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Penn State 28, Michigan State 7: What Twitter Had To Say

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The Sparty demons have been exercised!

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Even before the game started fans found themselves concerned on Twitter. Between the weather forecast, how the last two season’s games against Sparty went, and just general Mark Dantonio tomfoolery, many fans were lacking confidence entering Saturday’s contest.

While fans were worried about the game, they were excited about the beautiful, prestigious Land Grant Trophy.

While many fans, yours truly included, were nervous entering the game the nerves proved to be not needed. On Penn State’s second drive of the game Sean Clifford threw a touchdown pass to Pat Freiermuth. The Nittany Lions took a 7-0 lead and never looked back.

Clifford’s second drive touchdown pass to Freiermuth was the start of a big game for both players. Clifford started the game 15-for-21, but finished 4-for-11. A lot of his late misses though were due to the weather conditions deteriorating in the second half. Cliff finished the day 18-for-32 with 4 touchdowns.

Cliff also showed some toughness when he landed awkwardly on his left arm late in the second quarter and was slow to get up. When he got up he was clutching his left arm, but he would not miss a single play.

As for Freiermuth, the sophomore tight end was held to just 5 receptions. However, 3 of the 5 went for touchdowns.

After his big performance on Saturday, he has now tied Mike Gesicki for the most touchdown receptions by a tight end in Penn State history with 15. A reminder that Free Moose is only a sophomore.

While it was a quiet day for KJ Hamler, at least by his standards, he still lit up the Twitter world. This came after he made an adjustment in his route on a 2nd quarter pass, hauled in the throw and made a Spartan defender look silly on his way to the end zone.

Hamler also had a return touchdown called back due to a penalty for the second consecutive week. Sorry, KJ, apparently there’s a rule where you’re not allowed to return kicks for a score.

While Hamler had a punt return called back due a running into the kicker penalty, it was great day for the Penn State special team units. Especially punter Blake Gillikin. Gillikin averaged 44.3 yards per punt, had a long of 58 and 5 of his punts were downed inside the 20.

Gillikin also got a lot of help from Dan Chisena and Drew Hartlaub who had excellent games as gunners. This included Chisena recovering a muffed punt inside the 10-yard line to set up Penn State’s 4th and final touchdown.

The special teams also got a boost from defensive end Shaka Toney who blocked a field goal late in the first half. Toney also picked up a sack for the Nittany Lion defense.

Speaking of defensive ends, it was also a big game for Jayson Oweh. The redshirt freshman had the best game of his collegiate career with a pair of strip sacks, the second of which landed in the hands of Ellis Brooks for one of four turnovers forced by the Nittany Lions.

Sticking with young defensive players, it was a coming out party for true freshman cornerback Marquis Wilson. Earlier this week James Franklin told the media that Wilson will now play out the rest of the season and burn his redshirt. Wilson responded by recording his first career interception and nearly hauling in his second.

Helping to lead the way for yet another great defensive performance by the Nittany Lion defense was lienbacker Micah Parsons. Micah was all over the field for Brent Pry’s unit. He was quick to fill gaps, recorded multiple TFLs, made strong open field tackles, and nearly had his first career interception.

Penn State is 8-0. They’re going to be ranked in the top 5 in the country when the AP Poll comes out on Sunday. They’ll likely be in the top 5 of the first College Football Playoff rankings next Tuesday. Time to enjoy a well deserved bye week.