UNIVERSITY PARK— Let’s keep it real for a second … this Penn State-Delaware game was never going to be close nor should it have been and it most certainly wasn’t. En route to the 63-7 win, Penn State thoroughly dominated Delaware in nearly all facets.
Penn State’s gameplan was as vanilla as the ice cream served at the Berkey Creamery and that’s by design. It was very much a Globo Gym from the movie Dodgeball situation in which Penn State was bigger than the Blue Hens and they and everybody else knew it.
“Being able to play games like that, where you get a ton of guys on the field and get your starters off the field, there’s a lot of value in that,” coach James Franklin said after the game.
ONE IF BY LAND…
Penn State ran the ball down Delaware’s throat and didn’t have to do much else, averaging about 5.1 yards per carry with the first team offense on the field and finished with 315 yards and 5.3 ypc.
Franklin said Penn State has two starters at tailback, and the guys further down the depth chart are ok with that.
“If you look at it, Kaytron had over 100 yards, averaged five yards a carry, over five yards a carry,”Franklin said. “Trey Potts averaged over eight yards a carry. Nick Singleton averaged over four yards a carry and scored three touchdowns. So, those guys have bought into the idea that we have two starting tailbacks. We will see how that goes week to week, based on preparation throughout the week, but we are going to play both like starter reps.”
It was as dominant up front as possible with Allar, Pribula and Allen all having rushes of 13 or more yards. Having this type of tune-up bodes well for Penn State moving forward as it begins the Big Ten schedule with Illinois next week.
Penn State dominated offensively, but what was even more impressive was the domination … err … annihilation of the Delaware offense. One play garnered 66 yards and aside from that, there wasn’t not much going well for the Blue Hens.
How does this top-rated defense give up this kind of run against a FCS opponent. The defensive line is worrisome and showed vulnerability last week against the run game too pic.twitter.com/APPgfcAKw7
— Victory Bell Rings (@VictoryBellRing) September 9, 2023
Franklin mentioned that play after the game, but was pleased with the performance overall.
“We had the one play where we were not gap sound,” Franklin said. “The ball found that gap, and they got some talented guys that can run, so just a really good example that everybody’s got to do their job on a consistent basis. If you’re supposed to be in the B gap, you have to be in the B gap. If you’re supposed to be in the C gap, you have to be in the C gap. But overall, obviously, statistically, really good.”
As a team, Penn State racked up seven tackles for loss and four sacks while holding Delaware’s quarterbacks to 6-for-16 passing and only 58 yards on the afternoon. The Blue Hens finished with 140 total yards and possessed the ball for 17:38.
Penn State also forced two turnovers, a fumble and an interception which Dom DeLuca ultimately returned for a touchdown.
Although Delaware isn’t quite in the ballpark of West Virginia and Illinois, a dominant performance such as this is always a welcomed sight.
With a rout comes backups. With backups comes inexperience, but promise. With Saturday’s performance, the backups held up their end of the bargain continuing the dominance set by the first group.
Pribula finished 3-for-5 with 22 yards and a touchdown through the air while also adding eight carries for 46 yards.
“We were able to play a bunch of guys,” Franklin said. “We were able to get a bunch of guys experience which is going to be important for us down the stretch.”
These reps matter. They might not seem like much, but productive reps against an actual opponent provide valuable data to be analyzed and actual film rather than just practice reps and the like.
Getting players like Allar and Singleton out of the game early also gives them an opportunity to maintain fresh legs and that will be big later down the stretch in Big Ten play.