THE HIGH FIVE
Kick Start: Even though PSU didn't have the opportunity for many kickoffs, Anthony Fera has proven to be a weapon here, neutralizing opponent return games with touch-backs. It's a major improvement from where PSU has been in recent years.
Second Coming: Once again the defense came out flat (see our "Lows"), but the defense held Iowa scoreless in the second half, playing a more inspired as the game went on, but too little, too late.
Brown Delivers: Brown had four receptions for 42 yards, but more importantly continues to be a big presence for the offense...when he's used. He is tough to cover with his size and has shown to have dependable hands for Rob Bolden to throw to.
Seeing Redd: The high is that Silas Redd busted open an impressive 19-yard scamper for an early first down. The bad news is that he all but disappeared the rest of the game with only two carries on the night.
Bold Experience: I don't suspect many fans will be too high on Rob Bolden's performance coming out of this game. He was 20 for 37 for 212 yards and one interception. The stats aren't horrid, but aren't great either. And let's face it, he didn't exactly carry the team, but this is part of starting a freshman quarterback. He made some nice tosses and also had some blunders (see our "Lows"), but this type of game should pay dividends for him down the road.
THE LOW FIVE
Drop It: On the whole PSU's receivers early on did no favors for Bolden; even veterans like Graham Zug and Derek Moye dropped some key possession passes which piled more pressure on the freshman quarterback. The receivers have to pick up the slack to help Bolden mount drives. The question was where was Brown from the outset?
Pocket Pressure: The defense managed to tighten the screws as the game progressed, but the defensive line simply could not get enough pressure on Ricky Stanzi as he managed to find holes in PSU's zone coverage for the early scores. The Lions' front four have to manage to get some penetration on the pocket, particularly with veteran quarterbacks who have the experience to read zones.
Stall Out: To be more accurate the Nittany Lion running game didn't stall since it never really started. PSU had a paltry 54 yards on 22 attempts for 2.5 yards per carry. Evan Royster led PSU rushers with 56 yards on 10 carries, but the offensive line simply could not get a surge to open up running games for the ground game.
Wrap It Up: The early goings for the defense saw a continuation of some downright atrocious tackling at times. As previously stated, the D managed to get it together, shutting down Iowa in the second half, but some weak tackling helped the Hawkeyes nail down the early lead.
Close Encounters: Penn State's coaches had some flashes of innovation; some slants and the inside pitch to Royster to name a couple, but some of the third down play-calling was baffling. On third and 12 why you call a six yard route on a roll-out when Iowa has the flat stuffed with defenders is confusing. The play-calling didn't seem to mirror a real desire to take chances for a win in this game.
Freshman Mistakes: I am a big supported of Rob Bolden and stress that he needs to be under center -- maybe not literally though. The staff had Bolden under center a lot against a defensive line that had the ability to get fast penetration. First, get him some additional comfort and time in the shotgun. Also, Bolden was tossing way too many intermediate and deep balls into double and triple coverage; he's lucky he only ended the day with one interception.
Punt It: OK Fera managed an impressive 74-yard punt, but on the whole he is still inconsistent at best with his punts, which has hurt PSU in the coveted battle for field position.