Monday, September 22, 2008

The Bowman Show

Amid all the excitement from the Eagles defense and the Phillies extending their lead in the NL East, I completely forgot to mention my long, exhaustive Saturday … and Navorro Bowman.

Since Arkansas Fred took a pass on the Penn State-Temple game this weekend, for what I can only assume was a fun day at the ballet, I headed out to State College with my father, cousin and aunt's boyfriend—at 6 in the freakin morning. Noontime games are rough when you aren't staying for the weekend.

Anyway, after hitting up WaWa, we embarked on that dreaded 3-hour ride out 80. Thanks to our early planning, the trip was surprisingly smooth, and we arrived in our parking spot next to Beaver Stadium at 9:30 a.m. For a 12 o'clock game. Ugh. That's a lot of time to kill for an extremely tired quartet, but we managed by taking a nice little walk to the Hooters Bottle Shop, nabbing a 12-pack and hiking back up to the stadium.

We got back to our car, cracked open the brews and ate some food. Finally, it was 11:30, my other cousin met up with us, and we headed into the game. Minutes before the band leader went into his flip, I told my cousin, "You know what, since Jerome Hayes is out for the year, my new favorite player is Navorro Bowman." I'm not making this up. You can ask him if you don't believe me.

Well, after a terrible start to the game, Penn State racked up 31 points in the second quarter and the game was essentially over. Highlights included Evan Royster and Stephon Green completely dominating and my cousin affectionately naming the cowboy hat-wearing douchebags in my section Brokeback. I can't believe I hadn't thought of that.

But the real highlight of the game was the redshirt sophomore linebacker Navorro Bowman. Almost as if to validate my declaration that he is now my favorite player, Bowman was a beast on Saturday. Literally. The man who dons No. 18 had 11 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception. It was like he was playing Notre Dame all over again.

His incredible play made me especially happy, seeing as he is now my new guy. To be honest with you, Bowman looked a lot like Paul Posluszny and LaVar Arrington out there Saturday—albeit against a pretty poor Temple team. Still, it was nice to see a sophomore with so much talent show a flash of brilliance. And prove once again just how smart I am.

The 45-3 win also saw a breakout game by defensive end Aaron Maybin, who had 5 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and completely made his man look like a fool on virtually ever play.

The victory, accompanied by a Florida State loss, also put Joe Paterno back in his rightful place as the all-time leader in Division I wins with 376 and vaulted the Lions to No. 12 in the country. The Nittany Lions have now completely destroyed all 4 of their opponents, outscoring them by a combined 211-40 for an average margin of victory of almost 43 points per game.

Saturday, they'll finally get a real test as Big 10 season starts, taking on No. 21 Illinois at 8 p.m. in Happy Valley. I expect Bowman to dominate again.

: Bowman was named Big 10 co-Defensive Player of the Week.

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