During the month of November, you want to have a workhorse running back to help carry the offense during the treacherous conditions found in Big Ten country. Fortunately for Penn State, they have just that in Miles Sanders.
The true junior once again proved he is among the best running backs in the nation, by slicing through the Wisconsin defense throughout the afternoon to keep the offense chugging along while the defense shut down the Badgers after allowing a long touchdown in the opening drive.
On his first carry of the game, Sanders hit the hole, bounced to the right and ran down the sideline for a 12-yard gain to pick up a first down. It was a sight that played out over and over as Sanders helped keep Penn State’s offense on the field. Sanders was patient, waiting for a hole to emerge before quickly darting through for a big gain. In all, he averaged 6.9 yards per carry as he rumbled for 159 yards and a touchdown. He also had two grabs for nine yards, and picked up several key blocks to help Trace McSorley upright on a day his mobility was limited as he shook off a nagging knee injury.
Sanders and the offensive line, who arguably had its best outing of 2018, helped Penn State win the time of possession battle by a margin of 33:59 to 26:01 margin- keeping the defense fresh and making sure they didn’t get worn down by Jonathan Taylor, who entered the game as the nation’s leading rusher.
It was Sanders fourth 100 yard-plus game of the season, and his most productive afternoon since rushing for 162 yards against Michigan State in week seven. Sanders also topped the 1,000-yard single-season milestone on Saturday, putting him at 1,007 on the year with a total of three more games remaining.
The Entire Defensive Line- The Wild Dogs played with tenacity from start to finish, helping the defense yield just 10 points in its most complete performance of the season. Wisconsin-native Robert Windsor had a huge with six tackles and two sacks. Yetur Gross-Matos continues to ascend as one of the best defensive ends in the Big Ten and beyond, getting constant pressure and collecting five tackles, a sack, two TFLs and a forced fumble. Shareef Miller was disruptive and joined the sack party with two of his own. Shoutout to Kevin Givens as well- while he only had one tackle show up on the stat sheet, he demands the attention in the middle to make everyone around him better.
Trace McSorley- There’s no one tougher than #9. No one. Once again, McSorley shook off an injury to re-enter the lineup and lead the offense. While it was clear his mobility wasn’t all there, McSorley managed to connect on 19 of his 25 passing attempts for 160 yards and a key touchdown strike to DeAndre Thompkins to even the score back up after Wisconsin’s touchdown early in the game.