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There are a number of words and phrases I wanted to use with today's title. "Embarrassed," "Rock Bottom," "Fire Joe," and "Horrible," come to mind quickly. In truth, I don't think I have words to say to properly express my disgust at what happened yesterday in Ross-Ade Stadium. The closest thing I can probably say, with 100% certainty, is the following.

That was, by far, the worst performance we have had in more than a decade.

I just sat and stared at those words blinking on my screen for a minute or two. We simply could not have had a worse day. If you take away what happened on out field and the way it happened, it was still a horrible day. Notre Dame won with ease to keep their fleeting hopes for a national title alive. They were helped by USC losing, so they can rise higher. Indiana won in a walk, and not only are they now ahead of us in the Big Ten Standings, but they are actually one win away from a bowl game. A nightmare scenario is now possible where they could be playing us to go to a bowl.

When you add that to what happened today in Ross-Ade, plus Miami's loss to Georgia Tech, it was the worst college football Saturday in my house in a long time. I simply don't have many words to describe it.

The offense was putrid, plain and simple. Penn State has a good defense, don't get me wrong. I will give them credit where credit is due. Still, there is absolutely zero excuse for us getting shutout at home. With all the dropped passes, bad routes, and badly thrown balls this one lies with the offense as to why we didn't score. Not only did we not score, but also we didn't even get inside the 20 all day. Absolutely pathetic.

We could not even run the simplest of plays yesterday. Did we even have a single play that went for more than 15 yards? We ventured seriously into scoring territory once, and that was on the missed field goal drive. Once again, the offense panicked when we were behind and completely abandoned a running game that was working the instant we fell behind.

While the offense itself could not execute the plays that were called, the true onus of this debacle lies entirely with the coaching staff. Tiller was flat out-coached yesterday, period. We fell behind by the smallest of margins, 3-0, and we went away from the option game that was actually moving the ball. We needed one scoring drive today to win, that is all. The touchdown drive in the fourth quarter was once again the result of the defense being tired because the offense did nothing to help them. Painter running the ball on the option was actually moving the chains, and we went away from it.

Secondly, will someone explain to me why we didn't go deep even once when we had the wind at our backs? We have some of the most talented receivers in the conference. Lymon proved he could get the deep ball in the fourth quarter. Instead, we were content to continue banging our heads against the wall with a short passing game that was not working at all. Dorien Bryant is not the answer at all, as he drops more passes this year than he catches.

It is absolutely retarded that we have the offensive line that we have and we run so little when we are behind by such a small amount. Up until the fourth quarter we still only needed one touchdown drive to take the lead. We have a line that can dominate and a defense that is getting tired. What is honestly better than running the ball and going on a nice, long scoring drive? We have two quality backs that if we have them in the game at the same time, with a mobile quarterback, we could have a dominant running game. Instead, we panicked again and went away from the run as soon as we got behind.

It was also nice to see that the coaching staff once again did not have any cajones to go for it when the situation warranted it on a close 4th and 1, but had no problem later forcing the issue from a 4th and 10. Tiller, it's time to be a man and quit cowering when you have a chance to make a big play. I know it is in you because you have done it before. The 4th and 1 was at another critical juncture where we needed a spark, and the coaching staff went conservative instead of going out and grabbing that spark. The game was effectively over at that point.

The Indy Star this morning it said we went away from the vertical passing game because of the wind. Uh, Joe, it didn't look like it was much trouble in the fourth quarter when you finally tried it into the wind, or the few times Penn State actually went deep. Admit it, your playcalling sucked yesterday.

To make matters worse there seemed to be absolutely no emotion from the offense. I would argue that we would have been better off with Brandon Kirsch yesterday. At least he was fiery and would have tried to get something going. Painter was indecisive on his runs and inaccurate on his throws. I am not calling for the benching of Painter because he is the best we have right now. We aren't going to find anyone any better and we have to simply live with his mistakes and wait for improvement.

The same holds true for Chris Summers. That was a horrible snap and probably an even worse kick on our one scoring attempt. Still, we're not going to get anyone any better right now, so we have to live with what we have and hope for improvement in that area. Summers will come around in time. He still has three more years to grow into the position.

Now onto the defense. Of our three units, they played the best. This is not saying much, however. Yes, they held an opposing team to 12 points, and really, when you take away the fatigued battle on the fourth quarter touchdown drive, they did fine. They did their jobs well enough that even if the offense manages one scoring drive, we're right there at the end of the game. Even after the TD drive we still had plenty of chances to go down the field and do something. What I am on the defense about is the sheer number of turnovers left on the field. Al Royal had a sure pick six that he dropped. If he holds on to the ball the only thing that prevents him from scoring is if he trips over his own shoes. This lead to Penn State's second field goal of the day, so it ended up being a huge 10 point shift in the game. Suddenly we're up 7-3 instead of down 6-0 at the half.

Dan Bick dropped another sure pick, and there's no way to explain how he did it. There were also numerous fumbles that we couldn't get to in spots where we should have. Tony Hunt seemed to be laying the ball on the field all day, but we couldn't get to it. There was one play where a running back lost the ball in the backfield and we had four guys in the area only to have a Penn State lineman ounce on it. On a day when we pretty much needed a shutout to win, the defense could have gotten the job done and erased both field goals with turnovers, all while scoring once on its own.

The tackling left a lot to be desired as well. How many times did Hunt gain five yards or more after first contact. The last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half were a comedy of errors as we had both stopped about 10 times before they finally halted. The defense also showed that it doesn't believe a screen pass is a legal play as it got burned by the underneath screen again and again. End Around runs were also a point of contention. It seemed like Penn State ran the two above plays at least five times each successfully.

Once again, we also had the token random guy roaming free in the middle of the field for a key third down completion. I find this to be hilarious because Morrelli regularly hit this receiver for about a 20-25 yard gain, yet, "strong winds kept Purdue from throwing deep, but the crossing and underneath routes should not have been hampered." Again, we never even tried to go that deep down the field until we were in fourth quarter panic mode.

We pretty much gave up on trying to throw over the middle unless it was a dump off to Taylor or Sheets. These were our most successful plays, and I will give credit to Penn State for holding us to minimal gains on them. With more accurate throws we probably have a better day, but I am not sure how much better.

So where do we stand, now at 5-4? We still need two wins to qualify for any bowl. We have two games left against likely bowl teams in Hawaii, and unbelievably, Indiana. It's plain to me that Saturday at Michigan State is now a must win at any cost game. Michigan State has given up 30 or more points in five of its last six games. In only one of those it won, that being the miracle in Evanston last week. We have played two very good defenses, but not so good that we only score three points in two games at home.

This game is critical because much like yesterday's game in Bloomington, the winner will go to a bowl while the loser is probably done. If we can't jump start our offense against a team that Northwestern scored at will upon for three quarters, we're in severe trouble. We have to win this game at any cost, and there is no excuse for losing it with as badly as Michigan State has played lately.

The best we can hope for now is the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, and even that is probably a stretch without some help. I am not even going to worry about Illinois, Indiana, and Hawaii yet, because if we lose to Michigan State we're probably going to lose two of those games as well. This program needs to feel insulted that Indiana is predicted to go to a better bowl than us right now. It's time for a serious change of attitude. Unless that happens, this year is over.