Penn State Defeats Auburn 28-20
The SEC officiating crew was incompetent, but Penn State surmounted that to outlast Auburn 28-20. If the game had an extra quarter, the outcome would have been reversed.
Auburn’s rushing game was good, as expected, but they couldn’t get the passing game in sync. They wound up with 182 yards rushing and 185 yards passing. Penn State once again could not get a clock-eating, dominating running game going, gaining only 83 yards on the ground. However, thanks to Jahan Dotson and the passing game, the Nittany Lions could throw the ball downfield, their salvation. Sean Clifford was a terrific 28-32 for 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The other pass, a 22-yard throw by wide receiver Jahan Dotson on a wideout option, netted 22 yards and a first down.
Penn State was 5-10 on third down, while Auburn was 10-17. Turnovers were even at one each.
On defense, the boys were active all night long, and although they allowed 367 yards and 20 points, they were adequate to keep Auburn at bay. They had no sacks and they allowed Tank Bigsby to run for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Auburn’s #2 running back, Jarquez Hunter, had 63.
Yeah, there were bad calls throughout, too many to enumerate here, by the incompetent SEC officiating crew. Most, but not all, went against Penn State. Auburn had to pay the price in the form of a phantom targeting foul. In any case, I’m not arguing one way or the other about poor officiating. Just sayin’.
Jordan Stout continues to display his punting prowess, averaging 50 yards for four punts. He was perfect on extra points, too.
IITOP was “not too bad”, with Auburn hanging onto the ball for 31:42.
This will add fuel to the Sanguinarians’ fire, as they’ll be thinking Penn State is invincible will exacerbate their officiating paranoia, because bad calls only go against Penn State. Bring on the Tampa Bay Bucs!
(I’ll be back for a preview of the bye week game with Villanova).