Maybe I should be writing this week’s column for Purdue.
In a sanctioned-crippled division, Purdue was the popular pick for dark horse to play in Indianapolis. Danny Hope’s fourth year was supposed to be the beginning of the program’s renaissance; instead, it might be Hope’s last.
Penn State continued to dominate the lower half of the Big Ten conference last week, yet again pummeling an inferior foe on their own turf.
While some Penn State critics downplay what we’ve done this season due to the Big Ten’s awfulness. The plain truth of the matter is that Penn State is dominating inferior foes.
Foes who were supposed to be superior to Penn State this year. Foes that Penn State had played down to many times in the past. Foes with about 20 more players on their rosters and bowl possibilities to compete for.
Another fascinating aspect of Penn State’s progress this season is that new players keep emerging. During the dark years, we saw bright spots flicker and fade as the season wore on. This year, each week brings a new revelation.
On offense, Brandon Moseby-Felder emerged as a legitimate second threat for our wideout corps. His 6 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown mark another weapon for O’Brien to use on offense. Wide receivers coach Stan Hixon has to be commended for the way he’s developed a group of unknown and unheralded receivers.
On defense, our biggest question mark was the secondary, and yet—short of suspect play from Jacob Fagnano—the defensive backs have been solid in coverage and strong in tackling. The defense has done its job of keeping Penn State in every game this season.
I can’t recall a single national football reporter who thought Penn State would hit .500. Going 6-6 was a best-case scenario for Penn State post-sanctions.
Yet here we are at 6-3. Two winnable games and one cupcake remaining on our schedule.
And Penn State is firmly in the top half of the Big Ten, NCAA sanctions be hanged.
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