The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
Beating the Boilermakers Like a Big Bass Drum
The scene outside the Club was crazy. The place was packed with Penn State fans trying to get inside to lodge a formal protest for the way they were treated Saturday night. They screamed about “running up the score”; “leaving the starters in way too long”; “missing obvious pass interference calls” and my personal favorites, “challenging a spot call when you’re ahead 56-7”and “why no take knee?” and this was several hours before the meeting. They were prepared to stay as long as it took and the longer it went on, the rowdier they got and the doorman was having trouble keeping them under control. I offered to help in exchange for being allowed to hide the microphones and he willingly accepted the deal.
I got the mob to settle down a bit, grabbed a megaphone and announced the department store across the street was having a “White-out Sale” and they scattered like teenagers when the parents of the kid throwing the kegger come home a day early.
Here is the transcript of the meeting:
Moderator: Gentlemen, welcome to this week’s meeting of the Opposing Quarterback’s Club. It was a surprising weekend in college football and we’re faced with a bit of a surprise here at the club, but that is what makes all this so exciting. We’ll cover a myriad of topics today and based on the performance of the Nittany Lions, induct not one, but two new members, both Christian Hackenberg as well as Tyler Ferguson, and hear the thoughts of this week’s guest as he prepares for his match-up with the Buckeyes on Saturday. I’ll begin with the roll call. Joe Licata?
Moderator: Dingwell and Kaehler?
Moderator: Jared Goff?
Goff: Peace, baby.
Moderator: Damien Fleming?
Fleming: I’m here too.
Moderator: Joel Stave?
Stave: The Badgers are represented.
Moderator: Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian?
Moderator: Jake Rudock?
Rudock: Let the minutes of the meeting reflect that I am here.
Moderator: And finally, our two newest members, Christian Hackenberg and Tyler Ferguson?
Hackenberg: We’re here.
Fleming: Who’s the second guy? He wasn’t here last week.
Moderator: That’s Tyler Ferguson, the Penn State back-up quarterback who saw significant action Saturday night after Christian was taken out of the game.
Licata: Post game reports indicated Hackenberg hurt his right shoulder, but I think he and Nittany nation were suffering from a huge bruised ego. Unless they’ve been around for more than 100 years, they’d never seen anything like that before.
Dingwell: Hackenberg, I noticed they wrapped you in cellophane to keep the ice on your shoulder. You looked like that night’s dinner being saved as tomorrow’s leftovers.
Kaehler: Don’t you mean turnovers?
Hackenberg: Hey it wasn’t my idea to come out of the game. The coaches and the training staff thought it would be best if I iced and rested my shoulder. It’s nothing serious but at the time there was considerable discomfort.
Stave: Yep, being down by a couple hundred points always makes those little aches feel worse.
Moderator: Christian, obviously the game didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, what was it like out there?
Hackenberg: I don’t think we came out flat or anything it was just a matter of us not making enough plays. After they scored on their opening drive, I thought we responded well until I under threw that ball in the end zone and their DB made a nice play for the interception. A play like that can get the crowd going and I think the Bucks really fed off the reaction of the crowd.
Goff: I think they fed off it like sharks smelling blood in the water.
Stave: Or perhaps like a gladiator gorging a wounded lion at the coliseum in Ancient Rome.
Goff: Very appropriate Joel with the Buckeyes as the gladiators, Hackedandsackedenberg and his scaredy cat teammates as the objects of slaughter and the Horseshoe as the arena of battle.
Hackenberg: It wasn’t that bad.
Goff: You’re right. It was worse. Your performance was FAMU-like. Fleming and his boys knew they were out of the Bucks league long before game time so getting severely spanked was not a surprise, but you guys really thought you’d prove to be a match for OSU. I heard 63-14 was the worse loss Penn State has suffered in 114 years.
Colter: If I’m not mistaken, that was Paterno’s second year on the job.
Ferguson: At least we scored. Fleming can’t say that.
Siemian: But Fleming can say he got out of there without being injured. Cellophanewrapenberg can’t make that statement.
