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Michigan State 21, Penn State 17: What Twitter Had To Say

As you may expect, the world of Twitter was quite the mixed bag during Penn State’s last second loss to Michigan State on Saturday afternoon

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another heartbreaking loss for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Following Saturday’s 21-17 loss against the Michigan State Spartans, the Nittany Lions have lost consecutive home games for the first time since 2014 to fall to 4-2 on the season.

Twitter started to light up before kickoff on Saturday. As part of the homecoming festivities, former Nittany Lion linebacker Michael Mauti was an honorary team captain Saturday afternoon. A guy a named Saquon Barkley was in the house, too.

Oh, and don’t forget that Saturday was the 2018 stripe out game.

Once the game started, it did not take Trace McSorley long to make history. On Penn State’s second possession of the game, the redshirt senior quarterback surpassed Christian Hackenberg as the program’s all-time leading passer.

Unfortunately for McSorley, not much else would go right for him in the loss. In arguably the worst game of his prolific collegiate career McSorley went just 19/32 for 192 yards and a touchdown, he also rushed for 37 yards but averaged just 2.8 yards per carry.

While McSorley struggled in the loss, junior running back Miles Sanders did not. Facing a Spartan rush defense that entered the day as the best in the FBS, Sanders rushed for 162 yards and a score while averaging 9.5 yards per carry. This included a new career best 78 yard rush for Sanders.

Quietly, Sanders has grown into one of the best running backs in the Big Ten.

Penalties played a key role in Penn State’s defeat. Of the six penalties the Nittany Lions committed, none may have been bigger than the unsportsmanlike conduct call on CJ Thorpe in the second quarter. After the Nittany Lion defense stuffed the Spartan offense on three consecutive plays from inside the 2-yard line to set up a 4th and goal, Thorpe was flagged for ‘retaliating’ after being poked in the eye. On the following play, Michigan State scored to tie the game.

Speaking of penalties, Saturday’s crew demonstrated why Big Ten officials have such a poor reputation. Some ticky tacky at best calls went against Penn State, while Michigan State got away with more than a few blatant holding calls. Rightfully so, Nittany Lion fans were not pleased.

It was a mixed bag for Penn State’s secondary in the loss. For the most part, Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke and play making receiver Felton Davis were contained. Two big reasons for this were cornerback John Reid and safety Garrett Taylor. Both of whom played the best games of their 2018 seasons.

It was not all good for the Nittany Lion secondary, though. Redshirt senior Amani Oruwariye dropped three potential interceptions, including one of the second play on Michigan State’s game winning drive that hit him right in the chest and would have sealed victory for Penn State. Oruwariye was also beaten by Davis for the game winning touchdown with just :19 seconds left.

Arguably the most frustrating part of Saturday’s defeat is how many times Michigan State tried to give the game away. Between a poor decision to run a fake field goal gone awry, Mark Dantonio punting while trailing inside the two minute mark, and an erratic day from Lewerke.

Following the loss, many Nittany Lion fans were upset with offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne. As was the case following the team’s loss against Ohio State two weeks ago, questionable play calling from Rahne can be pointed at as a big reason for the team’s loss against the Spartans.

The now 4-2 Nittany Lions will look to get back on track when they travel to Memorial Stadium in Bloomington (IN) to battle the 4-3 Indiana Hoosiers at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon.