Report Card: Grading Penn State’s win over Auburn

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This was an exciting matchup to watch all game. Mistakes were made from both sides, but Penn State came out on top towards the end.

Let’s dive deeper and grade Penn State’s performance.

Quarterbacks: B

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

This was another test for Sean Clifford under a new offense and he actually put on an impressive performance. They were plays throughout the game where he adapted under pressure and showed some flashes of athleticism, including one that resulted in a red zone touchdown to wide receiver Jahan Dotson.

Next: Running Backs

Running Backs: D+

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the win, Penn State struggled to run the ball throughout most of the game. However, we did see a late Noah Cain touchdown. There’s still work to be done in the run game. Auburn came into this game as one of the top run defenses in college football, and they certainly showed it.

Next: Wide Receivers

Wide Receivers: B

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Sean Clifford got several of his weapons involved against Ball State. Tonight, their offense Was slowly moving, but saw their ups and downs throughout the entire game. However, we saw a few key plays that ended up being turning points to the game.

One of them was an early Jahan Dotson touchdown. The others were tied end package sets by both Brenton Strange and Theo Johnson.

Next: Defense

Defense: B-

Syndication: York Daily Record
Syndication: York Daily Record

The beginning of this game wasn’t all defense on both sides, but both found success early.

Guys like Brandon Smith and Ellis Brooks were on their game tonight. Of the three games played, this is where Penn State found most of their struggles.

Despite the win, Auburn found success in the run game, especially in the second half. Tank Bigsby put on a show and caused problems for Penn State for the majority of the game.

However, Penn State still played well in other areas of their defense.

Next: Special Teams

Special Teams: B

There wasn’t a ton of action from special teams from both sides. However, neither team give up any big plays throughout the game.

All in all, this was a fantastic effort by Penn State in every aspect of the game, and it paid off with a big win at home. Next up for Penn State is a home game against the Villanova Wildcats next week. Villanova is the final non-conference matchup of the season for the Nittany Lions before they head back into Big Ten play with some big revenge game situations on the horizon.

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