Penn State’s Rushing Offense Sinks To Worst in Country
After rushing for a whopping 16 yards in the 31-24 loss, the B1G gods are cringing, because Penn State’s rushing offense is the now the worst in the country. At 575 total yards on the season, the Nittany Lion rushers are right behind national punching bag Kent State, which is 1-7, lost to UMass, and has a player who did this. There’s no solace to be had in ratio statistics, either — though Kent State has a worse per game average (74.4 compared to Penn State’s 82.1), it’s rushed the ball seven fewer times and still has 20 more yards. Penn State’s 2.5 yards-per-carry mark is also the country’s worst.
Bill Belton leads Penn State’s rushers with 266 total yards. He’s trailed by Akeel Lynch at 187 and Zach Zwinak with 112. But the offensive line’s ineptitude isn’t just hurting the running backs’ stats, as Christian Hackenberg has a net total of -27 (120 yards gained and 147 lost).
Saturday was the worst rushing performance for the Nits in some time:
Penn State’s net 16 yards rushing were the fewest by the Nittany Lions since rushing for (-14) against Michigan in 2006.
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) October 26, 2014
And that year, Penn State’s rushing offense finished No. 42 in the country.
These stats are a sad reminder of just how awful Penn State’s protection has been. There hasn’t been an update on the injury to Zach Zwinak at the start of Saturday’s game, which could be another unfortunate blow to the rushing attack. Here’s hoping Miles Dieffenbach can make a return and propel Penn State out of the rushing basement.
Update: Zach Zwinak will miss the remainder of the season with a college career-ending leg injury, per James Franklin. Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch will take the bulk of the carries going forward for the Nittany Lions.