So, the first quarter of the (regular) season is behind us as the team prepares for conference play. Happily, the team has come out victorious in each of its match ups. While we know that the real challenges of the season lie ahead, we can still analyze the numbers to get an idea of the progress the team is making and the contributions being made by individual team members.
First, let's look at scoring:
Penn State - 135 points
Opp - 34 points
Points scored (Penn State):
Rushing TD - 54 (9)
Pass TD - 48 (8)
Kick Return - 6 (1)
PAT - 18 (18)
FG - 9 (3)
Rushing TD - 6 (1)
Pass TD - 12 (2)
Int Return - 6 (1)
PAT - 4 (4)
FG - 6 (2)
Red Zone: Chances/scores/TDs
PSU - 18/17/14
Opp - 7/5/3
Obviously, PSU has dominated in its first 3 games. The scoring is fairly equal between rushing and passing (which could be promising). Buffalo scored most of the points against (and in the 4th quarter); the defense has been (relatively) stingy and (at least) 3 of the scores can be attributed to special teams and turnovers. To date, PSU's redzone productivity has been leaps and bounds over last season's performance; let's see this trend continue throughout the season. The opposing team hasn't spent much time in the "redzone" - and while they are scoring 70% of the time, less than half of their chances have resulted in touchdowns.
Rushing - 35, PSU; 10, Opp.
Pass - 30, PSU; 22, Opp.
Penalty - 3, PSU; 4, Opp.
3rd Down conversion:
PSU - 27/46
Opp - 9/48
Fumbles/lost: 8/6, PSU; 11/6, Opp.
Int thrown: 1, PSU; 2, Opp.
Again, we see a nice balance between PSU's rushing and passing performance. The defense has posted an impressive 81% rate of return on 3rd downs, while the offense is converting almost 60% of the time. Areas of concern/room for improvement would certainly revolve around the turnovers.
Average - Game/Pass/Rush:
PSU - 412.3/215.3/197
Opp - 217.7/200/17.7
Kick Returns - number/yards/average
PSU - 7/198/28.3
Punt Returns - number/yards/average
PSU - 10/166/16.6
Opp - 4/56/14
PSU's equity on offense is good and the defense's numbers on rush yardage have been excellent. Buffalo alone contributed 339 yards passing and 56 yards rushing to the averages (and, not to harp, again, most of this yardage was amassed during the 4th quarter). Special team kick coverage is something we can work on. Kevin Kelly has been doing a good job dealing with the new kickoff rule - but the coverage team needs to hit the next gear to get to the return man before he crosses the 20 yard line.
Rodney Kinlaw, RB - averaging 6.1 yards per carry
Austin Scott, RB - 5 touchdowns, to date
Jordan Norwood, WR - leads the corps of receivers, with 12 receptions, averaging 11.8 yards per catch and 2 touchdowns.
Deon Butler, WR - has reeled in 9 catches, averaging 17.1 yards per catch
Chris Bell, WR - with his 2 catches, is averaging 29.5 yards per catch
Andrew Quarless, TE - is 2/2 in catches/touchdowns
Anthony Morelli, QB - has connected with 12 different receivers
Danny Connor and Sean Lee have combined for 52 tackles and 5 sacks
Maurice Evans and Jerome Hayes have 5 sacks (and one bloodied nose) between them
All in all the numbers look pretty good. The Lions have a lot of work to do as the enter the 2nd Quarter of the season and begin their Big Ten schedule. Some areas of weakness have been shown, but we are confident that the team will make the adjustments and improvements that are necessary to succeed.
See it. Be it. Win it.
Statistics from GoPSUsports.com