It will be written that Penn State overcame adversity in Saturday's win against San Diego State, pulling out a victory despite an onslaught of injuries that put second and third stringers into the game at running back and safety.
But we all know that the only person who was really overcoming adversity on Saturday was Anthony Zettel, who played a mere hours after the death of his father. Terry Zettel tragically passed away on Friday at the age of 46. On Saturday, his family was in Beaver Stadium as his son started at defensive tackle for Penn State.
Zettel led the defense with 7 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery. It was fitting that the leader of the unit led the way on this day, as no one exemplifies the spirit of the team quite like Zettel. He's talented and hard-working on the field and a charming goofball off of it. On a team full of big personalities, his might be the most unique, and it has earned him a place as a fan favorite.
Many athletes have spoken of finding comfort in sports when dealing with tragedy. Zettel himself said that he played on Saturday because his father would have wanted it that way. Hopefully the remainder of this season, Anthony's last as a Penn State player before a likely future in the NFL, provides that comfort for Anthony. He has meant everything to this program, and now the program will try to be there for him as best as it can.
Austin Johnson - It was a relatively quiet day for Johnson until he recovered a fumble and returned it 71 yards for a touchdown on the most memorable play of the afternoon.
Saquon Barkley - It's amazing how much of an impact Barkley had in less than a half of play. He somehow managed to look more impressive against San Diego State than he had in the previous two games.
Saeed Blacknall - Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton are the two top receivers, but they lack the speed to be true deep threats. Blacknall has stepped into a more prominent role and is opening some things up on offense. He had 4 receptions for 101 yards in the win, and is becoming more of a factor every week.