Heading into the week five showdown against Ohio State, the Nittany Lions offense looked to be one of the most explosive in college football. They led the nation in scoring with a spectacular 55.5 points per game, and had a tendency to explode in a drop of a hat to light up the scoreboard. After an average performance against Ohio State, the offense failed to show up against Michigan State- well, all except for running back Miles Sanders.
Sanders has been Penn State’s most reliable player during the first half of 2018, and has proven to be perhaps the top running back in the Big Ten, and one of the best in that nation. Entering Saturday’s contest, the Spartans defense was allowing just 33 yards per game (yes, just 33 yards). However, a determined Sanders ran wild on them to the tune of 162 yards rushing on just 17 carries, averaging 9.5 yards with each attempt.
He also had one of the plays of the year in college football, juking, weaving and running circles around the nation’s best run defense. In a game that ever Penn State fan wants to immediately forget, Sanders 48-yard touchdown scamper was one for the ages.
S Garrett Taylor- Taylor is an easy candidate for the most improved player since week one, getting better with each and every game. He had his best game yet against the Spartans, totaling six tackles, five passes defended, and a nifty interception that he returned 37 yards. It was the second game in a row with an interception for Taylor.
DE Shareef Miller- Outside of Sanders, Miller has been the most consistent performer for the Nittany Lions. He was his usual self, regularly finding ways to disrupt the Spartans offense. Miller finished the afternoon with two TFLs, a sack and one quarterback hurry.