Penn State toppling Idaho to the tune of a 79-7 shellacking makes it a tough time to roll out this new series, but we’re going to do our best.
New for this year will be Penn State stock reports, where we’ll track the progress of players, coaches, position groups and everything else related to Penn State football.
So without messing around too much, let’s get into it!
All five rostered Penn State running backs scored a touchdown on Saturday, but it was the true freshman from Stafford, Virginia that stood out most among the #LawnBoyz. Ford led the Nittany Lions in rushing and had the biggest play of the day on an 81-yard touchdown run where he showed both good speed and vision. All four running backs should continue to play and Ford had more opportunities than starter Ricky Slade, but the former five-star certainly made his case to be more involved going forward.
Sometimes progress isn’t linear. Keeping in mind the competition, the Lamont Wade that Penn State fans saw on Saturday is the Lamont Wade they hoped they were getting when he first committed to the Nittany Lions. Making his first career start at safety, the junior played fast and physical and led Penn State in tackles on the day. If Wade continues to grow into the position and can play with that sort of speed and ferocity throughout the ball game, the Nittany Lions could have one of the nation’s best secondaries.
Des Holmes and Rasheed Walker
I think there were a good amount of fans out there who were expecting redshirt freshman Rasheed Walker to be pretty special early on his career. Walker was a highly coveted prospect who could’ve picked just about any school in the country. But former three-star Des Holmes was equally impressive. The redshirt sophomore saw time at both left and right tackle and looked comfortable on both sides. Again, you must consider the opponent, but both look ready and able to play at the college level.
Joe Lorig and Jordan Stout
Penn State’s special teams were a disaster last year, so they went out and brought in a couple ringers. Joe Lorig was brought in from Memphis to replace Phil Galiano and Stout came in a walk-on transfer from Virginia Tech. Both proved immediately effective. Lorig’s units looked stout in all phases, while Stout had touchbacks or fair catches on all 13 kickoffs and connected on a 53-yard field goal.
When everyone else is out on the field making big plays and claims for more playing time, it can be tough to watch from the sidelines. Barber, who was listed on the depth chart as a second-team defensive tacle, did not play on Saturday. There’s no word on whether that decision was injury related or discipline related, and if it’s the first then it’s not necessarily fair to him that his stock went down. But such is the nature of the beast when everyone else around you goes and plays well.
While I had no issue getting into the Jordan East lot, the first week of Penn State’s new parking procedures was predictably a nightmare for many. Fans were reporting drive times into the stadium that were three and four times as long as usual. I imagine the system will improve with time when routes can be tweaked and fans can better understand the system, but for the now the disaster that everyone saw coming has been just that, a disaster.