The Tommy Stevens Show

The Tommy Stevens Show

Well, that’s a wrap folks. Spring football is complete. Now we all prepare for a summer of toes in the sand season and the long, grueling wait until Penn State Football reemerges again sometime in early August. For the record, the Blue squad hung a shutout on the boys in White 26-0. Officially, this one will be dubbed “The Tommy Stevens Show,” as the backup QB took his turn in the spotlight and lit up the field during the second half of the game, passing for 140-yards and three touchdowns. Unofficially, the Wild Dogs on the defensive lines proved their bite was just as loud as their bark and made it hard for both offenses to find much wiggle room throughout the day.

An estimated 71,000 rolled into Happy Valley, despite overcast skies, a spattering of rain, and cool temperatures, to welcome back the 2016 Big Ten Champs and watch the annual Blue-White scrimmage. As predicted, the star of the show, Saquon Barkley, sat this one out, although he was dressed for the game. His counterpart in the two-man backfield, QB Trace McSorley, did play. In fact, the MVP of the Big Ten Championship game played the entire first half and led the Blue team to two Tyler Davis field goals in the process. True to form, as we all witnessed throughout 2016, he seemed to find his rhythm just as the half came to a close.

Stevens took over in the second-half and made the most of his opportunity. He threw a 9-yard catch and run to Andre Robinson for the first touchdown of the day. The infamous “Jet Sweep” king of 2015, Brandon Polk, made a successful return after a redshirt year due to injury and hauled in a 31-yarder. The man who seems to be the heir-apparent to fill the shoes left behind by Chris Godwin, Juwan Johnson, completed the day with a 15-yard touchdown of his own. Other standouts on offense included Mark Allen, DeAndre Thompkins, and tight end Jon Holland who had an active afternoon filling in for Mike Gesicki. On the O-Line, most of the starters sat Saturday’s game out, except for Connor McGovern, who has cemented his spot as the starting center for the next few years.


The need to replace both Garrett Sickles and Evan Schwan at defensive end seems to be in the capable hands of several different individuals. Potential starters Torrance Brown and Ryan Buccholz sat this one out, but Shareef Miller made a living in the backfield all day and looks to have an upper hand in the rotation. We got a good glimpse of the speed coming off the edge from Shaka Toney, and Shane Simmons finally made his debut. At linebacker, Cam Brown had a huge day making plays all over the field and Koa Farmer has finally found a home on the outside “Sam” position left open by Brandon Bell. Jarvis Miller is also a name to remember as he makes the switch from safety and provides 4.4 40-yard speed on the edge. At corner, the battle is on as to who replaces the injured John Reid, and true freshman Lamont Wade has found himself in the thick of it along with Christian Campbell and Amani Oruwaryie. Nick Scott made the start at safety vacated by Malik Golden but it was Ayron Monroe who stole the show with his playmaking ability that included an interception and a nice return that killed a Blue drive late in the first half.

And with that, Spring football has closed the book for another year as we all settle in for a summer of fun, sun, and anticipation like we haven’t seen since the Darryl Clark days of 2008-2009 when Penn State last mingled with the Top 10 crowd. Cornerback John Reid suffered the only major injury this spring and although a setback, the Nittany Lions have plenty of depth to overcome his loss. As for Tommy Stevens and the show he put on this Saturday, it’s reassuring to know we have a more than capable backup if Trace unexpectedly goes down. McSorley is clearly the starter but by the looks of it, this offense wouldn’t miss a beat with Stevens in the driver’s seat.