Penn State Football: The 5 Most Disappointing Players in the 1st 5 Games
If you told me that Bill O'Brien would open the first five games of the year with a 3-2 record, I'd be pretty content.
Not only have the Penn State Nittany Lions performed well as a team, but there have also been a few standout players such as Matt McGloin, Michael Mauti and Allen Robinson.
McGloin and Robinson are absolutely tearing it up in O'Brien's offensive scheme, and Mauti has used emotions to fire him up and play out of his mind.
However, there have been a handful of players who have disappointed throughout the season so far.
Let's take a look at who those underachieving players are.
Sam Ficken, Kicker
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Anybody who follows college football knows about the Sam Ficken debacle against Virginia in Week 2.
It does need to be put in perspective that Ficken is entering his first season as starting kicker, and he's just a sophomore, so some growing pains were to be expected.
Also, head coach Bill O'Brien has stood by his kicker despite his performance thus far.
However, four missed field goals, including a chip shot from 20 yards out, in a 17-16 loss to the Cavaliers will land you on this list.
Ficken will need to make some consistent field goals and get in a groove if he wants O'Brien and Nittany Nation fully behind him again.
DaQuan Jones, Defensive Tackle
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DaQuan Jones, who has started all fives games at defensive tackle, hasn't done that bad in 2012.
However, his impact (or lack thereof) has to be viewed as disappointing considering the high expectations of him heading into the season.
Throughout the spring practice, many had tabbed Jones as the person who'd fill the role that Jordan Hill played last year, when Hill succeeded due to extra attention to Devon Still.
Despite this, Jones hasn't taken advantage of those opportunities this year, as he's only tallied 13 tackles (2.6 takedowns per game).
As the Lions face better running teams in the Big Ten (i.e. Northwestern, Nebraska, Wisconsin), Jones will need to clog holes and make his presence felt.
Curtis Dukes, Running Back
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Heading into spring practice in 2011 and with Silas Redd transferring, Curtis Dukes was expected to step up and provide a solid running back option for the Lions.
After five games, Dukes looks like the fifth-string tailback, behind Bill Belton, Derek Day, Zach Zwinak and Michael Zordich.
On the season, Dukes has a serviceable 98 yards rushing on a meager 26 attempts.
The redshirt junior didn't receive touches against Ohio or Temple and got five attempt in garbage time against Illinois this past weekend.
Dukes does have the physical attributes to be a monster running back (6'1", 245 lbs.) but hasn't been able to put it all together.
Brandon Moseby-Felder, Wide Receiver
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With Allen Robinson breaking out and Shawney Kersey departing, quarterback Matt McGloin has been searching for another reliable option at wide receiver.
Many were hoping that Brandon Moseby-Felder could step up and provide that presence, but it's been absent so far in 2012.
The redshirt junior wideout has hauled in only six balls this year for 69 yards, including catchless games against Ohio and Virginia.
Moseby-Felder is known for normally having good hands, but a dropped pass against Temple led to one of McGloin's two interceptions on the year.
As Alex Kenney is starting to get more involved in the offense, Moseby-Felder needs to wake up or he'll see his playing time drop dramatically.
Jesse James, Tight End
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Although he does have a touchdown on the season, Jesse James hasn't produced as much as Nittany Lion fans would have hoped.
With the score being his only catch of the season, James, a true freshman, surprisingly hasn't been used that often in O'Brien's tight end-happy offense.
Instead, McGloin's favorite tight end targets have become Matt Lehman and Kyle Carter, leaving James on the outside looking in.
He is just a true freshman, so it's understandable that the youngster has taken a while to work his way into the offensive scheme.
I also love James' potential heading forward as he's still getting acclimated to the college game.
However, Lehman (redshirt junior) and Carter (redshirt freshman) will be around for a while, and with 5-star tight end recruit Adam Breneman bound for Happy Valley next season, James will need to forge himself within the passing game if he doesn't want to get left behind.
Side note: Another reason why James landed himself on this list is this blown blocking assignment on the blocked extra point in the Virginia game.