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Halftime Thoughts

With a half in the books, Penn State hasn’t looked very good

OFFENSE

-The offensive line has again struggled in run blocking, failing to open up holes for running backs Evan Royster and Stephfon Green to 16 and 11 yards respectively.

-Robert Bolden has maintained his composure fairly well considering the circumstances, making good reads and crisp passes. He was hit on his interception, and probably should have taken the sack, but other than that, he’s looked fairly good.

-Despite the absence of the run game, Penn State has moved the ball on Alabama as expected. Turnovers have undone a lot of that, but nevertheless, they’re finding a degree of success to build on when they get the ball after the break.

DEFENSE

-Tacking has been very poor.

-Alabama attacked the middle of the Penn State secondary on its first touchdown drive almost exactly like Mark Sanchez and USC did in the 2009 Rose Bowl. This seems to be the recurring theme for the Penn State defense through the last few years against solid pocket passers.

-Penn State did get pressure on McElroy and generated a couple of sacks. Other than that, not a whole lot of bright spots

OVERALL

-Penn State still has a chance to make this game respectable the way the offense is playing, but a win is probably out of the question. At this point, it’s important the defense learn as much as it can by playing this loaded offense and the offensive line establish some kind of momentum on the ground. If Penn State can leave Tuscaloosa having done that, there are still plenty of reasons for optimism going forward.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.