23 September 2006

Halftime: Penn State 3, Ohio State 0

The upset is in progress: Penn State 3, Ohio State 0 at the half. I remain cautiously optimistic about this one.

The first half goes down to defense. Both defenses played extremely well, and neither offense was able to put together any sustained drives until Penn State put a FG on the board at the end of the half (and even that came on a second try after Ohio State roughed the kicker). Both Anthony Morelli and Troy Smith threw first half interceptions: Justin King made a nice diving catch on an overthrow by Smith. Ohio State intercepted a Morelli pass which gave them good field position, but was unable to do anything with it.

Ohio State was able to run the ball better than Penn State, but still couldn't put together a sustained drive.

Penn State punter Jeremy Kapinos punted four times in the first half for an amazing 54.8 yard average, including three of those inside the 20. This unexpected advantage on special teams helped even up the field position battle.

The biggest news of the first half was Joe Paterno running across the field with 7:05 left in the second quarter and leaving the field. As of halftime, it appears that JoePa was suffering from the flu and it may be related to that. Either way, I know Penn State fans watching the game are as concerned as me about this development.

Keys for the second half: Penn State needs to move the ball like they did at the end of the second quarter. On defense, everything is going well. And if Kapinos keeps punting like he is we might just be able to pull off this upset.
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