You might think that a quarterback who throws two interceptions in a game shouldn’t be named as the MVP, and in any other game of college football that might be the case. But that’s not the whole story of the adversity McSorely faced in the game against Indiana, and what he worked to overcome for the Penn State win.
Starting in the first half, McSorley wasn’t getting the protection he was used to receiving due to a heavily battered offensive line, and missed some time due to a sideline check of his banged-up ankle. Indiana’s defense slowed the Penn State run game, shutting down Saquon Barkley to just 60 yards rushing, forcing McSorely to rely heavily on his arm and his receiver corps.
He threw two interceptions in four throws, his fourth and fifth of the year, but that’s not the whole story.
McSorely refused to quit after being sacked three times total during the game, and after a brutal hit in the second half that left the referee asking if he wanted out.
His perseverance resulted in McSorely posting his third 300-yard passing game of the season, which is tied for 14th on Penn State’s single game list. He had a solid 332 yards passing and two passing touchdowns, completing 16-of-30 passing attempts. He also scored the game’s first rushing touchdown.
Even though the team is squarely focused on the Rutgers game, McSorely’s leadership and gritty performance in the win over Indiana puts the team closer to a 10-2 season and a potential spot in the Big Ten Championship game.
Penn State’s receivers made a case for MVP in the win over Indiana. Junior wide receiver Chris Godwin caught five passes for 82 yards and snagged two touchdowns. His yardage total pushed him to 2,014 for his career, as he became the eighth player in Penn State history to reach 2,000-career receiving yards.
Wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton had three receptions for 85 yards, and tight end Mike Gesicki had five receptions for 88 yards.
Saquon Barkley this week was held to just 58 yards rushing on a career-high 33 carries, but scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead score.
Linebacker U delivered, with Brandon Bell racking up six tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, along with one strip sack that was scooped up and run in for a touchdown by defensive end Torrence Brown. Jason Cabinda also had a solid game with eight solo tackles and one tackle for loss.