Saturday, January 02, 2010

PSU's last-minute field goal thwarts LSU rally in Capital One Bowl

From the AP via ESPN:

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dampened by rain, slowed by mud and trailing late in the fourth quarter, Daryll Clark was determined to get Penn State some points.

The Nittany Lions (No. 13 BCS, No. 11 AP) and their star quarterback emerged from the muck for a thrilling 19-17 win over LSU (No. 12 BCS, No. 13 AP) in the Capital One Bowl.


And LSU had one final chance after Wagner's game-winner. The junior kicker said it was the first time he had ever hit four field goals in a game.

The Tigers got to midfield but right guard Lyle Hitt was whistled for a disputed personal foul penalty that pushed them back to their own 40. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson hit Rueben Randle for a 25-yard gain on the game's last play to the Penn State 35 but Randle fumbled as time expired.

LSU was still fuming after the game.

here for the rest.

If anybody still cares, the "Capital One Bowl" is what was once called the "Citrus Bowl" back in the days before corporate sponsorship took over everything--in the future, my name will no longer be "Ron;" instead, it will be "Depends Undergarments."

Anyway, despite LSU's loss, this was a fun one to watch, especially because the crappy field conditions, retro-looking uniforms for both teams, and hardcore defensive struggle made it all look like a 1960s NFL game. I mean, don't get me wrong, I would have greatly preferred an LSU win, but I wasn't expecting one, which made the Tigers' late game comeback all the more pleasing, and the loss less painful.

On the whole I saw more things that I liked with LSU than things I disliked. The Tigers' running game was virtually non-existent, which was probably the main factor in their loss, but because I haven't been paying much attention this year, I didn't realize that LSU was playing with their third string tail back. Really, the fact that they were able to get the passing game going in the second half is pretty remarkable given that Penn State didn't really have to worry about stopping the rush. And all those great Tiger wide receivers looked good, really good. I also liked that much of the sloppiness I've been railing on this season had seemingly disappeared--I mean, you know, except for all the muddy wet slipping and sliding and whatnot, but that was more about the shitty field than anything else.

On the other hand, I hated the clock management during the last minute or so. Okay, the personal foul was a pretty bad call - PSU players were purposely lingering, which is an infraction in itself, while the Tigers were trying to reset, which made an LSU lineman pull on a few Nittnany Lion limbs - but the Tigers were taking forever to reset, anyway, which is inexcusable. The blame for that, because this kind of crap has been happening chronically throughout the season, rests squarely on the shoulders of Les Miles.

You can't win big games against great teams if you're sloppy, no matter how much talent you have. I'm willing to see how Miles does next year, but if this shit continues, we're really going to need to get June Jones or something. That is, if I see stupid mistakes and bad game management next season, I'll join the growing chorus of calls for "The Mad Hatter's" head.

Evan Royster of Penn State runs the ball during the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on

Friday. Penn State won 19-17 over Louisiana State. The field conditions were a mess
after rain. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel / January 1, 2010)