As the dust settles following Penn State’s heartbreaking 27-26 loss on Saturday night to Ohio State, the wound is still fresh but it’s not a death blow to the 2018 season. The loss be a hard pill to swallow for fans everywhere but the future remains bright in Happy Valley.
Trace McSorley Deserves Better:
I’m not sure that Trace McSorley could have played any better than he did on Saturday night. McSorley had 461-yards of total offense against the Buckeyes. FOUR-HUNDRED-SIXTY-ONE. That is an amazing number for a quarterback going up against a top 10 team. That being said, as we all know in the game’s biggest play, the ball didn’t end up in McSorley’s hands and that’s unacceptable. Whether it be a QB run or a pass, McSorley needed to have the ball in his hands.
Trace had his signature Heisman game on Saturday and unfortunately because of the result, I’m not sure if anybody is going to remember his performance but it will go down as one of the most valiant efforts in program history. I promise you’re going to see a different Trace McSorley who is going to be on an absolute mission the rest of the season.
This Team Can Play With Anybody:
Okay, so maybe Alabama would be hard to hang with but they may run away with every game this season, even those against Auburn, Georgia, and LSU. But outside of Alabama, this Penn State team on Saturday showed that they are a top 10 team and might be even a top-5 team in reality. If the defense that we all saw on Saturday for the most part is the defense we can expect going forward, the rest of the Big Ten better watch out because no offense in the Big Ten is nearly as strong as Ohio State and the Buckeyes barely had enough for a win. This team is going to be fine going forward, the Michigan game will be difficult because of the circumstances but I’m pretty confident in this team winning out.
Losing McSorley will be a big hit for Penn State but at the same time, with the talent coming into the program, the sky is the absolute limit.
Late Game Collapses:
I gave two positive takeaways but we also have to face reality. This Penn State program has struggled closing out games over the last three seasons. Yes, they won two huge games in 2016 by closing out Ohio State and Wisconsin but since, they’ve lost to USC, Ohio State (2x), and Michigan State. The total point difference in those four losses? Eight points.
That being said, in all of the four losses, the Nittany Lions blew fourth quarter leads. It’s becoming a trend in big games that is unacceptable and has to be fixed going forward. That’s on James Franklin there’s no doubt about it but I also believe that fans need to trust Franklin more than ever going forward. But in the end, a loss is a loss and Penn State is still finding themselves just on the brink of greatness. But for them to do so, these collapses need to stop.