With an offense chock full of weaponry, it's becoming increasingly harder to single out the honors for our weekly Game Ball. This week, for example, eight different Nittany Lions scored a touchdown. Some the usual suspects and others that provide feel-good stories. Saquon Barkley and his stutter-step could easily be handed the honor week in and week out. Trace McSorley was back to his magic and wizardry setting a record for most yards passing in the first half with 245. Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead is always an option since he's the architect of it all. With an offense so high-powered and exhilarating, I have a plethora of options to choose from, but instead head to the other side of the ball for this one.
Today’s Game Ball recipient is a warrior that has filled our memories with knockout blows, game-saving tackles, and one block that will forever be immortalized within our halls of legacy. For all he's done, there was one stat that continued to dodge his impressive resume: the interception. On Saturday night, safety and field general Marcus Allen finally collected that elusive interception and darn near took it all the way to the house. There’s not much else left on the table that Allen needs to accomplish. Play, after play, after play, he's right there in the thick of it and now he's got that interception to hang his hat on as well as the final Game Ball before the season gets real.
On offense, Helmet Stickers go to Tommy ‘Touchdown' Stevens for his increased role as America’s hardest working backup; DaeSean Hamilton for getting oh-so-much-closer to that all-time reception record; Miles Sanders and Andre Robinson for proving life after Saquon may not be so bad after all; Brandon ‘Jet Sweep' Polk for reigniting that old high-school connection with Trace once again; and to Saeed Blacknall for laying to rest any doubt of his whereabouts. Defensively, Grant Haley gets a Helmet Sticker for collecting another interception of his own. True freshman Tariq Castro-Fields collected his first of many. Ellison Jordan and Daniel Joseph, I see you out there grinding with those WildDogs and Shareef Miller is solidifying his claim as Alpha Dog week in and week out. Through three games, it’s been a bend but don’t break defense, but one that stiffens like concrete down in the red zone.
And now it's time to buckle up those chinstraps and get down to the Nittany-gritty! A primetime clash in Iowa City versus the hard-nosed Hawkeyes lies in wait. Preseason is over and Penn State plunges head first into the meat and potatoes of the Big Ten schedule. Last November, Iowa rolled into Happy Valley and got hammered. This year, you can bet your bottom dollar they have revenge on their minds. Yep, the preseason is over folks, and now the fun begins! This time next week we'll all know what the 2017 Nittany Lions are really made of. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a wild ride!