Penn State Week 1 Recap: Offensive Line Needs Work

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst ISeptember 8, 2009

Week 1 is in the books and PSU has moved to 1-0, but did not cover the closing 27 point spread.
The Penn State defense, as expected was extremely tough and did not allow the Zips to do much on offense. Akron was only able to amount 186 yards of total offense and just 28 on the ground on 30 carries.
Most impressive was the secondary that I, and many others thought would have a tough time with the experienced wide outs of Akron. However this secondary performed extremely well and actually looks like they may be better then the 2008 secondary in a few weeks. They have more athletic players, they are faster, and they hit harder then the 2008 secondary. After a few weeks of experience, this secondary looks like they should be ready for the Big Ten Schedule.
The offense looked sharp for the most part with a few things that need to worked out. Yes they did amount 515 however I had a couple issues.
First of all Clark was not as sharp as I expected he would. If this was 2008, with those 6 foot wide receivers, this would not be the career day it was for him. He had a couple under-thrown balls and one interception that was most likely not his fault. It's only week one and his timing will get better so I don't think there is much concern here.
Derek Moye looks like he will be a stud and his 6'5 frame helps Clark a ton allowing him to throw balls up that Moye can go get. This will be a huge upgrade versus what Clark had last year, in terms of height at the wide receiver position.
However the major issue was the run game. Yes Penn State had 136 yards on the ground and that looks nice in the box score, but when taking a closer look this number is deceiving.
Penn State carried the ball 30 times which equates to 4.5 a carry. 37 of the 136 yards came on Andrew Daily running the ball on a fake punt.
We are now now at 99 yards on 29 carries, which is just 3.4 a carry. This is not enough to win the Big Ten. Penn State will have to grind it out later in the season and be able to run the ball much better than this. The offensive line, especially the right side, will need to play better create running lanes much better.
The one key thing to note is that Akron plays a 3-5-3 set-up on defense and did stack up to 9 men in the box at times. This obviously creates problems for the offensive line, and is not something that they will ever see again this year.
Hopefully next week against a standard 4-3 set up, we will have some more insight on how this line will do the rest of the year.
3 things we found:Chaz Powell did have a nice game (7 rec, 65 yards, 1 TD) but it was freshman wearing #20 Devon Smith who reminded us of Derrick Williams with his speed and versatility, Derek Moye will be a stud and showed he can go up and grad anything thrown his way; Collin Wagner needs to work on his kicking game or we need to try using freshman Anthony Fera.