Penn State 39, Michigan State 24
I have to agree with contributing editor K. John when he said that this might be the first game in recorded history of the Big Ten where the officials handed it to the Nittany Lions. Big Ten traditionalists don’t know who to hate more, PSU or Moo U. But anyhow, Penn State marched forward to maintain ownership of the abominable Land Grant Trophy and thus maintain bragging rights over Moo U. for yet another year.
Michigan State won the first half 21-10. As expected, the Nittany Lions came out sleeping, not waking up until someone poured buckets of cold water on them at halftime. Penn State won the second half 29-3.
Buckets of Cold Water
It looked like Moo U. had found themselves a quarterback in redshirt freshman Payton Thorne. After the buckets of cold water, the mighty PSU defense contained the kid pretty well in the second half.
Just to characterize the first, head-up-the-ass, half, Thorne threw an interception that was returned and fumbled back to Moo U. They got a first down out of it, anyway.
Sean Clifford had a decent day, 17-27 for 232 yards and two TDs, while Will Levis came in mostly to do that hackneyed old running play. Finally, the Ciarocca/Franklin offensive brain trust turned him loose long enough for him to complete 3-3 passing for 54 yards. The Moo U defense had to respect his versatility thereafter. Maybe we’ll see more of that in the laughable postseason.
Neither Side Could Run
Rushing, the Lions never really got going against a halfway decent Moo defense. Top rusher was Clifford, second was Levis. Back in third place was Keyvone Lee with 12 carries for 31 yards. Total team output was a paltry 119 yards on the ground.
Total yards for both teams were within a gnat’s eyelash of each other. First downs were dead even. Both teams sucked on third down. Against the stout Penn State rushing defense, Moo U. could manage only 64 yards, but they passed for 325 yards against our crappy secondary. Turnovers were even at one each.
I’m glad this season is over. Well, maybe. I have to wonder what the postseason has in store. A big matchup with Illinois or Minnesota? A bowl game with an opponent from the Ohio Valley Conference? Where does mighty, 3-5 Penn State go from here?
I’ll be back God Knows When, whenever we have an idea of what the hell will go on in the postseason.