Harvey Levine/FOS

PSU-Pitt: FOS Game Report Card

Who made the grade and who came up short in the shootout at Heinz Field? We let you know.

PITTSBURGH — Our report card from Penn State’s 42-39 loss to Pitt here Saturday.

OVERALL

Losing to the Panthers will always sting the Nittany Lions. But this could have really gotten out of hand and didn’t. Faint praise, we know. 

Grade: C-

OFFENSE

Did you expect Penn State to score 39 points in this game? We didn’t think so. Despite some killer turnovers, there were some pretty clear signs of this unit’s potential.  

Grade: B-

DEFENSE

Did you expect Penn State to give up 42 points? We didn’t think so. Listen, we get that guys played with a lot of heart. And we get that the D-line is a work in progress. But when you allow a team to rush for 341 yards and you also struggle to tackle, that’s an obvious fail.

Grade: F

SPECIAL TEAMS

Penn State finally has the punter and kicker situations settled, and the return men are looking good. But we have to wonder how many more chances Joey Julius (who is now the kickoff specialist) is going to get. A poor kickoff — which brought back memories of last season — led to a huge Panther return at a key moment.

Grade: B

COACHING

This is kind of like our overall grade. Some good and some bad. But on balance, slightly below average.

Grade: C-

INTANGIBLES

True, Penn State never gave up. But it could never get all the way over the hump, either.

Grade: D

OTHER GUY

Not a great game, but the Panthers get bonus points for making big plays when big plays were needed.

Grade: B+

OFFICIALS

We’ll revisit this if necessary. But we were under the impression that defenses are not allowed to throw off clap snaps by the offense with claps of its own. Pitt did this early in the game, leading to confusion by the PSU offense. 

Grade: D

CROWD

Great atmosphere. But not quite what you’re going to encounter at several B1G stops.

Grade: B+


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