Penn State is up 14-7 over Michigan State, but the Nittany Lions currently find themselves in a weather delay. There’s still plenty of game left — we’re only seven minutes through the 2nd quarter — but here are three quick thoughts as we wait for play to resume at 4 p.m.
Linebackers Struggling In Coverage
The defense in general is having a rough day, but the linebackers are especially playing poorly. Michigan State seems to be following Ohio State’s blueprint of find the spot spots behind Penn State’s linebackers. What the Spartans are doing isn’t all that complicated — a lot of slants and go routes down the seam — so if the Nittany Lions linebackers can get into position when dropping back, it shouldn’t be as easy for the Spartans offense.
Third Down Blues
Michigan State has found itself in three 3rd-and-long situations — 3rd-and-19, 3rd-and-11, and 3rd-and-10 — and converted all of them. We highlighted the defensive struggles above, so it’s pivotal that moving forward, the Penn State defense gets off the field when it has the Spartans precarious situations.
Offense Looks Solid Despite No Run Game
The Nittany Lions have run the ball a total of six times for two yards, but despite the lack of any semblance of a run game, Joe Moorhead and Co. aren’t having too much trouble moving the ball down the field. Outside of an early interception, Trace McSorley has played well, going 15-of-22 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also doing a great job of spreading the ball around, with seven players recording a reception, and Daesean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki each hauling in four receptions a piece.