Penn State gained some consolation for what's been a rough ride in 2007 when they beat Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl. The Nittany Lions did it the old-fashioned way. In spite of falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, they won by pounding the Aggies on the ground. With a rushing advantage of 270-164, PSU had the lead by halftime and a tough defensive stand inside the ten-yard line preserved a 24-17 triumph.
Though '07 came up a little short of what Penn State was hoping for, the victory marked their third straight bowl game triumph. With wins over Florida State, Tennessee and Texas A&M the past three years, the Lions help dispel the myth the Big Ten can't compete against fast southern schools. Jeff Rice of Centre Daily writes that the win was a bounceback from a season of turbulence.
The Alamo Bowl win was just one part of what was a good Saturday for the Big Ten against the Big 12. Earlier in the day on the basketball court, Wisconsin stunned Texas on a three-pointer by Michael Flowers at the buzzer. The Badgers are looking like a team that will have to fight and scrap for every win this year, and this one will be a source of comfort when they enter the February push for an NCAA bid. As for Texas, they will surely be happy to see the Big Ten go away for a while, as this game is added to their loss to Michigan State last weekend.
It isn't often that folks at Illinois give thanks for football to distract their attention from basketball. But that will be the case this week. A bad loss at home to Tennessee State led Bruce Weber to blast his team's immaturity. At least the changes he vows will take place under the radar, as everyone focuses in on tomorrow's Rose Bowl.