Last season, Penn State was No. 1 in the Big Ten in points scored a game with 40.2 and average yards gained a game with 452.2 yards. They also had the best third down conversion percentage with 52.2.
But, this year could be very different for their offense with the loss of the big three wide receivers Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood. They also lost some big guys up front, so the offense is going to have a lot of work cut out for them.
Although don't forget about the return of conference leading QB Daryll Clark and speedy HB Evan Royster. Also look out for Stephfon Green who will only be a junior this season.
I'm going to be breaking down all the starters of the Penn State offense in 2009. Let's get started.
QB Daryll Clark No. 17, Senior
Ht. 6'2"; Wt. 232lbs
Daryll Clark can be compared to Michael Robinson of 2005. He's not the explosive guy that Robinson is, but he gets pretty close. Although, Clark is more of a passer and less of a runner than Robinson was. His weight can really give the defense a hard time when it comes to bringing him down for a sack.
Last season he went 192-321 which is a 59.8 completion percentage. He passed for 2,592 yards with 19 TD passes and only six interceptions. His 10 TD runs and 282 rushing yards also show that he can be a threat on the ground.
Some of his notable games were against Michigan State and Illinois. Against Michigan State he passed for an amazing 341 yards and four TDs with a 61.5 percent completion rating.
Also, against Illinois he had a 70.1 percent completion rating with two TD passes and 181 passing yards. He also had a decent game against Ohio State in a key win, with a 60.0 percent completion rating and 121 passing yards.
Clark also went 10/13 in the 2009 Blue-White game with 123 yards. He looked very sharp and ready to go. Look for Daryll Clark to be a big leader and the center of the offense in the 2009 season. I can see him leading the Lions to another Big Ten title.
RB Evan Royster No. 22, Senior
Ht. 6'1"; Wt. 213lbs
Evan Royster is a speedster in the backfield that really takes pressure off the passing game. And he will be utilized more than ever this year with Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood, and Deon Butler gone. He will need to step up to take pressure off the young receivers.
Royster rushed for 1,236 yards on only 191 attempts. That is an overral average of 6.5 yards per carry, which is very impressive. This shows that if he is utilized more he could very well hit 2,000 yards this season. He also had 12 rushing TDs. He can also catch, with 17 receptions for 155 yards; an average of 9.1 yards per reception.
Royster ran all over Coastal Carolina and Oregon State with over eight yards per carry and three TDs in each of those games. He also had some notable games against Illinois, Purdue, and Michigan.
Against Illinois he rushed for 139 yards with 7.3 yards a carry. And against Purdue he rushed for 141 yards with a touchdown and 7.8 yards a carry. Against Michigan he ran for 174 yards and a touchdown with a 9.7 yards per carry average.
In the Blue-White game of 2009, Royster only got three carries but got 21 yards out of those three.
Royster is a big difference maker and should get close to twice as many carries as he did last year, and we could very well see 2,000+ yards from Royster, or at least close to that number.
WR Graham Zug No. 5, Senior
Ht. 6'2"; Wt. 183lbs
This is going to be Zugs first starting year after being backup for Williams, Butler, and Norwood last year. He is a good receiver that has little experience so far, but will probably be the No. 1 receiver for the Lions this year.
Zug got a lot more playing time last year than in 2007. Last year he had 11 receptions for 174 yards, which is 15.8 yards per reception. Not to mention he had two receiving TDs. Including a big 49 yard catch against Ohio State. The two TDs came against Temple and Michigan State.
The only four game he didn't have a reception is were Oregon State, Michigan, Iowa, and USC in the Rose Bowl. He had two multi-reception games against Purdue and Michigan State. These stats are pretty good for a guy that as a No. 4 or 5 wide receiver behind the big three.
Zug also looked quite amazing in the Blue-White game with four receptions for 62 yards(the games leading receiver). He will probably be the guy that will step up and be the leader for the other younger receivers. Look for him to have a pretty big year in his last year at Penn State.
WR Chaz Powell No. 2, Junior
Ht. 6'1"; Wt. 197lbs
Chaz Powell is definitely a guy we really have never seen play before. He does not yet have a college football stat, but he will definitely get his fair share this year. He is getting plenty of practice over the offseason and is getting broken in to the game of college football with all the big hits
It looks like Powell will probably be an "over the middle" kind of receiver like Jordan Norwood was. Powell played in the Blue-White game as a starting wide receiver so it looks like Powell definitely has the job.
The first three games of the season are all cupcakes, so this will help guys like Powell really improve. If he can break in quickly enough, he will really be able to make a difference.
WR Derek Moye No. 6, Junior
Ht. 6'5"; Wt. 198lbs
Derek Moye is also like Chaz Powell who is still looking for their first college football reception and will get it this coming year. Moye shows great potential especially in this years Blue-White game.
Moye hand a handful of catches in the Blue-White game along with a big 28-yarder. A big notable about this guy is his height. He will probably be the vertical guy that will go out for longer pass plays because of this height.
Like Powell, if he can break in quickly, he will be able to make a difference.
TE Andrew Quarless No. 10, Senior
Ht. 6'5"; Wt. 248lbs
Andrew Quarless definitely has the experience and is a veteran player for the Lions. He's a big TE that can really be a team leader for the Lions. He has played since his freshman year in 2006 and has helped the team out through all of them.
Last year he had 11 receptions for 117 yards and one touchdown. His yards per catch was 10.6. Look for Quarless to be used so much more now that the receiving core has lost the big three. He has a total of 46 receptions, five TDs, and an average of 13.3 yards a catch in his college career.
In the Blue-White game Quarless had four receptions for 52 yards with a dropped pass. That is one gray area with Quarless, is his dropped passes when he hears footsteps. He is going to need to work on that, but could become a huge threat for PSU.
C Stefen Wisniewski No. 61, Junior
Ht. 6'3"; Wt. 297lbs
Wisniewski will see his first amount of playing time this season. He will need to be able to patch a whole in the offensive line that lost a few players. He and the rest of the O-line are going to need to pick it up to keep Clark safe in the backfield.
OG Johnnie Troutman No. 74, Junior
Ht. 6'4"; Wt. 309lbs
Just like with Wisniewski, Troutman will be getting his first season of playing time this year. This is going to be a young offensive line and Troutman will added some nice size at 309lbs to open up holes for Royster and keep Clark in the pocket.
OG Lou Eliades No. 77, Senior
Ht. 6'4"; Wt. 310lbs
Eliades will probably emerge as a good leader for this young offensive line. He and Dennis Landolt are the only two seniors on the line, so look for them to be leaders for the young crew.
OT Dennis Landolt No. 73, Senior
Ht. 6'4"; Wt. 306lbs
Landolt will most likely be the biggest leader for the O-line this season. He and Eliades are the only seniors, like I said earlier, so look for one of them to emerge as a leader. He will also add some weight to this line up over 300lbs.
OT DeOn'tae Pannell No. 50, Sophmore
Ht. 6'5"; Wt. 300lbs
Pannell is a very young offensive lineman out of Southfield, MI. He will probably be making some rookie mistakes so guys like Landolt and Eliades will have to pick him up. As you have seen so far, the offensive line has lost a lot, hopefully they will come through.
Well that is my breakdown for the projected starters of the 2009 Penn State football season. Their first game comes against Akron at home at 12pm est. on Sept. 5. I can very well see PSU going undefeated with their schedule. We'll just have to wait and see if they can do it.