Nov 15, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Akeel Lynch (22) runs off the field after scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Temple Owls at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Temple 30-13. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Boston College vs. Penn State: 5 Big Questions — #3
Q: Back to matters on the field: the Penn State offense has lacked all season long. What are some of the key problems they’ve had? Are there any bright spots to the Lions’ offensive game?
BL: I’ll start with the bright spots on the Penn State offense. There is some young talent that looked very good this year on the field.
Freshman wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton was one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten. He led the Nittany Lions in receiving yards with 848 and added one touchdown. True freshman Mike Gesicki looks like the real deal.
Though the running game struggled most of the year, it did come on at the end of the season. Senior Bill Belton has great playmaking ability and Akeel Lynch, who contributed in big spots this year, is clearly the back of the future at Penn State.
As far as problems on the offense, it all starts up front. Penn State lacked depth and had to convert two defensive linemen to the offensive side during the offseason. The line started to come together a bit in the final few games, but it still struggled. The Nittany Lions had trouble opening holes in the run game and really had a problem providing protection for quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
Hackenberg really had a poor sophomore season, mainly because of the lack of protection in front of him. He was hit and sacked more than most quarterbacks. It seemed that he was always throwing on the run or with guys in his face. While the pressure played a big role in Hackenberg’s problems this season, he also was plagued by bad throws at times.
An offense that should have been more effective was anemic for most of this season. It’s going to take a lot of work during the bowl practices in order for the Nittany Lions to pull out a victory over the Eagles.