Share This Post With Others
There is no doubt that over the last three weeks we have seen a Penn State team which has continued to improve in all facets of the game (well except for one but we will save that mess for another blog). But this week’s game vs. Northwestern will be a much better predictor of the type of season the Nittany Lions will have in 2012.
Beating teams like Navy, Temple and Illinois is always a good thing. But all three of these teams are average at best and ultimately none will end up with very good records at the end of the year. In fact none might end up with winning records.
But Northwestern comes to Happy Valley 5-0, having an explosive offense and a defense that has been good enough to win most games pretty handily.
Over the past three weeks, we have seen a Penn State offense which has become more effective in scoring TD’s vs. FG’s. And ultimately has become much less predictable from down to down. Each week we are seeing new plays from past used formations and new plays from completely new formations.
Each of the key positions on offense has continued to get better as well. McGloin actually looks like he is growing in his capabilities from week to week (which is so different than Penn State QB’s of used past). A young wide receiving core seems to be growing up before our eyes, with a star in the making in Allen Robinson.
As for the Tight Ends, there are so many effective players in that role it is hard to keep up with them. And at Running Back, the early season injuries has had one great positive, which is we now have a tremendous amount of depth in the backfield.
And last but certainly not least, our offensive line is jelling. Playing better every week and during the Illinois game seemed to finally have a 4 quarter dominant performance.
All in all, the offense appears to be solid and one which can & will score points.
But the game against Northwestern will be a much better test for Ted Roof’s defense. While the Penn State defense played well against the last three opponents, the Wildcats are bringing a different level of explosiveness this week.
I still have my concerns about our secondary’s ability to cover the entire field for three straight downs. And our defensive line is solid but can it be effective at containing an athletic quarterback which the Wildcats will bring to town.
And will Ted Roof’s high risk, high reward style come back to haunt Penn State against a team with good athletes running and tossing the rock.
I also want to see a defense which officially can get off the field on key downs. Again, this has gotten better dating all the way back to the woes against Ohio and UVA, but we still saw Navy converting on 4th downs and even Temple hanging around in a game which should have been over by halftime.
In the end, with the Big Ten being so bad this year, if Penn State can get a win vs. Northwestern this weekend, and go into the bye week with a four game winning streak, a 7, possibly 8 and long-shot 9 win season is within their grasp.
We are Penn State
Enjoy this post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed and never miss another! Or sign up to get exclusive PennStateCentral.com Sports Analysis straight to your inbox!