Penn State's loss to Indiana on Saturday was about as ugly as it could get. Leading 14-13 midway through the third quarter, Penn State pretty much had a sequence of events just start to snowball on them with no way to slow it down before the clock hitting triple zeros. The loss exhibited a number of flaws in the team, such as a freshman quarterback going through some growing pains and a defense lacking depth as a result of sanctions against the program. Oh, and Indiana's offense is one of the best in the Big Ten, if not most entertaining.
It may have been the worst half of Penn State football I have witnessed, but keeping this all in perspective is key. Penn State had never lost to Indiana before Saturday, but this was not exactly the typical Penn State-Indiana match-up that we have seen in the past. And for those who pay attention, Indiana always seems to throw a challenge to Penn State the Nittany Lions may have been better equipped to handle. That was not the case Saturday.
But I'm not calling for Bill O'Brien and this team to have a wake-up call, although I'm sure that is how this game will be used this week in practices. Things will get better at Penn State relatively quickly with the restoration of the scholarships lost coming sooner than expected. Still, losing to Indiana was painful for some, including this fan...
Sure, that game was frustrating. There is no debating that. But to suggest that Joe Paterno would have been ticked with that performance and O'Brien would not seems like a stretch. If I have learned nothing else from covering this team, O'Brien hates to lose. I remember his first postgame press conference after losing to Ohio last week. Believe me when I say that this loss to Indiana did not sit well with O'Brien.
We can put that much to rest right now.