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Kirk Herbstreit ‘Still Confused’ Over Game-Ending Call In Penn State’s Season Opener

It’s a well-known fact that Kirk Herbstreit loves Penn State football, and he was extremely disappointed with the team’s season opening loss to Indiana last weekend.

Thanks to an ugly game that included three turnovers from the Nittany Lions, James Franklin’s squad found itself in overtime against the Hoosiers. Penn State got the ball first and scored, but Indiana quickly responded with a touchdown and a controversial two-point conversion that sealed a victory.

Herbstreit was just as confused as everyone else when the referees ruled that Hoosier quarterback Michael Penix Jr. scored.

“I just feel for any fans, and especially players and coaches, when the game ends with a call like that,” Herbstreit said during a press conference Friday. “When I was watching it and looking at it… I kept seeing the ball hit the ground and then hit the pylon and I’m like ‘there’s no way, as far as I understand the rule, that’ll be good.

“I was more perplexed cause I thought I knew the rule, and I thought you could clearly see the ball hit the ground. So I’m still kinda confused about the whole thing,” Herbstreit added.

The college football analyst explained that he was in the booth just minutes away from kickoff in Minnesota for the Golden Gophers’ contest against Michigan. As that broadcast started, the official review was just about to finish up.

Like many Penn State players and coaches, however, Herbstreit added that the Nittany Lions shouldn’t have even put themselves in that position. Three first-half turnovers, 10 total penalties, and several other uncharacteristic mistakes were the story of the day for Penn State.

Herbstreit still understands that doesn’t change any of the frustration surrounding the end of the game.

“As a fan I’d be throwing something at my TV,” Herbstreit said. “Like anybody else I’d be upset and frustrated.”

Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Nittany Lions now have a chance to get back on track with a win over No. 3 Ohio State this weekend. While it’s a tall task for Penn State, Herbstreit is ready to see how the group responds against the Buckeyes.

“They moved the ball [against Indiana], it was just the miscues,” Herbstreit said. “Let’s see how Penn State does in this game against a very athletic defense. Let’s see how the run-pass option is blended in with what Penn State has normally done so well over the last few years with different offensive coordinators. But I personally am gonna reserve judgement on their identity and where they are until we see them play a little bit more.”

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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