Wow! This could be some year
Bill O’Brien uses one word more than any other to describe his team: resilient. After yesterday’s four overtime win over Michigan, it’s hard to argue that.
The Lions badly needed a win after last week’s terrible loss at Indiana. Though the game was a sellout, a whiteout, homecoming, in effect an ESPN prime time contest, and against a big name rival, it seemed unlikely even these guys would find the heart, let alone the talent, to pull it off. But they did.
There are still problems–the running game, an at times less than stout defense–but analyzing those is for a different day. Every team has its weaknesses. Overcoming them can take an ordinary squad, which this team showed every sing of being through its first five games, and make it something more. Sometimes there is just, well, whatever you want to call it–karma, luck, things evening out, the bad guys (NCAA) getting their just desserts. Sometimes the ball just bounces your way, which happened yesterday with Michigan cooperating through some bad plays, missed field goals, maybe not playing the way it had to on defense in the last minute. Hey, PSU even got some calls.
That final drive may end up taking a place along with the game-winner at Illinois in ’94, though that one preserved an undefeated season and a Rose Bowl berth, and was accomplished by the best offense Penn State has ever had. Still, over time, this one may have similar ramifications. If this win propels this team to a good season, one with maybe no more than three losses, leading to next year when scholarships begin to return and maybe even bowl game and championship eligibility do as well, maybe this will be seen as the catalyst.
There may be yet another egg or two to be laid. The emotion of yesterday won’t be there in most games, maybe in no other contest this year. This could be a year of big ups and downs for Lions fans.
But wasn’t this one fun!