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Three Reasons for Optimism- Offense

Three reasons why Penn State fans should be excited about the offense in 2013.


1. Allen Robinson
Do you remember how dominant Robinson was at times last season? There were teams that just had no answer, and creating offense was as simple as tossing the ball up in Robinson's general direction. By all accounts, Robinson is stronger, faster and has improved his technique during the offseason. He only was involved in a handful of plays in the Blue-White Game, but it looked like he somehow managed to take his game to a new level following a record-breaking sophomore campaign. If Robinson can eliminate some of the drops from last season, he is a serious contender to be Penn State's first Biletnikoff Trophy winner since Bobby Engram earned it in 1994. Regardless, he will be a major challenge for even the best defensive backs Penn State faces all season long.

2. A Full Arsenal
What to do if defenses go all in to stop Robinson? Well, then just get the ball in one of the other many playmakers Penn State has at its disposal. There are several returning and new, highly-touted receivers just itching to have the ball thrown their way more (Alex Kenney, Eugene Lewis, Brandon Mosbey-Felder, Richie Anderson and Blue-White Game standout Matt Zanellato).

The talent at tight end is so deep that a returning starter switched to a new position during the offseason. Opposing defenses will be well-prepared fro Kyle Carter after his breakout redshirt freshman season, but will not be able to key on him thanks to talents like Jesse James (who I think will overtake Carter as the leading receiver at TE, but that's for another day), Matt Lehman, the versatile Brent Wilkerson and possibly event the top incoming tight end in the nation in Adam Breneman. It's hard to imagine another tight end unit in the nation as skilled as Penn State's.

Last year we witnessed the meteoric rise of Zach Zwinak, to the point where he his effectiveness was being limited because of over-reliance by the coaching staff. Once Zwinak recovers from the wrist injury suffered during the Blue-White game, the 1,000-yard rusher shouldn't get nearly as worn down in 2013. Akeel Lynch seems to a complete feature back in the making, the extremely athletic Bill Belton will be used in a variety of roles in the backfield to create mismatches and Deron Thompson could even build on his stellar Blue-White performance to earn playing time this fall.

3. The Brain of BO'B
Sometimes I think we, as a Penn State fanbase, have put too much faith in O'Brien's abilities after just one season. After starting my post-NCAA Tournament tradition of re-watching the previous Penn State season, I'm still amazed with what O'Brien was able to do with the offense. He inherited a complete mess on one side of the ball, and then lost the leading rusher, receiver and several role players just a few weeks prior to the start of the season. He then managed to transform the offense into one of the better units from the past 12 years in Happy Valley. He now has the advantage of one season as head coach, and a full offseason to further implement his offensive philosophy. If O'Brien can prevent a huge drop-off in quarterback play, the sky is the limit with this offense.