Ricky Rahne Reads BSD (The offense looked better):
The offense wasn’t perfect on Saturday but it was an improvement to say the least. Overall, the game plan by Ricky Rahne was strong and he is obviously a reader of Black Shoe Diaries.
Throughout the last few weeks, we’ve been clamoring for KJ Hamler to be more involved in the offense. On Saturday, Rahne finally did so, getting him involved extensively on the first drive of the game. Hamler ended up finishing with five receptions for 35-yards.
Outside the heavy amount of KJ Hamler in the game, Rahne also got running back Miles Sanders heavily involved against Wisconsin. Sanders had his fourth 100-plus yard game on the ground for the season. For the day, Sanders rushed for 159 yards on 23-carries. It was just the second time this season that the former five-star recruit carried the ball 20 or more times in a game.
The offense still struggled to finish off drives against the Badgers, but it was still an improvement over past performances. Rahne’s unit has easier matchups in each of the next two weeks with Rutgers and Maryland remaining on the schedule.
JUST START MICAH ALREADY
Whoops, I didn’t mean to scream that but at this point it’s ridiculous that Micah Parsons is not starting at outside linebacker. For the last few weeks it feels like the same story over and over again. Koa Farmer gets the start, has a few a bad plays throughout the first half, and at some point or another, Parsons takes over and Farmer is sentenced to riding the bench for the rest of the game. Against Wisconsin, that was the story once again.
Parsons was the team leader in tackles on Saturday with seven, pushing his season total to a team-leading 58. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s look at the bigger picture on the defensive side of the ball.
Defense has much-needed performance
Today’s defensive performance was much-needed, to say the least. After allowing 42 points and over 400 yards of offense against Michigan a week ago, the defense bounced back and allowed just 10 points and 269 yards. Wisconsin’s lone touchdown came on the Badgers’ first drive, a 71-yard touchdown run by star running back Jonathan Taylor. From that drive on, the defense allowed just 138-yards on the ground.
Through the air, Wisconsin wasn’t expected to be much of a threat and those expectations were proven to be correct. The Badgers passed for just 60 yards on the day as backup quarterback Jack Coan completed less than 50% of his passes. It’s the second-time this season that the Nittany Lions defense kept an opponent to 100 yards or less through the air.