I distinctly recall having to thank Mike Gesicki the first few games this year when I handed out helmet stickers as he left behind a glaring, gaping hole. The position was nearly non-existent at the beginning of the season as we lived life without him. Over time, true freshman Pat Freiermuth has emerged and turned himself into a lethal weapon. Not only has he become a sure-handed catch, but he has also shown glimpses of swagger which I think will serve this squad well down the road. You can see the fire in these young players eyes and today’s Game Ball goes not only to Pat for having an outstanding game once again, but to our future as well, as 2018 slowly winds itself down.
The Ultimate Warrior, Trace McSorley, may have started off on shaky ground but once he heated up, it was lights out for the Scarlett Knights and he leads off today’s Helmet Stickers. He is now the all-time wins leader at Penn State and firmly put himself third in the Big Ten history books with his 100thand 101sttouchdowns on Saturday. KJ Hamler and Jahan Dotson continue to prove themselves and Miles Sanders put in a workmanlike afternoon.
Over the course of the year, a defense that was a liability has turned itself into a wall of granite. John Reid and Garrett Taylor each recorded interceptions and Micah Parsons continues his rise to dominance. Nick Scott just seems to be wherever the ball is and Rob Windsor has turned up the heat as this season winds down. On special teams, Jake Pinegar connected on both of his field goal tries and punter Blake Gilliken boomed two punts over 65 yards to make him the first Nittany Lion to record three over that distance in his career.
Up next, is Maryland for Senior Day. It’s never easy saying goodbye. And yet, every year it’s inevitable. There aren’t many we have to goodbye to this go around, but the ones we do are the glue that have held this team all together. The Terrapins are on deck and although we're a two touchdown favorite, they gave the Buckeyes all they could handle last weekend. It’s either ‘Fear the Turtle’ or ‘Turtle Soup’ come Saturday and a Peach Bowl bid seems to rest in the balance. It’s one last hurrah for the Ultimate Warrior and his crew on the hallowed turf of Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley and it’s up to us, Nittany Nation, to send them off with a thunderous roar!