Despite the fact that it was technically a home game for Pitt, Penn Staters arrived in Pittsburgh in droves to support their team. From tailgating to cheering in the stadium, Penn State made its presence known, and even followed through with its #WhiteOutHeinz campaign.
However, Pitt proved to be worthy competitors, and Penn State fell, 42-39, in the fourth quarter.
Penn State showed incredible drive, determination, and passion for the game throughout all four quarters of day. At one point, your Nittany Lions were down 21-7, but that did not stop the team from coming out in the second half as a completely new team.
Quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) showed tremendous poise and intelligence, completing 24/35 passes for 332 yards and one touchdown.
Running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) notched an incredible five touchdowns, nearly tying the school recordof six. Barkley went 85 yards on 20 attempts for a gain of 90 yards and a loss of five. Barkley is the first Penn Stater to attain 30 points in a game since Ki-Jana Carter during the Michigan State game in 1994.
Other forces for the Nittany Lions included DaeSean Hamilton (Fredericksburg, Va.), who caught the ball eight times for 82 yards and DeAndre Thompkins (Hubert, N.C.) who caught the ball three times for 87 yards.
However, it was on Penn State’s last possession of the game that the route was confused, and McSorley unknowing hit a Pitt defensive player with a pass in the endzone, effectively ending the Lions’ campaign down the field to tie or win the game.
Despite the close game and the loss, Penn State showed a fire in their bellies that has not been apparent for a few years now. The result of successful recruiting, hard work, and Penn State pride has resulted in a program that is clearly on its way back to being a Big Ten powerhouse.
Penn State is back at home next weekend and will be kicking off against Temple at noon. The game is also the now-annual stripe out, so be sure to check Go PSU Sports for more information regarding your section’s corresponding color.