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Three Takeaways From Penn State’s 42-13 Win Over Michigan


Michigan v Penn State Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Somebody find a way to bottle that game and sell it and I will pay ALL THE MONIES for it.

Last night James Franklin, Joe Moorhead, Brent Pry and rest of the Penn State football team laid the absolutely smackdown on Michigan in front of 110,000+ people at Beaver Stadium to the tune of a 42-13 victory.

Here are our takeaways:

1. Penn State is a very, very real playoff contender

I’ve got to admit, I had my doubts. Metrically, Penn State was incredibly impressive in its 6-0 start, but to the naked eye its performances left a little to be desired. Any questions I previously had were answered on Saturday, as the Nittany Lions whipped Michigan in all facets en route to victory. Trace McSorley had his best game of the season. “Saquon a dog, and dogs do dog things,” in the words of Marcus Allen. Daesean Hamilton looked like an All-Big Ten wide receiver. Mike Gesicki looked like a potential first-round pick. The offensive line was fantastic, specifically freshman Will Fries who shut down Rashan Gary. The defense continued to be one of the best in the nation from front to back.

Many questioned whether Penn State was serious playoff threat before Saturday night. I’d say those questions were answered.

2. Saquon Barkley is human, we think. But he’s also the Heisman front runner.

Saquon Barkley dropped what, at the time, looked like a very important pass on a wheel route with Penn State leading 14-6 in the second quarter. It happened, I saw it with my own eyes.

That being said, Barkley was his usual fantastic self. His 69-yard (niiiice) touchdown run less than a minute into the game set the tone, and he just kept rolling from there. Barkley rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries against a defense some considered the best in the nation. He also added 53 receiving yards and score on three receptions. He was unquestionably the best player on the field and continues to be the best player in the country, which is why he remains the front runner for college football’s most prestigious award.

3. James Franklin and his staff are one of the nation’s best

Prior to the game, I had predicted that the bye week would be pivotal in a Penn State blowout (38-10, I was close). We saw that prediction play out on the field, as new wrinkles on offense and a renewed vigor on the the offensive line saw Penn State cut through Michigan’s defense like a hot knife through butter. Trace McSorley looked locked in, Daesean Hamilton said he studied tape of seven different Michigan games, Matt Limegrover did a fantastic job with the offensive line and Brent Pry did his thing.

We saw last year what this staff can do with time to prepare. They showed it again on Saturday and you can be assured that they’ve left a little something up their sleeve for next week’s contest with Ohio State and this Penn State team will be ready to go.