It’s Raining W’s: Penn State vs. Army

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When it rains, it pours…tackles for the Penn State defense—specifically this past Saturday afternoon against Army. When coupled with the rain, Beaver Stadium has been the epitome of “home field advantage” for the Nittany Lions. Saturday’s victory marks the fourth consecutive win—each of which were played at home. Although the Lions’ total yardage took a dip from the exceptional number posted against San Diego State and Rutgers (arguably due to the absence of the running back duo of Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch), the recorded amount (264) was still enough for the Lions to go into this weekend’s Homecoming game against Indiana undefeated at home.

It’s Raining W’s: Penn State vs. Army

The defensive roar of the Nittany Lion defense was louder than ever, recording 35 tackles against the Army offense. Sophomore linebacker Jason Cabinda recorded 14 tackles—a career high. Both Cabinda and Carl Nassib recorded sacks for a total of 38 yards lost. Within the first half, the Lions were able to hold the Army offense to just 77 yards. Quarterback A.J. Schurr fumbled on Army’s first drive of the game, and was recovered by sophomore defensive end Garrett Sickels.

Sickels’ recovery granted decent field position for Penn State’s offense. After eight plays, redshirt freshman Nick Scott delivered the Nittany Lions their first touchdown of the game in eleven yards—seemingly without much difficulty. Scott’s touchdown run was a result of a fourth and four passing play from quarterback Christian Hackenberg to sophomore receiver DaeSean Hamilton—his single receiving play for twelve yards. Although the Nittany Lions were able to record the first touchdown of the game within five minutes, the next scoring play—a field goal—would not result until the last minute of the first quarter.

Although the rain could be considered a good omen for the Nittany Lions this year, it also created some less than ideal throwing conditions for both quarterbacks. Hackenberg attempted 19 passes and completed ten. Although this was the same as recorded against Rutgers, along with recording a touchdown and fifteen more yards, he did not have the running power. The running backs did produce efficient numbers, a total of 108 rushing yards. To put this number in perspective, however, Barkley and Lynch each recorded over 100 yards each against Rutgers. Army’s offense too was affected by the soggy conditions. The offense fumbled seven times—only two were forced (by Anthony Zettel and Jason Cabinda).

This upcoming Saturday presents the Nittany Lions with the opportunity of going 5-0 at home. What’s even more important: Saturday is a BIG 10 Conference game. If the Nittany Lions want to increase their chances of playing not only for a conference championship but in a larger bowl game, it is imperative for the team to win as much as possible—considering the Nittany Lions still lack a Top 25 presence in either poll. October is going to be a telling month for the Lions. This is the month in which the true grit and strength of the team is going to be needed to combat not only whatever physical fatigue may be weighing, but also psychologically.

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