In anticipation of Penn State playing against USC in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, I’ve decided to use the twelve days leading up to the gridiron clash to review the incredible season the Nittany Lions have had. One game per day, with analysis you won’t find anywhere else.
GAME 2: Penn State Nittany Lions versus The Oregon State Beavers
September 6th, 2008
The Game Scenario
‘The Game Scenario’ is my best attempt at re-creating the ambiance of the game from the fan’s point of view. Keeping in mind that this section is likely to be subjective from my point of view, I will include a game preview or relevant article that was published before the game.
Fresh off a dominating performance against Coastal Carolina, a new-look Nittany Lions team appeared to be unmatched until a night game against Illinois in Week 5. However, Head Coach Joe Paterno warned of the possible trap game against the only Pac-10 team that the Lions had not faced in team history. Though the Oregon State Beavers had lost their opener to Stanford, the team (who eventually went on to upset USC) was known for its talented personnel, including highly recruited Texas running back Jacquizz Rodgers.
In what would be the “official” debut of the Spread HD offense, Penn State began mounting a buzz that Coach Joe Paterno, in vain, tried to suppress. The Nittany Nation knew they had something special on their hands.
Anecdotal Quote of The Game
I’ve chosen to add the most memorable quote from the game, along with a short explanation, to add a little character to this series. Keep in mind that these occurred during a football game, in the notoriously rowdy (and often inebriated) student section. These are far from being nuggets of wisdom.
“Isn’t there, like, some kind of mercy rule?” – My brother’s girlfriend, Julie, who saw the OSU bout as her first game at Beaver Stadium
The game against Oregon State did have the angle that the two teams had never played against each other in their long histories, but many declared the game a yawner after it was clear the Beavers weren’t in Penn State’s league. And between the first two games of the season, I heard a lot of whining about how the games were pointless, or how an intersquad scrimmage would have been more beneficial to the team. But as the Collegian’s Andrew Wible goes on to point out, Penn State shouldn’t take wins for granted. I can understand being agitated by unnecessary measures that prolong the game for a clearly losing/winning team, or hatred for the TV timeout guy (I have a number of quotes regarding him, but most are to vulgar for me to post), but what’s wrong with enjoying a good old-fashioned beat down? I’ll watch 10 games against Oregon State instead of ripping my hair out while watching a painful loss. Of course, the ultimate is a close game with an opponent worthy of Penn State (as I expect in the Rose Bowl), but complete and utter domination is nice every once and a while.
Stat of The Game
While I could do a thorough recounting of the game, the reality is that game summaries are available all over the internet. Instead, I’ll use one of these existing sources for one stat that really speaks for itself. Sadly, I won’t let it speak it for itself, and offer a short explanation as well.
Penn State Plays of 20+ Yards – 8
This huge number of big plays is doubly important, becuase it was the second time the Lions had 8 plays of more than 20 yards in two games. This was a refreshing change of pace from the Big Ten’s customary 3 yards and a cloud of dust, and indicated that last game’s offensive explosion against Coastal Carolina wasn’t a fluke.
LOLPSU of The Game
If you have spent enough time on the Internet, it’s likely you’ve become familiar with LOLCats. LOLPSU is no different – with the exception of Penn Staters replacing the cats. Not as a adorable, but more relevant for our purposes.
Credit for the idea of combining sports with the internet meme is due to Grimey of LOLJocks.
Three Obscure Facts
‘Three Obscure Facts’ is your chance to pick up information to lord over people that watch the Rose Bowl with you. It’s you’re secret to making it seem like you’re a better fan than them!
1. The game was far from being close, but when one examines OSU’s game stats, Jacquizz Rodgers stands out. Despite the rest of the offense barely having any production against the Lions, the freshman tailback had 99 yards and 2 touchdowns.
2. Evan Royster wears the same jersey number (22) as Penn State’s only Heisman winner – John Cappelletti. The Collegian drew comparisons between the two backs in their game recap.
3. Though he didn’t show up for the game (wuss), Oregon State’s mascot is Benny Beaver. The first documented appearance of Benny was in a 1942 OSU Yearbook, but others have claimed that he has been mascot as early as 1910.
Penn State 45, Oregon State 14
With Oregon State down 35-7 at the half, the game was all but over. Evan Royster ran for a career-high 141 yards while the Nittany Lions totaled 454 offensive yards as a team. Penn State had hammered the only Pac-10 team it hadn’t faced in seasons past.