On Saturday afternoon James Franklin led the No. 14 Penn State Nittany Lions into Piscataway, New Jersey, for the team’s final road game of the 2018 season. Following an escape from Piscataway with a less than exciting 20-7 victory, the Nittany Lions are now 8-3 on the season. Saturday’s victory, however, was a bit painful to watch.
After Saturday’s loss, Rutgers is now 7-28 under the leadership of head coach Chris Ash. Maybe that’s why the stadium was void of Scarlet Knight fans.
Rutgers Football: feel the excitement! pic.twitter.com/7Jq3Fow7jD— Dan Arnoldi (@ArnoldiPSU) November 17, 2018
15 minutes before kickoff. pic.twitter.com/xQ6F8ZALs0— Mark Brennan (@MarkXBrennan) November 17, 2018
Those bleachers look nice and empty, classic Rutgers https://t.co/V2rVPiOTsE— Jake Grant (@jake_grant1000) November 17, 2018
Crowd at Rutgers 9 minutes out from kickoff pic.twitter.com/6ApH7L7me7— Peter Terpstra (@PeetaWTAJ) November 17, 2018
From the time the game started until the end, Sean Spencer’s Wild Dogs dominated the line of scrimmage. Prior to Saturday’s game Rutgers had allowed just 12 sacks all season. Well, Penn State’s defensive line recorded three of the team’s four sacks on Saturday.
Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller, Robert Windsor, Kevin Givens, Antonio Shelton, and PJ Mustipher all had strong games for the Nittany Lions on the defensive line. Daniel Joseph got in on the fun too by doing the elusive and recovering a fumble for Penn State’s defense.
YEET— (@j_a155) November 17, 2018
A Shareef Miller sack caps off another Rutgers three-and-out, and Penn State takes over with great field position on the RU 28 yard line. Nittany Lions 0, Scarlet Knights 0 with 10:39 to go in the 1Q.— Penn State CommRadio (@PSUCommRadio) November 17, 2018
As Jonathan Sutherland said, “I feel bad for that quarterback.” No one was there to even slow Shareef Miller down. https://t.co/30QX2Rpzfz— Giana (@giana_jade) November 17, 2018
Kevin Givens with the big 3rd down stop at the goal line.— breezy (@brianapamela97) November 17, 2018
Bull rush by Kevin Givens stones Rutgers on 3rd-and-goal.— Mark Wogenrich (@MarkWogenrich) November 17, 2018
Robert Windsor forces the fumble and Daniel Joseph recovers it.— breezy (@brianapamela97) November 17, 2018
Daniel Joseph! Dude was my favorite recruit. My boy.— Knicks Knox Paddy Doxxed (@NamelessRanger) November 17, 2018
When things were all said and done, Penn State’s defensive line had four sacks, eight TFLs, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. They also batted down two passes at the line of scrimmage and drew three holding calls. Give Coach Chaos a blank check this offseason please and thank you.
True freshman linebacker Micah Parsons finally made his first career start on Saturday and he did not disappoint. The Harrisburg native was all over the field punishing one Rutgers ball carrier after another. Parsons finished the game with seven tackles, a sack, two TFLs, and he forced a fumble.
micah parsons is art sitkowski’s new dad— len damico (@lendamico) November 17, 2018
Micah Parsons is a god among men— Dr. Rigormortis (@ChiefOfHunger) November 17, 2018
That’s where Micah Parsons is at his best! Getting after the QB off the edge.— Paul Roberts (@PaulRobertsWEEU) November 17, 2018
Micah Parsons tells Blackshear NO SOUP FOR YOU!!— Victory Bell Rings (@VictoryBellRing) November 17, 2018
Micah Parsons is a dawg— Gene Petruzzi (@GenePetruzzi) November 17, 2018
Speaking of that fumble Parsons forced, the Nittany Lions failed to recover it. This marked approximately the 1,000th fumble that Penn State forced this season but failed to recovery. Drops by the wide receivers continued to be an issue as well.
Death— Paddy Cotter (@PaddyCotter) November 17, 2018
Penn State can’t recover fumble
Penn State’s ability to recover a fumble is embarrassing. You have 4 guys running down the ball and 0 Rutgers guys and you all miss.— Mack Schrock (@schrockmr) November 17, 2018
penn state’s 15 bowl practices are going to be dedicated to catching footballs and falling on fumbles and nothing else— Bill DiFilippo (@billdifilippo) November 17, 2018
Penn State received still have a bad case of the drops. Smh.— Alex Nibert (@alexnibert) November 17, 2018
These young receivers this year are killing penn state so many drops— Nick (@N_mas11) November 17, 2018
There was also a play in the third quarter that was very Rutgers. With Penn State leading 13-0 the Scarlet Knights ran their version of the ‘Philly Special’. The play worked to perfection as quarterback Giovanni Rescigno was wide open in the end zone....but, in true Rutgers fashion, he dropped the ball.
Rutgers runs the Philly Special perfectly on 4th and goal only to drop a wide open pass.— Kevin Taddei (@kevtaddei) November 17, 2018
Love my team. pic.twitter.com/LkRwxeUIqS
Wow, that play simply is the Rutgers team in a nutshell!— Victory Bell Rings (@VictoryBellRing) November 17, 2018
That play is just who Rutgers is.— Corey (@Black_And_Gold7) November 17, 2018
Thank god Rutgers is… Rutgers lol— Mary Clarke (@marycclarke) November 17, 2018
They Rutger’d.— Sean Fitz (@seanfitz247) November 17, 2018
Throughout the day Penn State’s defense dominated a porous Rutgers offense. Holding the Scarlet Knights to just 234 yards of total offense and one score while forcing three turnovers, Brent Pry’s group carried the weight today while the offense sputtered.
Penn State's defense vs Penn State's offense pic.twitter.com/xBsJ7kwrpF— Vincent Lungaro (@VinceLungaro) November 17, 2018
Penn State defense really looking strong today— Barry Leonard Jr. (@barryleonardjr) November 17, 2018
Penn State defense is actually outplaying their offense— Ross Shumate (@Rossthaboss20) November 17, 2018
While Penn State’s offense was rough on Saturday, Pat Freiermuth continues to emerge as one of the best tight ends in the Big Ten. The true freshman hauled in three passes for 47 yards and a pair of scores.
Where would Penn State's passing game be without Pat Freiermuth this season?— Patrick Burns (@PatrickBurns_) November 17, 2018
Freiermuth is so good— Steelers are still winning the AFC North (@DeckTheCards) November 17, 2018
PAT SCORERMUTH— Jeremy Reeder (@TheJeremyReeder) November 17, 2018
In other news... Pat Freiermuth is very very good— PSU recruiting (@PSU_Strong) November 17, 2018
It was also a record setting day for senior signal caller Trace McSorley. On top of eclipsing 100 career touchdowns, McSorley picked up his 30th career win on Saturday. This victory makes Trace the winningest quarterback in program history.
"Trace McSorley. The Ricki Bobby of PSU quarterbacks."— Erik Fred (@BlG_RED_13) November 17, 2018
A reminder that before McSorley obliterated Penn State's record books, the all-time program record for total TDs was 65...https://t.co/fFxRUIBRvd— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) November 17, 2018
I’ve really appreciated watching Trace McSorley over the last few seasons. Gutsy player. All around good guy. Happy for him to reach this milestone https://t.co/Xw2FCge0nI— Johannes Schneider (@jocoolwu) November 17, 2018
Congrats, Trace, and thank you for all that you have done for this program!
That does it for this week. Penn State is now 8-3. It’s Maryland, and Senior Day, week.