Following is Neil Rudel's report card from Penn State's 31-20 win over Indiana Saturday at
POSITION GRADE COMMENT
Quarterback C Clark shaky early with two picks, though one wasn't his fault. Took no sacks and ran decisively. Missed Zug and Moye on deep routes. Newsome got one early carry but was snowed under.
Running backs B Royster slipped some tackles and made better cuts in racking up 134 yards of total offense. Beachum appeared to suffer season-ending knee injury. Tough loss that likely will cost him spring practice.
Offensive line B Pannell made switch to guard in absence of Troutman (thigh). Poti seemed to get stronger as game went on. Indiana staff went nuts on Royster screen/TD, claiming Eliades held.
Receivers C+ Moye dropped what could have been two touchdown passes. Speedy Drake, in place of injured Powell (shoulder), gave offense a lift with 26-yard reverse and caught two for 34. Brackett got 18-yarder.
Tight end C- Shuler's early muff led to IU interception that fueled Hoosiers' 10-0 lead. Quarless made three catches for 39, including 28-yarder.
Offensive coaching B Back to open style of reverse, fake reverse and screens absent vs. Buckeyes. Flare to Suhey open most of day. Another delay of game in red zone.
Defensive line B Crawford got key hurry to force early FG. Still and Stanley both had TFLs. Latham hit with late facemask penalty, negating Lee interception and leading to IU's last TD.
Linebacker B+ Bowman was star of the game with 73-yard intereption
return, his second TD on the season. Lee was equally outstanding had 10 stops and four pass breakups. Hull seemed to close particularly well.
Secondary C CBs Wallace and Lynn gave too much room. Wallace not in great position on early TD reception. After Wallace was hurt, Morris impressed. Safeties Astorino (10 stops) and Sukay (key breakup at goal line) played well.
Defensive coaching B Wasn't especially aggressive with blitzes, but unit tightened up in red zone, forcing three field-goal attempts. Unlike offense, staff continues to get plenty of work for backups.
Special teams F Failing grade for second-straight week. Gunners Wallace and Timmons replaced by true frosh Brown and Morris, and coverage improved. Still, four fumbles by returners (one was wiped out by IU penalty) is ridiculous.
The other guy B For all his frustration with officials, hoping Bill Lynch gets national gum endorsement since he fired his wad again Saturday. Hoosiers played hard, but needed to take advantage of PSU's many mistakes.
Officials B Zebras appeared to get early calls that replays showed correct - the reception that Lynn attempted to steal and the TD to Belcher. Teams combined for just five penalties.
Atmosphere C Crowd listed at 107,179 but there holes in student section and not much emotion, even on Senior Day. To be expected after last week. Then again, most programs would take this atmosphere.
Overall grade C Lions never seemed in real danger of losing and have a week to clean up their special teams mess.
Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He will respond to brief comments in Gameday.