Penn State’s Rushing Offense Sinks To Worst in Country

There are many things to be happy about despite the heartbreak of Saturday’s loss. There are also things to be upset about. And this falls into the latter.

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:

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.

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About the Author

Tim Gilbert

Former Managing Editor of this site, now just makes lots of #content for it from the Phyrst’s Table 69. Senior from Philadelphia. First-generation Penn Stater. I might go to law school after this, but I might not, too. “For the Glory” is in my email signature because I’m a douche. [email protected] is my email if you want to tell me why I suck. Alternatively, you can call me out on Twitter @OlGilb.

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