Ah, the good old win that feels like a relief. Goodbye losing streak; hello hope for the end of this season. It was a painful, optimism-eroding three quarters but our Nittany Lions pulled off the win in the fourth.
Sean Clifford connected for 363 yards and three touchdowns, despite looking a little off. He took a few sacks but threw zero interceptions. Keyvonne Lee and Noah Cain had decent carries but the running game still leaves much to be desired. Ji’Ayir Brown recovered a Maryland fumble in the red zone and then took an interception to the house for a pick-six to seal the game. Brandon Smith led the team with nine tackles.
The story of the day, however, was obviously Jahan Dotson. With a career high eleven catches, three touchdowns, and 242 yards, he set the school record for most receiving yards in a single game. He dazzled us with an 86 yard touchdown reception, and all of it with his parents, grandfather, aunts and uncles from all over the east coast in attendance.
At 5’11” and 182lbs, he’s not your typical football-sized guy, but Jahan Dotson is the real Penn State Football deal. He wants to be remembered as one of the Penn State greats and he’s well on his way to add “legendary” to his many accomplishments. He’s 519 yards behind Bobby Engram to set the receiving yards record and 54 catches from overtaking DaeSean Hamilton’s record. Dotson said, “I have very high expectations for myself. I set the bar very high. When I don’t accomplish that, I don’t get mad at myself, I just kind of go out and work.” Every meeting he attends, he writes, “be legendary” at the top of his notebook.
His coaches and teammates speak highly of him. Of Dotson’s excellence, linebacker Ellis Brooks said, “It’s his attention to detail. I see how he works every day. He’s a great example of practice promoting performance.” Sean Clifford has been known to throw to him late into the night at Dotson’s request. “He’s just quicker than you think, stronger than you think and faster than you think,” Castro-Fields said. “I think he’s the best receiver in the country.”
Dotson may be a legend on the field, but he doesn’t act like a big shot. “My dad was always telling me how good I am,” Jahan said. “I’ve been just working toward that goal to be one of the greatest in Penn State history every time I step on the field.”
“I just credit everyone around me. People have been pushing me every single day — my family, guys in this locker room, people back home — to be who I am today.”
If Jahan Dotson is not the Penn State ideal, I don’t know what is.
It may not have been a legendary win against Maryland, but at least it broke our three game losing streak. We’re limping along a bit and things are about to get very interesting. We’re bowl eligible and could still end up with something decent; stranger things have certainly happened this season. We have to take on Michigan team and Michigan State, both currently ranked in the top ten. Here’s hoping Jahan Dotson can carry us past Michigan next Saturday.