The Penn State Blue And White Game culminated the program’s spring season on Saturday — even if the weather was decidedly more late autumn than spring.
Under off-and-on snowfall, running back Akeel Lynch starred in the Penn State Blue And White Game, rushing for 76 first half yards and a touchdown. But a Nittany Lion team that heads into the 2013 season already thinned by NCAA sanctions suffered a notable loss in Saturday’s spring-ending scrimmage.
Zach Zwinak suffered a hand injury, the severity of which head coach Bill O’Brien did not clarify. Zwinak rushed for 1000 yards and six touchdowns as Penn State’s primary rushing option last season, stepping into the feature back role after the departure of Silas Redd.
Assuming Zwinak’s injury isn’t too serious, the Nittany Lions have a strong, multifaceted backfield on which to build its offense. Lynch exhibited an innate ability to find holes and explode through them — though O’Brien wants the freshman to improve his pad level, friend of the site Kevin McGuire reports:
Bill O’Brien still wants Akeel Lynch to lower his pads but he seems happy with his play.
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) April 20, 2013
Deron Thompson also demonstrated his abilities, scoring a 41-yard touchdown.
However, it was the defense’s day. The Blue (Defense) won 67-47; don’t worry too much about the scoring system.
Most anyone with even cursory knowledge of Penn State knows about Deion Barnes, but fellow defensive end Anthony Zettel got to show off his abilities in the Blue And White Game. Zettel was able to break through for a sack.
Defensive tackle Tyrone Smith also showed off some aggression in the middle, perhaps stepping up to fill the void Jordan Hill leaves.
Quarterbacks Tyler Ferguson and Steven Bench each passed for touchdowns. Ferguson threw two, including a nice red zone hook-up with Richy Anderson in the fourth quarter.
Neither looked 100 percent confident in the pocket as Matt McGloin had a season ago. Now, McGloin’s play in 2012 was among the campaign’s biggest shocks and a testament to the coaching staff. O’Brien and Co. could get either to full speed by Week 1, but the arrival of five-star recruit Christian Hackenberg is intriguing this summer.
The offensive line has room for improvement. Matt Stankiewitch departs, leaving a sizable void on the interior. The Altoona Mirror reported of the unit’s standout performance in recent practices, and squaring off against a defensive line as talented as PSU’s should build on that improvement.