Previewing the Penn State Offense

GoBlueWolverine's Josh Turel breaks down the Penn State offense by analyzing the Nittany Lion personnel.

Team Ranks
Total Offense: 3rd in the Big Ten, 2,440 yards, 406.7 yards a game
Rush Offense: 3rd in the Big Ten, 1,148 yards, 11 touchdowns, 191.3 yards a game
Pass Offense: 6th in the Big Ten, 1,292 yards, six touchdowns, 215.3 yards a game
Sacks Against: 2nd in the Big Ten, six sacks against

Statistical Leaders:
Anthony Morelli: 103/184,1,224 yards, six touchdowns, five interceptions

Tony Hunt: 127 attempts for 669 yards and seven touchdowns
AJ Wallace: seven carries for 142 yards and one touchdown

Deon Butler: 25 receptions for 394 yards and two touchdowns
Jordan Norwood: 24 receptions for 270 yards and one touchdown

Offensive Overview


#14 Anthony Morelli 6-4, 220, Jr.
#17 Daryll Clark 6-2, 224, Fr.

Quarterback Anthony Morelli hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far this season, but there is no question he has the talent to be an extremely successful signal caller. Arm strength isn't a problem for this youngster; he has one of the strongest in the country.  His problem for him has been not recognizing coverages quickly and using that big arm to force passes. Backup Daryll Clark is an athletic freshman that has seen some time this year and may be used in some fashion on Saturday. He brings the Nittany Lions the rushing ability out of the backfield that was present last year with Michael Robinson and is can provide JoePa & company with an excellent change of pace.  Penn State also isn’t afraid to use Derrick Williams at quarterback, so watch for some variety at this position.

Running Back
#26 Tony Hunt  6-2, 230, Sr.
#8 Rodney Kinlaw  5-9, 203, Jr.
#33 Austin Scott  6-0, 209, Sr.
#34 Matt Hahn  6-0, 230, Jr.
#30 Brandon Snow  6-1, 242, Sr.

Michigan will face the best running back they have seen this season in Tony Hunt. The senior ball-carrier may be the best power back in the conference. Hunt  has very good vision does his best work between the tackles, but he is also tough to bring down in space. Rodney Kinlaw is the main reserve.  He doesn’t have nearly the size that Hunt has, but he does bring more speed. Offensive coordinator Galen Hall isn’t afraid to use dynamic athletes AJ Wallace and Derrick Williams to run the football either. Fullback Brandon Snow will see a carry every once in awhile, but he does his best work blocking for the talented backfield.


Wide Receiver
#3 Deon Butler  5-10, 166, So.
#24 Jordan Norwood  5-10, 168, So.
#4 Terrell Golden  6-3, 215, Jr.

Wide Receiver
#2 Derrick Williams  6-0, 201, So.
#19 Chris Bell  6-2, 200, Fr.

Tight End
#88 Kevin Darling  6-3, 242, Sr.
#89 Jordan Lyons  6-4, 249, So.
#44 Patrick Hall  6-2, 251, Sr.

The wide receivers are a speedy group that can do damage when they get the ball in space. Leading receivers Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood are vastly undersized, but they make up for it with exceptional quickness. Both have been productive in their careers despite their perceived limitations. Former stud recruit Derrick Williams starts opposite Butler. He is a well-documented athlete that has all the playmaking ability you would want for the position.  However, he is obviously still growing into the offense. Williams has had a tendency to disappear at times this season, so consistency for him will be key Saturday. Reserves Terrell Golden and Chris Bell bring more size of the group in spread packages. Also watch for Brenden Perretta, who will likely see the field in one of the multiple receiver looks that Penn State likes to show. Tight ends Patrick Darling and Jordan Lyons are after thoughts in the passing game and their main job is to block in this offense.

Offensive Line

Left Tackle
#67 Levi Brown  6-5, 328, Sr.
#79 Chris Auletta  6-4, 300, Jr.

Left Guard
#65 Robert Price  6-0, 299, Sr.
#76 Gerald Cadogan  6-5, 311, So.
#57 A.Q. Shipley  6-1, 297, So.
#60 Patrick Weber  6-1, 271, Jr.

Right Guard
#64 Rich Ohrnberger  6-2, 296, So.
#55 Elijah Robinson  6-2, 287, So.

Right Tackle
#78 John Shaw  6-4, 299, Jr.
#73 Dennis Landolt  6-4, 291, Fr.

The offensive line has been better than expected after having to replace several key starters from last season. The star of the group is left tackle Levi Brown. Brown plays with a great power base and is very nimble for his size. He is one of the main reasons why the Nittany Lions have only surrendered six sacks so far this season. The interior of Robert Price, AQ Shipley, and Rich Ohrnberger has shown improvement throughout the season and right tackle John Shaw has done a serviceable job replacing Andrew Richardson.

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