Penn State Game Grades: Rutgers

Story posted November 24, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

Penn State was able to rebound following last week's loss to Michigan with its second shutout of the season.

After a slow start, the Nittany Lions pulled off a 28-0 on Senior Day against Rutgers to move up to 7-4 on the season.

Here’s a look at how each position group performed during the Penn State win.

Offense: A-

It’s tough not to give the Nittany Lions a good grade here despite six straight punts to start the contest.

Sean Clifford started out the game at quarterback and just did not look right from the start as he was battling an illness and did not practice with the first team all week.

When Clifford struggled it was freshman gunslinger Christian Veilleux who stepped in and instantly turned the offense around.

Veilleux helped the Nittany Lions score 28-unanswered points which broke the scoreless tie that lasted until late in the second quarter.

In his first game as a Nittany Lion, Veilleux threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns during the win.

While the offense was stagnant until Veilleux’s arrival, the Nittany Lions did still score 28 points on the day which ties for their fourth highest total of the season.

Defense: A+

A second shutout on the season is more than deserving of another A+ for the Penn State defense.

For the first quarter and a half, both squads were heavily engaged in a punting battle which is something the Rutgers offense kept alive even when the Nittany Lions started putting points on the board.

The Nittany Lions’ defense stifled every aspect of the Scarlet Knights’ offense as their leading rusher was quarterback Johnny Langan who finished with just 18 yards on the day.

Overall, the Scarlet Knights couldn’t get things going both through the ground and the air as starting quarterback Noah Vedral only completed 12 of his passes for 91 yards while also throwing an interception to safety Jonathan Sutherland.

It was another strong performance from the Penn State defense and it’ll look to keep that momentum going against Heisman trophy contender Kenneth Walker III and the Michigan State Spartans.

Coaching: A

If the Nittany Lions can play like that the next ten seasons, it will make James Franklin’s new contract well worth the price tag.

While it may not have been the right move to start Clifford following a rough week leading up to the game, Franklin did make the right call to take him out of the game.

Veilleux had been working with the first team during practice so he was more than ready to take over for Clifford.

Franklin deserves praise for having a backup option ready to go, which was something that hindered Penn State during its loss against Iowa.

The Nittany Lions needed this game to rebound following two straight home losses and they were able to pull through with a great all-around performance.

Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email