Lions get good win, but concerns persist
Forgive me for finding things to worry about in a 35-7 Big Ten win on the road.
There are many positives in this win, not the least of which was paying back the Illini for their bold-faced attempted raid of PSU talent last summer.
The running game was the best of the season, with Zach Zwinak looking like the can be a tandem runner with Bill Belton. The front seven was again pretty good. Michael Mauti showed why he is the heart and soul of this team, and should be playing on Sundays next year. Kick coverage was better. The tight ends, especially Kyle Carter and Matt Lehman, continue to get better. The difference between the offense of 2012 and 2011, and years prior, is stark.
Matt McGloin, while no question benefiting from Bill O’Brien’s tutelage, still missed open receivers both short and long, took sacks he can’t take, and continues to think he has Brett Favre’s arm as he throws into double coverage.
While Illinois scored only because of trick play, there were still several times receivers broke wide open. Only bad passes and drops kept these coverage gaffs from being real trouble.
Sam Ficken still can’t hit anything beyond extra point range.
A 35-7 Big Ten win on the road is just that, and that is impressive. It was Penn State’s most complete game of the year.
But the Lions must get better in the areas noted above if they expect to beat the better teams on their schedule.
Such as, say, Northwestern. This Saturday.