#PSUvsIU: The Low (and High) Five

It was bound to happen sooner or later; after a shutout of 16 straight wins Indiana managed to finally get the Nittany Lion off their back. But the 44-24 blowout nature of Penn State's loss to the Hossiers was a rough one to watch. Here are the lows. lows and a few highs from the game.

Penn State looked dazed and confused on a variety of levels throughout the game, particularly on defense.


Offensive Defense: Poor reads, weak tackling, you name it...to say the defense played uninspired would be an understatement. The secondary played sloppy allowing some wide open looks and looked like they had a flight to catch. Overall the defense made this Indiana team look like a national contender. Amazing to see the Hoosiers manhandle a Penn State line. The Lions better figure out how to tackle fast or things could get very ugly.

Nothing Special: The blocked field goal, Eugene Lewis' fumbled kickoff return, special teams we sloppy all-around. Some big contributors here to this loss from the special teams.

Freshman Follies: Christian Hackenberg's numbers may have been his highest thus far, but he largely looked like a freshman in this game, waiting way too long in many cases for things to develop and hurting drives with mental lapses like the intentional grounding and safety. He needs to get his mental clock down immediately. The key is learning from it and improving his game.

Running on Empty: Overall the rushing attack was horrid, gaining an average 1.8 YPC. Zach Zwinak was a bright spot (more on that later), but outside of that it largely put the game on Hackenberg's shoulders.

Disconnected Call: The coaching staff's use of backfield passes worked a few times, but it also blew up on them time and again. The fact they went away from Zach Zwinak as the second half progressed was also a head-scratcher given his success grinding out yardage.


Hard Nosed: Zach Zwinak is an old school, Joe Paterno-type back who grinds out yardage and bowls over players. If the staff is not going to give Akeel Lynch more than three carries, Zwinak should get more looks.

Big Time: One of the few bright spots was Allen Robinson. Nothing new, but Robinson grabbed 12 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. He continues to be an impressive target for the passing game.

Welcome Back: After disappearing in the first few games, tight end Kyle Carter made a return in this game, catching six passes for 79 yards. If he can get it going again, he'll add nice dimension to the passing game and a critical safety value for Hackenberg.

Third Try: Call it a moral victory, but Penn State managed to improve their third down conversions, going 50 percent (11 for 22). Still certainly not where it needs to be, but improved from their recent single-digit outings.

Digging Deep: At least Allen Robinson's injury was not series. I know, I am reaching...but, all things considered, that's a major plus for the team.


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