Game Ball and Helmet Stickers: PSU Flipped the Script
My first comment, in the best Looney Toons voice I could muster late Saturday night was, “That’s All Folks!” With that total domination in between the beautiful stripes, Penn State officially flipped the script on 0 – 5 and slammed the door shut on a most abnormal 2020. Now put away those thoughts of last season’s decline for good. It’s pointless to second guess how it all would have gone down if the refs hadn’t been so biased in favor of Indiana a year ago. It’s as clear as day now that last year’s adversity is the fuel that’s lighting this season’s fire.
To the untrained eye, the 24-0 redemption over the Hoosiers may not be the annihilation like the 50-point manslaughter where Iowa dominated Maryland, but to all of us that went through 0 – 5 together, the sound of the victory bell under the stars and Stripe Out was the sweetest revenge. The Nittany Lions are now on a nine-game unbeaten run, are currently ranked No. 4 in most polls, and have as big an opportunity as they’ve had in the past decade lying in wait. Talk about pressure. YIKES! All things considered, something tells me our Nittany Lions have the heart to withstand the stress.
As for the game itself, nothing too fancy, maybe even a little vanilla as some like to call it. With a defense playing the way ours does, take care of business each week and style-points will take care of themselves. Sean Clifford continues to play with ferocious intent. In the third quarter, he bobbed and weaved his way through the murky backfield, stopped just short of the line of scrimmage, popped a dart into the scrambling arms of Jahan Dotson, who waltzed his way through traffic like there was nothing but air between his body and the goal line. It marked the 18th touchdown between the two of them together and topped a longstanding record set by Kenny Jackson and Todd Blackledge who was in the booth for ABC. As a small token of our appreciation, the Dynamic Duo and newly crowned Touchdown Kings get this week’s Lions Pride Game Ball!
Brenton Strange scored the other two touchdowns while Keyvonne Lee took his turn as the hot hand out of the backfield. Let’s give a little credit to our Big Uglies up front for making some improvement in the run game.
As much as Indiana’s D kept them hanging around, it was Brent Pry’s unit that kept slapping their offense back down to earth time and time again. Five games in, the bend but don’t break mentality has taken on a life of its own anytime an opponent gets inside the red zone. They already have more interceptions in the month of September than they had all last season and two blocked field goals to go with them. Helmet Stickers to the entire D as they get ready to take on the aura of Iowa City.
Up next, a Top 4 showdown on the road in one of the few environments that can rival our own on game day. For those of you that forgot, we owe those Hawkeyes a little payback as well. So, buckle up Nittany Nation, sneak away with a win and destiny is in our hands from here on out!