Game Ball and Helmet Stickers: Michigan
The man, the myth, and the legend himself, Mr. Barkley (aka King ‘Quon), set the tone from the beginning as he ripped off a 69-yard race into the end zone on the opening drive and complimented it one drive later with a 15 yarder. He ended the night’s slaughter with a 42-yard reception for his 3rd touchdown of the day. In between, his counterpart in the backfield, quarterback Trace McSorley, picked apart the No. 1 ranked defense in the country like a surgeon. He finished with three touchdowns rushing, one through the air and managed to keep Michigan on their heels all night long. Aside from one second-quarter interception and a few misfires, his game was flawless. As was evident on Saturday night, when both were firing on all cylinders, there are few combinations as lethal as The Wizard and Saquon, which is why this week’s Game Ball goes to our very own version of the Dynamic Duo.
I was half-tempted to give the Game Ball to the boys up front in the trenches, but I for one have had faith in our O-Line all along and was not surprised to finally see them throw their weight around on the season’s biggest stage to date. The Big Handsomes lead off our Helmet Sticker nominations on offense but directly behind them is another dynamic duo, seniors DaeSean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki. Time and time again, when Penn State needed a big play, both were willing to climb the ladder swarming with Wolverines and come up with the ball. Defensively, Jason Cabinda has been a man on fire in the middle and much like the boys in the trenches on the offensive side of the ball, the WildDogs once again made a living in the Michigan backfield. They rang up six sacks in total, forced a fumble and aside from two drives in that second-quarter lull, made life completely miserable for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan play callers.
And with that we wrap up another version of one of the games greatest spectacles: The Whiteout. If there were any doubts as to the validity of our lofty perch at No. 2, they were all erased like the blizzard that hit Michigan square in the jaw. They were the last of the big dogs left to conquer on our climb back up the Big Ten and left with a nothing more than a whimper. Up next, The Evil Empire. The big, bad Buckeyes in all their glory; round two on their home turf. Bad news for them, the Whiteout may have ended in Happy Valley late Saturday night, but the storm is just getting started.