I don’t know about you folks, but I’m getting pretty tired of Penn State losing games in which the statistics say it should not.
And yet, here we are, facing a Citrus Bowl loss where the Nittany Lions outgained the Wildcats by nearly 100 yards.
Kentucky jumped out to a 10-0 lead in large part due to Phil Galiano not having his special teams unit well drilled, again.
Penn State responded with a fantastic drive in the second quarter to cut it to 10-7 where it would remain until halftime.
The Wildcats came out and made a statement drive to begin the second half, running it right down the throats of the Nittany Lions to go up 17-7 on a drive where Cam Brown was ejected for targeting.
Things went from bad to worse when Sean Clifford took the field with the first-team offense for PSU as reports circulated that Trace McSorley had broken his foot and would not return.
Penn State gained just eight yards on five plays and after Kentucky took a 20-7 lead on a 29-yard field goal.
McSorley returned but threw and interception almost immediately that was returned to near midfield. The ‘Cats then scored again and appeared to be running away with it up 27-7.
But then the Nittany Lions seemed to wake up.
McSorley led his team down the field 75 yards in just 2:58 and scored on a 1-yard run.
Penn State forced a three and out and then the Nittany Lions struck again, this time with six-play, 60-yard drive in 2:24 to make it a one-score game at 27-21.
Brent Pry’s unit then forced another three and out and PSU had the ball back looking for the lead.
The offense drove down the field inside the red zone but, facing fourth and six at the 14 with under five minutes to play, James Franklin elected to kick a field goal to cut the score to 27-24.
That decision would prove costly as the Wildcats all but ran out the clock, punting with under 10 seconds to play and leaving the Nittany Lions with just :01 to go 80-plus yards.’
In all. the game was a great description of how the season has gone for PSU: underwhelming and mistake-filled but with flashes of hope.
Penn State finishes the season with a 9-4 record and now will head to the offseason to prepare for Idaho at Beaver Stadium in September.