This past Saturday, Penn State fans showed up 61,000 strong to take-in the annual Blue-White game that wraps up Spring Practice for the team. In what was a stacked affair, the heavily favored Blue team defeated the White team by a score of 24-7. Here are some of the biggest things that I took away from watching the game.
- Catching the ball should still be an off-season priority
As eluded to in my previous article, the WRs will receive a lot of attention in hopes they perform better this season, and it wasn’t an encouraging start to the game, as entrenched starters KJ Hamler and Pat Friermuth both dropped passes on the opening series of the game. Not long after that, Justin Shorter dropped a catchable pass that surely would’ve been impressive. After the slow start though, the unit fared well and even saw Dan Chisnea receive a scholarship for an excellent play. Overall the WRs seem on the right track. The remainder of the offseason with coach Parker will tighten things up.
- Noah Cain looks good enough to steal reps in the fall
Everyone close to the football team has been raving about the promise Noah Cain has shown and the world finally got to see why on Saturday. Just a couple months after settling in on campus, the touted freshman totaled 58 yards and two Touchdowns on 14 total touches and did most of that work against the projected starting Defense. That “iron sharpens iron” saying couldn’t be more true, as Noah Cain is living proof. Look for the young man to get some meaningful reps this fall.
- The young players will have a major impact on the season
It didn’t matter what unit was on the field Saturday. Every play, there was an underclassmen standing out on both sides of the ball, almost exclusively for good reasons. Heralded freshmen LBs Brandon Smith and Lance Dixon were both flying around the field with impressive first performances in Beaver Stadium. Smith led the White team in total tackles, accruing six and had a pretty nice pass breakup; while Dixon suited up for the Blue team and finished with just two tackles but a very impressive rush sack.
- This Defensive Line group is nasty
Rolling off of the last point, Adisa Isaac is another freshman that’s only been on campus a short time, but is already looking good. Isaac put on an impressive showing against the first team offense as he finished with three tackles including a sack. Adisa will likely get redshirted this year though, because this DL unit could be the best Penn State has had in a while. And that is saying something, considering they’re statistically one of the top three units in College Football in the last three years combined. The Blue team’s DL accumulated 19 tackles, five sacks, and seven TFL in a very impressive showing, albeit again the OL backups. CFB fans should be talking about this unit they way they talk about those of Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, and Michigan and it’ll be known this year.
- Blue-White weekend continues to be a huge hit all around
There were 61,000 fans in the stadium for the game, good enough for fourth highest in the country. Also making it four years in a row the game has seen an attendance over 60,000. But that number is just a fraction of the total that were in the vicinity enjoying one of the many activities available. Concerts, games, auto/photographs, etc., the environment is incredible and something that attracts recruits. Penn State picked up two verbal commitments on Saturday, 4-star DL Cole Brevard and 3-star OG R.J. Adams made the decision and it vaulted the Lions into 7th nationally on 247 sports’ 2020 recruiting rankings.
Blue-White weekend was very exciting for Penn State fans as the young Lions looked really good and the program picked up two commitments. There’s still a lot to answer in camp and you can’t judge off this game too much, but it sure was good to see Penn State Football back, even if only for a moment.