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Ben State Football: The Offense You Want Might Not Be The Offense You Need

on October 02, 2017 2:25 PM

Penn State's offense seems to be impressing everyone but Penn State fans.

Which is funny when you think about. After decades of the same thing, and perhaps one decade too many of sticking to that plan, Penn State is finally spreading the field in HD.

But maybe fans feeling underwhelmed was to be expected. Penn State's 2016 season will never be replicated and whatever came next was bound to seem far less exciting. The second Pirates of The Caribbean wasn't a bad movie but it didn't give you the same rush as the first. It suffered by comparison, even if most everything else was the same.

All of this begs the question of what exactly does Penn State's offense have to do that it isn't doing so far? Granted, the Nittany Lions can't really run between the tackles and Trace McSorley isn't quite as sharp with his deep passes as he was a year ago.

But does that matter?

In the end, Penn State is averaging over 40 points a game, which is kind of incredible when you consider nearly any other season in Penn State history. The Nittany Lions have the best player in the country, a handful of capable and reliable receivers and a quarterback that has thrown four interceptions in 160 attempts, one of those the result of a meaningless Hail Mary. Not to mention a defense that nobody is questioning.

Maybe the offense is too hit or miss for your liking. That's a fair criticism. There is little middle ground for this bunch. It either clicks and Penn State flies down the field with ease, or it's a three-and-out or something short and sweet.

That really isn't all that different than the rest of the nation though. Consider this.

Clemson scored less than 30 points in 2016 en route to a national title on three occasions and won all three games. In 2015, Alabama's title run included four games where the Tide won while scoring less than 30 points. Penn State? The Nittany Lions have done the same three times under Joe Moorhead and have won all three games in the process.

And that's ultimately the sign of a good team. Penn State was never going to be the Oregon of the east, dropping 60 points on everyone it played. Even Ohio State, the standard in the conference, has played in 16 games under Urban Meyer since 2012 where the Buckeyes haven't crossed the 30 point plateau.

Scoring isn't the only sign of a good offense, but it is the point of the game. And until the Nittany Lions aren't scoring, their issues may not really matter all that much. Considering Penn State has few teams left on the schedule scoring in bulk like the Nittany Lions can, those issues might not even matter in the long run.

The point is simple. Penn State isn't the team it was in 2016, and that's fine, just don't miss out on 2017 because you thought you got tickets to a different show.

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