As the halfway point in college football has come upon us PSU is 8-0 and ranked 4th in the country. It has been a great start so far with the Nittany Loins breaking in a new QB on the year. Surprisingly outside a half of football against MSU no game has been really close so far. With such a young team and a 1st year starter at the QB position Coach Chase thought his team might struggle. But to everyone’s amazement QB Ashton Smith has been playing a like a seasoned All American. He has thrown for 1196yrds, 15tds and only 2ints with a remarkable 76% completion mark. As a RS Soph Smith has many years ahead of him and hopefully he will stick around to play them. The one thing that gives Smith and his teammate’s peace of mind is AA HB Marcus O’Connor running the rock. With over 769yrds on the ground he is in the top ten of rushing in the country. He missed the last game against Nebraska and will miss week 9 against Illinois with a strained muscle. Hopefully he will be back in the lineup for the big showdown with #1 Wisconsin week 10. O’Connor has the great combination of speed and size to make things tough on the opposing team. This year he has been incorporated more in the passing as he had 8 rec and 3tds. His return is key for the PSU offense and the teams success. The main reason for the team’s early success is the play of Defense. The D has been able to sit back in coverage more and blitz less with outstanding play of the D line. RE Jamie Stevenson is having a break out year with 11 sacks on the year. The D Line alone has racked up 45 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 23 sacks so far on the year. With that kind of play up front is makes everything easier for the guys behind them. PSU has two huge games coming up that will determine its season and play a big role in the MNC picture. Penn State will welcome #1 Wisconsin and #3 Washington is a span of three weeks for huge games. They should be great games and what looks like and exciting end of the season.