See the highs and lows from the Nittany Lions’ 13-7 win over Indiana in Bloomington.
managed to finally halt their losing skid with a 13-7 victory in Bloomington to Indiana
. Here's a look at the highs and lows from the Nittany Lion affair.
THE HIGH FIVE
Go, Fight, Win:
Sure, it wsn't pretty, but it was it was victory and one that the Nittany Lion needed, if for nothing more than to build some confidence for the squad and for the sanity of the PSU fans.
Sure, Zander Diamont is a true freshman, but a slippery one at that. Penn State's front seven managed to keep him bottled up to 58 yards (4.1 YPC), despite the misdirection and trickery from the IU scheme. On the other side, they managed to hold RB Tevin Coleman
to 71 yards on the ground (3.6 YPC).
Despite the QB issues, more on that later, the PSU receiving game has a number of young targets who are emerging and making plays - Geno Lewis
, DaeSean Hamilton
, Mike Gesicki
, Chris Godwin
and Saeed Blacknail are all young receivers who combined for 10 receptions. If the QB situation and offensive line can ultimately get squared away the Lions could have a heck of a air attack in years to come.
Miles and Miles:
On a positive note, Miles Dieffenbach
made a return to the field after his off-season ACL injury. It was a huge boost to the line, but enough to give the unit some added experience, despite Dieffenbach looking rusty at times. All-in-all his return is good for PSU.
I am going to give a nod to PSU's punting game, which averaged 37.3 yards per kick. Sure, I am grading on a curve here, but Danile Pasquariello fared much better for PSU special teams than what we have seen in previous games. What was key wasfive of his nine kicks ended up inside the Indiana 20-yard line.
THE LOW FIVE
While technically a football game, this was yet another ugly outing by Penn State football, and specifically the offense. It was painful to watch at times, and while Indiana never really seemed to mount a threat against PSU offensively, I think a lot of fans were doubtful PSU could overcome the 7-0 deficit on Hackenberg's pick-6. Franklin promised way back when against Michigan
he and the staff would fix the offensive issues. I am starting to beliive he didn't mean this season.
Running on Empty:
Sure, the numbers looked good, but with 162 yards and, sure Bill Belton
had the longest touchdown run (92 yards) in Penn State history (tying Blair Thomas' non-TD run against Syracuse
in 1986), but those numbers were skewed with that run. Otherwise Belton and Akeel Lynch
rolled up a combined 70 yards on 28 carries or 2.5 YPC. No bueno.
I expect my in-box to get some colorful responses from this, but Christian Hackenberg
needs some sort of wake-up call. He's completely off his game; his mental clock is off, he takes way too many coverage sacks, he continues to force balls and he fails to protect the ball (two INTs with another pick-6). People want to point squarely at the offensive line, but this line, despite it's regular change-ups gives Hackenberg time on many snaps, which seems to be a bad thing for him. And they have no hand in him taking these coverage sacks or throwing passes at receivers' feet.
PSU's return game is basically non-existent; it's passive and has no spark. The biggest spark on the day was Jesse Della Valle's return for 24 yards. Other than that it's fair catches all day long. It's amazing that the coaches can't find an alternative.
Has their been an offensive line with more changes than Penn State's? With the return of Dieffenbach the Lions got a boost in experience, but the unit has simply been unable to get any level of consistency to try to build off of.