Naturally the spring game is the kind of thing that you should never read into deeply. If it was, Nick Scott could win the 2015 Heisman Trophy (which he may do, and it would be awesome, but I will bet $5 that doesn't happen).
Really, the 2015 Penn State spring game didn't tell us all that much regarding the 2015 Nittany Lions. Team Blue took down Team White, 17-7, in a perfectly cromulent football game.
There's no reason to get up in arms about the sacks Christian Hackenberg, uh, "suffered" at the hands of the defense of the white team. We shouldn't freak out because Anthony Zettel couldn't wrap up Scott on the latter's awesome touchdown run. Every single position battle is still up in the air, so don't read too far into one player getting more run over another.
Still, there were a few nice moments from the entire game/scrimmage/practice/whatever you want to call it. The undisclosed injury that held Trace McSorley out for the afternoon wasn't a good thing, but it was fun to watch Hackenberg run an offense for basically an entire game, as he went 17-for-29 with 180 yards and a score.
Along those lines, we got to see Hackenberg get in work with some guys who are expected to have big years in 2015: Saeed Blacknall (6 catches, 71 yards), Geno Lewis (6, 61) and Kyle Carter (3, 36) led the way in the receiving game, and that's without Chris Godwin playing or DaeSean Hamilton (2, 20) doing much. It wasn't always pretty -- Hackenberg was "sacked" five times -- but hey! There were some nice moments. And if Blacknall has a monster year, there's a chance that Rutgers burns to the ground. Or something.
Speaking of nice stuff, the running game was on point for both sides. Akeel Lynch looks like the next great all-purpose back to come through Happy Valley, as he is a powerful runner with plenty of speed and agility. The 6'0", 220 pound Canadian Destroyer ran the ball nine times today for 50 yards against Team White's defense. On the other side, Scott looked like he could be a shifty change-of-pace back that separates from the rest of the pack for the team's backup running back spot, as he led the squad with 77 rushing yards on nine carries. Both Lynch and Scott had touchdowns in the game.
And how about that Team Blue defense! It's the first-team unit with a few exceptions (namely, Nyeem Wartman was out), but for the most part, it was stifling. Team White ran 25 plays for 99 yards, with 51 of them coming on Scott's Beast Mode run. Team White's passing game was virtually non-existent, as Tommy Stevens and Billy Fessler went a combined 3-for-11 with 19 yards. Was that exactly what you should expect out of a true freshman and a walk-on against one of the best defenses in America? Of course.
Eh, you know what? Screw it. We probably shouldn't take much of anything away from this game. Everything is a work in progress, which it should be, because it's April and we're 141 days away from Penn State's season opener against Temple. There were various reasons that plenty of notable players didn't get as much run as they wanted to, or any run at all, and there are still 22 more guys who aren't even on campus yet who can possibly make some kind of an impact.
At the end of the day, let's celebrate one thing that didn't happen during today's game, the one thing that could have made today go from a nice day in Happy Valley to a disaster. Take it away, James:
Franklin: "We stayed healthy, which is the most important thing, especially in our situation."— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) April 18, 2015
Today was a good day.