The Bowl Blitz is later, right now, a review of two games that didn't make any sense.
Insert your favorite Miles doesn't have a clue caption
Capital One Bowl
One has to give credit to Joe Paterno and his team for the win. They were not great today by any means, but they did enough to win. QB Daryll Clark did not do anything to lose this game. Clark was very lucky that LSU did not pull in any of the 4 INTs they dropped. Penn St dropped a few possible INTs of their own. Penn St did not run the ball well, but 3 yards a carry was enough. JoePa stuck to conservative playcalling and kicked 4 FGs. Ultimately, it was the right thing to do. It should not have been enough to win the game.
The field was the worst which you will ever see for a bowl game. The Capital One people owe both teams an apology for the sorry state of the chewed up playing surface. The Citrus Bowl Stadium was used for four high school championships and the Champs Sports Bowl before the mud bowl today.
LSU was pathetic. I'll repeat that: pathetic. Miles' bowl game whateveritwas that got his teams into destruction mode is gone. That was his one saving grace. This was the exact same team as the regular season, there was no improvement. In fact, I saw regression. LSU was penalized 10 times for 64 yards. No Les Miles team is ever well disciplined, but to have 10 penalties in a bowl game? Jordan Jefferson had an atrocious first half throwing the football and only an ok second half. He got bailed out by WRs making catches (they dropped any pass they could in the first half) some times. The running game: non-existent. Sure, LSU was down to their 4th string RB, but the O-line couldn't even open a hole in the Penn State defensive line. LSU's offensive playcalls were absolutely predictable and there was one player missing from the field on offense: Russell Shepard. Remember him? The no. 1 dual-threat QB prospect in the country. Probably not, out of his 50 touches (yes, Miles didn't redshirt a guy who only got 50 touches) he attempted a grand total of 0 passes. As I said in the preview, this is completely unacceptable. I certainly will not encourage, but would not fault Shepard for transferring. It is nearly impossible for Les Miles to be fired even if he screws up bad because LSU cannot afford to fire him. From the administration's standpoint, LSU gave him the worst contract in college football. That is why Miles is in no danger after his end of game management in the Capital One Bowl cost LSU at a chance for a win. It was inanely bad. Ole Miss loss bad. Blowing a 21 point lead at home in the 2nd half to Tennessee bad. Part of the fault in the clock management snafu belongs to Jordan Jefferson. No matter what asinine playcalls you get from the booth (and it's every 3rd play on average), there are times when you have to ignore them, Jefferson never does. He's a good player in the sense of respecting the coaches' authority. It's not what LSU needs during Miles' tenure. Talent HAS to overcome the inept coaching decisions. In all of the 4 bowl games up to this point, talent has overcome Miles. It did not tonight and LSU lost 19-17.
The Rose Bowl
Is this still Jim Tressel?
Jim Tressel (figuratively) hung his sweater vest up in the closet for this game. He let Terrelle Pryor sling the ball around. It was not always pretty. Pryor let go of a few passes that were nothing more than prayers that were answered. Still, Pryor completed 62% of his career high 37 pass attempts for a career high 266 yards. He threw 2 TD passes and only 1 INT (he only got 72 yards on 20 rushing attempts and took 4 sacks). There was a guy in a sweater vest on the Ohio State sideline who looked amazingly like Tressel who said, throw it. On the first TD pass, the Buckeyes were in clear 3 pt range on the Ducks 13. Ohio State dialed up 3 pass plays in a row, the TD play was on 3rd and 10. Astonishing. In the 4th quarter, with the Buckeyes ahead 19-17, there was a 2nd and 7 from the Oregon 17. Guaranteed run play, right? Wrong. Tressel or the guy who looked like him went for the throat. Result? TD pass. That score pushed the lead for the Buckeyes out 26-17. Oregon Coach Chip Kelly had a chance to try to get back in the game, went NFL conservative and called for a 45 yard FG on 4th and 1. Result? Pushed wide, game essentially over. The final score was 26-17. Oregon turned the ball over twice and it hurt badly. The first was a Jeremiah Massoli INT that was returned into Oregon territory near the end of the half. Even after Ohio State was safely in FG range, Tressel allow Pryor to throw the ball. Nothing came of the throws, but a made FG gave Ohio State a 16-10 lead. Oregon scored a TD to start the 3rd quarter and Ohio State responded with a FG to make it 19-17. The Buckeyes were throwing before the FG try. Oregon was then swiftly moving the ball 62 yards on 4 plays when RB LeGarrette Blount drop kicked (unintentionally) the ball at the Ohio State 18 and it rolled through the end zone. Was that cosmic revenge for Kelly reinstating Blount after his Boise State sucker punch? The Ducks were done at that point, their high flying offense grounded by their own poor execution and the Buckeyes clock killing drives (Ohio State time of possession: 41:37). Masoli only rushed 6 times for 9 yards and 1 TD. He was terrible throwing the football, 9/20 for 81 yards and 1 INT. Oregon did rush for 179 yards, but couldn't convert on 3rd and long by passing. Hats off to Tressel for ending that 3 game losing streak in BCS bowls.