Penn State’s depleted roster keeps taking hits

Everyone knew this would be a tough season for Penn State, maybe the first of many, but the Nittany Lions would like to catch at least one break.

The two losses so far this season were brutal. There was a difficult loss to Ohio at home, and then an excruciating defeat at Virginia in which kicker Sam Ficken missed four field goals, including one on the last play.

This week hasn't brought much good news. Starting receiver Shawney Kersey has left the team, Lions247 reported. Kersey was Penn State's most experienced receiver returning this season, which highlights some of the Nittany Lions' problems. Kersey had just six catches before this season, but that was the best Penn State had. As pointed out, Penn State is now down its top seven receivers from 2011, for various reasons. Some graduated or were dismissed. Justin Brown transferred to Oklahoma. Now Kersey is apparently gone too.

Penn State doesn't know who is going to play running back on Saturday against Navy. Bill Belton and Derek Day are day-to-day with injuries, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Curtis Dukes, who is in his third season and has 53 career carries, would be next in line. Tailback Silas Reed, of course, transferred to USC this offseason.

[Week 2 Winners and Losers: Pac-12 comes up roses with three upset wins]

This story from The Reporter in Lansdale, Pa. breaks down the list of Penn State's woes, and said first-year coach Bill O'Brien took the blame for the issues that have plagued the Nittany Lions' 0-2 start, including the failure of the team to score more than three points off four Virginia turnovers in Cavaliers territory on Saturday:

"That's ridiculous, and we all know that, and it starts with coaching, and we just gotta do a better job there," O'Brien said.

Heading into Week 3 of the season, I'm not sure there's a team that needs a victory more than O'Brien and his Nittany Lions.

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