Game Ball & Helmet Stickers: Eeerie, Indiana

Game Ball & Helmet Stickers: Eeerie, Indiana

For the first time in the short history of the digital age, most of our social media channels were filled with Purdue not long after our victory over Indiana. That’s the kind of day it was for Nittany Nation, victory and all. Of course, the Purdue Boilermakers earned their long-awaited turn in the spotlight by chopping down that mighty Buckeye tree, and yes, we actually ended our two-game losing streak with a rather ho-hum 33-28 road win over the Hoosiers in Eeerie, Indiana…err…Bloomington, I mean. A win is a win, but this one still has us scratching our heads a little. Such is life in the Big Ten, I suppose.

True story, a few years ago I was at a local eating establishment in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia and was stopped by a guy that noticed my Penn State attire. He proceeded to tell me he had a nephew that was a Nittany Lion, with all the pride and glory that only a favorite uncle could. He pulled out his phone and showed me a few pics of them both together and was impressed with the fact I knew exactly who he was talking about; probably figuring most wouldn’t recognize the name. His nephew just happened to rip off a kickoff 95 yards and ignited a short offensive spurt which ultimately sealed the deal. Somewhere out there, his uncle is beaming a huge smile and I am more than honored to give this week’s Game Ball to one of our underdogs, fifth-year journeyman, senior Jonathan Thomas.

As eerie as things were this week in Indiana, we even had a Lion sighting as Tommy Stevens (who hasn’t seen much action this year in his designated position) let an absolute beauty rain into the cradled arms of freshmen tight end, Pat Frieremuth. It reminded us all what we have to look forward to a year from now. Can we please put to rest any talk about a QB battle next spring? They call him Lion for a reason. Trace McSorley accounted for over 350 yards on the day and surpassed the 10k career yardage mark in the process. Miles Sanders and KJ Hamler continue to be our most lethal weapons, and Juwan Johnson turned on the jets to set up a score. On defense, Nick Scott showed his senior leadership and young Micah Parsons continued to show signs of being the chosen one. Yetur Gross-Matos, Shaka Toney, and John Reid exposed life on a D that had very little, especially up the gut.

Up next is a home stand with a red-hot Iowa Hawkeye squad, and you can bet your bottom dollar we're going to be the underdogs heading into that one for the first time in a long time. It’s Military Appreciation Day in Happy Valley, so as strange as things may have seemed in Eeerie, Indiana, perhaps we can catch a little extra mojo from our Vets and active duty military members. After the past two games, I’m beginning to think we left our heart out on that field during the infamous Blizzard of September and could use all the help we can finding it once again.