Penn State Blue-White Game: Breakdown

The good, the bad and the ugly from the Nittany Lions’ annual spring scrimmage.

The Blue topped the White 17-7 at Beaver Stadium Saturday, which came as no surprise at all. The Blue was loaded with starters on both sides of the ball.

What was a bit surprising was how, at times, the Blue offense struggled against what was essentially the second-team defense. Despite being guided by starting QB Christian Hackenberg, who was forced to play more than expected due to an unspecified injury to backup Trace McSorley, the Blue gave up five sacks and managed only 35 yards rushing.

Head coach James Franklin did not seem overly concerned by those facts, though.

“I am confident that between now and the start of camp, we can take another step and then continue to grow during camp and be ready to go,” he said.

In the meantime, we're ready to go with our game breakdown right now. Check it out.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Redshirt sophomore RB Nick Scott (shown above) carried nine times for 85 yards and a score for the White. The rest of his team accounted for 14 yards.

CLOSE SECOND: DE Evan Schwan had six tackles and a pair of sacks for the White.

CLOSE THIRD: DE Curtis Cothran had five stops and a couple of sacks.

TURNING POINT: When the rosters were announced and the Blue featured all of the first-teamers on both sides of the ball.

SOLID STRATEGY: Going with a running clock in the second half.

NUMBERS GAME: Somehow, the Blue was credited with only 15 tackles in the game. The White had 44. Hey, it is the off-season for the stat crew, too.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: The pregame place-kicking contest finished in a tie between Joey Julius and Tyler Davis. They both hit 55-yarders but missed from 59.

O'HORA AWARD: DE Garrett Sickels (most improved defense).

WORRELL AWARD: OG Brendan Mahon (most improved offense).

PATRICK AWARD: Dom Salomone, Adam Breneman (dedication to the program).

SPECIAL TEAMS AWARD: Julius.

WHAT'S UP WITH?

Mark Allen fumbled a fair catch of a punt. This is the second time we've seen the redshirt freshman RB put the ball on the turf.

• Hackenberg was probably lucky to get away with the one interception. He had a couple others that should have been picked.

• Former Blue Band honcho Dr. O. Richard Bundy was honored twice more -- once while directing the band before the game and then while directing it for the alma mater after the game. Are they ever going to let this poor guy retire?

TOUGH GUY: Linebackers coach Brent Pry was wiped out on the sideline on an incomplete pass to Geno Lewis in the second quarter. After quickly being checked by a trainer, he popped up and pumped his arms in the air to a big round of applause from the crowd.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: There were no punt returns in the game. But it was still impressive that P Dan Pasquariello averaged 43.7 yards on three boots, and all landed inside the 20.

DID YOU NOTICE?

• Players not in uniform for the game included McSorley, LB Nyeem Wartman, WR DeAndre Thompkins, TE Brent Wilkerson and WR Chris Godwin.

• Players who dressed but did not play included Breneman and LB Ben Kline.

• Former Lion Devon Still handled the coin flip.

• The uniforms did not feature names, but did include Uplifting Athletes patches. They appeared to feature a new style of number, too.

• For the first time anyone could remember, the two teams stationed themselves on opposite sides of the field. And then the White team exited through the visitor’s tunnel at halftime..

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Will the O-line make as much improvement between now and the start of the season as Franklin expects?


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