Final Thoughts: Penn State 17, Pitt 10

By Barry Leonard on September 14, 2019 at 4:14 pm
Sep 14, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) looks to pass the football during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
© Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

It was fitting that after a delay for severe weather the Nittany Lions offense started slow. They did, however, find the endzone first, but followed it up by giving up 10 unanswered points before going into halftime tied. 

And while the trend of greatly improving in the second half didn't really hold true, the Nittany Lions did enough to squeak out an important 17-10 victory. 

  • The ACC refs were no bueno - that's all I'll say about that. 
  • Penn State's offensive line still needs some work. From false starts to missed assignments, this wasn't the best game for Matt Limegrover's group. Quarterback Sean Clifford found himself under a lot of pressure, particularly in the first half, and the running game did not have much room to work with. With veterans like Will Fries, Michal Menet, and Steven Gonzalez, this group has to get better. 
  • Kicker Jordan Stout continues to be an important pickup for the Nittany Lions. Aside from booting kicks out of the end zone, he set a Penn State record with a 57-yard field goal. Having a weapon like that will be key as the season continues on. 
  • 372 passing yards. Let that sink it. The Penn State defense could do nothing against the Pitt passing attack and quarterback Kenny Pickett. Pitt excelled on using the screen pass. Even when everyone in the stadium knew what was coming, the defense still couldn't stop it. 
  • Penn State has a stable of running backs. That's a well-known fact, and the group impressed today after a rough game last week. Journey Brown led the way with 109 yards, including an 85-yard scamper early in the game. Freshmen running backs Noah Cain and Devyn Ford each scored, and Ricky Slade provided a boost catching the ball out of the backfield. 

Like I said, it wasn't pretty, but a win is a win. Penn State moves to 3-0 and now heads into the bye week before starting Big Ten play on September 27 with a Friday night game at Maryland. 

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