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31 Random Thoughts on the San Diego State Game

Some random musings on Penn State's third victory of the season.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports


  2. When we vote on our favorite play of 2015 in a few months, I have a feeling which one will come out on top.

  3. Austin Johnson can really move for such a large man. Who says the 40-yard dash time is irrelevant for interior linemen?

  4. It was great to see Anthony Zettel making plays early and often, beginning with the combined sack with Garrett Sickels on the opening drive. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to lose a parent at such a young age. Please send good thoughts and prayers to the Zettel family this week and beyond.

  5. Penn State capitalized on turnovers this week, something that did not happen in the first three contests.

  6. There is a good chance Penn State would be at 2-2 right now if not for its opportunistic play against San Diego State. The defense was in danger of being worn down later in the game after spending so much time on the field, and Donnel Pumphrey is the type of player who can really do some damage against a tired defense.

  7. Troy Apke and Malik Golden filled in very well for Jordan Lucas and Marcus Allen at the safety position.

  8. I had to keep reminding myself that Troy Apke was not Drew Astorino. Both look identical and had a very similar style of play thanks to their aggressiveness and excellent nose for the ball.

  9. Daytime fireworks are pointless.

  10. Penn State does not have the dominating offensive line needed for the delayed run plays they use so frequently.

  11. The coaches noticed a mismatch in coverage and took advantage with two early deep passes to Saeed Blacknall. It was refreshing to see this type of adjustment rather than simply sticking with the predetermined gameplan at all times.

  12. Blacknall has the size and overall talent to be a star, and hopefully Saturday should be the first of his many 100-plus yard receiving games.

  13. Nick Scott and Mark Allen has the breaking speed that has added value to the offense and special teams, but need another offseason or two in the weight room before they can be depended on as every-down backs.

  14. Both also need more experience to learn how to cut to the openings that are available for them, rather than just running where they are supposed to go.

  15. Antoine White showed a glimpse of his potential in the second half. He will excel in a starting role once Zettel and Johnson are playing on Sundays.

  16. Speaking of potential, Troy Reeder’s is unlimited. I believe he will go down with many of the greats at LBU when his time as a Nittany Lion comes to an end.

  17. De’Andre Thompkins needs to work on handling punts. He had a costly fumble and came close to dropping another. Repetition, repetition, repetition will get the job done.

  18. Obviously, the offense is completely different without Akeel Lynch and Saquon Barkley. Lynch’s injury did not look good, but hopefully Barkley can be back at full strength on Saturday. Don’t expect to know anything until game time next week.

  19. The defensive line has looked tremendous in the fourth quarter the last three weeks. Depth, size and talent really wears down the opposing lines. Hopefully, it will be a regular theme once Penn State is in the meat of the conference schedule.

  20. Curtis Cothran and Torrence Brown will be a very dangerous set of ends by 2016.

  21. Christian Hackenberg will never come close to reaching his full potential in this offense that does not suite his (tremendous) strengths. He can put together good outings, but the staff clearly is most concerned with establishing their system for the future rather than working with what they have in the present.

  22. The staff does deserve some credit for finally attacking vertically. This needs to be a more common theme with the speed at the receiver position and Hack’s arm strength.

  23. I think the passing tree only has about four routes. This makes no sense considering all of the talent at the receiver and tight end positions.

  24. The offensive line continues to improve, mostly keeping Hackenberg safe. They opened up some nice lanes in the second half that the young backs just didn’t see.

  25. The crowd was lethargic yesterday. I know night every game is a nightime whiteout, but we can do better than that.

  26. What happened to the excellent rhythm between Hack and Daesean Hamilton we witnessed all last season? This offense is much more productive with number five getting regular looks.

  27. The defense played phenomenal despite a few key injuries. Bob Shoop is a master of adapting to different looks and personnel.

  28. Trevor WIlliams is the most underrated player on the defense. He isn't flashy, but does what is needed week in and week out.

  29. Penn State is halfway to bowl eligibility, something that seemed to be in very serious doubt after the loss to Temple in week one.

  30. A win is a win is a win is a win.

  31. WE ARE...