Penn State Football

Penn State Football: ESPN Discredits Nittany Lions’ Offense, Predicts ‘Paterno-era’ score lines in upcoming games

Four weeks into the 2023 season, Penn State Football sits at an unblemished 4-0, coming off of a complete 31-0 rout of the Iowa Hawkeyes in the program’s annual White Out.

However, while Penn State carries the nation’s longest streak of scoring 30 or more points and is the only team in the nation not to turn the ball over this season, ESPN is still bearish on the Nittany Lions, particularly the offense led by first year starting quarterback Drew Allar.

In the latest release of ESPN’s SP+ and FPI rankings, ESPN ranked Penn State eighth, noting that “Penn State’s offense didn’t do much against good Illinois and Iowa defenses over the last two weeks.”

While ESPN does complement the defense as “transcendent”, the article predicted that Penn State could win a lot of games with “Paterno-era” score lines.


This analysis comes after a thrashing of Iowa’s offense that is always highly regarded as one of the best in college football, on which Penn State scored 31 points and gained almost 400 yards.

The 397 yards given up to Penn State’s offense by the Hawkeyes are the fifth most that the Hawkeyes have given up since the start of 2021.

Penn State quarterback Drew Allar also threw for a career high four touchdowns in Saturday’s game. Even in a poor offensive week relative to the rest of the season in week 3 against Illinois, Penn State rushed for over 200 yards and racked up 383 total yards.

ESPN’s analysis of Penn State’s limiting the Lions to win with “Paterno-era” score lines is simply not accurate for the product that the offense is putting on the field.

While the offense has seen small growing pains in the first four weeks of the season, there are not indications that the offense that holds the longest scoring streak in the nation will be limited to “Paterno-era” scoring relying on an elite defense to win games down the stretch.


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About Author

Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.