Final Thoughts: Penn State 79, Idaho 7

By Barry Leonard on August 31, 2019 at 7:06 pm
Aug 31, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin looks on during a warm up prior to the game against the Idaho Vandals at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
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Penn State football is off and running in 2019!

It was a bit of a slow start on offense, but Penn State quickly got things rolling and easily defeated the Idaho Vandals. There was a lot of good that came out of this game, both on offense and defense. Other than a possible concussion for TE Pat Freiermuth, the Lions got out of this one injury free as well.

  • Sean Clifford showed why he won the starting quarterback job out of camp. He missed on some of his early throws, but found his groove in the second quarter. He connected twice with KJ Hamler, and showed an ability to make plays with his legs. Clifford finished with 280 passing yards, 57 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. 
  • Jordan Stout was a huge pickup for the Nittany Lions. The former Virginia Tech kicker was booming kickoffs out of the end zone all day and connected on a 53-yard field goal. The Nittany Lions have struggled with consistency in the kicking game over the last seasons. Stout looks like the real deal and could really help the Nittany Lions in that area this season. 
  • Entering the game with the Vandals, it was known that Penn State would have a tough defense. It just wasn't exactly clear how tough. The entire defense was dominant all day, particularly the guys up front. Outside of a late touchdown in junk time, Idaho was unable to get anything going on offense. The Vandals were held to just 118 total yards and 5 first downs. 
  • "Running Back U" is a real thing. We knew the Nittany Lions were stacked with running backs, but perhaps we just didn't know how stacked. All four of the top running backs saw action, and all scored at least once. Starting running back Ricky Slade ran just five times for nine yards, but he did find pay dirt. He also had a big 26-yard reception that set up his touchdown. Slade's backup, Journey Brown, also rushed five times, but scored twice. Freshmen Devyn Ford and Noah Cain both had impressive days. Ford ripped off an 81-yard touchdown run and led the team with 105 total yards. Cain rushed for 44 yards and two touchdowns. 

While this was a nice win, don't get used to 72-point wins this season. Enjoy this one and get ready for Buffalo in seven days. 

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