Position Grades: Indiana – Black Shoe Diaries
Is it possible to rule out a team and have the impression that they could have been a little better yet? Ask a friend …
In any case, make way for the notes!
Quarterback: B +
Did Sean Clifford seem a little offbeat at times? Yes. Was his interception the first this season that was actually his fault? Yes. Has he always thrown a touchdown hat trick and used his legs to pick up the first downs after all of his control options have been covered? Yes. Was his performance more than adequate on a night when the defense completely controlled the opponent? Also, yes.
Go back: B-
Oh, listen … Penn State had some semblance of a ground game! Keyvone Lee was the most efficient of all the running backs, totaling 74 yards on eight carries, including 44 gut yards that saw PSU win the second touchdown of the night. John Lovett also added 44 yards on 10 carries. Noah Cain, for whatever reason, continued to see some action, although it was clear that he lacked any type of burst and played at less than 100%. Obviously, there is still a lot to be desired from this group, but after that putrid performance against Villanova last week, it was a step forward.
That being said, it’s high time the coaching staff picked out two backs and rolled with them, as this constant rotation between four backs doesn’t get anyone into rhythm. Find your two best backs and stick with them.
Wide receiver: B +
Jahan Dotson dazzled as usual with his eight catches for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns and once again moonlit as a quarterback, throwing a completion to Parker Washington on a trick play. Speaking of Mr. Washington: he had a few unusual falls and the rest of the unit was pretty quiet, but it was clearly more than enough.
Tight end: B
Brenton Strange and Theo Johnson may have only had one catch each, but they were impressive as Strange went for a TD and Theo helped move the chains while hanging out. However, they left a lot to be desired in the racing blockades category, and every Tyler Warren wildcat training after the original followed the tendency of movie sequels to be gruesome. It was cute the first time it worked, but it’s high time to remove the “Wild Warren” package.
Offensive line: B
The race block is still in progress, but was better than last week. Overall pass protection was good, especially with Indiana failing to secure a single sack against Cliff. It goes without saying that next week will be another tough test against a fierce Iowa Front Seven.
Defensive line: A
When the defense throws a shutout, you can probably predict that each of these units will get “A” ratings. PJ Mustipher led the way in tackles with six of them, including one for a loss, while Arnold Ebiketie had the game of the night for the D-line with a very timely sack from Indiana substitute the QB Jack Tuttle, who had just entered the match. for an injured Michael Penix Jr., Jesse Luketa also continues to thrive in his hybrid DE / LB role, getting a few tackles and squeezing QB. The pass rush was consistent, although it only totaled two sacks, as Penix (and later Tuttle) struggled to get into any rhythm throughout the night.
Accumulate tackles, sack the QB, break a pass and even block a basket … what can not Brandon Smith? Ellis Brooks led the unit in tackles with eight of them, while Curtis Jacobs also had a good night.
Although they gave up a few assists, you can’t expect even the best of secondaries to be faultless in this regard. The interception of Joey Porter Jr. who slipped in there like an outfielder catching a short pop fly to end one of IU’s most promising workouts was the clutch, and Ji’Ayir Brown has supplemented his stats with another pick, and now leads the team with three picks of the season. Again, the shutout speaks for itself.
Special teams: A
Jordan Stout was there in every facet of his game, from consistently pinning the Hoosiers in their own 20s on his punts, to starting four of his five kickoffs for touchbacks, to not miss any extra points and, more importantly, to show that he still has something going with field goals, nailing a 50 yards to put PSU 24-0 in the fourth quarter and drive the final nail into the IU coffin. Jahan Dotson even had a clutch kick return in the fourth quarter that put PSU near the Indiana 30s, which led to Stout’s field goal.