The Nittany Lions continued Rutgers’ scoreless streak by defeating the Scarlet Knights 39-0. Collectively, Rutgers has been defeated by Ohio State, Michigan State, and Penn State, 224-0.
The game started out on a difficult note as Penn State fumbled the kickoff, which was recovered by Rutgers.
However, Rutgers, unable to convert on third down, resorted to kicking a field goal, which they missed.
Penn State drove down the field, but with some incomplete passes and missed chances early on, decided to kick a 32-yard field goal, which Tyler Davis (St. Charles, Ill.) executed perfectly.
Rutgers then ran four plays and decided to punt. Rutgers would 11 times before the night was over.
Penn State recovered the ball at the Penn State 25 yard line, and after a few plays, quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) launched a beautiful pass caught by Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.) at the Rutgers 24 yard line.
After two incomplete passes by a less-precise-than-usual McSorley, Davis once again put the team on his back and kicked another good field goal, bringing Penn State up 6-0.
Penn State seemed out of sorts on the next few plays, with multiple passes to the end zone incomplete or inaccurate. The score was not reflecting just how much Penn State was dominating the Scarlet Knights, who never came close to Lions’ end zone.
Davis came in clutch a third time, kicking a field goal before the half to send the Lions to the locker room, up 9-0.
“The best thing you can do is go out there before a game and try to gauge the wind but it wasn’t very windy before the game,” said Davis. “When I got out there I just kind of felt it and aimed inside the post.”
Penn State returned to the field looking for a touchdown.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Penn State found themselves on the Rutgers five yard line. Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) ran for a touchdown on third and goal, bringing Penn State’s score to 16-0.
After yet another predictable Rutgers punt, Davis sank his fourth field goal of the night, upping the ante to 19-0.
Shortly after that, Barkley made an 18 yard run to put Penn State on Rutgers’ 45 yard line. McSorley then made a 22 yard pass to Chris Godwin (Middletown, Del.) to put the team on the 22 yard line.
It was ultimately Andre Robinson (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) who made a two yard run to notch another touchdown for the Lions, 25-0.
Two more Rutgers punts put Penn State on its own eight yard line, but McSorley expertly guided the team up the field.
Miles Sanders (Pittsburgh, Pa.) made a necessary 22 yard run to the Rutgers 45 which put Mark Allen (Hyattsville, Md.) in excellent scoring position. After a few short run plays, Allen found the end zone and helped the Lions’ score to 32-0.
Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens (Indianapolis, Ind.) went in for McSorley with six minutes to go.
Not one to disappoint, Stevens handed off the ball to Sanders who ran for a stellar 57 yards. Stevens followed that run by running 12 yards for the final touchdown of the game, granting another Nittany Lion win, 39-0.
“I don’t really want to go into the locker room and say we’re a second half team,” said Head Coach James Franklin. “But in times like this it’s nice to go in and say we’re a second half team… we’re going to battle for four quarters.”
Coach Franklin went on to say that next weekend he is asking for the stadium to be “rocking with 107, 000,” and that they need “every student on campus” and the lettermen from “all over the country.”
Penn State returns home one more time next Saturday for a critical kickoff against Michigan State at 3:30 p.m. We know you’ll be there, so be there and be loud, Nittany Nation!