Report Card: Grading Penn State’s performance vs. Ohio State

In what seemed to be a very promising performance, the floor fell out on James Franklin and Penn State just as quick as it was built.

Penn State had this game and should’ve won this game when they had no business of it. Three turnovers and they were within one score before it fell apart in the second half of the fourth quarter. This won’t be a very happy report card but it will be an honest one.

Quarterback

Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: F

The gloves are off for this one, Sean Clifford is the reason Penn State didn’t win today. I am not saying that Drew Allar would’ve done any better but Clifford and his turnovers made this game what it was.

Now, he has his record as the school’s passing touchdown leader and with that he needs to transition to the role of mentor. Let Drew Allar start getting some starts as the schedule starts to get easy so he is primed for next year. Starting Clifford serves zero purpose for the bigger picture of this team.

NEXT: Running backs

Running Backs

Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: B+

The Penn State offense wasn’t super effective but they were able to extend drives with the critical runs by Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. For Allen especially, he was very impressive with two big runs on third down to extend a scoring drive and to convert a fourth and goal carry. If they go to Drew Allar the rest of the season, the running game has shown it can be a reliable safety valve for him and the offense.

NEXT: Receivers and tight ends

Receivers and Tight Ends

Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: A+

When this passing attack was able to make some plays it was able to do so despite Clifford. Prime example, Parker Washington had the best game of his Penn State career today but he had to overcome so much. His big touchdown score was a simple curl route that he decided he was going to score on. This receiving group and tight end group is uber talented, just wasn’t enough against Ohio State sadly.

NEXT: Defense

Defense

Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: D+

This defense did extremely well holding its own in the first half, just like it did against Michigan. The collapse and effort in the fourth quarter was inexcusable. The Manny Diaz coaching style has this defense looking to make big hits and force turnovers on every play, it’s the equivalent of trying to hit a home run every at-bat. They need to take what is given to them and they aren’t, they are a very talented group but again this coaching staff is letting them down.

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