No. 2 Penn State Trounces Michigan at White Out Game
Last year, Penn State took a beating by the Wolverines, losing 49-10 in Ann Arbor. It was a low point in the season, with many questioning whether or not the Lions would ever be able to hang with the best of the Big Ten teams.
This time around, however, the Lions found their groove, stuck to the plan and executed well on nearly every play, ultimately giving the Wolverines a taste of their own medicine.
Head Coach James Franklin, who always maintains his humility, noted that this game was indeed extra special for many reasons.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and the environment was unreal,” said Coach Franklin. “So, I want to thank the fans.
The Lions wasted no time asserting their dominance, and just 45 seconds into the first quarter, who else but running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) got the ball from quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) and made a 69 yard run into Michigan’s end zone to get the team on the board.
Minutes later, Barkley struck again, carrying the ball for 15 yards to give the team a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
A tense start to the second quarter saw Penn State almost lose its lead as the Wolverines stepped up their game play and dominated most of the second quarter. Lucky for the Lions, Michigan missed a field goal on their first touchdown, and were only able to secure 13 points, keeping the lead just out of reach.
After seven plays and 75 yards, it was Penn State’s own scrappy and fearless quarterback McSorley who locked in another touchdown before halftime. The quarterback ran the ball for three yards, crossing the plane with just 53 seconds left in the half, giving the Lions a 21-13 lead heading into the locker room.
McSorley knows that that play was one of the most pivotal of the game.
“I think that was huge for us to get that touchdown right before halftime. At that point,
The second half was all about watching Penn State do its thing and do it well.
McSorley came in clutch yet again with five minutes to go in the third quarter as he made the bold move to run the ball yet again. Michigan pounced on the quarterback, but McSorley expertly stuck out his arm just as he was falling to have the ball land in the end zone, giving PSU another seven points on the board.
Barkley rounded out his evening by making a miracle of a catch just two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Barkley baubled the initial catch of a 42-yard pass from McSorley, but as the ball bounced in the air in front of him, Barkley kept pursuing it, even as Michigan’s defenders beared down on him. Barkley finally got control of the ball just before the end zone and ran it in for one of the most exciting TD’s yet of the season.
A final nine yard run with eight minutes to go locked in the 42-13 win as McSorley faked out the Wolverines defense by pretending to hand off the ball to Barkley, but instead ran it in himself.
Although he is a superstar on the field, Barkley maintains his hardworking attitude and sense of perspective off the pitch.
“Seven-straight wins and another Big Ten win and anytime you win in the Big Ten is big,” said Barkley post-game. “It’s one of the hardest conferences in the country, especially on the side that we play, and we just continue to go watch film tonight and tomorrow get in the weight room and do the little things and get better from there and then move onto the next team.”
Defensively, Penn State shined bright. Captain and linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) led the team with 13 tackles and two sacks for eight yards.
Right behind Cabinda, Koa Farmer (Lake View Terrace, Calif.) and Parker Cothren (Huntsville, Ala.) demonstrated why Penn State is so formidable on defense as the pair added a total of 11 tackles and one sack for eight yards.
Coach Franklin once again praised the community and his own team for knocking it out of the park this weekend.
“I’m very thankful for our staff, I’m very thankful for the players, the community. It was awesome, really awesome,” said Coach Franklin. "I probably would’ve liked to see, when we were driving from the hotel, I would’ve liked to see a higher percentage of white pants. There were a lot more white pants this year than the year before. I would’ve liked to see a higher percentage of truly white pants.”
What CJF asks for, CJF gets. Fans can already start prepping for next year’s White Out game with this request.
The team heads to No. 6 Ohio State this coming weekend for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. College Gameday will be at Columbus, so fans can expect the same amount of hype surrounding this next game. How many of you will be heading to Columbus to cheer on our Lions? Let’s go, State!