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My Irish should have better luck than my Buckeyes

October 11, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Well, all is not lost - at least for now.

I will admit, much to the utter delight of colleague Andy Mason, that I was thoroughly impressed with Penn State on Saturday night.

The Ohio State Buckeyes, my No. 2 favorite college football team, were treated to a 17-10 loss, squashing any title hopes nationally and probably for the Big Ten, too.

It looks like the fever has returned to Happy Valley with the vim and vigor that once bellowed throughout State College.

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And with good reason.

Penn State totally ambushed the Ohio State offense.

Troy Smith had room to do nothing most of the night, and when he did, he was way off target with his passing game.

The Nittany Lions, with linebacker Paul Posluszny acting like the Jack Lambert of old, stymied the Buckeyes' offense, using an old-fashioned technique - controlling the line of scrimmage and solid tackling.

Posluszny was the Big Ten Player of the Week for his efforts prior to the Ohio State game. With 14 solos Saturday, what the heck is he this week?

Michael Robinson came through with consistency and guided the Penn State offense just enough to keep the vaunted Ohio State defense in a guessing game.

No, I won't jump on any bandwagon nor will I run out to the nearest sporting goods store to get my Penn State clothing.

Nor will I be collecting a reasonable amount of cans of my favorite cold beverage attained through victory in a baseball bet with Andy. I was sure, in my mind, that I would double-up with Ohio State winning.

Only one word of caution to Penn State fans for this week.

You're 6-0, riding higher than a kite in Paternoville, and you get to play Michigan, suddenly an also-ran with three losses. It might be the last team you want to face right now.

In the meantime, I've got this weekend to look forward to when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, my No. 1 team, host Southern Cal in South Bend, Ind.

I'll hear it all week - there's just no way the Irish can beat such a powerful USC team.

Well, I'm going to fall back on history ... too many times each school has totally ruined the season for the other throughout their illustrious intercollegiate series that was first conducted when Knute Rockne coached Notre Dame.

Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, et al, no doubt are the real thing, but I've got absolute faith in Charlie Weis and Brady Quinn.

Three successive years, Southern Cal has beaten Notre Dame by 31 points.

It won't happen this year.

Dare I think about two successive downers on Saturdays?




Tim Koelble is a staff writer for the Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com</i>

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