Games Grades: Blue-White
On Saturday, Penn State hosted their annual Blue and White game. Looking at the rosters for each team, the blue team had the upper hand in terms of the amount of starters on the team. However, the white roster did have a few playmakers that gave the blue defense a run for their money. Each team showed a preview of what is going to be on display next season. In the end, the blue team put up a dominating performance beating the white team 37-0. Besides the lopsided score, each team had positives and areas where there needs to be improvement. Overall, Penn State football has some exciting things to come next season.
Throughout the game, the blue offense did a great job moving the chains and spreading the workload when it came to putting the ball in the air or letting the running backs take it and fight for extra yards. McSorley did an excellent job spreading the ball around by connecting with eight different receivers. This was great, considering the switch in pace for the offense to a more up-tempo style. By changing the pace, it took pressure off of the offensive line. Trying to keep former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg upright was a major problem last season. Overall, the blue tallied up 411 yards of total offense, a great step in the right direction.
The blue defense did an excellent job disrupting the white offense. As a defense this is a good sign, because they were able to be dominant without players like linebackers Nyeem Wartman and Brandon Bell. With the combination of a veteran defensive backfield and a talented defensive line, the defense is starting to develop an identity.
Player spotlights grades:
Trace McSorley: A-
One of the biggest storylines coming into this game is the quarterback battle between sophomore Trace McSorley and freshman Tommy Stevens. McSorley throughout the game looked very comfortable and confident in the new offense. McSorely threw for 281 yards, going 23 for 27 and four touchdowns. The only major blemish in his performance is the interception he threw in the first half. Head coach James Franklin addressed the media about interception on how McSorley has to be more careful as they get closer to the red zone. This problem can be fixed just by focusing more.
Mark Allen: B+
Sophomore running back Saquon Barkley did not play in this game, which gave Allen an opportunity to really show what he can do. He didn’t face much resistance from the white defense. However, when it seemed like he was getting stopped, he powered his way through to earn those tough yards. With Allen running like that, in combination with the quickness of Barkley, the Penn State backfield is something to be excited about.
White Team: Overall Grade C+
The white offense struggled throughout the contest, which is understandable since they played against the most of the starters on the blue defense. They were able to put together a couple of nice drives, but were never able to find the end zone.
The white defense showed flashes of their depth during the game. The defensive line found ways to get to McSorley and really make him earn those yards.
Players Spotlight Grades:
Tommy Stevens: B
Stevens played pretty well considering he was playing against the blue defense. One of the major areas he needs to improve is his confidence in the pocket. Of course, the defense was doing an excellent job flushing him out and making him scramble for yards. There were moments where he had time but didn’t go through all of his progressions and just took off. He is a freshman, which means he has plenty of time to improve. Overall he had a good performance.
Amani Oruwarye: B
Oruwarye is just one of a very deep and experienced defensive backfield. He was able to intercept McSorley towards the end of the first quarter. He had an overall consistent performance. Oruwarye his is just one example of the many playmakers that this young talented defense possesses.
Carlos Flores is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.