September 17, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Matt McGloin completed only two passes for 35 yards in the second half. It didn't matter. The senior did plenty of damage against Navy's defense in the first half, throwing for 196 yards and three of his four touchdowns. McGloin and sophomore receiver Allen Robinson are becoming quite a duo, as they connected for two 45-yard completions and three touchdowns Saturday. Also, for the second straight week, McGloin played turnover-free football, and still has just one interception to his name this season.
Running backs: B-
Michael Zordich and Curtis Dukes did a good job of filling in for the injured Bill Belton and Derek Day. The two backs posted very similar stats as Zordich rushed for 50 yards and Dukes for 47 yards, both on 11 carries. Neither back broke off a big play, but the Nittany Lions averaged 3.9 yards per attempt as a team to complement McGloin and the passing game. One thing Penn State failed to do was score a rushing touchdown, and after three games, the team has yet to score a touchdown on the ground.
Wide receivers: B+
Saturday was the Allen Robinson show. The sophomore, who entered the season with three career receptions, had three touchdowns against Navy and compiled 136 receiving yards on five grabs (27.2 yards per reception). While Robinson was the story, no other Penn State receiver made much of an impact. Brandon Moseby-Felder and Trevor Williams— who both had one catch on the afternoon — were the two receivers who filled the void left by Shawney Kersey, who left the team earlier in the week for personal reasons.
Tight ends: B
The good: Penn State had four different tight ends make receptions Saturday. The not so good: none of those tight ends hauled in more than one grab. True freshman Jesse James made his first career catch in the form of a two-yard touchdown on the Lions' first drive. In his debut at tight end and first collegiate game, Paul Jones made one catch for seven yards and Garry Gilliam also had his first grab of the season. The production of Kyle Carter declined in week three as the redshirt freshman had one catch for 13 yards.
Offensive line: A-
McGloin had good protection for the most part against Navy and the quarterback didn't take any shots like he did a week earlier. Navy did have one sack, but Penn State's offensive line held up and opened some holes for the running game. Tackle Donovan Smith was held out of the game with an ankle injury, but coach Bill O'Brien expects him to return for next week's game against Temple.
Special Teams: C
A week after Sam Ficken's debacle in Virginia, the sophomore missed one of his five extra point attempts and Penn State's kicking game continued to be an area of concern. O'Brien made the call to go for it on a 4th-and-goal from the 8-yard line on the ensuing possession, instead of having Ficken attempt a 25-yard chip shot. O'Brien said he kept his offense on the field because he was confident in the play call, which ultimately yielded no points. The student section stood behind Ficken at the game, cheering for him in warm-ups as well as on made extra point attempts. In other kicking news, punter Alex Butterworth landed one kick inside the 20-yard line, but averaged just 35.3 yards on three punts.