Penn State-Iowa game highlights Big Ten slate; last look at Lions’ rout of Georgia State
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Game of the week? Sure, why not?
Tom Dienhart of BTN.com lists Penn State’s game at Iowa on Saturday night as being the best in the Big Ten this week. That’s partially because there are still so many nonconference games on the schedule, but it is also true that Penn State-Iowa involves two unbeaten teams, and in Dienhart’s mind is a possible preview of the Big Ten championship game.
Pennlive.com also tackles the game, mentioning X-factors like the health of Hawkeyes tailback Akrum Wadley, who exited the game last week against North Texas State with an apparent ankle injury. His primary backup, James Butler, also left the game with an elbow injury, and according to the Land of 10’s Stephen Pianovich is out at least three weeks.
One other factor mentioned by Pennlive is the Hawkeyes were routed 41-14 last year in Happy Valley, making this something of a revenge game.
Pretty (telling) pictures
Andrew Callahan of Lions247 offers his video breakdown of Penn State’s 56-0 victory over Georgia State. Particularly notable, Callahan writes, was that quarterback Trace McSorley failed to complete a pass of 20 yards or more against the Panthers’ soft zones, and attempted only 2. He was obviously very sharp, though, completing 18 of 23 passes for 309 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Callahan offers his usual razor-sharp analysis of the QB’s outing. Defensively, Callahan calls the play of reserve defensive tackle Tyrell Chavis the team’s “most pleasant surprise” to date, and was especially impressed by Chavis’ ability to collapse the pocket on passing plays.
Mr. Smith goes to medical school (maybe)
Linebacker Brandon Smith told Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record that there is a perception that those who play his position must be “some psychopath or be crazy.” Smith, deeply spiritual, defies the stereotype. He is the team’s only married player, and plans one day to enter the ministry or go to medical school.
Hockey team picked fourth
The university’s official website carried a Big Ten release saying the Penn State men’s hockey team, the conference champion last year, has been picked to finish fourth this winter. Two sophomores, goalie Peyton Jones and forward Denis Smirnov, were also listed among the players to watch. Jones set school records for games (36), victories (23) and saves (884), while Smirnov established marks for goals (19) and points (47). His 28 assists were the second-most in program history, and the most by a freshman.
Simone Lee honored
Simone Lee, a senior outside hitter for the women’s volleyball team, was named Big Ten Player of the Week, according to the university’s website. She became the third straight Lion to earn such an honor, following Haleigh Washington and Ali Frantti. The second-ranked Lions (10-0) open Big Ten play by hosting Nebraska on Friday.
Making waves on the radio
As noted by the Land of 10’s Alex Putterman, WFAN radio personality Mike Francesa took aim on Lions coach James Franklin for calling timeout when Georgia State kicker Brandon Wright lined up for a 31-yard field goal attempt in the waning seconds of the game Saturday, and then saying he did so because he didn’t have a fourth-team field-goal block unit. Josh Moyer of the Centre Daily Times raised the issue with Franklin after the game, and WFAN producer Brian Monzo tweeted out Francesa’s rant.
AWESOME: Mike Francesa rants on Penn State icing kicker up 56-0 https://t.co/ZlLMPUvVcX
— Brian Monzo (@BMonzoWFAN) September 18, 2017
Also in the Land of 10
- Wisconsin fans give Provo’s two bars their best weekend ever
- Kevin Wilson accused of player mistreatment by former Indiana WR Coray Keel
- Michigan captain on loss to Tarik Black to injury: ‘It kind of makes you think about your future’
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