Halftime Thoughts: Penn State 28, Kent State 10

By Matthew Filipovits on September 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm
Sep 15, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Miles Sanders (24) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

© Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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It hasn't been pretty, but Penn State has a three-score lead at the half. Although the game isn't necessarily close, there's still a lot to improve on going forward. Here are our thoughts on the game so far.

  • Penn State has had two long touchdown passes called back by bad penalties. If those plays held up, McSorley's line would look way better than his 7/16, 112 yards line.
  • It wasn't just those drive killing penalties that hurt the Nittany Lions. A few offside penalties on the defense and a questionable pass interference call on Amani Oruwariye have extended a few Kent State drives.
  • DeAndre Thompkins has caught a lot of slack for his slow start. He redeemed himself with a great diving catch in the end zone to open up the game. He has two receptions for 48 yards, and that score.
  • BUT, the drops are still popping up. Brandon Polk, Johnathan Holland, Juwan Johnson, and Miles Sanders each  have had a bad drop early. Sanders led directly to a Golden Flash interception.
  • The drop may be most lethal for Holland, who has true freshman Pat Freiermuth biting at his feels.
  • Although Penn State looked great on special teams last week, Kent State caught the Nittany Lions off-guard with a surprise onside kick. This is the second time this season that's happened.
  • Donovan Johnson has looked solid in an increased role. With John Reid yet to appear today, the Penn State secondary looks like it's in good hands.
  • Although McSorley's passing line isn't ideal, he's been great with his legs. He has a trio of rushing tuddies, reached the 1000 career rushing yard plateau, and passed Darryl Clark for the school record for rushing scores by a QB. 
  • KJ Hamler rules. 
  • Jason Oweh and Trent Gordon have made their collegiate debuts on defense. They now have three games left to preserve their redshirts. 
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