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3 Up, 3 Down: PSU 34, Navy 7

9/16/2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The good and the bad from Penn State's 34-7 win against Navy on Saturday:

THREE UP

1. Forcing turnovers.

The Nittany Lions' defense built off the tone set in Week 2 by forcing another four turnovers -- three fumbles, one interception -- against Navy. Penn State has now forced eight turnovers in the last two games, and defensive coordinator Ted Roof's opportunistic defense has turned things around since allowing 499 yards against Ohio.

2. Spreading the field.

Matt McGloin finally completed some much-needed deep passes, and Navy was unable to key in on just the short routes -- which was fast becoming a trademark of this Penn State offense. Coming into the game, McGloin's longest toss was just 30 yards. Against Navy, he tossed a pair of 45-yard bombs, and 10 of 13 completions were 10 yards or longer. If Penn State's offense can make this a trend, winning should soon become a trend, too.

3. Pressuring the quarterback.

Penn State didn't record a single sack against Ohio -- but it's grabbed seven sacks in the last two games, including four against a Navy team that doesn't throw often. The Nittany Lions' front-seven is fast earning a reputation as one of the best in the Big Ten, and they've shown improvement each week.

THREE DOWN

1. Secondary.

Luckily for Penn State, Navy remains a heavily run-first team -- which played to the strength of the Nittany Lions' front-seven. However, Penn State's secondary was exposed the first two weeks, and it struggled a bit Saturday. The safeties often seemed out of position in the second half, and Stephon Morris was beat twice.

2. Kicking.

Sam Ficken followed up his dismal 1-for-5 performance against Virginia with a missed extra point Saturday. Bill O'Brien chose to go for it on a 4th-and-G from the 8-yard line, opposed to kicking, so it doesn't seem as if he's overly confident in the kicker. Ficken has made just 7-of-9 extra points this year, and the kicking game could soon cause O'Brien to buy aspirin by the case-full.

3. Finding another WR target.

O'Brien has preached spreading the ball around, but McGloin hasn't really been able to. Allen Robinson has nearly twice as many catches as all the other receivers combined (24-13), and Penn State could struggle once teams start double-teaming Robinson. Alex Kenney, Trevor Williams or Brandon Moseby-Felder need to step up here. Soon.