Penn State vs. Buffalo Game Grades

9 of 10

Sep 12, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins (3) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bulls at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Buffalo 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren- USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams:

In my prediction this week, I had called for a special teams touchdown and the Nittany Lions nearly got it on two occasions.  Nick Scott returned the opening kickoff 58 yards to set up Penn State in great field position to start but they unfortunately could not score on that drive.

In the second quarter, DeAndre Thompkins was only a punter trip away from finding the endzone on a punt return.  But two plays later, Penn State scored the first points of the day with Brandon Polk’s touchdown run.

Kicker Joey Julius missed a 49-yard field goal attempt but nailed his two chip shot attempts from 22 and 21 yards.  Of his 6 kickoffs, 3 went for touch backs.  Touch backs are very valuable with Rutgers return man Janarion Grant coming to town next week.

Dan Pasquariello had difficulty again with his punts.  He averaged 38.3 yards on three punts and they were not very high or long.  Also I’m still unsure how Troy Apke missed blocking a first quarter punt from Buffalo.  Late in the game, a poor snap doomed a Julius field goal attempt where he didn’t even have a chance to kick.

The return game is very exciting for fans and is going to be a bright spot this year.

Grade: B+

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