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Let me start by saying that I believe the Gophers can and will win this game. Why? If the Gophers can play this week (without the usual big game loss hangover that they seem to be plagued with) like they did against Michigan they will win.
Besides a fair performance by the Gophers I do not think that Penn State football is that good this year, at least not at this point in the season.
As a team they are not that big or athletic as in years past. Their QB seems a bit above average but nothing to get excited about. Their offensive line is thin in terms of available players and their secondary is not that good.
The Gophers should pass early to set up the run. Plain and simple. After all this is what we were promised at the beginning of the season.
Minnesota and Penn State play for the Governor’s Victory Bell, which started in 1993 when Penn State was admitted to the Big Ten. Minnesota is 4-5 against Penn State
Minnesota by 10.
Penn State Football Blogs:
Penn State, like Michigan, has no shortage in the number of bloggers supporting their university and college teams. Here are the ones I like the best:
Big Ten Predictions
A disclaimer, I am way more a fan than a Las Vegas odds maker and I do little if any research. This is what I think, nothing more and nothing less. Well, maybe some bias.
Minnesota over Penn State
Ohio State over Bowling Green
Wisconsin over Northwestern
Michigan over Michigan State
Indiana over Illinois
Iowa over Purdue
I am not sure how to express my frustration with this loss.
I am upset with the official for calling the pass interference call on Trumaine Banks. I wonder if the one who threw the flag has been one of the many that Coach Joe Paterno has chased down over the years. Remember, I have stated that I have a lot of respect for Jo Pa but this smells of payback for calls gone against them over the years. Two wrongs do not make a right.
There is no way you throw a flag from the backside. There is no way he had an angle on that play to make the call. And note that the official closest to the play did not flag the play.
Besides the pass interference call there are a few situations that stick out as major moments in this game and not one of them went our way. Yes, our players made some mistakes but our coaches contributed or to go so far as to say they helped create the situation.
The first is the Dominic Jones fumbled punt near the goal line. While I do not understand how something like that happens I never played football. I never had guys running down the field running as fast as they could wanting to take my head off as I was standing there all by myself waiting for the ball to come back to earth.
I do take issue with the coaches for putting him in that position to begin with. We had a 4th down and less than a yard around our own 45-yard line. The crowd was in the game. Momentum was up for grabs. And once again Coach Mason goes conservative. I am growing tired of his line that goes something like, “It’s more fun to coach and play to win than not to lose.”
Really? When was the last time we made an aggressive play to win decision?
So we punted, as did Penn State, which is how we got to the fumble.
How about the lame attempt at running out the clock at the end of the first half? Once again we go conservative. (I am still looking for the coaching to win attitude). Now I grant that Amir Pinnix running out of bounds and stopping the clock was a mistake but three running plays and the punt is not being aggressive.
While the three run plays were going on there were a few fans that started booing. After the punt a small chant started in the student section, “Fire Mason”. After the Penn State touchdown to make it Nittany Lions 14-7 and the end of the half the chant came back very loud accompanied by a chorus of boos.
In the second half Trumaine Banks was hurt and had to sit out a play. His replacement was a little used young guy. Now if there was ever a time to play that soft zone, it was then. Nope, we go man to man and gave up the big play.
Three coaching decisions made as much an impact as one blown call by the referee.
Then there was the missed extra point in OT by Jason Giannini. Speechless. I was then and I am now.
After all of that the game was in hand except for the call from one referee who was out of position.
How many more games will Gopher fans have to endure like this one?
-Matt Spaeth moves in front of Ben Utecht in all time tight end receptions and moves to 11th regardless of position.
-Amir Pinnix, 76 yards and 2 TD’s
-Matt Spaeth, 99 yards and 1 TD
-Logan Payne, 94 yards
-Eric Decker, 66 yards and 1 TD
-Bryan Cupito, 25-36 for 347 yards, 2 TD’s, sacked 3 times
-John Shevlin, 1 Interception
-Will VanDeSteeg, 1 Sack
I am a big fan of Joe Paterno:
And there goes The Bell: