Welcome to the latest installment of FightOnState.com's Monday Morning Fullback, where former Penn State football player Matt Hahn breaks down the Nittany Lions' most recent game. You've heard of Monday morning quarterback. Well, in covering PSU football, we think hearing from a fullback is more appropriate. And who better to chime in than Hahn, one of the more versatile, intelligent and selfless power backs in school history.
GENERAL THOUGHTS: Dominating performance for the Lions. Once again the team looked solid from top to bottom. Offense rolled, defense swarmed and special teams came up with the big plays. Next week is more of the same when Penn State travels to Syracuse.
GAME MVP: Daryll Clark wins my game MVP. Although Evan Royster is just as deserving, Clark was poised and in control. He looked comfortable and stepped up and made some phenomenal throws to Jordan Norwood. Clark had some very impressive runs, namely his 18-yard touchdown where he looked like a tight end dragging Beaver defenders into the end zone. You can tell Clark has a great command of the offense and plays with confidence.
KEY PLAY: Clark's touchdown pass to Mickey Shuler in the first quarter. Another confidence-boosting play for Clark and a great moment for a player like Shuler, who works hard and is starting to emerge as a player the Lions can count on.
WHAT I LIKED: Navarro Bowman. The guy is all over the field. If he is in the game he is either making the tackle, in on the tackle or around the ball and someone just happened to make the play before he did. Definitely has a nose for the football and definitely has defensive play-making ability. I also love what he brings to the table on special teams. I noticed two or three times when he flat out ran past his man on kickoff coverage and came up with the tackle.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I think this is an obvious call for anyone who watched the game. It was tough to see Jerome Hayes go down with another ACL injury. I got to spend a lot of time with Jerome at the end of last season and into the winter as we rehabbed together. (Editor's Note: Hahn and Hayes both sustained ACL injuries while playing for PSU in 2007.) I must say he helped me personally get through a lot of early mornings of grueling rehab because of his positive outlook and energy. Good football player; even better guy. I'm sure whatever lies ahead of him, he will attack with the same energy he attacks every thing else.
DID YOU NOTICE: Norwood passing O.J. McDuffie for third on Penn State's all-time receptions list? He also set a career high in receiving yards (116). A great day for Jordan.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Spent all day watching college football Saturday. I have not seen an offensive line dominate the line of scrimmage like Penn State's. A lot of people are comparing them to the offensive line of the 1994 team. Not sure if they are quite worthy of that comparison yet, but a couple more performances like this in the coming weeks and the same kind of performances once the Big Ten starts and they might be.
Matt Hahn was a four-year letterman at Penn State, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 7.9 yards per catch in his career (2004-07). He was one of the key blocking backs for 1,000-yard rushers Tony Hunt and Rodney Kinlaw. He is one of the few players in school history to register touchdowns on the ground, through the air and after recovering a blocked punt.