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Three Takeaways From Penn State’s 34-27 Victory Over Indiana

A win is a win is a win.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

1. The secondary is still broken.

A week after giving up 339 yards passing yards to Minnesota, the secondary once again had an uninspiring performance as the Hoosiers totaled 371 yards through the air. If you combine Tanner Morgan’s and Peyton Ramsey’s performances, it means the Nittany Lion defense has given up 710 passing yards and an 80.3% completion rate over the last two weeks.

Not good ever, but especially not good when Justin Fields and the Buckeyes are coming up next.

Sure, adjustments were made: after giving up two big passing plays to Indiana on the first two drives, Penn State did a much better job of keeping everything in front of them. But even so, that bandaid is not on very securely, and it’s clear the Buckeyes will rip that sucker off in seconds.

2. Ricky Rahne and the offensive line continue to redeem themselves.

I don’t read the comment section as much as I should so maybe this is me hitting a beehive, but Ricky Rahne and the offensive line both had strong performances today.

Rahne (without Noah Cain for the whole game and KJ Hamler for much of the game) was able to string together scoring drives when needed — most importantly, a nine-minute, one-second, 18-play, 75-yard drive capped off with a Sean Clifford touchdown on fourth and goal to (mostly) seal Penn State’s victory.

A big reason for an 18-play drive? The offensive line was moving folks around. 14 of the 18 plays were designed runs, so give credit to Will Fries, Rasheed Walker, CJ Thorpe, Michal Menet, and Steven Gonzalez. They are not the ‘94 or ‘08 offensive line, but it’s a competent unit that has shown the ability to close out games, which isn’t something Penn State has had for much of this decade.

3. From a game planning and health perspective, Penn State needs an A+ week.

Indiana beat. Attention turns to Ohio State. Couple things need to happen this week:

  1. Noah Cain and KJ Hamler need to get healthy. The Nittany Lions need both to be playing next week.
  2. Brent Pry needs to work some magic. Obviously, the struggles are not all on Pry — the players should take plenty of the blame too. But it’s obvious that whatever Pry has been trying isn’t working and won’t work next week. I imagine a lot of long, sleepless nights at Lasch over the next few days, because the game plan defensively is going to need to be whacky.

Time to shock the world.