The Penn State Nittany Lions have to try to bounce back this week from their first loss of the season. The Nittany Lions suffered a 34-31 home loss to the Central Florida Knights last week. Today, Kent State makes a visit to Beaver Stadium. The Golden Flashes have struggled to a 1-2 record this season without star running back Dri Archer, who suffered an injury in Week 1. Archer did play in the first quarter last week, but left again and didn’t return. He’s not expected to see any time today.
Below are some of my thoughts as we approach kickoff in this wet, rainy game.
› Quarterback Christian Hackenberg put together another strong performance last week. He threw for 262 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time in three weeks. Hackenberg has had an excellent start to his Penn State career and will look to keep the momentum going against Kent State. I expect another big game from Hackenberg as he gets his Nittany Lions back into the win column.
› The defense was torched last week for 507 yards and 34 points. The Nittany Lions were plagued by poor tackling and an inability to get off the field on third down. Defensive studs Deion Barnes and DaQuan Jones were kept quiet in the game and failed to get any pressure on Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. The Nittany Lions will look to get back to their dominating ways on defense this week against Kent State. Before last week’s game, the defense had been playing solid, especially against the run, giving up an average of just 66 yards a game. Look for the unit to get back on track today against the Golden Flashes, limiting their offensive opportunities.
› Heading into the season, Allen Robinson was easily considered one of the top receivers in the Big Ten Conference. After three games (actually less considering he missed the first half of the season-opener), Robinson has to now be mentioned as one of the best receivers in the entire nation. He’s already racked up 405 yards and three touchdowns so far this season. He’s surpassed 120 yards receiving and scored a touchdown in every game. Although passing the ball may be tough in the weather today, expect another touchdown and at least 100 yards today out of Robinson.
The weather conditions may make things a bit tricky today, but the Nittany Lions should be able to easily handle the Golden Flashes and enter their bye week with a record of 3-1.
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