Well, no surprises in Beaver Stadium on Saturday as Penn State took down Akron 31-7 in a game where Penn State didn't score at all in the second half. Akron had the only points in that slow second half. Time to break it all down.
My Player of the Game: QB Daryll Clark- 29/40, 353 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Game Scoring Summary
RB Evan Royster started off great with the game's first TD, a four-yard run, about four minutes into the first quarter. WR Chaz Powell also showed he can catch with an eight-yard TD reception with about three minutes left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Collin Wagner kicked a 42-yard field goal to make it 17-0 PSU. WR Derek Moye had an amazing 22-yard pass reception with only about a minute and a half in the second quarter. They got it back quickly about a minute later to score another TD from an amazing diving catch by WR Graham Zug.
The second half was very quiet, with the only score coming from Akron WR Deryn Bowser, which was a 40-yard TD reception to make it 31-7. That would be the final score.
Player Breakdowns vs. Akron
Daryll Clark - 29/40, 353 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Clark looked very good, but against a weak Akron defense. I think he could have done even better, but give him a break, it is only Week 1. Also, he had some very reliable receivers to throw to. This is what I’m getting to next.
Derek Moye - 6 REC, 138 yards, 1 TD
Moye looks like he will shape up to be the next Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, or Jordan Norwood. He had some great catches that he had to get up high for. He is definitely going to be the guy to leap for catches in the end zone and will be very useful for fade routes.
Chaz Powell - 7 REC, 65 yards, 1 TD
Chaz was also a guy that will shape out to be a Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, or Jordan Norwood. Powell has exceptional speed and is very Derrick Williams-like. He even wears Derrick's old number. Look for him to be the speed guy with great hands as well.
Graham Zug - 5 REC, 62 yards, 1 TD
Zug doesn't have quite the potential of the other two just because this is his senior year, but nonetheless, he will make a huge difference. He seems like the guy that will be making a lot of over-the-middle receptions. Like the other two, he could become part of another triple threat WR core for this season.
Evan Royster - 14 carries, 61 yards, 1 TD, 4.4 YPC
Royster only had 61 yards, but also only had 14 carries. A 4.4 yard-per-carry average is pretty good, but he could have done a little better. He obviously will be getting more chances in conference play, so I only expect improvement from him this season.
Defense - 186 yards allowed, 1 INT
The front seven of the defense looked amazing, led by DT Jared Odrick. The linebackers also look very impressive behind LB Sean Lee. Obviously the secondary did so/so and looks like the young secondary they are. A.J. Wallace will have to step it up.
Thoughts from the Game
Penn State definitely showed some Week 1 kinks, especially in the second half. They still scored 31 points with some of those kinks. I know it's Akron, but it still has some value.
This game included something Joe Pa usually never does...trickery. Yes, that's right, they tried a fake punt and it worked for a first down and a big gain. Maybe Joe is doing some experimenting? Who knows, but I do know that PSU is going to need more than trickery to get around conference play.
Like I said, they showed some normal Week 1 play, but they definitely took care of business, especially on defense. The defense hadn't allowed a single first down through two quarters of play. In the end, they only gave up eight first downs.
Two concerns of mine are the secondary and young kicker Collin Wagner. The secondary played very so-so against a not so good Akron team. A.J. Wallace played fairly well and Dailey had an INT for the Lions. They will need to play better against conference opponents, especially ones with passing threats.
Wagner went 1/3 with his only made FG a 29-yarder. He had a 40-yard FG attempt that he missed, which worries me a lot. He looks like he doesn't have the accuracy that Kevin Kelly did. FGs are VERY important in close games, so he will need to improve.
It's a good thing PSU has some more games to get ready for the conference play, but one solid non-conference opponent would be nice.
Look for my next PSU preview article where I will match them up to Syracuse on September 12th.