If you're the backup quarterback and you come up a Hail Mary short of rallying your team from a three-touchdown second half deficit against a defense as stingy as Georgia's, you are virtually guaranteed to be named BSD's MVP. Such was the case for one Trace McSorley, who was forced into action late in the first half when Christian Hackenberg's Penn State abruptly came to an end due to a sprained shoulder that severely affected Hack's ability to throw the ball.
From the beginning, you noticed the difference between Trace lining up under center and his predecessor, mainly the ability to scramble away from pressure when the pocket collapsed, avoiding a single sack during his entire stint under center (in fairness to Hack - he too, avoided getting sacked up until leaving the game). You also however, noticed rather quickly that McSorley didn't have the arm strength of the guy he had just replaced. As a result, the first five series of McSorley under center were nothing to write home about.
It was in the beginning of the fourth quarter however, where Trace began to showcase why he had been earning his coaches' praise in practice all season long, tossing a pair of touchdown strikes to Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton, the former coming on a critical 4th and 12 situation still trailing 24-3 and with one last gasp at any potential comeback attempt. These two touchdown drives perhaps may have invoked memories of a certain other six-foot-nothing McQB who also played with a chip on his shoulder.
We did see Trace's inexperience show on the game's final drive, throwing short passes in-bounds with Penn State all out of timeouts. Nonetheless, he did get a chance to chuck up a decent 40-yard pass towards the end zone without getting his feet set and with a couple of Georgia defenders in his face, which unfortunately the Georgia defenders towards the end zone were more than prepared to swat down.
Overall though, it's hard to ask for a better performance than Trace's 14-for-27 passing for 142 yards and two touchdowns and 31 additional yards gained with his feet, given the circumstances. It's a performance that will set the tone for what promises to be quite the quarterback derby between Trace, Tommy Stevens, and already-enrolled freshman Jake Zembiec.
Chris Godwin - No, he did not reach the end zone, but he did lead the team in receptions (6) and receiving yards (133), highlighted by a 51-yard reception that set up Penn State's first points of the afternoon (a Tyler Davis field goal) and was Mr. Dependable whenever the ball was thrown in his direction and he had a chance to make something happen. Par for the course.