have to figure out how to open holes for Barkley in this game - his ability to run the game will be one of the keys.
If at first you don't succeed, give up. There is no hope for you.

ShoreLion
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:44 pm

Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby ShoreLion » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:21 pm

I still don't have confidence in this team that when absolutely necessary the offensive line can get enough push to ensure the needed yard or two is gained. On the defensive side I don't know how to explain that even though this team is near the top of TFLs in the whole country it just seems to me that they don't get the QB pressure when it's really needed. Even worse to me is that this team is not a smothering run defense at all. That could be trouble against Iowa. This team also has a problem with a mobile QB so while that shouldn't be a big problem this week it's something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. All that said, I don't think Iowa is that great a team. They're solid and typically don't make mistakes so a big part of it is to not beat yourself when playing them. They can definitely be scored on so take care of the ball and things should be ok.

msteinruck
Site Admin
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Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby msteinruck » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:36 pm

I've felt many of the same things as ShoreLion.I'm curious to see if my suspicion that they've played down to their weaker opponents, and allowed the Pitt rivalry to affect their play, is true. It's far too easy to look at the 3-week cupcake schedule and play soft. The Iowa game will help start to answer some questions for the season, and I suspect much like last year they'll start clamping down on the details as they get into the heaviest part of the schedule.

Shane
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Location: Curwensville, Pa

Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby Shane » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:51 am

It's hard to complain when you've only given up one TD in three games, but I don't know if our defense is any good yet or not. The LB's seem lost at times and the defensive line goes from getting good penetration to giving up chunks of yards of rushing. This game scares me to death, though Iowa won't be their best OL and may be down to their 3rd string running back already.

Blue&White
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby Blue&White » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:56 am

It's hard to complain when you've only given up one TD in three games

Disagree. Complaining is the easiest thing to do in any situation.

As for some of the comments, I have some of the same concerns. We are struggling to run between the tackles and our front 7 is not getting sufficient penetration. We've played 2 really bad teams and one just regular bad team. I think we beat Iowa without too much stress but I also think this game can expose some flaws.

I hope it does. There is plenty of time, and talent, to fix our issues.

Shore Lion
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:31 pm

Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby Shore Lion » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:14 am

One of the things about the OL is that they still haven't played together that much. Mahon was out Saturday which meant some other people moving so at least half the line was not in the position they started the season. I know Trace helps out a lot but you have to give at least some credit to the line for only giving up 2 sacks in 3 games. They do have talent so I'm optimistic run blocking will get better as the season progresses.

I will guaranteed that Iowa's plan will be to hold the ball and milk the clock as long as possible, probably starting in the first quarter. They don't want to get into a shootout so if they can have a few long scoring drives and keep the ball away from PSU they can hang around til the end and see what happens. PSU has had plenty of 3 and outs this season. Trading time of possession 2 for 1 against Iowa probably isn't a great idea. Not saying that will happen but if PSU punts after a 2 minute possession and then Iowa takes 6 or 7 off the clock, even if they don't score will be a win for them in their strategy. Of course, PSU could go bombs away again and take them right out of their game plan. Iowa is definitely not built for coming back from several scores down.

sameoldlama
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Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby sameoldlama » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:02 am

This isn't a PSU team of old - by design. It's not a take your time, methodical, conservative, bludgeon an opponent into submission over the course of four quarters approach. This is the Top Gun, rockets blazing, scorched earth, 5 energy drinks team that vaporizes opponents. It's a different philosophy.

The RPO offense is designed as a "take what the defense gives you" and looks to maximize explosive (20+ yard) plays, not minimize the 3 yard losses or optimize for 3rd and 2. If you are enjoying all the 30+ yard TDs live with the 3 yard losses. There is concern over Barkley's touches and yards between the tackles - the guy has about 600 yards total offense in 3 games - does it matter if he gets 148 yards on 14 carries or gets it on 4 pass plays? I don't care - he's getting in the end zone every week. Teams are picking the poison of "stop Barkley from running" because they know they can't take an neutral approach and just take one on one match ups everywhere - PSU owns too many match ups. The only hope against this offense is to sell out to stop the run and hope McSorely is off throwing or in course of run blitzing you can disrupt the pass. With the speed and talent on this offense you have to sell out on a play and hope you guess right - if you sit back and play match up football you'll be staring at a 40 on the scoreboard by the 4th QT.

Other than Davis missing 2 FGs this is the best ST play we've had in years. KOs almost always touchbacks. Great punter and punt coverage and getting yardage out punt returns.

The emphasis on D was to increase TOs and in each game the team has created TOs that put offense in position for instant points or took points off the board for an opponent. They have given up some yardage but they are not giving up explosive plays. They are turning other teams into the bad PSU teams that needed 15 play drives to kick a FG. Make teams need a lot of plays to score and most will derail the drive with a TO, penalty or dropped pass.

I realize the OOC was soft but 3-0, 141 - 14 and no major injuries - enjoy the prosperity. This team has talent and speed everywhere. This is a complete team in all phases. This is a coaching staff coming into their own. This is something to get excited about. This is the new PSU.

Blue&White
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Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby Blue&White » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:59 am

It is definitely a different philosophy. And, I do agree on Barkley and the almost 200 all purpose yards on Saturday were nice. I'm not bothered if he gets more reception yards than running yards, but I do think at some point we're going to need to master the art of the short yardage gain and run between the tackles. That is going to be a necessary skill come the meat of the Big 10 season.

What makes me a little nervous about this offense is how fast it moves. Our D is spending a lot of time on the field. Remember in 94 when Kerry and company would spend like 25 minutes of the game on the field? Our defense on that team was underrated because they spent so much time on the field. They did a great job in a nail biting win vs. Michigan that year, but, overall, it was a lot on them. This reminds me a bit of a Chip Kelly type of team, and that's fine if your offense can routinely put points on the board. But, if we struggle at some point, it could be an issue.

You know what, though: these are all high class problems. This is the best PSU team to take the field in years and I've not been this excited about a team since 2005. A whole lot has happened since that team and that season. And, after a lot of down years, and a lot of ugliness, it's nice to be able to worry about things like if Barkley is getting enough of his 150 yards/game from running the ball. It's been a long, long time since those are the kind of things we focused on when it came to Penn State football. It's nice. I could get used to this again.

Crowbar
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Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby Crowbar » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:20 am

Blue&White wrote:
You know what, though: these are all high class problems. This is the best PSU team to take the field in years and I've not been this excited about a team since 2005. A whole lot has happened since that team and that season. And, after a lot of down years, and a lot of ugliness, it's nice to be able to worry about things like if Barkley is getting enough of his 150 yards/game from running the ball. It's been a long, long time since those are the kind of things we focused on when it came to Penn State football. It's nice. I could get used to this again.


Yup. I 100% agree with everything you said here.

As for the game, PSU is a 12 point favorite or so. Seems a bit high for a road game. This has the makings of a tight game until the Nits score a late TD to ice it.

Penn State 31, Iowa 21.

Shore Lion
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Re: Iowa Pre-Game

Postby Shore Lion » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:54 am

Despite my earlier concerns I still think PSU wins by at least two touchdowns.