The redshirt sophomore opened the 2014 season on a tear, with 20 catches for 380 yards through three games. Included were several clutch fourth-quarter grabs in come-from-behind wins over UCF in Ireland and at Rutgers.
Without Lewis, Penn State, which is 4-2 heading into Saturday night's home game with 5-1 Ohio State, could well be 2-4.
Since then, however, his production has fallen way off. In the last three games, he has a total of 12 catches for 132 yards. Most of that came in the blowout of a bad UMass squad. In a loss at Michigan two weeks ago, Lewis was pulled from the starting lineup and had a season-low three catches for 17 yards.
Earlier this week, James Franklin indicated there were some issues with Lewis. But he was not clear on what they were, only that he felt they had been resolved.
I'm expecting Geno to have a big week and a real big second half of the season, Franklin explained. There were some things that we needed to get cleaned up with a consistency standpoint with him and had a meeting with him and it went extremely well.
But then Franklin indicated there were injury problems, as well.
He also had some bumps and bruises and things like that that were affecting his practice reps and time, the coach said. So I think he's back to feeling 100 percent, and understanding the importance of the consistency of doing the things that we're asking him to do.
So what was it? A lack of consistency? Bumps and bruises? Both?
Or was something more sinister in the works?
Think about the timing of all this. Lewis' production has dipped dramatically since the 13-10 win over Rutgers. His final reception in that game was a clutch 23-yarder on third-and-12 from the RU 29 that allowed the Lions to overcome a holding penalty to gain a first-and-goal (they would ultimately score the game-winning TD on a Bill Belton run).
On the catch, Lewis wiped out some old, slow-footed, dim-witted video schlub on the sideline. If you missed it, here is footage of the play and the over-the-hill, plodding camera guy being knocked down. He was obviously too stupid to realize he had just been steam-rolled and could only mutter something about getting an unbelievable shot.
Lewis hasn't had another big catch since.
His longest reception in the loss to Northwestern was 12 yards. His longest vs. Michigan was eight yards.
It is pretty clear here that the Football Gods are punishing Lewis -- a gifted athlete with a world of talent -- for hammering the video guy -- a creaky-boned, ham-fisted, turtle-fast has-been -- thus causing said video guy much ridicule and scorn from his peers, fans and even the BTN.
I know this, you see, because that ol' has-been is me. And though I did not play the game past seventh grade, the Football Gods have always looked out for yours truly, as I had never previously been hit during my media duties. We're talking hundreds of games.
This all occurred to me at PSU's open practice Wednesday, when Lewis caught a pass, headed in my direction, and then steered as far away from me as he could.
Check it out (though we had to censor part that may have been too wide for the PSU coaching staff's liking).
Since Lewis has obviously learned his lesson, I am asking the Football Gods to remove the curse, and let him resume the outstanding season he was enjoying before he crashed into me. ;)
With that out of the way, see what Lewis had to say when he talked to the media earlier this week. He's pretty candid about his meeting with Franklin, and discusses a bunch of other topics.