It took me 3 days to be able to get over this nonsense that is, as of right now, ruining this season for the Lions. Very small mistakes coupled with a couple VERY HUGE mistakes is equating to a seemingly lack of effort and thusly a loss. Here are 3 reasons why Penn State lost on Saturday.
1) Anthony Morelli- The honeymoon is over, I was told that Morelli had progressed and had matured; he had been able to see down the field and make the big plays that this offense is lacking. I was not told the truth, Morelli threw 3 picks against the Illini and ALL three were under thrown, meaning that he is throwing off is back foot or his footwork and mechanics are off in general. This is not what this team needed last Saturday, it need a heavy dose of the running game and precise passing to help move down the field.
2) Tired Defensive Line- What happens when you throw interceptions in the red zone? The other team gets a nice long field to tire the defense out on. The Illini have a great running game and when you don’t convert your red zone opportunities it leaves the defense venerable to be run on because the other team isn’t that behind. As the game wore on and the offense kept settling for field goals or turning the ball over the Defense was forced to come back on the field and deal with the rushing attack.
3) Special Teams- When the game finally ended the score was 27-20. That means that the return TD by the very fast Arrelious Benn was THE difference maker. This killed the moral in just 15 seconds after the offense managed a nice long drive, although they managed only a FG. Also where were our return men? AJ Wallace had been one of the better returners in the country so far and he did nothing on any of his returns and had a few down right terrible ones to boot.