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OH NOES -- Wait, This Actually Isn't So Terrible After All

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Before the season, we looked at five areas of concern for the 2009 Nittany Lions.  Now that we have a little down time -- sorry EIU -- let's examine how the OH NOEZ have played out over the first five games of the year.

#5 -- Kicker

Collin Wagner has been okay.  His kickoffs have been either too short or too low, and the coverage team has suffered.  We still haven't seen Anthony Fera yet, not even for kickoff duties.  Is redshirting a kicker weird or stupid?  I honestly have no answer.  Also, I haven't won 387 games as a head coach.  Wagner has made all of his extra points, and is 3/6 on field goals.  He missed both of his field goal attempts outside of 30 yards, memorably coming up inches short from 48 yards against Iowa and causing an absurd amount of grief throughout the PSU fanbase.  (Seriously, it was 48 yards on a wet field.  That's not Craig Fayak yanking a 20 yarder against Miami in '92). A lack of meaningful long attempts make it hard to fully assess his performance.

#4 -- Wide Receivers

This group is a pleasant surprise, led by Derek Moye (19 catches, 309 yards, 2 TD's).  Chaz Powell (15-213-2) and Graham Zug (15-181-2) have also done quite well.  We haven't seen much from the freshmen, aside from an occasional Devon Smith (4-30-0) sighting.  Curtis Drake and Justin Brown have played sparingly.  Brett Brackett has been completely missing from the offensive gameplan.

#3 -- Daryll Clark's Health

Hey, so far, so good.  He was mostly forbidden from running early in the season, but that changed against Illinois.   Kevin Newsome still hasn't seen much live action, throwing a grand total of six passes so far.  It would be nice to get him some playing time without Clark having to be injured.

#2 -- Offensive Line

Clearly the team's weak spot, even with their vastly improved performance against Illinois (although Illinois hasn't put up much of a fight against anybody this season).  They had difficulties during the non-conference trio of games, and were completely annihilated against Iowa.  The EIU game isn't likely to tell us much.  We'll see how they play against Minnesota and Northwestern.

#1 -- Secondary

Most of us were utterly terrified about this group, but they've actually been rather good.  Not particularly tested to date by a great passing attack, but good nonetheless.  Nice to see true freshman Stephon Morris making an impact so early in his career.

Overall, the fears haven't quite come to fruition, with the obvious exception of the offensive line against Iowa.  Perhaps it's a lack of a reliable sample -- Wagner hasn't been called upon for an important long kick and our defense hasn't exactly faced the Fun n' Gun yet.  Still, progress in many areas.  Better.  Not perfect.

Mr Perfect - Table Tennis vignette (via sxdx20000)