Uncharacteristic mistakes were the deciding factor in this ball game. Penn State made them, Ohio did not.
McGloin went 27/48 (56%) for 260 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. McGloin handled himself well on Saturday against a good veteran defense. Matt looked like he had command of the offense, made the proper reads, and for the most part delivered accurate passes. He is a good fit for this type of offense and I expect an even stronger performance by McGloin next week against Virginia.
The big issue with McGloin’s performance against Ohio was the 56% completion percentage. If we are going to rely on long, methodical drives (as we did yesterday), then we need a completion percentage somewhere around 65%. Otherwise, drives are likely to stall out at some point, as they did in the second half yesterday.
Running Backs: C+
I hate to say this, but Penn State misses Silas Redd badly. Belton and Day both averaged only about 4.0 yards per carry and combined for 92 yards rushing on 21 attempts.
Bill Belton showed that he is an amazing athlete and is a great receiving running back. He is quick, elusive, and has great hands. Unfortunately, he also showed his durability issues and his inability to break a tackle.
In addition, Derek Day showed that he is tough, reliable, and strong. He secures the ball, makes good decisions, and can obviously take a hit. But, he is simply not explosive or elusive enough to make game changing plays, which is what we really lacked on offense yesterday.
Wide Receivers: B
The Penn State receivers have a ton of potential and are integral to a strong season. Allen Robinson showed off the skills that O’Brien bragged about all off-season, Kersey showed the speed that we had all been hearing about, and Kenney showed that he is a viable and speedy third option. All of our receivers looked fast, athletic, and explosive. But, there were far too many drops. Those drops need to stop if our offense is going to sustain drives and put points on the board.
Tight Ends: A-
Kyle Carter hauled in 6 catches for 74 yards and Matt Lehman was able to haul in the second touchdown of the day for the Nittany Lions. We had TEs line up at the line of scrimmage, in the backfield, and spread out wide as wide receivers. The TEs looked very solid and are sure to be a strong point in our offense this season and for years to come.
Offensive Line: B-
The offensive line protected the quarterback well, but was not able to open up many rushing lanes for the running backs to scamper through. Our offensive line is going to need to do much better run-blocking for our offense to be effective.