Goff: The statement that was made was Ohio State didn’t have time to pet sit these Nittany Lions. Over 400 yards in the first half alone. You guys had no answers for anything the Bucks did. You were more Cowardly Lions than Nittany Lions.
Moderator: I’m tempted to say it was the worse half of football I’ve ever seen but I can’t because I watched the FAMU game.
Fleming: How bad is it when the best thing you can take away from that game was, at least they didn’t have a pick six?
Hackenberg: We didn’t play well and they did, what else needs to be said?
Kaehler: According to your fans, the refs, the league and probably some cheating kept you from winning.
Ferguson: Our fans are passionate and a lot of that is just heat of the moment reaction.
Rudock: With two weeks to prepare that was the game plan you came up with? It makes the Affordable Health Care website launch look as successful as the Wright Brothers first flight.
Colter: It was as if you asked those kids on the AT&T commercial, you know the ones that are sitting around in the classroom with that guy, to develop your game plan. Hey kids, we’re playing the #4 ranked team in the country what should we do? And they responded with stuff like pixie dust and turtles.
Siemian: Did they come up with the time out call on your first play after the half? That was pure magic. You had an entire halftime to make adjustments and you have to call a time out before you can snap the ball!!! Were you not expecting the Buckeyes to come out for the second half?
Colter: Indeed. It looked as if you got to the line of scrimmage, tuned to the sideline and said, “help, they’re still here”.
Moderator: Christian and Tyler, I was wondering about how far off the OSU receivers your DB’s played. You had talked at the last meeting about having to contain them, but 15-yard cushions seemed to give them their choice of receivers all night long.
Hackenberg: We tried to get pressure with our D-line and keep them in front of us, but they broke a few tackles, hit a few open areas and made some big plays.
Dingwell: Some big plays, are you kidding me? They had 686 yards in total offense. Every play they ran was a big play.
Moderator: Interestingly you guys had success stopping the run against other teams like Michigan but you were shredded all game by the Buckeyes.
Ferguson: Better players and more speed than we’ve seen all year. Miller makes you miss; Hyde runs through you and by you and Hall and Wilson can just flat out fly. None of them need much room to go a long way.
Hackenberg: We picked a really bad day to play our worst game.
Ferguson: Speak for yourself Christian. It was my best game. Set new highs in attempts, yards and TD’s.
Licata: I guess there is no ‘I’ in team but there is one in Nittany and one in Lion. Love the unity guys. Could things be falling apart in Happy Valley?
Stave: I can see it now…(in a old man’s voice) Hey kiddies climb up here on Grandpappy’s lap and I’ll tell you about the big game I had against Ohio State back in ’14. We lost 63-14 but it was the best game I ever played…(in a kid’s voice) Paps, you must have sucked.
Hackenberg: It’s not like that at all. We’ll regroup and move on. I’m focused on Illinois. This game is ancient history.
Goff: Yeah, the gladiators and the lions we talked about that, remember?
Colter: I have two questions for you guys. Number one, your running back Zwinak, is that one of those cryptograms where you substitute one letter for another and Z-W-I-N-A-K means F-U-M-B-L-E? And number two, is he still walking away from Coach O’Brien? I’ll bet he walked back to Beaver Stadium and O’Brien followed and screamed in his ears the entire time. It was the funniest thing I saw Saturday night and you gave me a lot of reasons to laugh Saturday night.
Moderator: Gentlemen, I think we have exhaustingly analyzed the Nittany Lions shortcomings and now it’s time to formally induct them into The Opposing Quarterbacks Club. Christian and Tyler if you will please stand-up, I’m going to ask Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian to present you with your OQbC jackets. Kain and Trevor the stage is yours.
Colter: Thanks Chief, we have a couple of special jackets for you two. Hackenberg, we decided your jacket should be made of cellophane because that image of you wrapped on the sidelines is etched in our memories forever. And Ferguson you get a more traditional jacket but we did add a special touch. See under the logo, we embroidered MBGE.
Ferguson: What’s that mean?
Siemain: My Best Game Ever. Wear it with pride the rest of the year.
