BSD MVP: Running Back Saquon Barkley
Barkley did everything for the team on Saturday. On the opening drive he rushed for 11 yards on the first play and caught a pass on the next play that was good for 12 yards. After taking a short pass and running 37 yards to just outside the goal line, he capped the drive off with a 3 yard touchdown run.
The team had moments where it looked out of sorts on offense in the first half, but when it got the ball back in the hands of Barkley consistently, like magic, things improved. After the interception by Brandon Smith on Purdue’s first drive of the second half, Barkley took the ball three times for runs of 9, 9, and 4 before Chris Godwin finished the drive with a one-yard reception while the team used Barkley as a decoy.
With just over 14 minutes remaining in the game, and Purdue hanging on to hope down 17 points, Barkley turned the lights out with an 81-yard run into the end zone. It was his final play of the game. He rushed for 207 yards on 18 carries in roughly three quarters of play. Barkley also led the team with 70 yards receiving on three catches.
Following the game Barkley cleaned up the stadium seats where fans left behind wrappers and a soda can. Prior to boarding the team bus he gave it an oil change and checked the air pressure in the tires. Once at the airport, the team climbed aboard Barkley’s back and he flew them safely home to State College, turning north of Pittsburgh and West Virginia to avoid severe turbulence in the air.
Malik Golden- 5 solo tackles, 3 assists. 1 TFL. On paper it was an above-average performance by the senior safety. On the field it was better than that. Golden’s solid tackling has been hard to ignore for the past couple of games. He has become a very reliable tackler in space, especially on short passes behind the line of scrimmage.
Jason Cabinda- 6 solo tackles, 3 assists. Only a broken helmet could keep Cabinda out of action when the game was on the line. While the junior middle linebacker has had better games statistically, his presence in the middle makes the players around him that much better.
Tyler Davis- 2 made field goals, 8 extra points. Poor Davis’ leg must have been sore on Sunday morning, with all the extra points that he was forced to kick! It’s a good thing the Lions split kicking duties between he and Joey Julius. Davis has been rock solid for the team, making every kick but one in his tenure over the past year and a half. His kicks have nice trajectory, and lately have been hitting the absolute center of the uprights most of the time, with a ball flight that wavers very little from side-to-side. He stepped in to help sure up the struggling kicking game last season. This year his quality work has enabled freshman Alex Barbir to take a much-needed redshirt. With Davis being able to afford Barbir time to develop, the impact of his kicking this year will be felt through the 2020 season.