Following is Neil Rudel's report card from Penn State's 55-13 victory over Syracuse on Saturday at the Carrier Dome:
POSITION GRADE COMMENT
Quarterback A- Clark regrouped from his first real bad play of the season, a careless fumble on the Nits' second play, to throw for 163 yards. Devlin added 130 and was on target, save missing Butler deep.
Running backs B+ Royster averaged his typical 7.8 per carry. Green's celebration of his first touchdown, which brought a penalty, resulted in no more carries.
Offensive line A- Seemingly able to escort first downs anytime it wanted. Shipley battled illness and had to be stretched out. Unit allowed first sack of season. Second teamers a little shaky.
Receivers A Butler and Norwood made up for two DWill drops. Depth developing with underclassmen combining for six catches. Alignment problem led to one penalty.
Tight end B No catches, but stop the presses! There's been a Quarless sighting, albeit on special teams. Part of his punishment apparently includes covering kickoffs.
Overall offense A Can't quibble with 55 points. Scheme spreading the field nicely. Curious why you'd roll Norwood left and attempt to make him throw a pass.
Defensive line A 'Cuse couldn't block the starters, and subs such as Crawford, Latimore and McEowen saw plenty of time. Lucian, switched from guard, got bumped.
Linebacker B+ Top three tacklers were Bowman (8), Sales (5) and Colasanti (4). Mauti getting more time as backup and on kickoff coverage.
Secondary B+ Sargeant missed chance for picks. but recovered an early fumble. Wallace is being worked back in mix.
Overall defense A Gave up just the one TD and that came late in third quarter with 45-6 lead. Plenty of reserves got their feet wet again as soft non-con at least serving that purpose.
Special teams B Scirrotto on shaky ground deep. He fumbled a tentative punt return and didn't catch one around the 15, allowing it to bounce to the 1. Such plays are killers in closer games. Kelly hit from 52, backup Wagner from 43.
Overall coaching A TV made a mini-issue out of the Nits calling timeout late in the first half to work on a two-minute offense. They may need it later so why not?
The other guy F Wow has this program fallen off the face of the earth. And head coach Robinson was a defensive coordinator? Maybe Boeheim should take it over.
Officials B Didn't notice much from the zebras, a Big Ten crew. Trying to find out whether the Big Ten was in charge of the Ohio State-USC game.
Overall grade A All's well and should be at least until Illinois visits.
Neil Rudel can be reached at email@example.com. He will respond to brief comments and questions in Gameday.