Moderator: Guys, welcome to the Club. I’d say it was an honor to have you, but I’d be lying. Moving on, we have a special guest with us today, he is Danny Etling a 6’2”, 220 lb., Freshman quarterback from Purdue University. Danny and his Boilermakers host the Buckeyes this Saturday afternoon.
Licata: Another Freshman quarterback????
Moderator: Wait, it gets better. Danny will be making his just his third career start for the Boilermakers. The number one QB, Rob Henry was switched to safety three weeks ago and Danny was handed the job. He’s 44 of 99 for 585 yards. He’s thrown 3 TD’s and 4 interceptions. His previous two starts were in a 44-7 loss to Nebraska and a 14-0 loss to Michigan State.
Kaehler: He’s really got a hot hand doesn’t he? Seven points in the last eight quarters and now the Bucks roll into town. Fleming, Hackenberg and Ferguson, pay attention here, this kid may make you look like studs.
Moderator: I apologize Danny, things are a bit crazy here over the game last week and then I think of you going up against the Bucks this week and well, oh my, where are my manners? Danny, welcome to The Opposing Quarterbacks Club.
Moderator: It was indeed a strange turn of events that led you to being named the starter. Can you fill us in on that?
Etling: Sure. We’ve had several of our safeties go down with injuries this season and they needed bodies so they switched Rob Henry, who was starting at quarterback, to safety. In light of how our season was going, I think the coaching staff took a look and realized the future is now. That’s not a slam on Rob, he’s a great guy, but we’re in a rebuilding process with a new coach and I think the staff thought Rob could help them on defense and they could see what they have in me.
Rudock: You know what you’re getting into right?
Etling: I know it’s a big game against a very good team but I also know a little bit about the history of these two teams.
Moderator: Danny’s right guys. When it comes to OSU-Purdue, you can throw the record book out the window. The last two games have gone into
Moderator: What in the world was that? It sounds like something broke.
Kaehler: That was Dingwell, sir. He thought you were serious and he threw the record book out of the window.
Dingwell: It’s not my fault. When he says jump, we jump.
Licata: That was the best throw Dingwell’s had all year.
Kaehler: We’ll get that repaired for you.
Moderator: As I was saying, the last two games between these teams went into overtime. The Bucks won last year and Purdue won in 2012. In fact, Purdue has won the previous two games against the Buckeyes in West Lafayette.
Etling: Plus we’ve had two week to prepare.
Licata: Not again!!! Another young QB with a bye week prior to the OSU game. First Rudock, then Hackenberg and now you!!
Fleming: Hackenberg, do you want to tell him what he can expect?
Hackenberg: No, not really.
Stave: Here Danny, I just drew this picture for you to provide some clarity. It will show exactly what you can expect on Saturday. See the guy on the left? The guy with an icepack wrapped in cellophane standing on the sidelines? That’s Hackenberg, right after halftime. Now see the guy on the right? The guy bandaged like a mummy lying in a hospital bed with two broken arms and a broken leg? That’s you.
Etling: Coach Hazell has strong OSU connections and a good sense of what they’ll try to do so we’ve been working real hard in practice to simulate their attack and I like what we’re doing. Remember we only gave up 14 points to Michigan State and they are exactly chopped liver.
Goff: They aren’t exactly Ohio State either.
Moderator: Statistically, this game would appear to huge mismatch. The Boilers are last in the Big Ten in scoring offense; total offense; rushing; pass efficiency; field goal percentage; first downs, third down conversion; red zone offense and lastly, last in red zone defense. Want more? They’re next to last in time of possession, sacks and scoring defense.
Goff: On paper, these guys would get f’ed up by FAMU. This is the Purdue of today-- first in science, first in space and last in everything in the Big Ten.
Fleming: I’m not big on predictions but this game doesn’t look good for you Danny. It will be like Donatella Versace and Iggy Pop having a baby. The gender of the child isn’t important, the only thing you’ll know for sure is that it’s going to be ugly.
Moderator: Guys, that’s all the time we have for today. Good luck in your games this weekend and we’ll see you back here at the same time next week. We are officially adjourned.