Penn State is on its bye this week, and it feels like it’s coming at the most opportune time.
Through 5 weeks, the Lions are 5-0, and are outscoring their opponents 40.6-9.6, currently ranked #6 in the country.
But not all is well in Happy Valley, as the offense has been on the struggle bus of late, and a handful of injuries have cropped up in some inopportune locations.
For starters, WR2 Tre Wallace has been out since the week 2 win over Delaware. Through the first two weeks, Wallace had hauled in a combined 10 catches for 98 yards, and had shown some pop against the Blue Hens.
Unfortunately, an injury has kept him sidelined since, and with some up-and-down performances from Dante Cephas and Malik McClain, the wide receivers have basically just been KeAndre Lambert-Smith, with Liam Clifford occasionally chipping in as well.
To no one’s surprise, defenses have not felt threatened by the passing game, and have instead keyed on the run game. That therefore makes most everything feel difficult, and just goes to highlight how having even a little bit of depth issues can be felt across the whole team.
Speaking of the run game, Kaytron Allen left last week’s game against Northwestern with an injury, and his status is uncertain.
The offensive line has had its share of bumps and bruises, with JB Nelson most recently going down with an injury against the Wildcats.
The defense has mostly stayed healthy, partially due to the fact that they’ve played far fewer snaps than the offense to date. But the grind of a football season gets to everyone, and a rest week is much-needed across the board.
With any luck, the Lions will lick their wounds, and get a few players back for the second half of the season. Perhaps that will help kick start a fairly streaky offense, and set the team up for a solid back 9 as the weather gets colder.