THE HIGH FIVE
Runnin' Royster: Evan Royster continues to show that he is a determined workhouse rolling up 141 yards on the day. Royster slashed his way through the Purdue defense. Watching him read and react to his blocks is a real treat.
Air Attack: Daryll Clark, despite some periods of lull in the passing game, managed to again spread the ball around to a variety of targets like Graham Zug, Brett Brackett, Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Andrew Quarless. Even Royster got in pulling in four passes.
Air Defense: Sure Purdue's kicker helped out the Lions, but the PSU defense held up Kory Sheets and the high-octane Boiler. It had a lapse here and there, allowing a late fourth quarter Purdue touchdown. But a tip of the cap to Navorro Bowman, Anthony Scirrotto and Drew Astorino
Building Blocks: Penn State continued to show sharp downfield blocking throughout the game, a key fundamental it'll need down the road as it enters the Big Ten gauntlet of Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State coming up.
True Grit: Penn State came out slow but it adopted a gritty approach to this game and showed it can buckle down and get a solid road win. We'll see if this helps PSU turn the corner of the recent road woes it has experienced in recent years.
THE LOW FIVE
Gas is on the Right: Once again Penn State came into a road game where it could not get it going until the second quarter. The Lions stalled in the first quarter, going scoreless. this continues to be something PSU has to address as it looks ahead.
Third Down Thud: Believe it or not Penn State is much more effective on third and long than third and short. The Lions were stuffed on a few third-and-1 opportunities, yet Clark hit Butler on a toe-dragging third-and-17 pickup. The Nits have to nail down this.
Secondary a Primary Concern: For the better part of the first half, the PSU secondary struggled on those second-down Curtis Painter passes, allowing the Boilers to consistently pick up five, six, seven or eight yards to give them convertible third and shorts. The defensive backs need to tighten down the bolts of the coverage in coming weeks.
Slip Slidin' Away: Does the Boiler hockey team play at Ross-Ade? Purdue's turf sure looked like ice Saturday. Penn State had at least a half dozen slips on key runs, including a third-and-goal option toss to Williams. PSU should have broken out the extra long spikes at the half.
Runnin' Scared: Clark seems determined to pass, almost ignoring his legs with several key opportunities to convert the first down on the run, yet electing to pass. No harm pumping those legs and picking up the first. Faster defenses won't be giving as much time to Clark as Purdue did.
Kickin' Themselves: Wow, missing two field goals and an extra point, it's no wonder Purdue went for it on fourth down three times.
Toss That Monkey: After 11 quarters of not scoring a touchdown on Penn State, Purdue finally put a late on on the board. Way for Purdue to shake that monkey off its back.
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