Penn State Football: Week 1 Recap/My Prediction Grade

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst ISeptember 2, 2008

On 8.25.08, below is what I predicted for the 8.30.08 game vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Below that you will find out how I grade myself on my week 1 predictions.
This should be a nice opening game for Penn State to finally apply this new offense to a meaningful game. This will also be a great way to start for Daryl Clark and/or Pat Devlin against a team that uses a mix of 4-3 and 3-4 defensive looks.

Coastal Carolina does return 21 starters, so this is a team with experience. The Chanticleers are picked to finish second in the Big South but should be extremely overmatched when they visit Happy Valley.

I predict a very fast start for this Penn State offense, as Joe Paterno likes to open up early in these early non-conference matchups (see Akron 2004, 2007, etc.). I think both Clark and Devlin should see significant playing time in this game with the fans getting to see how each can/will be used.

Penn State will score touchdowns in all sorts of ways in this game: Daryl Clark running and throwing, Stephon Green returning a kick, Evan Royster running the ball, and let’s throw in an interception and a big start for what should be a big season for Anthony Scirrotto.
In the end, Penn State will win this game, 49-3.

First of all, the game ended in a 66-10 rout, but lets take a look at how on/off my predictions where in other facets of the game.

This game was an easy opener to fine tune some of the things the players learned in the off-season against an actual opponent rather then their own defense in practice. Although we do hear that only a snippet of the offensive playbook was exposed, it’s still nice to practice against a team who does not know the playbook you are using.

The Chanticleers (which I learned are The Roosters from some of their fans over the weekend) were definitely overwhelmed to be playing in front of such a huge crowd. Penn State scored on two of its first three drives. After Penn State was forced to punt on its third drive, the Chanticleers found a weakness in the middle of the Lions defense and scored their only touchdown on a 33 yard play by Trent Usher, their senior wide-receiver.

You could say that given the way the rest of the game went after this Coastal Carolina TD, I was correct on the “slow start” prediction. The Nittany Lions defense was not caught sleeping after that.

Following the Derrick Williams return on the kickoff after the Chanticleers touchdown, the Penn State defense locked up.

The Penn State offense also took off scoring on each of its next 8 possessions, all which were touchdowns except for one Kevin Kelly field goal at the end of the first half.

As for scoring, I did predict touchdowns in every which way a they can be scored. I was correct on all but one. Penn State did get an interception, but did not get a pick six as I predicted.

Daryll Clark threw for 146 yards and a TD, (he did not get a rushing TD) Stephon Green ran for 89 yards and 2 TDs, Evan Royster ran for 64 yards and 3 TDS, Brent Carter ran for 67 yards, no TDs, and both Chaz Powell and Brandon Beachum got significant play time for freshmen and both scored a rushing touchdown.

Finally, I predicted that Stephon Green would return a kick for a touchdown. Well half of that was correct. There was a kick returned for a TD, but it was Derrick Williams rather then Stephon Green.

I am sure Green will get his at some point this year. That guy amazing speed around the edge!

Overall I would give myself a B. I underestimated our offense, and overestimated our defense in this case. I did not think they would let up a touchdown, especially against the first team defense.

This is something that the team needs to work on in order to keep winning this season. It looked like the pass coverage was not very tight at times, and the Chantincleers were able to pass for 198 yards.

I was also correct, for the most part, on scoring in every which way, minus the pick six, but did not predict each player correctly.

Bottom line is a B for me, and most importantly a W for Penn State


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