November 07, 2011
Posted by Joe Chuba
Nittany Lion play-by-play voice Steve Jones previews the Penn State matchup with Nebraska.
Everyone is aware of what has transpired at Penn State over the last few days. Many are expressing their opinions which are absolutely understandable. This is a matter that must now be taken care of by authorities and the legal system. There is nothing I can add. At the same time I do have a couple of jobs to take care of this weekend announcing football and basketball. While authorities and those in the legal system do their job and push forward, I am obligated to do mine. Thus this column will be about the game Saturday as it is every week.
Penn State went through the off week with three practices Wednesday, Thursday, and very early Friday morning. Thursday was by far the most physical practice of the week. When it was over Joe put the team through conditioning drills. Friday morning at 6:30 Joe put them through a one hour practice that way the players were completely free after classes to take the weekend off.
On the injury front, Derek Moye did sprints and shuttles last week. He was in a red cross, and did not run a single pass pattern last week, but that was planned. They wanted to give him that additional week to let everything heal so he is ready for the stretch run. I expect he will be full go this week every day in practice. No one else made the injury list.
Nebraska was stunned by Northwestern Saturday 28-25 in Lincoln. The stunning part was not that Northwestern moved the ball. Northwestern moves the ball on everyone. The stunning part was that Northwestern’s mediocre run defense put the clamps on Nebraska’s outstanding running game, and made them one dimensional in the second half.
Rex Burkhead is the definition of a downhill runner. He gets into gear and he finishes runs. He has 951 yards this season.
Taylor Martinez is an outstanding running quarterback and very effective on the option. The key is to make him one dimensional as Northwestern did. To his credit Martinez responded with 289 yards passing, and worked hard in the passing game to bring his team back. He does spread the ball around to Kenny Bell, Brandon Kinnie, and Jamal Turner. Burkhead is also very effective out of the backfield.
Lavonte David is an outstanding linebacker with 88 tackles, seven for losses, and a pair of interceptions. Cameron Meredith is strong off the edge with four sacks, and Austin Cassidy has a pair of interceptions including one in the end zone that killed a Northwestern drive.
Brett Maher is to Nebraska what Anthony Fera is to Penn State. He is 15-18 in field goals including a 50 yarder. He is averaging better than 45 yards per punt, while 29% of his kickoffs are touchbacks. Ameer Abdullah has been very good on returns including a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Lost in all of the shocking news is that this is senior day at Penn State. It will be the final time these seniors will run through the tunnel at Beaver Stadium and play. So far they have been a part of 46 wins, two bowl victories, a Big Ten Championship, and are currently in first place in the leaders division of the Big Ten. These seniors have nothing to do with the shocking news around here and they deserve support for what they have accomplished so far.
Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV
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