Big Knocks Against The Big Ten

By Adam Caparell - September 09, 2006

Anthony Morelli didn’t look as good this week for Penn State as he did last week and Notre Dame’s defense put up a pretty good effort for an easy win.

Morelli had trouble hanging on to the ball and it cost Penn State. He showed his arm strength plenty of times, but he also showed he’d never been in an environment like South Bend before. Brady Quinn easily won the QB matchup and was better than last week – but still missed some passes - going up against a Penn State defense that couldn’t keep up with the Irish. Notre Dame made plays. Penn State – and Morelli – did not.

As I’ve said before, Penn State isn’t a big time team, despite what so many people seem to think about the Nittany Lions. There are just too many holes left from 2005 that needed to be addressed for a repeat of last year to happen. Is Penn State a Top 25-caliber team? Barely, in my opinion. BCS material? Absolutely not.

If there’s any team more in need a win – aside from Temple – it’s Syracuse and the Orange had a golden opportunity today, but couldn’t close the deal. After forcing overtime, the Orange ran play after play inside the 5-yard line and couldn’t manage to put the ball in the endzone when they needed to. Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes escaped with a narrow victory in a game they were favored by 19.5. You’d have to figure having Drew Tate would have made some kind of difference for the Hawkeyes, but still. Let's be realistic here. Syracuse’s best player is their punter, Brendan Carney, and the people at Syracuse will readily tell you that.

That could be a bad omen for Iowa. It was just one of two poor performances for the Big Ten Saturday from what are supposed to be two of the conference’s better teams.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 08:09 PM on September 09, 2006

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