OVERALL: The Nittany Lions did enough to win but showed a lack of overall polish.
OFFENSE: The Syracuse defense played well. But we thought this unit left a lot out there and did not take advantage of a strong effort by the defense.
DEFENSE: Yes, there was some poor tackling. And yes, there was that two-play, 65-yard Orange TD drive when the Lions had a chance to put things away. But you can't quibble with one long TD drive and 260 yards allowed. Nice effort under new coordinator John Butler.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Good work by a unit that really struggled last year.
COACHING: An improvement from last season's opener for Bill O'Brien and company. But they'll be the first to admit they have to get even more dialed in.
INTANGIBLES: Penn State never lost its cool, even when things went haywire. That's something upon which to build.
OTHER GUY: Syracuse is a tough team but does not appear to be overly athletic.
OFFICIALS: The Big 12 crew seemed to do a good job overall.
CROWD: The Penn State fans on hand were great. Definitely overshadowed the home crowd from Syracuse. The announced attendance of 61,202 was a stretch, though.