Penn State Football: Grading the Nittany Lions Through Five Games

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Sep 20, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Bill Belton (1) breaks a tackle during the second quarter against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Massachusetts 48-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren- USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

This is a group that has really underachieved this season. You can attribute this to the pass-heavy play calling or maybe the faulty offensive line play, but Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak, for whatever reasons, just haven’t looked like themselves.

Through the first five games, Belton has 189 rushing yards. In comparison, even with the slow start he got off to, he ran for 284 yards through last year’s first five games.

Zwinak currently has a pedestrian 105 rushing yards and is yet to run for more than 32 yards in a game. In 2013, Zwinak had 369 rushing yards at this point in the season. Zwinak is running east/west too much and not north/south, which is a big problem for a running back like him that doesn’t have a whole lot of speed.

Akeel Lynch, who many think could potentially be the best running back out of the three, only has 18 carries in the five games. That number needs to increase big time throughout the rest of the season.

Grade: C-