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Penn State report card

September 3, 2012
By Neil Rudel ( , The Altoona Mirror

Following is Neil Rudel's report card from Penn State's 24-14 loss to Ohio University on Saturday at Beaver Stadium:


Quarterback C+ McGloin's quarter breakdown - 13-17, then 14-31 the rest of the game. He threw mostly east-west for 260 yards, missed some open guys, had balls dropped and had a late pick.

Running back B- Take away Zordich's one carry, just two backs carried - Belton and Day. Both averaged 4.0+ per carry. Belton's ankle sidelined him. Redd's absence apparent.

Offensive line C Pass protection seemed decent as McGloin was not overly hurried. Longest run was 14 yards on 21 tries so it's not like unit mushed Bobcats. A third-quarter run-oriented series didn't work.

Wide receiver C Robinson was bright spot with nine receptions for 97 yards. Kersey added five, but his inability to come up with a deep one over the middle, down 17-14, hurt.

Tight end B+ Fans have been pleading for more passes to the tight end for years. It's a focal point for O'Brien. TEs caught seven - six for 77 yards by Carter and a super effort 14-yard TD by walk-on Lehman.

Offensive coaching B- O'Brien heaped blame on himself afterward, repeatedly saying, "I need to coach better." Most teams that throw 48 times lose. Nits had one first down by rush in the second half.

Defensive line C Thought this unit would be stronger, especially vs. rush as OU racked up 175 on ground. Hill (leg) missed some snaps. Just one sack, no QB hurries.

Linebacker C Mauti (12 tackles) and Hodges (11) led way and Carson (8) was active plugging middle. Still, unit couldn't stop third-down plays and get off field.

Secondary D Considering sanctions and trying not to be too heavy-handed this year (honest), thus the D. Obeng deflection, after leaping, was crushing. Fagnano beaten late. Morris hurt. Concerns mount.

Defensive coaching C- Tettleton gets rid of the ball quickly, but Nits never made him uncomfortable in the least. If they can't do that to a MAC team - then again OU might be a Big Ten contender - well, ya know.

Special teams C Return game needs re-evaluated as concept of Hodges deep shouldn't last another week. Amos also bobbled kickoff. Hoping Kenney gets shot. Butterworth averaged 35 yards on five punts.

The other guy A Best-coached game by a visiting underdog in memory. Credit to Solich and staff for halftime adjustments on road in emotional stadium. Nice to see local kids (Futrell, Lewis, Huynh, McGrath) do well, too.

Officials C- Not a factor, but veteran Big Ten crew seemed to get confused at times. Missed second-half interference vs. OU. Also interrupted OU momentum with inexplicable officials' timeout.

Atmosphere B+ 13K empty seats only partially attributable to Paterno loyalists since STEP program created vacancies last year, too. Impressive outpouring to welcome team, noticeable buzz in stadium and we survived without "Sweet Caroline."

Overall grade C Would have been nice to see O'Brien, based on everything he's endured, get first win on opening weekend but teams learn more in losses and we'll see how he and his staff adjust At least there's football to write about.


Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or

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