Come, friends, sit next to Film Room, as we take a quick stroll down memory lane.
Kill The Lights
Remember 2014 Maryland, aka, the no-handshake game? The Maryland pre-game fake scuffle game? Penn State was ahead by 2 points with 2:30 remaining in the game, facing a 3rd and 6. John Donovan put three tight ends on the field - Jesse James, Kyle Carter (in motion), and Brent Wilkerson (as fullback) - in front of Akeel Lynch, and attempted to run into the Terps’ 3-4 front. It was the same pin-and-pull play PSU had run exclusively since the first drive of the game. (Seriously - it was our only run play that day). The result was so awful that the gif machine wouldn’t make a gif of it, so it had to be linked in the text above. PSU lost 19-20.
A few weeks later, our Lions traveled to luxurious Champaign, Illinois. Facing a critical 3rd down, Penn State spread the field with 11 personnel, and tried a halfback draw to Akeel Lynch. PSU lost 14-16.
Fast forward to October 2015 at Northwestern. Penn State put none other than Saquon Barkley into “the wildcat” to convert a critical 3rd and 1. No bueno. Penn State lost 21-23.
2016 at USC in the Rose Bowl. What a magical, improbable year 2016 was. Penn State won the division. Penn State won the conference. Penn State was winning the Rose Bowl, and needed just one first down to seal the deal. Penn State lost 52-49.
2017 at Ohio State. Old scores would be settled in 2017, including at the Horseshoe - so long as PSU could just pick up a first down. PSU lost 38-39.
2018 vs Michigan State. It’s been one full year since this “game”, and this one remains - not good. It was simply not good. Just - not good. Let’s move along.
Then, finally, as Chris pointed out yesterday, sweet, merciful relief came in a rush:
It wasn’t just that one 3rd down run conversion, either. It was the entire preceding drive, ending in a touchdown and a 17-6 lead. Our Nittany Lions ran 8 consecutive plays on that drive, covering 35 yards. They never passed once! Just ran the bootball like cavemen. Thirty-five of the sweetest yards in football fandom history.
Hit The Lights
The second-ever Film Room post, coincidentally, is this one from April 2012, before this dumb column was called Film Room. Don’t read it - seriously, it’s awful, and the gifs are uglier than sin. But we mention it, because it profiled the drive which won the 2011 Iowa at PSU game - 12 consecutive runs, despite (you guessed it) an awful holding call on then-center Matt Stankiewicz. The whole coming-full-circle thing.
About 10 weeks after that hideous blog post, the innernets exploded with stupidity like the tweet below.
80 scholarships lost over 4 years. Program done. Rest you can overcome. Not that. Done.— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) July 23, 2012
Fortunately, that tweet proved to be the wild-eyed raving of a moron, thanks to our players. But, it also kinda took 8 seasons to repeat the feat of the 2011 PSU o-line.
Why am I telling you this? I dunno. Just - been a crazy 8 years, hasn’t it? My goodness.