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Bischoff | Penn State Big Three Power Nittany Lions to win over Pittsburgh

SEP 09 Pitt at Penn State
Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Bischoff | Penn State Big Three Power Nittany Lions to win over Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Panthers at Penn State Nittany Lions


Beaver Stadium – University Park, Pennsylvania

Penn State 33, Pittsburgh 14

Penn State Nittany Lions

Trace McSorley, QB (Junior)

McSorley continues to show that he is one of college football’s most dangerous quarterbacks as he can hurt defenses with his arm and his feet. The Penn State offense puts him in the position to be successful as he can read the defense and run with the ball if the defensive end gets too aggressive. However, he is not a very accurate passer and has trouble with ball placement. He consistently displays good football instincts and runs the Penn State offense extremely well, and that benefits all of the skill position players for the Nittany Lions. Stock: Same

Saquon Barkley, RB (Junior)

Barkley is ridiculous as a runner and as a receiver. The end. Stock: Up

Mike Gesicki, TE (Senior)

Gesicki benefits greatly from the way this offense runs, and it allows him a free release all over the field. The Nittany Lions run a lot of play action one way with Gesicki going the other which allows him the ability to gash defenses with big plays. While he is extremely productive, he doesn’t look like a very good athlete while on the move and I have questions about the speed he will bring to the next level. He is a good route runner with solid overall footwork, but not an explosive athlete. Does the Penn State offense make him look better than he really is? Stock: Same

Jason Cabinda, LB (Senior)

Cabinda is extremely quick to react to running plays happening in front of him. He displays very good ability to read his keys and attacks the run without over running his gap. He shows good foot speed and quickness to pursue the ball carrier and is a very good run defender. Stock: Same

Marcus Allen, S, (Senior)

Allen had an extremely productive day in all areas of the field. He is a strong defender in the box and can drop deep into coverage to make plays against the pass. He has special ability to bring physicality to the ball, and it showed when he separated the ball from a tight end on what would have been a very big gain and a certain first down. Allen has the tools to play deep in a Cover 2 type system, but also brings the physicality to play the run closer to the line of scrimmage. In an overall sense, Allen has to be considered one of the top safeties in college football to this point. Stock: Up

Grant Haley, CB (Senior)

Haley is small and will likely get pegged as a slot cornerback at the NFL level, but he brings special qualities to the position. He is very feisty and aggressive, and it leads to him making plays al multiple levels. He dropped into zone coverage and intercepted a badly overthrown ball and then showed his speed and quickness during the return. He also registered a sack in the game and showed his ability to make impact plays at all areas of the field. Stock: Up

Pittsburgh Panthers

Brian O’Neill, OT (Junior)

O’Neill has transitioned from tight end to offensive tackle and he is holding up extremely well. O’Neill shows smooth and fluid movements and does a really nice job of staying under control in his kick slide. He displays very sound footwork and uses his length really well to hold edge rushers at bay. He also anchors well and holds up against power and is an intriguing player going forward. Stock: Up

Max Browne, QB (Graduate Student)

Browne is a transfer from USC and comes to Pittsburgh as a fairly polished college quarterback. He can make some wow throws with touch and anticipation, but I see a quarterback that struggles to drive the ball down the field. The ball looks to float at times and it gives me some pause relating to how he’ll handle Big 10 games late in the season, and that concern also carries over to the NFL. Stock: Same

Jester Weah, WR (Senior)

Weah is a big bodied wide receiver with interesting ability to find openings in coverage. He showed excellent footwork and good balance to work through contact, and was open a lot in the game. He is physical with the ball in his hands and punished defenders as he caught passes in the middle of the field. While he dropped a pass in the game, he does look to catch the ball naturally and away from his body and he does have good hands. Stock: Up

Penn State CB Christian Campbell (senior): Campbell showcased very good tackling Saturday. He brought excellent physicality and technique and did a very nice job of getting out of his backpedal to close on a ball to break up a pass.

Penn State LB Koa Farmer (senior): Farmer looked very quick getting up the field to fill a gap and defend the run, taking down the running back for a loss. He also had a sack in the game and flashed the ability to make plays at multiple levels.

Penn State DE Shareef Miller (junior): Miller was excellent at times during the game. He won with his heavy hands and did a good job of beating a pulling guard to the corner to generate a sack. He displayed good first-step quickness and has good length which allowed him to generate pressure in the game.

Pittsburgh RB Qadreee Ollison (junior): Ollison is a very big running back with some ability to move his feet. He needs a runway to get up to speed, but once he gets up and going he is a load to bring down. He hurt his left shoulder in the game but showed toughness to come back in and continued to move the ball as a runner.

Pittsburgh DE Dewayne Hendrix (junior): Hendrix won a rep against the left tackle showing really good flexibility and bend as he got really low to the ground which made the tackle reach and bend at the waist.

Pittsburgh LB Oluwaseun Idowu (junior): Idowu flashed multiple times in the game as he was able to get through a gap and make a play in the backfield. He has trouble getting off of blocks and shedding blocks, and needs space to make plays. He is undersized and might best project as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 base defense.

Best Players on the Field

Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State (Junior)

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (Junior)

Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State, (Senior)

Marcus Allen, S, Penn State (Senior)



Scott Bischoff

Scott Bischoff has appeared on ESPN radio satellites, podcasts and other media outlets and is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association of America, the Football Writers Association of America and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Bischoff is an analyst at Draft Breakdown. Bischoff has written for the Bleacher Report, going through their writing internship in the summer of 2012. He was a Featured Columnist for the Detroit Lions and the NFL draft. While taking a scouting class through the National Football Post in 2012, he approached Russ Lande at GM Junior Scouting about joining his staff and was brought on, joining the crew at the 2012 Senior Bowl. Bischoff now brings his keen eye for the game to NDT Scouting as of February 2017.

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