Penn State football team aiming to put historic loss to OSU in past
College Football Videos
For those expecting Penn State's worst loss since William McKinley was president to demoralize the Nittany Lions, cornerback Jordan Lucas insists you're barking up the wrong tree.
“One thing we say in the secondary is ‘Fido: Forget it, drive on,' ” Lucas said after Ohio State pounded Penn State, 63-14, on Saturday night. “As a team, we just need to keep that going.”
The Lions (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) don't have any choice. With five games remaining, modest goals still are attainable: a ninth consecutive winning season and a sixth straight winning record in conference play, to name two.
The most recent time Penn State allowed so many points or lost by so many, the team hadn't even yet been dubbed the Nittany Lions. The school didn't have the word “university” in its name — it more recently had been called Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania.
Only two losses in school history were more one-sided than Saturday's. A 106-0 loss at Lehigh on Nov. 11, 1889, was the second game of a three-day road trip. A 64-5 loss 10 years and two weeks later at Exposition Park in the North Side was to the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, for whom some players were paid.
“We didn't have them prepared good enough as a coaching staff, with me as the head coach,” Bill O'Brien said, “and therefore we didn't play good enough. We just didn't.
“We've got great kids in the locker room who will put it behind them and learn from it. We'll remember some things, and we'll be ready to play Illinois.”
The Illini (3-4, 0-3) travel to Beaver Stadium for a noon Saturday kickoff having lost three consecutive games by an average of 27.7 points. Penn State has won its past five games that followed a loss under O'Brien.
“We've went through a lot of stuff. We're a resilient team,” said Bill Belton, who had the look of the Lions' featured tailback the rest of the season with 98 yards — the most Ohio State has given up this season — on 22 carries. “We don't get down. We just play the next game, and we're looking forward to that.”
While turnovers and a lack of finishing drives were issues, the offense (357 yards) wasn't abjectly poor. Christian Hackenberg threw two interceptions among his 23 attempts, and his right shoulder was injured when he was driven to the ground after a whistle on an offsides play in the first half.
Hackenberg remained in the game until the outcome was out of reach, and the lone update on his condition came by way of O'Brien's “We'll have to get that checked out (Monday).”
The Lions' defense was historically bad. The Buckeyes' 686 yards were a record for an opponent. Three consecutive opponents have scored at least 40 points, and Penn State is allowing an average of 49 points and 520.3 yards in conference play.
Perhaps a reprieve is on the way. Illinois managed just 128 yards in a 42-3 home loss this past Saturday, albeit to the nation's No. 1 defense in Michigan State.
“We didn't get the job done, not even close,” Lions linebacker Mike Hull said. “We've got a lot to look at on film this week.”
Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trueman sparks North Allegheny’s 14-0 victory over Seneca Valley
- High school roundup: Greensburg Salem shocks Gateway in opener
- Fumbling foreign policy
- Thomas Jefferson runs past Ringgold
- Murray runs wild in Steel Valley victory
- Jeannette rips Riverview in Class A debut
- Penn Hills takes advantage of turnovers, routs Upper St. Clair
- Corbett team rails at pollster
- Harrison shines again as Pirates clip Reds, 2-1
- Pevarnik’s scoring binge leads GCC to 15-12 victory over Monessen
- Unidentified body found in Stowe