The refrain coming from one of Penn State’s toughest critics places the blame for the Nittany Lions’ 3-3 record (0-2 in the Big Ten) squarely on the head coach. That tune is being sung by no other than JoePa himself.
Rating his coaching as “lousy” he threw himself under the bus for his team’s lackluster play against Iowa and Illinois, with a Minnesota team, led by an interim head coach, on tap for Saturday. The Golden Gophers are 1-6, with a coach who has been in the job less than a week. Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Horton, who went 13-44 in five seasons at UNLV, took over for Tim Brewster who was dismissed on Sunday.
If the Nittany Lions can’t capitalize on this scenario, they may as well shut it down for the season.
Last week, Paterno cleaned the slate. Players practiced in only blue and white jerseys for defense and offense. There was no such thing as first or second team as positions were up for grabs. This week he returned the depth chart jerseys, after what some players called their most intense practices of the season.
So, will this work to revitalize a stagnant run game, perk up the defense and wake up the special teams? The Nittany Lion faithful certainly hope so. But if it doesn’t, don’t expect JoePa to put the blame on anyone but himself.
An interesting sidebar – Paterno proposed removing facemasks to solve the helmet to helmet tackling issue. He purports that the facemasks have turned the helmets into weapons and removing them would make players tackle from the shoulders, and not the head.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits