Penn State’s offense has shown new purpose early in the 2015 season with better offensive line play and the emergence of freshman running back Saquon Barkley as a true weapon out of the backfield. Those two developments were big keys in the Nittany Lions’ 28-3 win over Rutgers last Saturday night and could be building blocks moving forward, as well. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg has more help than at any previous point since coach James Franklin arrived prior to last season.
Penn State has a new offensive identity as an increasingly effective running team that can now set up Hackenberg with play-action opportunities. He played the part of a game manager against the Scarlet Knights as he checked into more ideal calls that set up Barkley and Akeel Lynch for success. The two backs combined for 315 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries against Rutgers.
What kind of impact can Barkley have on Hackenberg and the overall health of Penn State’s offense? Bob Flounders and Dustin Hockensmith checked in with former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker to get his thoughts in a segment for this week’s Keystone Kickoff Show. Check out audio of the show in this post and be sure to check back in to KeystoneSportsNetwork.com for plenty more Penn State podcasts and analysis.