My Grades For Penn State Against Indiana State

I'm actually pretty surprised that the grades aren't up yet, but just for fun, here are my grades.

UPDATED 9/17/11: I give retroactive grade boosts sometimes. Looking at how good Indiana State is doing for a I-AA team so far, I may have been a tad unfair in my grades, so I'll update my grades.

UPDATED AGAIN 10/15/11: They deserve yet another, just like our game against Alabama got today.

Overall - C+ B+: Some of the things this team did really impressed me, some things left me shaking my head, but overall it was about what I expected. It's kind of weird to finish a game with no emotion afterwards, usually I feel elation if the win big, frustration if they fall short of expectations, or disappointment if they lose a heartbreaker, but here I felt merely content that they did what they were supposed to. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was that I underestimated our defense and I overestimated our offense.

Offense - D C C+: Here's one area of the team where overall I was not impressed. Don't get me wrong, I thought the running backs did great, especially Redd, but the quarterback play, wide receiver play, and offensive line leave me more than a bit concerned. Giving up two (or was it three) sacks to an FCS team is never encouraging. This makes me worry that although I think we can beat Alabama, it won't be with our offense. What we'll have to worry about is something like Wisconsin 2004. But even when the O-line game them time, neither Bolden nor McGloin really impressed me. I know they were keeping it simple for week one, but 114 combined passing yards with three quarterbacks in concerns me.

Defense - A+ A++: Now here is an area where I thought the team did phenomenally. I'm not going to hold that last touchdown against them, since it came against guys near the bottom of te depth chart. All parts of the defense looked phenomenal. Last year the Youngstown State Penguins had something like 260 yards of offense. Indiana State after three quarters had 99 yards of offense and finished with 170. I know it's just Indiana State, but I didn't see any of the concerns that I did last year against Youngstown State. Jack Crawford and Jordan Hill seemed to spend the entire day in the backfield and the takeaways combined with Alabama's five turnovers against Kent State make me think that we'll see a reversal of last year in the Alabama game.

Special Teams - C- C+: Or rather, Chaz Powell A+, everyone else F. The return game was sorely lacking as was the coverage in the first half. The coverage got better as the game progressed, but the kicking game needs a lot of work. Going into 2011, I knew the kicking game would have its share of troubles, but I never imagined that it'd be like this. Evan Lewis, although he's a good kid who worked hard to be where he's at, really isn't what we need against teams like Alabama, Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. He cost us a touchdown's worth of points, although 3 of those are Johnnie Troutman's fault. Sam Ficken is an unknown at this point, but his kicks seemed to have more zip. Also, the kickoff coverage needs to improve, or it'll be Ohio State 2009 all over again.

Gameball goes to - Silas Redd, who ran for 104 yards in today's game. 94 came in the first half alone. I can see this kid giving opposing defenses nightmares.

It was over when: Indiana State kicked off and Chaz Powell took it to the house 95 yards.

Next Opponent - Alabama: Not many are giving us a chance in this game, but I think not only can we beat Alabama, but we will. Maybe the defense's performance against the Sycamores has me drinking too much blue and white kool-aid but I think we'll get the turnovers and big plays for a huge upset that'll come down to the wire.

So, what does everyone think of the grades? Too generous? Too harsh? Mix of both? Just right? Should I have broken down offense, defense, and special teams into individual categories?

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