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Don’t Be A Turkey, Enjoy The Win! Penn State Football Keeps New Year’s Six Hopes Alive

Winning isn’t always pretty, but it is satisfying.

Penn State v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Penn State football and its fans have much to be thankful for heading toward the fourth Thursday in November. While some fans would have liked to have seen a dominating blowout win, any road victory in Big Ten competition is satisfying.

With just one game left on the regular-season schedule, a match with Maryland two days after Thanksgiving, there isn’t much left of this campaign to savor. And yet there remain goals such as potentially making a New Year’s Six bowl game and getting to ten wins or more for the third straight season.

Younger players are beginning to see the field, mostly at wide receiver, linebacker, and on the defensive line. While watching the final couple of chapters of this year’s story, we see sprinklings of what will come in the future.

Trace McSorley will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in Penn State history. We have just two more chances to watch him play before he joins the ranks of players that have performed in the past, coming back for the Blue-White game and cheering the team on himself, from the safety of the sideline.

It is a great sign for the program that an 8-win season, with two games to play, has done little to excite some fans, who hope for nothing less than a national championship. We all dream of the day when the Lions will compete in the college football playoff; it may come very soon. We should also remember to enjoy the journey along the way.

In the competitive world of NCAA football, what coach Franklin and his team has achieved over the past few years is very impressive. While the future may be brighter, the present place that the program finds itself would be great for the vast majority of teams. Only a handful of the top performing programs in the country would choose their position over where the Lions are, and are heading.

Notes

  • Will Fries was at left tackle for the second week with Ryan Bates moving over to right tackle. Along the offensive line the play is what we will likely see for the rest of the season. At this point it is unlikely that the group will finish with two dominating performances. Inconsistency has been the issue, but also the unit seems to have leveled off in terms of reaching their potential skill ceiling for the season.
  • John Reid and Garrett Taylor each had interceptions on balls that were thrown essentially to no one. The play in the secondary was solid on a day when it was tested just 16 times, allowing just 5 complete passes.
  • Trace McSorley threw the ball 37 times but gained just 4.9 yards per attempt for 183 yards. While McSorley got the job done, including two touchdown passes to freshman tight end Pat Freiermuth, it wasn’t always pretty to watch. The team took a few shots downfield, completing a 35-yard toss to Jahan Dotson, but otherwise the completions were on short passes.
  • The defense played well, forcing three turnovers to go along with 4 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. The Scarlet Knights gained just 46 yards passing.