Game Grades: Buffalo
Number 15 Penn State (2-0) got off to an extremely slow start but woke up in the second half to defeat the Buffalo Bulls (1-1) 45-13 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. Here are the game grades from the Nittany Lions performance:
It’s hard to believe that after accumulating only 88 yards of offense in the first half that the Nittany Lions would still end up with 45 points. Sean Clifford had his second straight good start with 279 yards and four passing touchdowns, while also running for 51 yards. Clifford really found chemistry with Jahan Dotson and Pat Friermuth who both were huge for Penn State. The running game was almost nonexistent as no running back could get it going. Penn State can’t be this one-dimensional going forward.
The defensive line got pushed around for the entire first half and Buffalo quarterback Matt Myers was finding open receivers. Like the offense, they stepped up their game in the second half. John Reid was the player of the game for the Nittany Lions with a pick six that shifted the momentum completely towards Penn State. Cam Brown and Tariq Castro-Fields also had nice games for the Penn State defense.
Special Teams: A-
Another game where every one of Jordan Stout’s kickoffs went for touchbacks and Jake Pinegar was perfect on extra points and field goals. Blake Gillikin had a better game punting for Penn State but still wasn’t completely perfect. The return game really wasn’t a factor, but that’s more so because Buffalo chose to squib rather than kick it to KJ Hamler. Penn State also came inches away from blocking a punt.
The first half showed one thing, Penn State was not as prepared for Buffalo as it should have been and a part of that is on the coaching staff. You can get away with that against a team like Buffalo, but you won’t be able to get away with that when the schedule gets tougher. The coaching staff did dominate halftime adjustments but you can’t ignore the lack of preparation that showed in the first half.
Kevin McConlogue is a senior majoring in broadcast-journalism with a minor in political science. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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