Blue White Illustrated

Blue-White Postgame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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B L U E - W H I T E G A M E R E P O R T B L U E 3 7 , W H I T E 0 M A T T   H E R B | M A T T @ B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M A P R I L 1 6 , 2 0 1 6 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 1 PASSING GRADE Trace McSorley fuels a resurgent offense in PSU's spring game STRONG START McSorley enjoyed a brilliant first half, hitting 18 of his first 19 passes for 217 yards and three touch- downs. Photo by Steve Manuel James Franklin joked just before kickoff Satur- day a@ernoon that he and his staff had consulted the Farmer's Almanac when they scheduled this year's Blue-White Game. It was a reference to the blue skies and nearly summerlike temperatures that greeted the Nittany Lions and their fans as they poured into Beaver Stadium for the team's annual spring scrimmage. With any luck, the staff's next big decision will work out just as well. And this time, the reference books may not be necessary, because if the spring game was any indication, Franklin has a couple of more-than-viable options at quarterback, the team's biggest off-season concern. Redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley made a strong case to be the starting QB when Penn State opens its season in September against Kent State. Picking up where he le@ off with his strong showing in the TaxSlayer Bowl, McSorley com- pleted 23 of 27 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns in three quarters of action. But Tommy Stevens had his moments too, es- pecially a@er switching jerseys late in the game, and Franklin is apparently quite content to let the competition play out. McSorley, he said, is ahead of Stevens, but not far enough to prevent Stevens from making a run at the starting spot in presea- son practice. "Trace McSorley was the backup quarterback all last year and was preparing to go into games," THE GAME AT A GLANCE GOOD NEWSTrace Mc- Sorley looked as im- pressive as anyone had a right to expect, and Tommy Stevens was sharp in his only drive with the first-team of- fense. Theirs should be a very interesting battle in August. BAD NEWS The sec- ond-team offensive line struggled, as Stevens was on the run for much of the after- noon, and the defen- sive line clearly remains a work in progress, although converted end Kevin Givens looked effective in his debut at tackle. Also, Tyler Davis missed the only field goal attempt of the af- ternoon, a 42-yarder. THE TAKEAWAYIt's al- ways hard to know what to make of a spring game performance. Is the glass half full or half empty? But rather than dwell on the defensive issues that may have helped make the Blue offense look so effec- tive, let's take a mo- ment to appreciate the performance of the QBs, particuarly Mc- Sorley. For the first time in a while, things ap- pear to be looking up on offense.

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