PITTSBURGH — Our report card from Penn State’s 42-39 loss to Pitt here Saturday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is kind of like our overall grade. Some good and some bad. But on balance, slightly below average.
True, Penn State never gave up. But it could never get all the way over the hump, either.
Not a great game, but the Panthers get bonus points for making big plays when big plays were needed.
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.
Great atmosphere. But not quite what you’re going to encounter at several B1G stops.