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Penn State Football: Handing Out The Grades After The Blue White Game

by on April 19, 2015 6:00 AM

Grading the performances of a spring scrimmage can be a little difficult.

The personnel packages are rarely the same for long.

The defense often knows what is coming and nobody is really trying to fool anyone.

It's a chance to get some meaningful practice in a situation where the pressure is a little greater and there are far more people watching.

That's not to say it doesn't matter though. And after 60 minutes of play (even if the clock was always running in the second half) there are a good number of things to take away.

Offense: C

The good looked good, the bad looked bad. Christian Hackenberg's interception was preventable, his 41-yard toss to Saeed Blacknall was a beauty. The offensive line gave him time on some occasions, on others Paris Palmer struggled with his learning curve at left tackle. It was everything fans could expect to see at the end of the spring. Good and bad. 

That being said, the tackles for a loss with the full first team offensive line, and some of the struggles with second and third team players bring this grade down a bit. That's not to say every quarterback should be expected to look like Hackenberg, but there were enough "blah" moments to take notice of the team's youthful side.

Everything about the offense is a work in progress, and that's okay, but it also means this unit doesn't get a glowing review. Gene Lewis and Blacknall hauling down 61 and 71 yards respectively is a good mark for that group.

Defense: B+

Penn State's defense was the best unit on the field all game. Some of that is simply the fact it was never really challenged with the offense trying to work hard down the field. On the other hand guys like Carl Nassib at the defensive end spot really stood out from the first snap.

The five "sacks" on Hackenberg were legit, but everything is easy in two-hand touch. It would have been nice to see the first team defense force a turnover, but the chances to do that were fairly limited. All in all the unit looked solid as expected.

Malik Golden's 7 tackles led the way. Torrence Brown and Curtis Cothran combined for three sacks for an impressive outing for two more under appreciated workers on the defensive side of the ball.

Special Teams: A

Joe Julius hit all of his kickoffs out the back of the end zone and Chris Gulla hit the only field goal of the day from 25 yards out. The longest punts of the day were 49 and 53 yards with minimal shanks.

All in all this unit panned out as expected. Julius seems primed for kicking duties while Pasquariello seems poised to improve on his punting. Sure it's not overly exciting when special teams gets the day's highest grade, but Julius' threat to be an automatic touchback is a real asset to have that shouldn't be overlooked.



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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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