Notes from Nittanyville: Purdue Edition

I wouldn’t say that Penn State dominated that game, but I would say that they thoroughly outplayed Purdue. Nevertheless, the Nittany Lions had a solid all around performance. So without further delay, let’s get to this week’s Notes from Nittanyville:

  • Once again, the student section looked awful during pregame festivities. Per usual, it filled up throughout the first quarter and eventually looked decent. I know this is beating a dead horse because it happens every game. But I constantly see lots of Penn State students take pride on social media about being the #1 student section. I think showing up before kickoff would be a good start to upholding that unofficial honor. My seat was right next to an entrance to the student section, and there were a bunch of students showing up in the middle of the second quarter.
  • The coin toss was pretty cool. It was Military Appreciation Day and Adam Hartswick presented the coin for the toss. Hartswick was an army combat medic who lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan. I got chills when he received a loud ovation and it was just a great moment in Beaver Stadium.
  • We couldn’t have gotten better weather for a game in the middle of November. It was a little cold, but the sun was out and there were hardly any clouds. I certainly cherished it because those of us who are familiar with State College knows how the weather can get.
  • Now for the game itself: Purdue ran a lot of screens. I guess they watched a lot of film from Penn State’s games against UCF and Ohio State. In the first half they worked well, but Penn State’s defense adjusted in the second half and defended the screens much better.
  • I liked seeing O’Brien use Kyle Carter at fullback. Even though Carter didn’t have any catches in this game, he blocked well on running plays as a fullback. And I’m sure O’Brien will eventually draw up some plays that involve Carter catching the ball out of the backfield when he’s lined up at fullback. He’s very talented and it’s good to see that talent and versatility being used in different ways.
  • With Ben Kline out for the rest of the season, we saw a lot of the true freshman, Brandon Bell. Considering these were the first meaningful snaps that Bell has played at this level, he wasn’t too bad. He struggled at times but that’s to be expected. John Butler had Bell blitz a lot too.
  • We also got to see a lot of Malik Golden at safety. I don’t know if he played because of other players’ injuries, but Golden did a solid job. Don’t be surprised if we see more of him in the near future.

Well, that sad time has almost come. Next Saturday’s game against Nebraska will be my final game in Beaver Stadium as a student. It’s a 3:30 kickoff and I really hope a lot of students stay for the game to honor the senior class. So check back here after the Nebraska game for my final Notes from Nittanyville.

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