The youth movement is here. Whether we like it or not.
This team is littered with injuries.
Looking at the two deep for Offense, Defense and Special Teams - I count 21 True Freshmen or Redshirt Freshmen starting or listed as backups. That is near 50% of the two deep being freshmen.
Whether we like it or not, the youth movement is here and we should probably embrace it. At times, we will be frustrating to watch, we will make a lot of mistakes, and we will lose some games. But, this is all a part of the growing pains we knew that we would eventually get.
Brohm on struggles: We inherited a team with veterans that was ready to win. Now we have more young guys than we'd like. We have some young talent with a bright future. Not where we need to be in the trenches. Probably hurting us we missed on some grad transfers.— Tom Dienhart (@TomDienhart1) September 28, 2019
Most of those veterans are gone. The ones we have are hurt. Rondale Moore (Hamstring), Elijah Sindelar (Collarbone), Lorenzo Neal (ACL), Markus Bailey (ACL), DJ Washington (Ankle), Tario Fuller (Jaw), Richie Worship (ACL) and Jared Sparks.
That is a lot of experience that is on the mend for our young Boilermakers. We arguably have our top 5 players currently hurt for an extended period of time or the season. Moore, Sindelar, Neal, Bailey and Fuller.
For a team that has freshmen that back those guys up, we knew these struggles would probably happen. Elijah has only been completely healthy for two games, the first two - when our offense was working well.
Now we have to find a way with these young guys to keep moving the ball on offense as it is apparent that the defense will probably continue to get beat up on. Especially when you look at the defensive line depth chart and see Kai Higgins starting at Defensive Tackle at 260 Pounds.
These young guys showed us something in the second half. They refused to quit, at one point being down three scores, they brought us all the way back to where the score was 38 to 31. We had an opportunity to stop them, on 3rd and 6 - a pass interference was called, ruining all chances of the story book come back.
This weekend, we get to see an experienced and very good Penn State Football Team fresh off a 59 to 0 drubbing of Maryland.
There is no doubt we will be outmatched in this game on Saturday, but this young team needs to come together and make this competitive, much more competitive than what a rebuilding Maryland Team did last week.
The experience these young guys are getting will be invaluable going into next season, they will be listed as sophomores, but they will jhave as much experience as most juniors. They will be a complete year into the Jeff Brohm system and will so much further along than the young guys the last couple of seasons.
The key is for us as a fan base and supporters of these young men to be patient with them
It will be hard, admittedly, I was not patient with the team Saturday. I am tired of PJ Fleck working us - now he took over a team that was 9-3 the year before he took it, then flipped the roster a little bit, but he already had taken a successful team.
Coach Brohm took over a team that hadn’t won 9 games in total in the three years before.
Not only are there 21 true freshmen or redshirt freshmen playing there are also plenty of sophomores that are in rotation as well.
I want to say, I am not making an excuses for Coach Brohm & Co, but what I am saying is - with all of these injuries to our top players, shouldn’t we want to play these young guys and give them experience?
Here are the remaining 8 games that we have:
@ Penn State (L)
Vs. Maryland (Maybe?)
@ Iowa (L)
Vs. Illinois (Maybe?)
Vs. Nebraska (Maybe?)
@ Northwestern (Maybe?)
@ Wisconsin (L)
Vs. Indiana (Maybe?)
We have gone 2 years in a row where we have pulled an upset late in the season as well. So, anything could happen.
But, just looking at it. I see 5 games for sure that we will be very competitive. Will we win all 5? Probably not, but I think it is feasible to think that we could win 3 of those games. It is too bad we blew the Nevada game (they are terrible) because 5-7 looks a hell of a lot better than 4-8.
I am excited to see this young team grow over the course of the season. Let’s stay with them, cheer them on and watch them continuously get better.