I can’t wrap my brain around it: the promising team that burst through the gates of this season with five wins and the team that currently sits at six and four. How can they be the same team?
Where’s the team that beat Wisconsin? Where’s the team that beat Auburn? That team seemed to find a way to win, even when the game was extremely competitive. That team was exciting to watch. That team was on its way to a Big Ten Championship at least.
This team has played three games against top-ten ranked teams competitively and lost all three. It’s not the losing that’s got me down; it’s the dashed hopes. It’s the “so close, yet so far.” Where’s the magic? Have we lost our mojo?
It's so hard to give up the idea of what could have been. What if Roberson had been able to get a few more first downs against Iowa? What if Brisker had caught the interception against Illinois? What if Lovett hadn’t stepped out of bounds against Ohio State? What if the defense hadn’t left Erick All wide open for a Michigan touchdown? We could handpick any number of plays that could have changed the trajectory of this season.
Yet, here we are with two games to go. How can we salvage the remainder of the season?
We have plenty of positives going for us. Keyvonne Lee carried twenty times for 90 yards. Parker Washington had 92 yards on four catches, and Jahan Dotson came away with nine catches for 61 yards, including a two-point conversion that felt like a miracle. Tyler Warren caught one for Penn State’s only touchdown of the day. Ellis Brooks and Brandon Smith combined for 26 tackles. Jordan Stout hit three field goals, sent all his kickoffs for touchbacks, and even threw a pass on a fake punt play.
But we just can’t seem to finish with a win. Too many mistakes; too many poor decisions. Whatever magic we had at the start seems to have slipped away. Can the Nittany Lions locate their mojo for the last two games? I sincerely hope so.
Go State! Beat the Scarlet Knights!