Penn State

A Good Start, But Not Great

Yesterday's game was as expected:  a solid win against an opponent that doesn't have the horsepower to compete with a team of Penn State's caliber.  Quarterback Darryl Clark and his wide receivers put on a passing clinic.  We were especially impressed with his connections with No. 6 Derek Moye, who caught 6 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.

It was a good thing that the passing game went well. Akron basically forced Penn State to pass.  They stopped our running game in its tracks, and that's a huge concern.

Of our 515 yards in offense, 379 yards were through the air.  We achieved only 136 yards in rushing, and 37 of those were by a member of the punting team, Andrew Dailey, on a fake punt.

That play, by the way, woke up a sleepy crowd in our section of the stands.  We all turned to each other and said, "Hey, what the heck was that?"  Nice play and a complete surprise.  But resorting to tricks because you can't establish a run might work against Akron.  It won't work so well in the Big Ten.

There were times, too, when we thought that Darryl Clark's passes were dangerously close to being intercepted.  We thought he took some chances that fortunately worked out, as we breathed some sighs of relief.

We were impressed with Penn State's defensive performance.  Akron had a very experienced offense, and it was basically shut down for most of the game.    It was good to see Sean Lee back in action.  We were wondering what happened to Navorro Bowman -there was some confusion in the stands at first due to his change in number from #18 to #11 but then we didn't see #11 on the field after the first few plays.  Sorry to hear that he has a right groin injury.  But Nathan Stupar stepped up and had a great day.

Okay, we had a great first half.  But we didn't score in the second half at all.  Akron must have made some defensive adjustments.  Or our team fell asleep.  Or both.

The Penn State team has to learn to play 60 minutes, not 30. That was another dangerous sign.  It might be easy to hold a lead against Akron, but a 31-0 half-time lead can be quickly wiped out in a second half.  We've all seen it happen.  What seems like a "laugher" turns into a tight game at the end.

It was good to see Kevin Newsome take his first snaps and create some excitement. He put Penn State in position to attempt another score at the end of the game, but they ran out the clock instead.

People in the stands had mixed feelings about this.  Some felt the score wasn't high enough to maintain our poll standings.  Others felt that running up the score isn't our style, so to heck with the polls.  I'm with the latter group.  The game was won and the score was never close.    I'll worry about the polls after October 3rd.

As for the crowd, the student section was full about 18 minutes into the game.  Probably due to a relentless sun in their faces, it was pretty empty by the beginning of the 4th quarter.  In fact the entire stadium appeared to make an early exit.  It took us about 15 minutes to get home after the game.  No traffic at all.

What are your thoughts about yesterday's game?