BSD MVP: QB Trace McSorley
After struggling offensively in the first 30 minutes, Penn State hit its stride in the second half to eventually knock off Minnesota 29-26 in overtime. While Saquon Barkley’s 25-yard scamper won the game for the Nittany Lions, it was Trace McSorley’s heady play throughout the second half that gave Penn State a chance to win the game.
With Penn State down 13-3 in the third quarter, McSorley stepped up in the pocket, bought himself some time, and hit Irvin Charles down the field. Charles would do the rest, breaking a tackle and finding the end zone in a play that reenergized a flat Nittany Lions squad.
But where McSorley truly shined was on the final drive of regulation. With Penn State trailing 23-20, McSorley led the Nittany Lions on a 8-play, 53-yard drive, highlighted by a 20-yard pass to Chris Godwin on 3rd and 10 and a 26-yard quarterback scamper on 3rd and 3 to put kicker Tyler Davis in position to hit the game-tying field goal.
McSorley wasn’t perfect. Despite throwing for 335 yards, he was only 19-for-41, missing badly on a number of deep throws. But it was everywhere else where McSorley flourished. He didn’t commit any turnovers, and somehow didn’t get sacked once on Saturday. And when the game mattered most, McSorley lived up to his “moxie” moniker, making two critical plays to force overtime.
Obviously, Marcus Allen would be totally deserving of MVP honors. The junior safety played much of the game in the box to help out Penn State’s depleted linebacker core, and man did he step up. Allen was in on essentially every play on Saturday, racking up an astounding 22 tackles. With linebackers Jason Cabinda, Brandon Bell, and Nyeem Wartman-White all out for the Nittany Lions, a big time performance from Allen was exactly what was needed.
And lastly, let’s give kicker Tyler Davis some love. He has yet to miss a field goal in his Penn State career, and he proved Saturday that he can hit a 40+ yard field goal when the game is in doubt. That’s not only big for his psyche, but also for the psyche of James Franklin and the rest of the team.