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Penn State vs Eastern Michigan Preview

Posted by Joe Chuba on 09/19 at 09:56 AM

Steve Jones recaps Penn State’s close victory over Temple and previews Saturday’s matchup with Eastern Michigan.

It was not a pretty one on Saturday.  But Penn State won it, and every once in a while you see a team struggle but still win. 
The offense struggled to find a rhythm all day.  Derek Moye had a huge game with seven catches for 112 yards plus he was solid on punt returns.  Justin Brown had a good day as a receiver.  Silas Redd suffered from leg cramps which hindered his overall game but he still had 85 yards on just 16 carries.  Redd is a game breaker and needs to be in there. 
I will say this… with the game on the line the offense got it done.  Rob Bolden hit Devon Smith with a key pass, and fired a dart to Derek Moye on fourth down.  Brandon Beachum showed the guts needed to get a first down on a fourth down run, and Michael Zordich and the offensive line finished it off for the game winning score.
Special Teams were not very special Saturday.  Moye was good on punt returns and Mike Hull partially blocked a punt.  The coverage teams were fine, but kickoffs were not very high or deep, a punt was blocked, kickoff returns did not change field position, and they were 0-3 on field goals. 
The field goal situation needs to be solved one way or the other.  An offense needs scoring range.  They need to be able to move the ball to the 30, and feel pretty good they are going to get some points.  It is hard to tell any offense they need to take it all the way to score every time. 
The defense after the opening drive of the game was outstanding.  They forced five three and outs over the next 11 Temple possessions, and two other possessions were four plays and then out.  They forced three turnovers, and set up the game winner on a Michael Mauti interception.  Several times they were put in tough spots and held Temple out.  Sean Stanley also stepped up and played one of the better games of his career.
Now it is Eastern Michigan in the final nonconference regular season game of the season.  Eastern Michigan is 2-1 after a 31-3 loss at Michigan.  Eastern Michigan runs the football averaging 290 yards per game on the ground.  They generate only 68 yards per game in the air. 
Javonti Greene has 346 yards rushing, Dominique Sherrer has 231 yards, and quarterback Alex Gillette has 211 yards on the ground. 
For Penn State it is time to correct mistakes, get sharper, and settle into place with the Big Ten season on the horizon.

{name} Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV

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