Sunday, April 23, 2006

Blue-White Game Recap

I managed to clear my afternoon yesterday to watch the Annual Blue-White Game. The BW Game can be extremely boring at times. The defense is not allowed to really pressure the offense. No punt returns. Nothing to really play for. All you can look for is individual effort.

Anthony Morelli looked great. No, he was better than great. On a cold rainy day his passes were on time and sharp. He threw tight spirals and hit most receivers in stride. In probably what amounted to a half of play he went 13-16 for 191 yards. And he spread the wealth well hitting five different receivers. His only mistake on the day was fumbling the ball on the goal line. Anthony, buddy, M-Rob you are not. Keep your feet on the ground and hand it to anyone wearing 26, 33, or 30 and you'll be fine.

Speaking of the receivers, they all looked great. Williams looks to be back to 100% and man that kid is fast. Norwood had a great day leading all receivers with eight catches for 154 yards. Deon Butler played at WR despite rumors last season he would switch back to defense. And to think we still have three seasons of watching these guys to go.

Tony Hunt got limited playing time to start the game and looked sharp breaking two of his four runs for over four yards. He ended the day early with four carries for 20 yards.

Another tradition of the Blue-White Game is seeing all the diamonds in the rough. The guys who were buried in the depth chart last year and hope to be the stars of next season. Knowledge Timmons pulled down two interceptions. Granted, they were both poorly thrown balls, but he was in position and didn't drop them.

Based on yesterday's performance I have to say Kevin Suhey is the backup quarterback. He looked sharp and managed to move the white team pretty well even though he couldn't get them in the endzone. His final stats were 9-14 103 yards. Paul Cianciolo never looked comfortable. Maybe it was the weather or the crowd, but Suhey definitely showed he can lead the team.

Tyrell Sales was the beast on defense leading all tacklers with nine and forcing a fumble. Curiously, he finds himself at buried on the depth chart behind some guys who wear Nos. 31 and 40. I'm sure he'll find a way on the field if he keeps playing like that.

The offensive line was disappointing. Despite Hunt doing well, the two squads combined to gain only 59 yards on 45 carries. 1.3 yards per carry is not going to get it done in the Big Ten. Twice the Blue squad was stuffed on the goal line in the first quarter. Granted Levi Brown didn't play, but hopefully the O-Line can get it together quickly in fall practice before we go to South Bend.

On the flip side, the defensive line looked impressive stuffing the run all day. And despite the lack of blitzing linebackers they managed to get pressure on the QB several times getting five sacks. I don't think we'll have any worries about the D-Line doing their jobs in the fall.

So that was it. There's your spring Penn State football fix. The good news is nobody got hurt. The few injuries on the team are mostly minor and everyone should be healthy in time for Akron. Bottom line the team looked great. There is a lot of talent and when these guys learn to play together they are going to do some special things.
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