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Penn State Football: Handing Out The Grades Following Penn State's 62-24 Victory Over Purdue

by on October 30, 2016 12:40 PM

Last week the grading took a week off following Penn State's upset over No. 2 Ohio State as there is very little to pick at when a team pulls off that kind of victory. In truth there was, Penn State's offensive line struggled at times, the offense was in turn inconsistent.

Special teams won Penn State the game but almost very nearly lost it for the Nittany Lions, too. Sometimes, it just isn't worth diving into the little details of a game so wild and unexpected that it almost fails to be adequately summarized.

And on Saturday that nearly just about happened again. After heading into the half tied at 17, Penn State came out and blew the doors off of a Purdue defense very prone to just that thanks to an offense equally prone to turning over the ball. The Nittany Lions scored 45 second half points scoring on seven of eight possessions to the tune of six touchdowns and a lone field goal.

So it goes without saying that Penn State's offense gets an A. Saquon Barkley was outstanding with 277 yards of total offense, 81 on a long touchdown run, 70 more receiving and a handful of impressive carries in between. Chris Godwin had two scores and four Penn State running backs in total found the end zone by the end of the game.

The Nittany Lion offensive front showed up and Trace McSorley finally connected on a few deep balls that had been there all day. Sixty-two points is an almost stupid amount of scoring and Penn State's success has as much to do with how the opponent played as anything else, but you can't score 62 points by mistake. 

In an era where Penn State fans have longed for a blow out against a team they should, the Nittany Lions did just that and more, avoiding a hangover from the Ohio State win and moving on to 6-2 this season.

Defensively it was Jason Cabinda leading the way but Brandon Smith's interception in place of Cabinda on the field that turned the tied. Only one sack thanks to a quick pass offense limited the number of chances for tackles in the backfield, but Penn State's secondary and linebackers adjusted and were more than up for the task in the second half.

This group gets a B. Not because it played poorly, but 17 first half points, even against a team with nothing to lose and a kitchen sink to throw, will cause trouble down the road. Penn State is a second half team but as Michigan showed a few weeks earlier, sometimes the second half is too little too late. That being said, nobody left on the schedule really has that kind of firepower to make Penn State pay for slow starts. But still, it's the principle of the thing.

Penn State's special teams were a non-factor, but that's as good of a reason as any to get an A in a game where they didn't have much to do.

Overall Penn State scored 62 points and held its opponent to 24. That's about all you need to know. There isn't a lot of nuance needed.

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