Penn State Football

Penn State Football: 4 Thoughts on No. 11 Nittany Lions’ 4-0 Start

Penn State Football is off to a strong 4-0 start, while knocking on the door of a top-10 ranking in both the AP and Coaches polls.

The Nittany Lions have arguably the most impressive résumé in the country, with road wins at Purdue and Auburn.

We’ve learned quite a bit about the 2022 Penn State football team so far, but the toughest tests still await.

Here are 4 key Penn State Football takeaways through the first month of the season

Penn State Has A Running Game

It’s been a long time coming, but the Nittany Lions appear to be able to run the football.

True freshman running backs Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton have ignited a spark in Mike Yurcich’s offensive attack. Penn State Football has had three consecutive 100-yard rushers, and all three belong to the freshman phenoms.

Singleton has won B1G Freshman of the Week twice, while  Allen won the award for the first time this week for his performance against Central Michigan.

These two freshman backs give Penn State Football the best 1-2 punch they’ve had in the backfield in decades.


Penn State’s Secondary Is Elite

We all knew this secondary would be good coming into the season, but I don’t think anybody could have predicted a start like this.

Penn State Football leads the nation in pass breakups with 41. The next closest school is Illinois with 25.

The Lions’ opponents are competing 51.3% of their passing attempts, which ranks 10th in the nation.

The Nittany Lions have given up substantial yardage through the air at times, but everything has been underneath. Nobody has taken the top off this Penn State secondary so far, and that’s not a coincidence.

There is NFL talent everywhere on Manny Diaz’s defense, but that secondary is on a whole different level.

This group is going to be a real strength for the Nittany Lions as tougher opponents approach on the schedule.

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More Consistency Is Needed at Receiver

Sean Clifford has two great options in Mitchell Tinsley and Parker Washington, but after them, more consistency is needed from that third spot.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith is the starter, but he’s only account for 5 reception and 50 yards since the conference opener against Purdue.

Harrison Wallace generated a ton of preseason buzz, but he hasn’t broken out just yet and only has 6 receptions for 74 yards on the season.

True freshman speedster Omari Evans has flashed good things at times, but it’s safe to assume he isn’t ready to make that leap yet.

The bottom line is, somebody needs to step up and grab the bull by the horns in order for this offense to reach its full potential behind a 6th-year signal-caller and a much improved offensive line. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess who that guy could be.

Front-7 Is Better Than Expected

The talk of the offseason regarding Manny Diaz’s defense was the lack of the depth and talent at linebacker and defensive end. Through four weeks, those questions have been answered in a big way by a multitude of new additions to the team.

Chop Robinson, who transferred to Penn State from Maryland in April, has been exactly what the doctor ordered for the Nittany Lions. Robinson is the highest-graded pass rusher in college football according to  Pro Football Focus. His twitch coming off the edge is the best I’ve seen from a Penn State defensive end in a very long time. Grand slam pickup in the portal for James Franklin.

Meanwhile, 5-star true freshman defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton leads Penn State Football in sacks with three. Dennis-Sutton isn’t a starter nor should he be, but he’s provided crucial depth at a position where the Nittany Lions desperately needed it.

Last but not least, we have Abdul Carter. Holy smokes what a talent this kid is. Carter led Penn State’s defense in tackles against Auburn, and he doesn’t even know how to play his position yet. The speed and athleticism he brings to the table has been a major shot in the arm for a linebacker room that is still searching for depth, but is in a much better spot now than maybe it was a few months ago.

Penn State Football
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