Penn State Football: Grading Nittany Lions’ performance vs. Purdue

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 05: Sean Clifford #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions scrambles for a touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 5, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 05: Sean Clifford #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions scrambles for a touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 5, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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STATE COLLEGE, PA – OCTOBER 05: Sean Clifford #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates with head coach James Franklin after scoring a touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 5, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA – OCTOBER 05: Sean Clifford #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates with head coach James Franklin after scoring a touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 5, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

A. . . . COACHING

Penn State got out to another fast start vs. Purdue, which was great to see considering the slow start the team got off to against Buffalo and Pitt.

If there was one aspect of the coaching to pick up on this week, it was the way the offense changed following going up 28-0. Penn State’s offense looked a lot more conservative, as there were a lot of short passes, and not many shots taken down the field.

It makes sense for offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne to have done this, as three huge opponents are coming up, and there’s no need to open up the playbook when you’re already ahead 28-0 with over 14 minutes left in the second quarter.

I’ve already mentioned the credit that Gerad Parker deserves for the play of the wide receivers, but how about defensive coordinator Brent Pry, and defensive line coach Sean Spencer. Both deserve a ton of credit as well for what the defense has been able to do early in the season.

Overall, I expect to be writing about a lot more intricate game management decisions over the next three weeks, as there will presumably be three close games.