NAVY: The High Five

There were a lot more highs than lows as the Nittany Lions handed Bill O'Brien his first victory (a 34-7 win over Navy) as Penn State head coach.

Penn State showed marked improvement on both sides of the ball as they move to 1-2 and gave Bill O'Brien his first win as a head coach.

Here's a look at the highs and lows from the game:

High Five

Speedy Start: Once again the Lions came out with a burst offensively, with Matt McGloin hitting a variety of targets on Penn State's opening drive like Garry, Gilliam, a 45-yard toss to Allen Robinson and touchdown to Jesse James. From there they showed multiple looks and managed to post 34 points.

Department of Defense: Penn State's defense played the Navy triple option in a disciplined manner throughout the game. Sure the Midshipmen had some plays breakout at times, but overall the D really bottled up the Navy offense regularly forcing fourth downs throughout the clash. On the day they took away three fumbles which resulted in 13 points, including a 74 touchdown run off a fumble by LB Mike Hull and an interception.

Power Line: Sure they had some issues on assignments at times, but as a unit the offensive line gave Matt McGloin time and opened up holes for Curtis Dukes and Michael Zordich. The line blocked for a total of 341 yards.

Passing Judgement: Matt McGloin opened up the first three drives going 10 for 11 for 172 yards and three touchdowns, spreading the ball around to seven targets, including newly-converted TE Paul ones and Allen Robinson who grabbed four passes for 111 yards and two scores. On the whole he went 13 for 21 (62%) for 231 yards and four touchdowns. He was more decisive with his reads and also passed the ball with authority, particularly with the intermediate routes.

Catching On: To say Allen Robinson torched the Navy secondary is a understatement as he grabbed five catches for 136 yards (27.2 YPC) and three touchdowns. Robinson continues to be an impressive weapon that improves week in and week out.


Kick It: Sure, he missed an extra point, but Sam Ficken managed to put four of five balls through the uprights on extra points, a nice boost to his overall confidence.

Low Five

Stop It: Granted, the defense had a better outing this time around with third downs, at least compared to the previous two games, but stopping Navy on 11 of their 15 third downs. However, they only stopped the Midshipmen on three of eight fourth downs. So, the defense has to figure out how to snuff out drives.

Tick Tock: Although it was better Penn State had to burn a timeout on their opening drive. It seems that the offense has lingering issues with getting their clock management consistently together.

Turn Around: Although he has been critical of the secondary, CB Stephon Morris continues to struggle with his ability to turn the ball in coverage which places him at a major disadvantage in coverage. He has to get his head around to see the ball, put him in a better position and remove the pass interference option.

Confidence Killer: After missing an extra point in the first half, the PSU coaches opted to go on fourth down for a touchdown instead of letting Ficken boot a chip-shot. The decision may seem minor, but didn't do anything to boost his confidence, potentially sending the message that the coaches lost all confidence in his abilities. Whether it was tru or not, they still need a kicker and Ficken seems to be that guy, so getting his confidence up is critical.

Flag Day: On the day, PSU was sloppier than their standard on penalties with five violations for 46 yards. Certainly and aspect they have to continue to work on to improve as the get to Big Ten play.


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