Penn State 45, Minnesota 17
No one was throwing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the White Out on Saturday night. Instead, they were chugging the newly authorized Beaver Stadium beer and having a gay old time. (Can we still say “gay” to mean the old, non-co-opted definition of the word?) The Nittany Lions won many of the Franklinesque, so-called battles, warming the collective hearts of the Nittany Nation and temporarily eradicating memories of the Debacle at Ann Arbor.
One from Column A, One from Column B – No Egg Loll
With a freshman replacement quarterback subbing for the highly experienced but injured Tanner Morgan, Minnesota was fresh gopher meat for the Penn State defense, which concentrated on stopping all-universe rushing threat Mo Ibrahim (for some reason, pronounced as a non-Arabic EYE-bra-him). Mo still managed to get 100+ yards and a touchdown, but his average was 3.4 yards per carry and his longest was only thirteen yards. Freshman quarterback Athan the Greek (from Williamsport, PA) was off the mark much of the day, going 9-22 for 175 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Meanwhile, the Penn State offense was present, too. The running game was working against Minnesota’s formerly well-regarded defense. Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen shared much of the load, with 79 and 77 yards, respectively. Singleton had two touchdown runs. Sean Clifford had an excellent day, returning from his injury in the Debacle at Ann Arbor (cue heraldic trumpets), 22-31 for 295 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception. The offense conspired to convert five of eleven third-down opportunities, which is much better than their putrid average. Plus, they converted one fourth down, albeit in a low-pressure situation.
Defensively, linebacker Curtis Jacobs was this week’s standout, with fourteen tackles, seven of which were solo and two TFLs. And special teams had a good day, too, on both sides of the ball.
Big shout-out to the 109,000+ White Out fans, whose noise created several of the Gophers’ eight penalties.
Where from Here?
So, this will surely give the Sanguinarians® a false sense of security going into the big showdown with #2 Ohio State on Saturday.
What, then, do we think of this team, who last week was better at throwing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at their opponents at halftime than they were on the field? At this point, going into another potential debacle, which few see any chance of winning, a logical mind would conclude that they are going to panic and fold again next Saturday. Seems like they can manhandle inferior competition, although sometimes they get overconfident and distracted, such as in the Northwestern game. Will they fold their tent again against Ohio State?
I’ll be back mid-week with a cynical overview of the Battle for the Big Ten East.