Take Your Marks: Offensive Awards

Brennan and Harrington offer their takes on the Penn State offensive MVP for the 2009 regular season and more in this edition of TYM.

Welcome to the latest edition of Take Your Marks, the occasional series with FOS staffers Mark Brennan and Mark Harrington discuss and debate topic related to Penn State football. In this installment, they present their individual offensive postseason awards.


Brennan: Quarterback Daryll Clark was the undisputed leader of the offense. Even when times were tough, he never quit. And, by the way, he's had a great statistical year, leading the Big Ten in pass efficiency and -- with a bowl game remaining -- already setting school season records for passing TDs (23) and yardage (2,787). Further, he has been named first-team All-Big Ten twice.

Harrington: Clark deserves a lot of credit, but I am going to go with tailback Evan Royster here. With back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons, Royster is averaging 5.9 yard per carry and has six rushing touchdowns so far this season. Add in that he has 187 yards receiving and two TDs on 16 catches and it is further proof that he us versatile, dependable weapon on offense for PSU.


Harrington: I know a lot of folks expected him to appear as a target this season, but wideout Derek Moye the go-to weapon in the passing game. On the year he has grabbed 45 catches for 732 (16.2 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. Moye has shown he is difficult to cover and attracted double teams and bracket coverage at times, opening opportunities up for Graham Zug.

Brennan: I figured Zug would be an important part of the receiving corps. But I can't say I expected him to approach the numbers he posted in the regular season -- 42 catches, 549 yards, seven touchdowns. Derrick Williams never had more than four TDs catches in a season and Jordan Norwood never had more than six.


Brennan: Rookie wideout/tailback/quarterback Curtis Drake looked great practically every time he got a chance in the regular season. He really took off when starting wideout Chaz Powell was injured in the Indiana game. Drake averaged 9.0 yards on three carries, 12.3 yards on 7 catches and connected on 1 of 2 passes for 14 yards and a score. He is as elusive and quick as anyone the Lions have had in recent years.

Harrington: I am with you on Drake. An explosive player, Drake has the makings of one of those versatile weapons who adds another dimension to an offense. He's a quick, elusive and heady player who could really break open some plays down the road.


Harrington: I am going with fullback Joe Suhey. There was a lot of grumbling among fans when Suhey got a scholarship nod a few years ago, but there is no denying the impact he has on this offense. Aside from laying out some consistent blocking, Suhey is a possession player who carried the ball 19 times for 59 yards in the regular season. But he really excels as a target out of the backfield. In this role he has pulled in 21 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown.

Brennan: Senior Dennis Landolt moved from right tackle to left tackle and has been a steady force on an otherwise inconsistent offensive line. It can't be easy for him after being part of the Big Ten's best O-line last year. But he has not griped, has met the media after wins and losses, and has never had anything negative to say about his linemates.


Brennan: Speedy Devon Smith would have been in the mix here before Joe Paterno benched him for cutting classes. So I'll go with Drake, even though we did not see as much of him during the regular as I would have liked.

Harrington: Drake is impressive, but I am giving the nod to Justin Brown. With reps in nine games, Brown used his size and speed to create mismatches on his way to catching five balls for 78 yards for an impressive 15.6 yards per catch. Plus he got in on some punt returns.


Harrington: Considering there are only two true sophomores on offense this season (Pannell and Beachum), I have to go with Brandon Beachum. It's a shame he was sidelined with an injury, but he showed a nice blend of quickness and power on his runs with since nice reads in traffic.

Brennan: Agreed. Beachum played very well before sustaining a torn ACL late in the season. When Stephfon Green was hurt, Beachum moved from fullback to backup tailback and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. He also caught three passes for 29 yards and was a key player on special teams.


Brennan: It was great to see senior tight end Andrew Quarless finally pull it all together. He had 33 catches for 448 yards and three scores during the regular season. As importantly, he proved to be an outstanding blocker. I doubt anyone in the program did more to improve their NFL Draft stock than Quarless.

Harrington: Quarless is the obvious choice here. He really turned it on and has made the most of his last shot in Happy Valley. I still think he needs to work on his blocking, but his ability to create separation has NFL scouts anxious to see him in drills to see what kind of numbers he can post.

Fight On State Top Stories