Penn State vs. San Diego State Grades

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Sep 26, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) avoids a tackle from San Diego State Aztecs defensive back J.J. Whittaker (7) during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated San Diego State 37-21. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren- USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs:

Penn State used a four running back rotation, but not by choice.  Injuries to both Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch led to both Nick Scott and Mark Allen getting extended playing time.

Barkley was heading towards another 100 yard rushing performance when he left in the second quarter with an ankle injury.  He finished the day with 62 yards on eight carries and added a touchdown on his first career reception.  It was thing of beauty too, as he should have been tackled two or three times, but made nifty moves as he made his way to the end zone on a 22-yard screen pass.

Akeel Lynch only had 18 yards on 10 carries when he too left the game with a leg injury.  His appeared more serious than Barkley’s as he needed to be helped off the field and was walking very gingerly.

Scott and Allen finished with only a combined 14 yards on 11 carries, but each had a nice highlight.  The next play after the Lynch injury, Allen took a screen pass 13 yards and dove into the end zone.  In the 4th quarter, Scott took a halfback pitch and threw it downfield to Chris Godwin for a 32-yard gain.

Barkley seemed to be the only running back that could find room to run today.  The offense could really struggle if he’s forced to miss games.

Grade:  B-

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