Monday, November 24, 2008

Daryll Clark, Your Big 10 POW

It wasn't long ago that I was calling for Daryll Clark's head. After all, Penn State's senior junior (Clark was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA) quarterback played horrible against Ohio State before getting concussed and played equally shitty against Iowa.

Truth be told, Clark had a phenomenal year for a first-year starter, and Saturday was his best game yet. His efforts did not go unnoticed, as Clark was named Big 10 Player of the Week for his 341-yard, 5 touchdown day (4 passing, 1 rushing).

Clark finished the regular season with 2,319 yards through the air, 17 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He completed 60 percent of his passes and added the running dimension that was absent the last two years with Anthony Morelli under center. He finished third on the team in rushing with 362 yards behind Evan Royster (1,202) and Stephfon Green (521). He also added nine rushing touchdowns, second on the team only to Royster's 12.

When Clark was the named the starter back in August, I was not happy. I thought with this team, three talented senior wide receivers not to mention the receiving talent of Andrew Quarless (bust), Pat Devlin should have been the guy. He's a pocket passer known for his accuracy and his arm. Daryll Clark's passing acumen was unknown to fans, seeing as he was rarely asked to do anything but run when he spelled Morelli. Turns out, I was dead wrong. Even when I got on Clark for his pitiful games at OSU and Iowa, it was clear Daryll Clark was the right choice. He had a great year, brought the Nittany Lions within a game of playing for the National Championship.

Just imagine if Clark had been given the opportunity to win the starting job last season, when it was evident heading in that Anthony Morelli was nothing more than a big-armed ball of suck. With a full year under his belt heading into this season, perhaps the Nittany Lions would be getting ready to take on Florida. Or Oklahoma. Or Texas. Or Alabama. Or whoever the computers deem worthy.

Alas, that wasn't the case. But what should not be overlooked, especially by assholes like myself who like to complain about bad games, is that Penn State won the Big 10 for the third time ever due in large part to the play of Daryll Clark. They are playing in the Rose Bowl thanks in large part to Daryll Clark. And Penn State will be considered a favorite in the Big 10 next year—even with the departure of its three top wide receivers, four of its five starting offensive linemen, its fullback, its starting safeties, a starting corner, a starting linebacker and a (formerly) starting defensive end—because of Daryll Clark.

Congrats on the POW, Daryll. Now get ready to destroy some PAC-10 ass in Pasadena.

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