September 8, 2012 at 11:15 AM
1. Finish drives
Last week, Penn State had a handful of possessions in which the team strung together some good plays, but came away without any points. There was one drive that ended in a fumble and another on a failed fourth down conversion, while the others just stalled. In the second half against Ohio, the Nittany Lions could not come up with a big third-down play on either side of the ball. And if Penn State wants to get a win on the road, its offense is going to have to keep drives alive, whether it's a big throw from Matt McGloin or a hard run by whoever is carrying the ball.
2. Take a chance down the field
The lack of big plays on third down was already mentioned, but the lack of big plays on any down was really a problem for Penn State's offense a week ago. The Lions' longest play from scrimmage was 22-yards and they missed a couple of deep opportunities in the second half. With Bill Belton sidelined and the running game in question, Penn State may have to get more creative in its passing game. Some players noted earlier in the week they would look to take more shots downfield, let's see if that comes true.
3. Get pressure up front
Virginia runs a pro-style offense, as opposed to the up-tempo attack Ohio presented to Penn State last week. And for Penn State's front seven, this is likely a welcomed change. Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton utilized a quick drop, got the ball out quickly, and didn't allow the Lions' defensive line to be much of a factor in the second half. It's expected that Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco will spend more time in the pocket and with it comes more opportunity for the Lions' defensive line and linebackers to cause a disturbance in the backfield. After a pretty quiet week, those units should be hungry.