The title says it all after Penn State’s victory over Purdue(35-7); we saw some great things, some concerning things, and some downright ugly things. The score is a little misleading to someone who didn’t watch the game today.
The Great Things
We saw Brent Pry’s Penn State’s defense fall one sack shy of tying the team record for most sacks in a game with 11.0 (they had 10.0 today). Going along with the 10 sacks today, they held Purdue to a lackluster 104 yards (123 passing 46 rushing) and one touchdown on the day. The offense got off to a bang in the first quarter with 28 points. Sean Clifford accounted for all four scores ( 3 Passing 1 rushing). Another bright spot on the day was seeing the potential emergence of a true starting RB with Noah Cain (12 attempts 105 yards 1 TD).
The Concerning Things
After the 14:17 mark of the 2nd quarter, Penn State didn’t see any points until the 4th quarter when Noah Cain punched it in late in the game. Now, this could be accounted for playing it safe or even looking ahead to a huge matchup with Iowa. Either way, James Franklin and OC Rick Rahne need to get their guys into shape come next week. Another minor thing I noticed was on one play, K.J Hamler was streaking down the field, and Sean Clifford under throws it for an interception. Things like this happen, but this is the second straight week this has happened, so this needs to be addressed.
The Downright Ugly Things
Watching K.J Hamler is like watching a Bullet Train; you barely see it as it goes by you. But sometimes trains crash and it’s ugly to see a perfect example is a couple of his punt returns. He would attempt to return balls that were virtually non-returnable balls like rolling ones or where a defender is in his face. Against teams that aren’t Purdue, this will not work nine times out ten and could lead to a costly turnover. Another thing that was cringe-worthy to watch was anyone other than Noah Cain, or Sean Clifford run the ball. Ricky Slade, Journey Brown, all looked uninspired running with the rock today. It showed with a combined 23 yards rushing.
Breathe and Relax
Until we pass judgment on the overall performance of the offense, let’s, sit back and have faith in the coaching staff. We can clearly see the offense can be high-powered with 28 first-quarter points. As of now, I’m assuming the kids were looking forward to a big game against the Hawkeyes. They were satisfied with their 28-0 lead at the time. With the proper adjustments and a stern talking to the kids will be just fine. But Brent Pry’s defense will keep the Nitty Lions in games.