Report Card: Grading Penn State’s dominant Week 2 win vs. Delaware

There are some weeks in the course of a college football season where you can probably fill out the postgame report card ahead of time and not have to worry about it. Penn State’s Week 2 matchup against Delaware was one of those games where you hoped things would go as planned and you wouldn’t have to worry about too many issues against an FCS program.

And they did.

Penn State’s offense and defense each took care of business against the Blue Hens in the first all-time meeting between the two schools. Delaware may go on to have a solid season in the FCS championship hunt, but they were overmatched in every facet of the game against Penn State, which is also hoping to set the tone for what they hope will be a playoff push of their own this season.

It may have been a home game against an FCS program collecting a solid check, but Penn State did just about everything you would expect a top-10 team to do in this situation. Here are the grades for Penn State’s performance following its 63-7 victory over Delaware.


Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: A

After being named the Big Ten offensive player of the week, Drew Allar picked up right where he left off a week ago. The touchdown pass count was down but Allar completed 22 of 26 pass attempts for 204 yards with a touchdown pass (and a touchdown run) for a fine outing before getting an early rest in the second half.

Allar showed great vision and patience and just made smart throws that were taking advantage of the holes Delaware’s defense was giving him.

Backup quarterback Beau Pribula played for most of the second half in relief of Allar. Pribula attempted five attempts with three completions for 22 yards and a short touchdown in the fourth quarter. Pribula added to the ground attack with

NEXT: Running Backs

Running Backs

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Grade: A

Penn State’s superiority on the ground was evident right from the start. Kaytron Allen ended his day with a game-high 103 rushing yards on 19 attempts with one touchdown. Nick Singleton had just 47 rushing yards but added three touchdowns on 12 rushing attempts. Neither player’s rushing total will turn heads in the Doak Walker conversation, but Penn State continued to allow its leading running backs to split the production effectively in a relatively stress-free game, keeping each healthy heading into a Big Ten stretch coming up.

Newcomer via the transfer portal Trey Potts got in on the fun with 59 rushing yards on seven carries in the second half. As a team, Penn State rushed for 315 yards with seven different players carrying the football.

NEXT: Receivers and tight ends

Receivers and tight ends

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Grade: A

Credit the quarterback all you want for the kind of efficiency you saw in the Penn State passing game all you want. The bottom line is the ball still has to be caught and Penn State’s receivers and tight ends did that far more often than not. KeAndre Lambert-Smith led the way with 74 receiving yards and catching all six passes intended for him.

Dante Cephas came up with a big catch by finding open space in the middle of the field as he caught two passes for 36 yards. Tight end Tyler Warren had a solid day with six catches for 37 yards and a touchdown to be Penn State’s second-leading receiver. Warren was tough for the Delaware defense to bring down.

Florid State transfer Malik McClain and Drew Allar weren’t quite on the same page a couple of times, but that was the only blemish on an otherwise solid day for the entire passing game.

NEXT: Defense


Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: A

Big plays were nearly non-existent for Delaware against the Penn State defense. The Nittany Lions did leave a big hole on a 3rd-and-1 situation that led to a 66-yard touchdown run by the Blue Hens in the first quarter, but Delaware had just two other plays of at least 10 yards, and they had no other points to add to the scoreboard.

Penn State allowed just 140 yards of total offense to Delaware, 66 of which came on the first-quarter touchdown run. Delaware was just 2-of-11 on third down and never stepped foot inside the red zone all afternoon. Penn State’s defense combined for 7 TFL and 4 sacks, forced and recovered a fumble and had a pick-six by linebacker Dominic Deluca.

NEXT: Special Teams

Special Teams

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Grade: B

Penn State didn’t put any kickers out for a field goal try after having some struggles in Week 1, but they never needed a field goal. So that may be something to watch moving into Week 3. Riley Thompson punted just twice for an average of 45.5 yards per punt, pinning one inside the 20-yard line.

Nick Singleton had 26 kickoff return yards and was helped by a fair catch on a ball that looked to take him out of bounds deep in Penn State’s end (the kickoff was initially ruled out of bounds as Singleton caught it and was moved to the 25-yard line after video review confirmed Singleton’s fair catch signal).

Kaden Saunders was Penn State’s only punt returner, but he has yet to break loose for a big return. Saunders fielded five punts and returned for a total of 20 yards.

NEXT: Overall Grade


Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Grade: A

Penn State did exactly what you would expect a top-10 team to do at home against an FCS opponent, even a top-25 FCS program. Penn State blew away Delaware with a stifling defensive effort and an overwhelming advantage on offense. Delaware had its moment of hope with a long touchdown run but the Nittany Lions responded with a touchdown drive to answer back. There will still be some lessons to be learned in practices and film work moving forward in order for Penn State to take another step forward, but this is the kind of effort where everyone deserves some good praise for the result.

Penn State will hit the road for the first time of the 2023 season in Week 3 when they head to Illinois for a Big Ten opener. Illinois will be looking to rebound from a 34-23 loss at Kansas on Friday night in early Week 2 action.

Follow Kevin McGuire on Threads, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire