To be blunt, Penn State got their asses kicked on Saturday. No. 14 Penn State fell to 6-3 on the season after getting blasted by No. 5 Michigan 42-7 in the team’s worst game since their last trip to the Big House back in 2016.
Despite the lopsided score, Michigan held up a 14-0 lead at halftime. In the second quarter with Penn State trailing 7-0 the Nittany Lions made a play that appeared to swing momentum in the game. Nick Scott blocked a Quinn Nordin field goal attempt and Garrett Taylor scooped it up and returned it for an apparent game tying touchdown.
However, Zech McPhearson was called for a ‘chop block’ on the play. This was an atrocious call and Big Ten officiating at its finest. As a result, Nittany Lion fans were livid on Twitter and rightfully so.
Shocking, not shocking. @PennStateFball gets robbed by a bad ref call at Michigan.— David Bradnick (@d_bradnick) November 3, 2018
The refs are literally involved in every play in the penn state game. Screwed PSU out of 7 points ...— Eric Baldwin (@KOLD740) November 3, 2018
Should've been TD Penn State— Dean Phillips (@_SayHiEveryday) November 3, 2018
Refs bailed UofM out big time
Very weak call
Despite the phantom chop block call, the Nittany Lions still had the ball at midfield trailing by a touchdown. Well, Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders then had a bad exchange on a zone read leading to a fumble that Michigan recovered. It was just the latest in a long list of self inflicted wounds by Penn State this season.
Great. Thanks to the refs Penn state doesn’t get points on an amazing return and then they fumble.— Cousin Louie (@cousinlou_) November 3, 2018
Never good to be on the opposite side of the NC double A
Refs robbed Penn State and Penn State can't capitalize just about sums up the whole season— Brandon (@Scout5231) November 3, 2018
The self inflicted wounds were not over, though. On the ensuing Michigan possession the Wolverines found themselves in 3rd and 7 before Robert Windsor jumped offsides. Windsor’s penalty made it 3rd and 2, which allowed the Wolverines to go for it, and convert, on 4th and 2. This drive ended it a touchdown making it 14-0 when, without Windsor’s penalty, it may have been 10-0.
Well the offsides penalty kills this drive for #PennState. More mental mistakes for the Lions.— Philly Sports Fanatic (@thunderducks26) November 3, 2018
Penn State continues to make the same mistakes over and over. Free 5 yards again.— bobbyp (@bpfla93) November 3, 2018
While drops were not as big of an issue on Saturday, largely because the offensive line was eaten alive all day long, Brandon Polk did record yet another drop on Penn State’s opening drive. Man fans, understandably so, are over Polk seeing as much playing time as he does.
I can catch more passes than Brandon Polk— Brandon (@Scout5231) November 3, 2018
Brandon Polk drops it and nearly creates a pick six for Michigan.— Derek (@soju_warrior) November 3, 2018
I don't understand how Koa Farmer and Brandon Polk still play— Kyle Rodibaugh (@KyleSteven2811) November 3, 2018
By the end of the day, Nittany Lion fans were fed up with the mental errors and self inflicted wounds.
Penn state would be such a better team if they got rid of stupid stupid stupid mistakes— Tyler (@43nace43) November 3, 2018
Penn State cannot have those self-inflicted mistakes.— Walker Carey (@walkerRcarey) November 3, 2018
Penn State's offensive series/mistakes so far:— Josh Moyer (@ByJoshMoyer) November 3, 2018
Drive 1 -- Needs to take a timeout after the playclock hits "one second" during a punt
Drive 2-- Dropped pass by Polk AND bad spot that went unchallenged by Franklin
Drive 3 -- None ... ran 4 plays and punted
Drive 4 -- Fumble
An area of major disappointment for the Nittany Lions this season has been the offensive line. This unit returned four starters, and lone new starter was a former five-star recruit. The offensive line has not turned into the strength many expected it to be this fall, and Saturday was their worst performance yet.
Live look at Penn State’s offensive line as soon as the ball is snapped pic.twitter.com/gXzn0XkFrq— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) November 3, 2018
Penn State's OL is garbage. Better get some screens going or it's going to be a long afternoon.— ☆IamZiggyHood☆ (@Phins6616) November 3, 2018
Penn State’s OL is in for a rough day.— ｗｏｏｇｉｄｙｂｏｏｇｉｄｙ (@woogidyboogidy) November 3, 2018
Penn State’s offensive line is getting pulverized by Michigan’s pass rushers.— Nate Hinzman (@NateH2TheIzzo) November 3, 2018
The Nittany Lions rushed for a season low 68 yards on Saturday, while allowing a season high five sacks.
Dealing with a knee injury suffered in last week’s victory over Iowa, McSorley struggled throughout the game on Saturday. Penn State’s redshirt senior quarterback was not moving as well as he typically does and was struggling with his throws. This led to McSorley struggling and many fans wanting the Nittany Lions to go to Tommy Stevens.
It’s time for Tommy Stevens— Alex “Fire Ricky Rahne” Robinson (@ARobinsonPSU) November 3, 2018
ok i think its tommy stevens time. trace clearly isnt 100 percent healthy— Brandon Bowen (@brandon_JKL) November 3, 2018
Put Tommy Stevens in already. Obviously Trace doesn’t have it today.— Brook Williamson (@browil22) November 3, 2018
Defense steps up again. I think Tommy Stevens should come in for trace— Andy (@phillysports28) November 3, 2018
Stevens began to play some series for McSorley before eventually taking over for the latter half of the fourth quarter. After throwing a pick-six on his first pass attempt of the game, Stevens completed his other three pass attempts for 35 yards. He also rushed for a team high 52 yards and Penn State’s lone touchdown of the game.
In what has become the norm this season, fans were upset with Penn State’s coaching after the game as well. The masses remain ready to run David Corley, Phil Galiano, and Ricky Rahne out of town. And, to be honest, all three should be relieved of their duties this offseason.
Get him out of this game. David Corley should resign too!— JSteele (@jrsteele1989) November 3, 2018
Weekly fire Phil Galiano tweet— Jaret Gold (@JaretGold) November 3, 2018
If there's a bingo card out there of possible special teams miscues, Phil Galiano has to be pretty darn close to completing it.— Patrick Burns (@PatrickBurns_) November 3, 2018
HOW IS PHIL GALIANO EMPLOYED STILL?— Clay Sauertieg (@ByCSauertieg) November 3, 2018
Time for the Ricky Rahne experiment to come to an end. Even against the best defense, one garbage time TD is unacceptable. Zero creativity, no downfield attack.— Matt Versace (@scary_yerry009) November 3, 2018
If Ricky Rahne still has a job come Monday morning, I will actually lose it— Eric Ybarra (@ericybarra10) November 3, 2018
This game sucked. The Nittany Lions are now 6-3. Thankfully, it is no longer Michigan week and is now Wisconsin week.