Scouting Penn State

The Indiana Hoosiers will take on Penn State this Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, IN. The teams are fighting for the cellar of the big ten, so lets break down the Lions and see why the Hoosiers may pull off their first ever victory over the Big Ten's youngest member.

Penn State Offense: Zach Mills has been at the helm of the Penn State attack for the last few years, and has plenty of experience, but not all the talent in the world. Mills plays behind a mediocre line that struggles to create running room for the backs, and often leaves Mills to fight for his life against big defensive linemen. The offense is only averaging 312 yards per game, which is padded by easy wins against UCF and Akron. Since the Akron game however, the offense has not showed that it can produce on a regular basis. In fact, when Penn State played Iowa, the Hawkeyes took a safety when pinned down by their own end zone. They did so knowing that their defense could stop the Penn State offense, and won the game 6-4. Running back Tony Hunt has showed flashes of brilliance in his career, and had a great game against Northwestern this year. If the Hoosiers can shut him down however, the Nittany Lions will struggle on offense. Mills is simply not an accurate enough passer and does not have the big play receivers to bail him out. This is an offense that will not score too many points and one that will miss mistakes by the defense. In fact, if you remove the wins against UCF and Akron, the offense is only averaging 7.28 points per game. This team does not win games with its offense, and it won't win this game with it.

Penn State Defense: The defense of Penn State has been what has kept them in ball games so far this year. Without a stingy defense, this could be the worst Penn State team in Joe Paterno's career. They are only allowing 15.2 points per game this year, and keeping opponents to just 288 yards per game. The rush defense isn't as good as it use to be, but they will not allow a huge day for the Hoosiers. They should keep Indiana to well under 200 rushing yards on the day, and keep the game close throughout the day. They have held opponents to a 39% 3rd down conversion rate, mostly because they are fairly susceptible to the pass. The defense creates two turnovers a game and is equal opportunity against the pass and the run. Paul Posluzsny is the star of the defense, with 75 total tackles this year, and a pair of sacks. He has also forced a fumble this year. Scott Paxson and Matthew Rice will also give the Hoosier linemen trouble, as each has created three sacks on the year. They both have a forced fumble, and Paxson has four blocked kicks. The defense will give up yards to the Hoosiers, as the front four is not the tops in the league, but the linebackers are strong and can hit. There are holes in the field that IU receivers can find, but they will avoid giving up the long ball. Penn State Special Teams: A common complaint among sports reporters this year has been that kickers are killing their teams by missing field goals and extra points. Robbie Gould is a perfect example of this. He is only 4-10 on field goals in the year, and has already missed a pair of extra points. Paterno knows that he is not reliable and will go with his offense if the kick is very long. The return game is average with nothing spectacular. Their punting team however has given up two touchdown returns already this year, and Lance Bennett could have a very good day on Saturday.

That's Penn State in a nutshell, they are 2-7 on the year, and being shut out so far in the Big Ten. Gametime is set for 12:10 and will be broadcast on ESPN plus.

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