October 10, 2011
Posted by Joe Chuba
Nittany Lion play-by-play voice Steve Jones analyses Penn State’s 13-3 victory over Iowa and previews a homecoming matchup with Purdue.
It was a good, solid performance by Penn State Saturday in every phase. In the building process of the season this game showed progress.
The offense kicked the running game into gear. Silas Redd had a career high 142 yards, and Curtis Dukes had a career high 60 yards. That happened because of their efforts carrying the ball in conjunction with the offensive line finding its groove. They pounded Iowa up front, and wore them down. You could see that in the fourth quarter. The fullbacks, Joe Suhey and Michael Zordich, were outstanding leading plays.
The red zone is still an issue, but the coaching staff resurrected a play they worked on in the pre-season by using the second tight end in the passing game near the goal line. Also the fake field goal with Even Lewis was another wrinkle to show.
Anthony Fera has stabilized the kicking operation for Penn State. A couple of touchbacks, booming punts, and two more field goals give everyone more confidence in this kicking game. You now feel Penn State can change field position in special teams while giving the offense scoring range.
The defense played another really good game. Devon Still leads the Big Ten in tackles for losses with 9. Gerald Hodges and Nate Stupar played very well at linebacker especially timing up blitzes. Drew Astorino led the secondary, and Adrian Amos quietly had a really nice initial start of his career.
For the first time since 2008 Penn State will play Purdue, and since they are now divisional rivals there will no longer be a gap in the series.
Caleb TerBush is the fifth starting quarterback for Purdue in the last 18 games. Robert Marve is also deep in the mix. They do not make a lot of mistakes, they have combined to throw just two interceptions this season.
Ralph Bolden has returned at tailback, and leads Purdue in rushing. Akeem Shavers is now making contributions on the ground as well.
There are four prime targets among the wide-outs as they spread the football. They don’t throw the ball downfield often, but they run solid routes and get yards. Justin Siller, OJ Ross, Antavian Edison, and Gary Bush lead the receivers. Crosby Wright has become a dependable target at tight end.
Joe Hollands lead the defense in tackles with 30. The top two players on that defense are corner Ricardo Allen and defensive lineman Kawann Short. Allen is one of the top corners in the Big Ten, and has five career interceptions including two this season. Short leads Purdue with six tackles for loss, and has blocked four kicks in his career; including two this season.
The kicking game is outstanding. Carson Wiggs can bomb a field goal from anywhere it seems. Every once in a while he misses one that should be easy, but he gives this offense great scoring range. He also has 13 touchbacks on kickoffs this season. Cody Webster is averaging 48 yards per punt, and does not have a touchback this season.
It is Homecoming at Penn State and it is important to keep the momentum going.
Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV
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