As the game winds down in Beaver Stadium, and most of the regulars have found their spots on the bench, here are a few thoughts and observations from today’s scrimmage:
- Akeel Lynch is the real deal. Zwinak only played the first 3 or 4 plays before leaving with a wrist or arm injury, and Bill Belton sat out with a toe injury, giving the bulk of the carries to the redshirt freshman. He showed the combination of speed and power early on, rushing for 77 yards and a TD in the first half on 10 carries. The three-headed monster of Zwinak, Belton, and Lynch will be the strength of the offense, it would seem.
- Kyle Carter is still recovering from his wrist injury suffered vs. Nebraska last year, and Adam Breneman continues to rehab from his ACL injury last summer. That left the tight end duties to Jesse James, who did not disappoint. He showed good chemistry with both quarterbacks, including a long 27 yard touchdown catch from Tyler Ferguson. It’s often said a tight end can be a young QB’s best friend, and PSU will again have great options for whoever is throwing them the ball.
- Speaking of the quarterbacks, both had their ups and downs. Bench lead a very efficient first drive, capped by Lynch’s TD run, but appeared to be facing mostly the second string defense. Ferguson didn’t get great protection in his first drive, but once he settled down, you could really see his arm strength. If you asked me to pick my favorite, I’d probably lean towards Bench, but it seems very close.
- On defense, Brad Bars really stood out, not only with his 2 “sacks”, but just his overall energy. It would seem easy to relax a little bit given the nature of the game, but Bars played hard. There were a couple occasions where you saw him making plays down field. Overall, the defensive ends looked very good.
- None of the likely starters at linebacker (Hull, Carson, Wartman) played more than a series or two, clearly showing the staff’s concerns about the depth there. Wartman did have a very nice play diagnosing a screen pass and blowing it up. He and Ben Kline will have a nice battle this fall to start, but both will play, and be counted on.
- In the secondary, Trevor Williams, who made the move from offense to defensive back, stood out on a couple of plays, including a very nice pass breakup on a well thrown Ferguson pass. He is listed at safety, but seemed to be playing both there and at cornerback.
- Impressive showing by the PSU fans, as probably 40,000-45,000 fans sat through cold, windy, and at times, snowy conditions.
- Oh, the defense won 67-47. I don’t know what that means. At all.
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