2022 Penn State football game grades: Auburn

Story posted September 20, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

Three straight wins ain’t a bad way to open up the season.

Penn State came away with a lopsided 41-12 victory down south against the Auburn Tigers, marking the second straight season the Nittany Lions have beaten the SEC opponent.

Here’s a look at how each position group performed in the win.

Offense: A-

Like through most of the season, the offense didn’t light the world on fire but got the job done.

For the second straight week, Nicholas Singleton surpassed 100 yards on the ground with only 10 carries.

Both he and Kaytron Allen found the endzone twice, and Sean Clifford also scored on the ground for his third rushing score of the season.

Speaking of Clifford, he had a consistent yet modest day with 178 passing yards and no touchdowns.

Penn State didn’t outgain Auburn by much, only having 62 more total yards than the Tigers, but did the little things right to come out on top.

Defense: A+

To put it simply lights out.

After having just one takeaway in the prior two contests, the Nittany Lions had four turnovers during Saturday's win.

Two came on interceptions, with the other two coming from fumble recoveries.

Whether it was TJ Finley or Robby Ashford under center, the Tigers looked flat offensively, and the two were sacked a combined six times.

In last year's game, Tank Bigsby torched the blue and white but was held to just 39 yards this time as the team's leading rusher.

Holding an SEC team to just 12 points on their home turf kind of speaks to the perfect score on its own.

Coaching: A+

Last week was no easy task for James Franklin’s squad, but Penn State stepped up to the challenge.

The blue and white were already on the road but playing down south, dehydration was going to be an issue, and it was with several key players going out for a short period of time.

Despite that, the Nittany Lions never missed a beat, and even after Clifford took a big hit early in the game, they never wavered.

Rushing-wise, Franklin chose to ride with the young guns as Singleton and Allen got a bulk of the carries while Keyvone Lee ran the ball just four times which worked out well offensively.

Overall, the Nittany Lions survived a crucial road test and now have a ton of momentum headed back home to face Central Michigan.

Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.