Penn State vs. Delaware: Report card

Sep. 11—Quarterbacks: Drew Allar seemed almost determined to take only what he was given and eschew some of the seemingly impossible downfield plays he made against West Virginia. The result was still a strong performance: 22-26, 204 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing). Backup Beau Pribula got some quality reps and looked competent, throwing for a score and rushing for one himself. GRADE: A-

Running backs: They still haven't broken the game-breaking run, but the Penn State backs continued to churn out positive yards consistently. Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 150 yards on four touchdowns on 31 carries, and Singleton set up a score with a nice catch and run. Trey Potts averaged 8.4 yards per carry in relief, as the Nittany Lions rushed for 315 yards. Allen did fumble. GRADE: A-

Receivers: There were no drops this week, and Allar and Pribula were able to spread the ball around. KeAndre Lambert-Smith had six catches, as did tight end Tyler Warren. Remarkably, the only receiver that didn't catch all of their targets was Malik McClain, who was targeted three times with one catch. The other nine players who had a catch caught all 24 of their targets. GRADE: A

Offensive line: The Nittany Lions got a lot of action, for a lot of different linemen, at various positions. Vega Ioane started and played three different spots. Drew Shelton played both tackle positions. Nick Dawkins played well at center and guard. It was a complete physical mismatch for sure, but there was nothing disappointing about this performance for Penn State. They did what was expected, including not allowing a sack. GRADE: A

Defensive line: Again, a total domination, as expected. DT Zane Durant, DE Zuriah Fisher and freshman DE Jamieal Lyons all had sacks, with Lyons' coming on a big hit. Outside of the 66-yard touchdown run by Delaware's Marcus Yarns — which wasn't the line's fault — the Hens had 23 carries for 16 yards. GRADE: A

Linebackers: The touchdown run was this group's fault. MLB Tyler Elsdon got caught overpursuing a fake handoff, and Yarns snuck free to his outside, running untouched into the end zone. It's the type of mistake a veteran player can't make. But, Dominic DeLuca got the seven points back with a Pick-6, and Abdul Carter had a more consistent effort than in the first week. GRADE: B

Defensive backs: Delaware completed six passes. Hard to judge the performance against a team that couldn't throw the ball and had no time to do so. But safety Jaylen Reed had a solid outing before leaving with an apparent injury. GRADE: B+

Special teams: Outside of an offside penalty that moved the sticks for Delaware on a fourth-and-inches punt, the coaching staff had to like the rebound. Riley Thompson punted well. The kickoff specialists got nine touchbacks on 10 kickoff attempts, and the coverage team dropped the returner at the 9 on the other one. Alex Felkins looks like a more consistent option at kicker, and the returns were fine. GRADE: B+

Coaching: The Nittany Lions won every battle in the game, which seemed like a certainty coming in against an outmatched FCS team. There was no letdown in any regard after the win over West Virginia and with conference play starting next week, though. That's a credit to the staff for doing the hardest thing this week, keeping the team focused on the task at hand. GRADE: A-

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