Didn’t I just write one of these?
Here we are again, another W and another week with questions to be answered. Syracuse was a solid team, better than last year. So the fact that this score wasn’t 4000-10 at the half shouldn’t have been a huge surprise. A few concerns can be found with the running game and patches of defensive lapses, but nobody is perfect. In the end the Lions pulled out the W and that is all that really matters. So far the Big Ten has had lots of close games in the first two weeks, and the Lions haven’t had an issue with those types of games yet. That should count for something. So lets look at The Great, The Less Great, and Room for Improvement.
The Great:It looks like this year is going to rely more on the pass than I think most everybody thought. Going into this season all the talk was on the receiving core. Today’s game once again silenced those who doubted in the receivers. The timing isn’t at 100% yet but Clark still passed for 3TDs and 240 Yards (20/31). Four different receivers had over 30 yards of receiving, that’s something that Penn State hasn’t had in a long while; a whole slew of targets to throw to. The Big 3 last year had targets on their backs, this year they are 5-7 different possible options for Clark to throw to.
The Less Than Great:I love our defense as much as the next guy, but they could afford to make tackles the first time not the second or third time. This team has all the players to be a hard hitting scary defense, they just need to go out there and hit people. Drew Astorino is one of the smallest guys out there and he was taking people out like he was getting paid….(since he doesn’t go to OSU however he is trading his money in for an education rather than nice watches)
Room for Improvement:I like handing out second chances, but the offensive line needs to push off the line more if Royster is ever going to run for more than 100 yards in a game. It’ll come together at some point but they could get it in gear sooner rather than later and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings. On the brightside however they are still doing a pretty good job giving Clark time. If he is going to pass the ball this much he’ll need time, and he’s getting it.
–Handing out the Grades–
Passing-A-It is really hard to not hand out A’s to a squad that has 8 different guys catch the ball, and almosty 300 yards of passing. If they keep this unit healthy and keep playing like they have these past two games people can’t help but talk about Clark.
Rushing-(B-)-I love Royster and he did have 2 TD’s today, but they’ve got to get him and Green more yards. It’s going to be key down the road to get that going
Defense-B+They played well, and yes they still haven’t let a team score on them in the first half, but they need to play four quarters. Greg Paulus is no Terrelle Pryor and it’ll be ugly if they find that out the hard way. Great showing, but could have been stronger all around.
Special Teams-B- Jeremy Boone kicked like an All American again today, and nobody missed any extra points. Weren’t any field goals attempted but you can’t really hold that against the unit. The kick off defense did look a little shaky so get that back in form and the grade should be an easy A.
—–Player of the Game—-
It has to go to Royster, 41 yards rushing, 61 yards receiving and 2 TDs. Maybe he hasn’t put up the rushing numbers like we’d want to see but it isn’t 100% his fault.