Uh-oh, Indiana loss shows Central Florida wasn’t a fluke
Penn State not only didn’t get the win it needed at Indiana to propel it with momentum into its first big game of the Big Ten season against Michigan next Saturday, it got beaten the same way it did against Central Florida. The Lions didn’t run the ball well enough, and couldn’t pressure a good quarterback, and without that pressure, couldn’t cover his receivers.
Only this one was worse than UCF in many ways. First, Central Florida is probably a better team than Indiana by a decent margin. Indiana was 2-2 coming in, having lost to its two legitimate major college opponents, Missouri and Navy. Indiana’s defense isn’t, or at least wasn’t, very good. But the Lions couldn’t run on them, and they almost picked off Christian Hackenberg on several occasions.
Defensively, the Lions were victimized again by a good offense–that Indiana has–giving up big plays and long drives.
Special teams also found new problems Saturday. A bad snap and a blocked kick derailed the field goal kicking unit, which had been doing so well after last year’s shaky start.
There is really nothing positive to find in this week’s loss. The Lions were dominated up front on both sides of the ball. This was done by a team no one expects to be anywhere near the top of the conference standings come the end of November.
Penn State’s conference schedule contains Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.