Mark Brennan

Penn State Blue-White Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and the muggy from Penn State's annual spring scrimmage.

Penn State’s Blue-White Game at Beaver Stadium Saturday was not much of a game. 

With the Blue roster loaded with the older and/or more talented players expected to make an impact this fall, the affair was beyond one-sided: Blue 37, White 0.

But there were still noteworthy things that happened on the sunny afternoon.

Here is our take.

MAN OF THE HOUR

Head coach James Franklin insists the quarterback competition is still open. But redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley made a statement with his play Saturday. He completed an amazing 26 of 30 passes for 281 yards, four scores and one interception. In fairness, redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens spent most of the day on the overmatched White — and running for his life. Nevertheless, McSorley looked terrific. He was accurate, threw from the pocket and on the run, and just looked comfortable back there.

CLOSE SECOND

Backup running back Mark Allen was promoted to the first team, as starter Saquon Barkley got the day off. Allen responded with 14 carries for 60 yards and five catches for 48 yards. He played for both teams, too, which was fun.

CLOSE THIRD

Walk-on DE Colin Castagna had a nice day for the White, with six tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack.

TURNING POINT

This pretty much happened when they picked the teams.

SOLID STRATEGY

We’d say the running clock, but we use that old gag every year. So we’ll go with PSU’s new hurry-up offense, which looked good when the QBs had a little time. 

NUMBERS GAME

Despite playing 12-minute quarters with mostly running clock, the offenses combined for 88 plays. Pretty impressive.

SPECIAL DELIVERY

Have to say there was not much special — and not only because the kicking game was not really live. The punt and kickoffs still looked dicey overall. The new scholarship specialists can’t get here soon enough.

WHAT'S UP WITH?

• We’re sure there was a grand plan in place, but it would have been fun to see some one vs. one action.

• Likewise, Stevens got limited action with the Blue. Would have loved to see more of him with the No. 1 O-line, especially after McSorley dominated the action for so long.

HIDDEN HEROES

A shout-out to both offenses for coming out of the game with zero fumbles and only one interception.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE

The Blue, with McSorley doing most of the damage, spread the ball to 10 different receivers.

DID YOU NOTICE?

• Penn State introduced its entire Class of 2016 before the game, even though not all of them were on hand. My, how things have changed.

• Noah Beh and Paris Palmer alternated snaps at RT. Both played only for the Blue.

• The White O-line could not block the Blue D-line.

AWARD WINNERS

• DE Evan Schwan (Jim O’Hora — most improved defense)

• WR Saeed Blacknall (Red Worrell — most improved offense)

• LB Brandon Smith and WR DaeSean Hamilton (Frank Patrick — total commitment)

• LS Tyler Yazujian (special teams)

UNANSWERED QUESTION

Is this really still a QB competition?


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