Saturday, November 10, 2012

Penn State vs Nebraska Game Review: Costly Call Causes Penn State Heartbreaking Lost In Lincoln

     It wouldn't be a Penn State game without some controversy. Late in the fourth quarter as Penn State was driving and threatening to score. Matt McGloin hit Tight End Matt Lehman, and as he was heading toward the goal line the ball popped free and Nebraska appeared to recover the ball and the call was initally a fumble on the field. However, after looking at instant replay, you can clearly see Lehman had broken the plain BEFORE he lost control of the ball. What was a clear touchdown was still apparently not enough to convince the replay officials otherwise. Nebraska would go on to win 32-23.
(Photo courtesy of SBNATION)

     Penn State opened up the game, scoring on the 4th play on a 50yd TD run by Zack Zwinak, (who finished the day with 136 yards on 22 carries.) Giving Penn State an early 7-0 lead. After two consecutive FG's by Nebraska, followed by one from Penn State of their own, Matt McGloin connected with Jesse James on a 10yd pass for a score to give the Nittany Lions a 17-6 lead. Sam Ficken (who went 3 for 3 on FG's for the day) hit a Field Goal before halftime to extend Penn
State's lead by two touchdowns.

     Nebraska opened up the 2nd Half with a long scoring drive that was capped off by a 1yd. Imani Cross TD run to cut the lead to 7. On Penn State's ensuing possession, McGloin threw an interception that was picked off by Daimion Stafford. Two plays later, Cross found the Endzone again and suddenly the game was all tied up at 20. Penn State would drive the ball downfield on the following possession before having to settle for another field goal. Giving Penn State the lead again by the score of 23-20.

     Taylor Martinez(who finished with 168 yards through the air as well as 100 on the ground) would lead the Cornhuskers on a long drive. On 3rd & Goal, Martinez tucked the ball away and pursited the endzone on foot. As Martinez was making his way towards the goal line, Michael Mauti forced a fumble which Jacob Fagano recovered in the endzone for a touchback. Penn State however could do nothing with the ball and were forced to punt after a 3 and out. Martinez would again lead the Cornhuskers down the field and this time Nebraska came away with a TD when Martinez hooked up with Jamal Turner to give the Cornhuskers a 27-23 lead.
     Penn State only needed three minutes to move the ball all the way down to Nebraska's 3. That when McGloin hit Matt Lehman for what looked like to be a touchdown, but was ruled a fumble on the field and after further review the play was upheld. Nebraska took over at its own 20. Penn State's Defense was able to hold them and force a punt. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, it was kicked all the way down inside their own two. A few plays later another questionable call happened as McGloin threw the ball away, (which there appeared to be a legal receiever in presence of where the ball ended up) McGloin was called for a saftey. Giving Nebraska not only a 29-23 lead but now would receive the ball. Penn State's Defense stood tall once again to give the Offense one last shot to win the game.
     With Penn State facing 4th down, McGloin threw a pass intended for Alex Kenney that was broken up by a Nebraska defender, effectively ending the game as Penn State had no timeouts left. Nebraska put the final nail in the coffin when Brett Maher connected on a 33yd. FG with 23 seconds left. Putting the game officially out of reach as they now had a 9 point lead. Nebraska would come away with the win 32-23 and are now in the driver's seat for a potential Rose Bowl Berth.
     Penn State faces Indiana next week and finishes their season up at home against Wisconsin. Nebraska hosts Minnesota next week before heading off to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes on Black Friday.


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  1. I would stop your video one frame sooner to show Lehman with two hands on, and in full control of the ball as it crosses the plane of the end zone. This spot shows just as the defenders knee hits Lehman's hand and it starts to slide off of the ball.

    1. I dont know what you're looking at, but the ball clearly didn't come out until AFTER Lehman had broke the plan.

    2. Layton I'm not contradicting you. The frame before this just shows that Lehman had both of his hands on the ball in full control and the ball is still over the front of the goal line for a touchdown. The clip where you stop it is just a fraction of a sec after Lehman's bottom hand gets knocked off the ball by the defenders knee. If you watch where the video slows down the ball makes a quick jerk upwards an then your video stops to show this still.

    3. I apologize. I misunderstood your wording so I apologize for that.

  2. One problem with your picture. The 'goal line' is actually the front of the white stripe, not the back. So it's even MORE obvious than your image indicates that he was in control as it crossed the goal line. It not only crossed the front, but also the back of the goal line as your imagine indicates before he lost control. Absurd this was called a TD on review.

  3. Sorry, absurd that it was NOT called a TD