Two Freshman Steps Forward
Saturday evening found me sitting across the dinner table from a depressed nine year old. His favorite meal and an enjoyable Penn State win couldn't even cheer up this pint-sized Notre Dame fan. Which leads me to two interesting questions:
One, how in the world did I end up with a Notre Dame fan?
And two, do you know who committed to Penn State over the Fighting Irish?
That’s right! A certain elite recruit, the one our Penn State family was already crowning running back numero uno after he went 70 yards for his first touchdown: Mr. Nick Singleton.
The freshman had a banner afternoon going 179 yards on just ten carries. Say goodbye to the seventeen game streak without a 100 yard rusher and hello to the “Reading Railroad”.
Another freshman putting down roots on offense was none other than Drew Allar. We saw him in action briefly last week and this week he took another step forward. He finished the game completing six of eight passes. With two touchdowns, the same as veteran Clifford, the future looks a little more comfortable, especially if another Iowa situation rears its ugly head. Allar appeared prepared and poised throughout.
Seventy-four players saw the field versus Ohio with seventeen different receivers catching at least one pass. Coach Franklin addressed this in his post game conference saying that all of the guys on our roster are needed for success; everybody's role is critical. Pre-season Franklin pointed to depth as one of his goals this fall and it's obvious it remains his intention.
All in all it was a fun game to watch. Sean Clifford went six for six and a rushing touchdown on his opening drive which is just about the best start you could hope for. It was Barney Amor’s impressive punt that led to a safety. And, we got to watch two five star freshmen step into their roles with confidence and magnitude.
My family and I visited Penn State this summer so it was extra fun for me to have our kids see Beaver Stadium and realize they’d recently toured it. That moment when ABC shows B roll of the Lion Shrine and both my kids point at it and say, in unison: Hey we were there!! I love sharing this beautifully unique football culture with my family; I’ll just have to keep up with regular return trips to Happy Valley or else I may find myself in South Bend in a decade.
Next week will be more nerve-wracking but we remain as always cautiously optimistic. What we’ve seen so far is good news. What we’ve yet to see is how it will play out over the course of the season. We may be only two games in but 2-0 with at least two freshman weapons is a good place to be as we head down to Alabama next weekend. Go State! Beat the Tigers!