Well, it was bound to happen. Miles Sanders has been the most consistent performer through three weeks, being named to the ‘Also Considered’ BSD MVP list after each game .On Friday night, Sanders left no doubt in a stunning performance that helped Penn State wallop the Illini by the tune of 62-24.
Sanders certainly knows all about patience. After an offseason of speculation that Penn State just wouldn’t be the same without Saquon Barkley, Sanders has quickly proven to be one of the nation’s top running backs and has brilliantly filled the void as the Nittany Lions primary ball carrier. Following outstanding performances in each of the first three games, Sanders put together a show, finishing with 200 yards on 22 carries (a spectacular 9.1 yards per carry) and three touchdown runs.
After spending the offseason being asked (and asked and asked and asked) if he’s ready to take over for Barkley, Sanders is now on pace for a nearly 2,000 yard and 20 touchdown runs. Not too shabby for someone who wasn’t known well at all outside of State College prior to the season. That is changing- and with a similar performance next week against the Buckeyes, the whole nation will learn that Penn State’s backfield has been quite loaded all along.
RB Ricky Slade- Speaking of a loaded backfield, the true freshman running back also piled up the yards as he sliced through the Illini defense. Slade is still growing as a player, but has the explosiveness to be a home rume threat any time he sees an opening. He came just short of his first 100-yard rushing effort, finishing with 94 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns.
S Jonathan Sutherland- It’s always obvious when Sutherland steps on the field. As soon as he enters the line-up, Sutherland is constantly in on the action. He has an excellent nose for the ball, and certainly enjoys contact. Sutherland led the team with eight tackles, including one TFL.