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Three Takeaways From Penn State’s Pathetic Loss to Maryland

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What a joke.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Gross. We’ll keep these short after today’s debacle.

1. Heads have to roll

Look, unless he leaves for another job, Penn State isn’t getting rid of James Franklin. It’s not in a position to buy him out and even if it were you’re not going to be able to afford a good enough replacement in a post-pandemic world. That’s just the reality. But Brent Pry? He needs to be worried. Tim Banks? Terry Smith? They should be worried. Penn State is playing terribly, its recruiting terribly and it’s quickly becoming a laughing stock. There needs to be MAJOR, MAJOR changes after this season and it can’t be as simple as a position coach or two. If there aren’t this is going to get even uglier and more pathetic.

2. Time to hit the portal

If Ta’Quan Roberson isn’t going to get a chance next week, he should probably just transfer and Penn State needs to hit the transfer portal in hopes of finding a capable starting quarterback. Sean Clifford isn’t even close to good enough right now. I’m not sure what happened between last year and this, but he’s taken an unimaginably large step backward. While Clifford had his down moments last season, when he was healthy he was largely pretty good. Right now, he doesn’t even look like a Power Five quarterback. Kirk Ciarrocca schemed open receiver after receiver on Saturday and Clifford either missed the throw by five yards or never even saw the receiver running open. It was nothing short of a disaster.

3. Whether it’s recruiting, developing, preparation or all of the above, there’s a major issue

So what’s the deal? Is Penn State not talented enough? Because if that’s the case, the Nittany Lions aren’t evaluating well. Are players just not improving? If so, then the coaches can’t develop well enough. Are the players just unprepared or unmotivated? If so, the head coach and coordinators aren’t doing the jobs for which they’re being paid very handsomely. All of these things seem to be issues and they can’t be fixed with self-reflection. Recruiting well is the key to success in college football, but it’s not the only thing necessary. Penn State did that for the last four or five years and still looks downright pathetic right now. When you consider that the 2021 class is sitting around the level of Pitt, you have to ask yourself what exactly these coaches are doing?