September 26, 2011
Posted by Joe Chuba
Nittany Lion play-by-play voice Steve Jones analyses Penn State’s non-conference win over Eastern Michigan, and previews the Nittany Lions Big Ten opener against Indiana.
It was a good, solid win for Penn State but the injuries took all of the air out of it. Michael Mauti was developing into an outstanding linebacker. Now for the second time in three years he has to go through surgery and rehab. D’Anton Lynn scared everyone but he is bouncing back, a slice of good news there.
Now, the depth of the team comes into play. Nate Stupar has played a lot of football, and there is plenty of confidence in what he can bring to the table at linebacker. He has always played the pass well. Saturday showed his improvement against the run. Adrian Amos is just a true freshman. He is a young player with size, quickness and very good instincts. Now he needs to step up in a tough spot.
Both quarterbacks played well. Eastern Michigan stuck eight and nine in the box, and Penn State adjusted by going up top. It turned out 13 different receivers got into the act.
For the most part it was a precise Penn State performance except for three false start penalties. That should not happen especially at home.
The kicking game was improved. Anthony Fera handled all three phases making a field goal, booming some punts, but was just ok on kickoffs. Sam Ficken looked confident in making the first field goal of his career.
The defense has produced six takeaways in the last two games. It is also interesting that the leading tacklers for the season are tackles Devon Still and Jordan Hill. They each have 21 along with Mauti.
Now it is time for conference play and more importantly divisional play. It is a whole new world in the Big Ten. For fans they have to get used to thinking differently. Say you are a Penn State fan… Well, the first scores you need to look at are Wisconsin, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois. Those are the ones that have a direct effect on Penn State.
Indiana is weeding out the program under Kevin Wilson. If you don’t buy in then you are out. As many as 25 freshmen and redshirt freshmen have played. They want to run the ball and freshman D’Angelo Roberts leads the way. Edward Wright-Baker has been the starter at quarterback hitting 62% of his passes but in the loss to North Texas Saturday night Dusty Kiel came off the bench and put together 3 fourth quarter touchdowns.
On defense they still struggle against the run giving up nearly 190 yards per game. The kicking game for Indiana is solid led by Mitch Ewald.
The first ever road to Indianapolis begins in the Big Ten this week.
Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV
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