For an entire week I endured the media hype. Michigan has the best defense in the country. They were going to shut down Barkley. Penn State had no offensive line. McSorley was going to be running for his life and making mistakes. Blah, blah, blah.
Did they know this was 2017 and not 2016???
Jim Harbaugh actually looked shell-shocked in his post-game interview.
I can’t believe their coaching staff only looked at last season’s 49-10 game to prepare for last Saturday. Yet, they looked unprepared. They couldn’t stop Barkley. They couldn’t cover him as a receiver. They actually looked slow on defense (or we looked really fast–take your pick.)
Of course, there is the possibility that they did prepare but I guess their best wasn’t good enough.
Before a record-setting white out crowd of 110,823 exuberant fans, the second ranked Nittany Lions proceeded to methodically dissect, out man, and out play the vaunted Wolverine defense.
It didn’t take long. On the second play of the game, Saquon Barkley (for those of you who are Michigan fans, he is a running back that plays for Penn State, a school that is not Michigan nor Ohio State if you can actually believe the concept that there are other schools out there) shifted to take the direct snap out of the wildcat formation. He then proceeded to take the football 69 yards untouched for six points and our kicker made the point after. Saquon Barkley . . . say Bye Bye!
Penn State would go up to 14-0 on the team from up north, on yet another run by Barkley, this time from the fifteen yard line. Georgia State held Barkley to fewer yards than this alleged number one defense.
The first quarter ended as the wolverines got a spark of life support from a Trace McSorley interception, where it appeared the quarterback and receiver weren’t on the same page. But one-time PSU commit Quinn Nordin would miss the extra point. Wouldn’t mean anything in the final analysis but it was just a bit of karma in his face.
To their credit, the maize and blue would try to make a game of it with a second touchdown in the second period, but the score was 21-13 at the half thanks to a 7 play, 75 yard drive engineered by Trace McSorley (for Michigan fans, he’s a quarterback who plays at Penn State, blah, blah, blah, he’s pretty good outside the town of Ann Arbor or so I’ve heard.) The drive took all of 52 seconds and the team never looked back.
Let’s do some Michi-gun bullets baby:
- Penn State amassed 506 yards of offense against the “number one defense”
- Penn State only punted twice.
- Penn State never had to kick a field goal
- The Lions averaged 7.2 yards on first down plays
- The pathetic Penn State line allowed only two sacks
- Penn State sacked O’Korn seven times
- McSorley ran for 78 yards
- Penn State has still not allowed a point in the first quarter
- If you think that’s impressive, PSU has outscored opponents 72-3 in the third quarter
- Penn State shut-out the wolverines in the second half.
- The loss drops the University of Michigan out of the AP poll
The final score was 42-13 as Penn State rattled off 28 unanswered points. They are 7-0 on the season and still ranked number 2. This was one of the best whiteout games and certainly one of the most entertaining. I still put Ohio State 2005 at the top of the list because that game was close, it was an upset victory, and Penn State was resurging from the dark years of 2003-4. This game was never really in doubt but was just plain fun. Michi-fun.
THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:
The Buckeyes had a week off to prepare for Penn State.
Wisconsin badgered the terrapins 38-13.
The Spartans outlasted Indiana 17-9.
Northwestern fricaseed the Hawks 17-10.
Rutgers beat the Boilers 14-12. Wait? What? Let me check that. Wow. They won one.
And the Gophers defeated Illinois 24-17.
Outside the conference, the Irish embarrassed the Trojans 49-14.
The Nittany Lions travel to Columbus next week to face the 6th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Kick-off is 3:30.
The Buckeyes struggled a bit with Indiana in the opener, trailed at the half, but ultimately put the Hoosiers away 49-21. If you recall, we beat Indiana 45-14. Kind of a wash there. That is the only common opponent to date.
The Bucks have scored no fewer than 54 points in their last four games, against the likes of UNLV, Maryland, Rutgers and Nebraska.
Their one loss was a night-time, prime time loss to the Sooners, 31-16. This was the second game of the year on their schedule and no game since has been even close.
Ohio State opened as a 7 point favorite.
I think we win. Their front seven will keep Barkley in check, although I still see him breaking free at one point. However, our offensive line is getting better, and I think McSorley will have a good day against the Buckeye secondary. This will be one of the better if not the best offenses we have faced so far so it will be a test for our defense. I think they will rise to the occasion. It won’t be as lopsided as this week, but we shall see.
And I leave you with this . . .