It felt like more of a Penn State home game as Nittany Nation arrived in droves at Lucas Oil Stadium. Penn State cheers and fight songs could easily be heard throughout the evening, echoing throughout the entire stadium. As is typical of Penn State fans, the 12th man was in full effect.
“I… just want to thank the entire Nittany Nation that traveled from all over the country and really supported us all year long,” said Head Coach James Franklin.
If you watched the game, you know that the first half did not bode well for the Nittany Lions. Down 28-7 quite quickly, any other team might have given in and accepted defeat. Not our Nittany Lions.
“I don’t like the fact that we don’t get started as quickly as I think we can,” said Coach Franklin. “But I do like the fact that I’m able to come in at halftime and say tour guys that we’re a second-half team.”
The first Nittany Lion touchdown of the night was an incredible 33 yard pass by quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) to Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.) in the end zone.
Nearing the end of the half, Penn State was down 28-7.
Penn State drove down the field from their own 10 yard line, and McSorley hit Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J.) with a pass that resulted in a 40 yard touchdown, bringing the Lions within two touchdowns heading into the half.
“There was no heads down. There was no doubting,” said Gesicki of his team. “We
The Blacknall touchdown just before the half was all the fans needed to keep the momentum swung in Penn State’s direction. Wisconsin could not handle the energy brought by Penn State.
To start the third quarter, McSorley did what every quarterback dreams of – he hit Blacknall again, this time with an unbelievable 70 yard pass that gave Penn State a touchdown and propelled the Lions into winning territory.
The Penn State defense, headed by Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) and Brandon Bell (Mays Landing, N.J.) held Wisconsin to just three points for the entire second half.
McSorley came up clutch yet again with a stellar 25-yard pass to DaeSean Hamilton (Fredericksburg, Va.) that put the Lions on the Badgers’ 43 yard line.
McSorley sank an 18 yard touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) that gave Penn State a 35-31 lead.
After a successful field goal from Tyler Davis (St. Charles, Ill.), a critical defensive play occurred that ultimately gave the Lions the victory.
Wisconsin desperately needed to convert on fourth down with two yards to go.
The ball carrier for a second seemed to find a hole, but was dragged down by Grant Haley (Atlanta, Ga.) and prevented from stretching forward with an incredible tackle from Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.).
With that, Penn State ran the ball on its next downs to use up the clock before welcoming their fate as the new B1G Ten Champions.
With this win, Penn State will now be heading to Pasadena, Calif. to face off against No. 9 University of Southern California on January 2, 2017.