Josh Turel's PSU Preview: The Nit Offense

GoBlueWolverine's NFL Analyst Josh Turel breaks down the Penn State offense, and lines up the Nittany Lions' offensive stats versus Michigan's defensive stats.

Offense Overview

12 Michael Robinson | 6-2, 217, Sr.
14 Anthony Morelli | 6-4, 222, So.
15 Paul Cianciolo | 6-4, 226, Fr.

26 Tony Hunt 6-2, 224, Jr.
33 Austin Scott 6-0, 208, Jr.
8 Rodney Kinlaw 5-9, 193, So.

30 BranDon Snow 6-1, 242, Jr.
34 Matt Hahn 6-0, 225, So.
38 Dan Lawlor 6-1, 235, Fr.

Wide Receiver
3 Deon Butler 5-10, 167, Fr.
4 Terrell Golden 6-3, 208, So.
43 Ethan Kilmer 6-0, 203, Sr.
5 Jim Kanuch 6-1, 193, Jr.

Wide Receiver
2 Derrick Williams 6-0, 195, Fr.
7 Justin King 6-0, 179, Fr.
16 Lydell Sargeant 5-10, 183, Fr.
24 Jordan Norwood 5-10, 162, Fr.

Tight End
81 Isaac Smolko 6-5, 260, Sr.
44 Patrick Hall 6-2, 244, Jr.
89 Jordan Lyons 6-5, 250, Fr.

Left Tackle
67 Levi Brown 6-5, 322, Jr.
71 Mark Farris 6-6, 285, Jr.
79 Chris Auletta 6-4, 293, So.
68 John Wilson 6-6, 317, Sr.

Right Tackle
50 Andrew Richardson 6-5, 306, Sr.
70 Wyatt Bowman 6-5, 329, Fr.

Left Guard
59 Charles Rush 6-2, 304, Sr.
57 A.Q. Shipley 6-1, 292, Fr.
76 Gerald Cadogan 6-5, 296, Fr.

Right Guard
74 Tyler Reed 6-4, 303, Sr.
58 Greg Harrison 6-5, 292, Fr.
65 Robert Price 6-0, 293, Jr.

66 Lance Antolick 6-3, 291, Sr.
77 E.Z. Smith 6-1, 280, Jr.
60 Patrick Weber 6-1, 273, So.

Penn State Offensive Stats vs. Michigan Defensive Stats (Big Ten Games only)

Penn State is 4th in the conference in scoring offense at 31.7 points per game. Michigan is 5th in scoring defense at 25.7 points per game.

PSU is 5th in total offense, averaging 404.7 yards per game; Michigan is 5th in total defense with 381.7 yards given up per game.

PSU is 3rd in rushing offense with 230.0 yards per game; Michigan is 6th in rushing defense, giving up with 192.3 yards per game.

PSU is 11th in passing offense, averaging 174.7 yards per game, and 11th in passing efficiency. Michigan is 3rd in pass defense, allowing 189.3 yards per game.

Penn State is 2nd in first downs with 67; Michigan is 8th in giving up 1st downs with 65.

PSU has only given up 1 sack, 1st in Big Ten; Michigan is tied for 3rd in sacking the QB with 5.

PSU is 5th in 3rd down conversions at 48.9%; Michigan 8th in allowing 3rd down conversions with 52.1%.

Josh Turel's Anaylsis

On offense, Michael Robinson has certainly been the leader of this ball club. He isn't a great passer yet, but he has certainly improved. He's made some real good throws the past few weeks and he's cutting down on his bad decisions. No one has been more patient with this program than Robinson, and he's taking his first and last chance to fully lead this team seriously. Robinson is equipped with a rocket arm and very good mobility. "He is a great athlete, and he runs like a tailback. I think he has really developed as a thrower," said Lloyd Carr of Robinson at his weekly press conference on Monday. Robinson carries the ball as well, with 74 carries for 338 yards and five touchdowns.

Tony Hunt is off to a great start. He's carried the ball 86 times for 539 yards (6.4 avg.) and three scores. Hunt is an outstanding between the tackles type back and he can be a workhorse for this offense. "Tony Hunt is an outstanding tailback, a guy that will play with or without the football," Coach Carr said of him. He's been fumble prone in the past but he's held on to the ball well lately. Austin Scott backs him up. He's had all the tools to become a star but injuries and inconsistency have made Hunt the team's top guy. Still, Scott has rushed for 99 yards off 23 carries this year. Fullback BranDon Snow is mostly and blocker and likely will not touch the ball.

Also watch for freshman Derrick Williams and Justin King to get some carries. King has taken seven carries for 124 yards, including a 61 yarder, while Williams has 19 carries for 97 yards and three scores.

Obviously the freshmen have made a large impact on the once dull receiving core. Also, redshirt Freshman Deon Butler was moved from cornerback to receiver and offers a very fast option for Robinson. Butler isn't all that big but he's been a playmaker thus far. He leads the team with 20 catches for 355 yards (17.8 avg.) and four touchdowns. Derrick Williams is also a compact yet very explosive athlete. The stellar true freshman has 16 grabs for 230 yards and 14.4 yards a catch. Freshman Jordan Norwood has also been a surprise contributor with 15 catches, 160 yards. Tight end Isaac Smolko is more of a blocking tight end but he's averaging 19.6 yards a catch on five receptions.

The offensive line play has been solid as expected. Their best player is Junior tackle Levi Brown who has caught the attention of NFL scouts at this point. 5th year senior Charles Rush is a three year starter at guard; he's a solid player who originally started his career at defensive tackle. Lance Antolick and E.Z Smith have been rotating at center. Smith is back and is a good run blocker but Coach Paterno insists the job won't just be given to him. "(Lance) Antolick has played well. I don' t think just because E.Z. Smith came back that he should move ahead of Lance. I am not sure that E.Z. is better than Lance. I leave that up to Dick Anderson and Bill Kenney who coach the offensive line. I try to watch during the game and if one of them is having trouble, I might pull one out and say, Hey, Bill stick in E.Z. until we get Lance straightened out a little bit." Right guard Tyler Reed is another solid 5th year senior. Andrew Richardson has stepped in for John Wilson and Paterno was pleased with his play after last weeks Ohio State game. "I thought Richardson played well. Obviously, you hate to lose anybody. We lost Wilson and then we lost the other kid, Jordan Lyons, a tight end who broke his ankle. They are starting to peck away at us with the injuries. I thought Richardson did a good job," Paterno said. Overall, this line isn't great or spectacular but they are very physical and can get the job done.

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