Penn State vs. Rutgers Grades

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Sep 19, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports


This might be my biggest gripe from Saturday night, but Christian Hackenberg, again, did not look good.  He was very inconsistent all night and finished 10 of 19 with 141 yards, no touchdowns and an interception that actually worked like a punt because Rutgers was pinned at their own one yard line.  His longest pass of the evening was 48 yards and it was mostly due to the work of DaeSean Hamilton.  He couldn’t take advantage of a decimated Rutgers secondary.

He’s a junior and the days of being just a game manager should be over.  The running game was clicking so Hackenberg didn’t have to do much.  But many times on Saturday, he couldn’t hit a screen pass or a short slant route.  The ball was either in the dirt or over the receivers head.  The weather can’t really be blamed because Rutgers quarterback Chris Laviano didn’t have problems with his passes.  Also, the offensive line did their part again to give Hackenberg time in the pocket.  Although Hack did a good job of calling the plays at the line and reading what Rutgers was doing on defense.

I like Christian Hackenberg.  He stayed with the program when he could have gone to any big time program in the country.  That is something we should never forget about him, but at some point you have to question his ability to make even the simplest of throws.  Through three games, Hackenberg has 372 yards and is completing just 49.3% of his passes.  That’s not good enough, especially when we know he could do so much better.

With the game in hand, redshirt freshman Trace McSorley saw his first action of his career but it was just to hand off the ball to run out the clock.

Grade: C

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