The 52-0 trouncing of the Akron Zips (0-1) demonstrated the hard work the Lions put in all winter long.
“Overall, I thought probably the most complete football game since we've been here - offense, defense, and special teams,” said Head Coach James Franklin.
Usual standout Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) recorded two touchdowns on 174 rushing yards, showing fans that he is indeed one of the best - if not the best - players in college football.
Barkley noted that one of the major contributing factors in this dominating win is that the confidence each Lion has in each other is unbreakable.
“When you have a team that believes in each other, and believe that they are capable of making a play, it is kind of hard to stop,” affirmed Barkley.
Beloved quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) surpassed 4,000 career passing yards and completed 18 of 25 passing attempts for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
Tight end Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.) also added two touchdowns for a total of 58 yards. Gesicki turned heads last year when he transformed from rarely making the catch to being one of the most consistent tight ends in the Big Ten.
Senior wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins (Hubert, N.C.) received his moments in the starlight too, rocking 127 yards on four punt returns, including the a 61-yard touchdown - the first touchdown on a punt return for Penn State since 2008.
Coach Franklin was quick to praise Thompkins, who made multiple smart decisions on Saturday.
“I thought he looked really confident today and that was a combination of a lot of things. I think he's a much more experienced player at this point in his career,” said Franklin.
Defensively, the Lions were rock solid. Three players in particular stood out, each adding five tackles: Jarvis Miller (Suffield, Conn.), Manny Bowen (Barnegat, N.J.) and Tyrell Chavis (Richmond, Va.). Linebacker U is clearly back in session.
Chavis, a senior defensive tackle, noted that the team more than accomplished its goals for the day thanks to excellent teamwork.
“It was great. It's always good to see a zero on the scoreboard at the end of the game, but that's just preparation. Our offense goes out and scores, and our job is to stop the offense. That's what we did, we accomplished our goal today as a team, as a unit,” said Chavis.
No. 4 Penn State will host its historic rival Pitt this coming Saturday at home with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. Fans can tune into ABC as well to watch the game.
We all know that Penn State trumps Pitt in nearly every category imaginable, so come on out to show support for our winning Lions as they take on the Panthers this weekend.