Penn State true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg is off to a solid start in his collegiate career. He has lead the Nittany Lions to a 2-0 start while putting up solid numbers. Through two games, Hackenberg has thrown for 589 yards with three touchdowns. In Week 3, he’ll match up with the Central Florida Knights, who also enter with a record of 2-0.
Though Hackenberg got off to a slow start in both games, he’s been able to overcome it and show why he was a top recruit coming out of high school. Throughout the winter, there was talk that he would be redshirted and given a year to learn Bill O’Brien’s complex NFL-style offense. With the way Hackenberg has played so far, O’Brien looks like a genius for choosing to play his true freshman.
Last week against Eastern Michigan, Hackenberg set a Penn State freshman record for passing yards in a game with 311.
Hackenberg has the luxury of having a very talented and experienced offense working around him. Allen Robinson, the Big Ten’s leading receiver seems to catch everything thrown his way. Perhaps more importantly for Hackenberg is the fact that the running game showed up in a big way last week and looks to be very good.
The Nittany Lions rushed for 251 yards and now have a dangerous three-back threat with Zach Zwinak, Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch. Due to the success of the ground game, things open up for Hackenberg in the air attack. Central Florida is going to have to respect Penn State’s ability to run, meaning that Hackenberg will have more opportunities for a big day.
Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, Penn State’s future is bright at the quarterback position. Hackenberg has taken full advantage of his playing time and is a perfect fit in O’Brien’s offense. Based on his previous performances, the smart money says that Hackenberg will play another solid game this week.
If you’re looking to see Hackenberg lead the Nittany Lions against UCF this weekend, you can find Penn St football tickets here.
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