Penn State football isn’t perfect, and that’s OK - The Daily Collegian: Football

Welcome!
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Penn State football isn’t perfect, and that’s OK

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Steven Petrella

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:00 am, Tue Oct 8, 2013.

Yes, a Joe Paterno-coached team never lost to Indiana.

And no, Penn State didn’t play or coach its best Saturday in a loss to the Hoosiers.

But come on, Internet. Settle down.

Check message boards, Twitter and Penn State football’s official Facebook page, and there’s been a lot of talk about the “new normal” — that a 20-point loss at Indiana, the first in school history, is the present and future of this program.

Take this post on a Scout.com message board, for example.

“I think we may have been premature in anointing O’Brien as the savior of PSU football. I know the sanctions have taken their toll on depth, Hack and a lot of the skill guys and secondary players are young, but still this is an embarrassment. If nothing else, we wont have to worry about losing our head coach to the NFL anytime soon. Once we get full scholarships again, maybe our new AD can see what other HC options are out there.”

To some, the “new normal” is a high-flying aerial offense with zero emphasis on defense or the ground, and to them, O’Brien isn’t the right fit anymore.

The “new normal” is getting blown out by teams Penn State has historically dominated.

But really, the new normal is that the Penn State’s football team isn’t perfect. It’s young and inexperienced. Talented but raw.

Bill O’Brien and his players want to be perfect, and they hate losing. But with 61 scholarships, a second-year coach and a first-year defensive coordinator, not everything will go smoothly. There will be several more days like Saturday in the next few years, but there will be much, much better ones, as well.

And that’s OK. We should have high expectations for this team, but need to understand that perfection is simply unachievable right now.

Most of what has been said by fans since Saturday’s loss is a gross overreaction, because that’s what fans do. When O’Brien was relatively unknown and hired to lead a program surrounded by uncertainty, these same people melted down because they wanted a big name. When Penn State dropped its first two games in 2012, they said the same things they’re saying now — losing is the “new normal” for Penn State football.

Then everything changed when the Nittany Lions finished the year winning eight of 10. Penn State football was back.

Last year’s success definitely raised expectations. Because the team got better as the season went on, that success was supposed to carry over to 2013 with no speed bumps.

Now, it’s criticism, criticism and more criticism of O’Brien’s playcalling and defensive coordinator John Butler’s preparation.

I’m guessing most of these people have coached as many downs of football as I have, which is zero. That’s fewer than O’Brien. So don’t act like a coach, because while we’re doing our jobs, O’Brien is putting twice as much time into preparing for that week’s football game.

It’s not just limited to irrational fans, though. Fans are irrational all the time, not just right now, so it’s not fair to isolate this incident.

Several former players took to Twitter to criticize Penn State’s performance against Indiana.

Certainly in his right, Michael Robinson tweeted this after the game:

Wow times have changed! I can’t remember ever losing to U. of Indiana. PSU has played well in spots but lack that killer instinct.

Robinson was on a 2004 team that needed a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter to upend Indiana at Memorial Stadium.

Times haven’t changed. Penn State has talent and coaches to utilize it. Neither party executed what it had to on Saturday, and that will happen, because this team isn’t perfect.

That’s the new normal, and it’s not a problem. That’s just how it is right now.

More about

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Connect with us


Football Columns

My View: Title IX is a scapegoat for college football’s role in decline of NCAA men’s sports
Posted: March 05, 2014

In this article, I argue that Title IX is a scapegoat for the true culprit for the decline in men’s non-revenue sports: the exorbitant spending on football programs by schools which fruitlessly pursue a mirage of revenue.

Comments (0)
In the midst of uncertainty, Penn State needs stability — whether it's Bill O'Brien or his successor
Posted: December 31, 2013

If Penn State brass is out shopping for a new coach in the coming weeks (or days), its representatives need to identify who could also be using this job as a way to boost their personal brand.

Comments (7)
Penn State football: given ‘new normal’ in Happy Valley, 7-5 record even more impressive than 2012 results
Posted: December 02, 2013

There wasn’t a grand reveal to honor Penn State’s season on Senior Day, nor will there be a Maxwell Coach of the Year award waiting for coach Bill O’Brien come winter.

Comments (2)
Purdue coach Darrell Hazell unwise giving Penn State bulletin board material
Posted: November 18, 2013

Hazell thought earlier last week that Penn State’s running game wasn’t on par with Iowa and Wisconsin. Bill O’Brien proved otherwise.

Comments (0)
If Jameis Winston deserves the benefit of the doubt, so does the woman who said she was sexually assaulted
Posted: November 15, 2013

Media, fans and those pesky pundits are responding in a typical way — they’re perpetuating the idea that sexual assault can be the fault of the victim by blindly criticizing a typical 11-month investigation.

Comments (4)
In recruiting ratings, the analysts tab the five-stars, but lower than that? It’s shades of gray
Posted: November 14, 2013

Rating Division I football prospects is a serious business that garners a great deal of national attention. So we had to ask: are these ratings indicative of how a player will perform in college?

Comments (0)
Column: Penn State football once again shows down doesn’t always mean out
Posted: October 13, 2013

A Penn State win appeared hopeless at several points in Saturday’s game against Michigan. But resiliency once again led coach Bill O’Brien’s squad to victory.

Comments (0)
Lions face a gut check in Michigan
Posted: October 11, 2013

The second-year coach said this week it’d be crazy to think Saturday’s all-stadium White Out on ESPN at night is a normal contest.

Comments (0)
Penn State football isn’t perfect, and that’s OK
Updated: October 08, 2013 - 12:00 am

Yes, a Joe Paterno-coached team never lost to Indiana. And no, Penn State didn’t play or coach its best Saturday in a loss to the Hoosiers. But come on, Internet. Settle down.

Comments (0)
Penn State didn’t play horribly Saturday --- it just didn’t play complementary football in a loss to Indiana
Updated: October 08, 2013 - 2:17 pm

While football seems like a game distinctly separated into offense and defense, the two indirectly go hand-in-hand. The units aren’t on the field at the same time, but one affects the other in a major way.

Comments (0)