On Saturday afternoon the Penn State Nittany Lions improved to 5-0 on the season with a 35-7 victory over Purdue. While 35-7 is definitely a blow out, this game was not even that close. Despite the comfortable victory, there was still come discontent on Penn State Twitter. But guess what? Cue The Rock voice IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK (about a 28 point victory)! We’re sticking to the good vibes today, because, believe it or not, Penn Starte is not the first time in football history to put together a sluggish quarter or two after jumping out to a quick 28-0 lead.
Leading the way for the Nittany Lions on Saturday was a defense that is rounding into one of the best in the FBS. Brent Pry’s crew held Purdue to 104 yards of total offense, -19 yards rushing, they racked up 10 sacks, and forced a turnover.
PSU defense is filthy.— DJ Shoes (@ShiverMeLimbers) October 5, 2019
Penn State defense is NASTY— Matt Rudisill (@mrudy26) October 5, 2019
Penn State’s Defense is insane...— Bill (@PSU_bd24) October 5, 2019
Penn State defense has such closing speed. Too bad the flag negates a great play.— Mike V.P. (@MikePettigano) October 5, 2019
After the game, James Franklin said that his defense is playing championship caliber football. That they are, coach, that they are. This championship caliber play even caught the eye of ESPN College GameDay analyst David Pollack.
They gots some dudes!!!!!!!!!!! By far the best front 7 on D in the Franklin era. Difference makers at RB and WR, they are the Buckeyes biggest threat. https://t.co/p1TXjihSdS— David Pollack (@davidpollack47) October 5, 2019
The highlight for Penn State’s defense on Saturday was the pass rush. Penn State recorded 10 sacks on Saturday which fell just short of the program’s single game record of 11 sacks set against Illinois in 1999. This sack barrage was led by Shaka Toney who racked up 3 sacks on Saturday.
Shaka Toney has three tackles for PSU...they are all sacks— Andrew Harbaugh (@MandrewNFLDraft) October 5, 2019
Shaka toney is having himself a freeeeaking game— kellie♡ (@kcampp13) October 5, 2019
Shaka Toney is good at football— Aaron Pearson (@APjames_) October 5, 2019
Shaka Toney is a MONSTER— Young Szechuan (@EldridgeTheJedi) October 5, 2019
Shaka Toney is unblockable today— (@j_a155) October 5, 2019
Shaka “Sacks” Toney— Seb (@Seb_C9) October 5, 2019
Yetur Gross-Matos also had a big day on Saturday. The All-American candidate recorded a pair of sacks and spent a majority of the afternoon in the Purdue backfield.
Yetur Gross-Matos is a handful. Strong and athletic. Another sack.— Neal Driscoll (@NealDriscoll) October 5, 2019
Gross-Matos is a beast— Mark (@MarkW_E01) October 5, 2019
Yetur Gross-Matos just SMOKED Jack Plummer on third down. Third sack for Penn State today.— Mike Persak (@MikeDPersak) October 5, 2019
Gross-Matos didn't even hit the ground during that sack, just took Plummer down and stood there— Evan Patrick (@evan7patrick) October 5, 2019
YGM!— Matt Foreman (@FattMoreman) October 5, 2019
The ESPN telecast also discussed Gross-Matos’ love for Crocs. Not everyone on Twitter was amused by YGM’s passion for Crocs.
Gross-Matos has a croc collection? Do nfl teams know this??? That should drop him down at least 3 rounds in the draft minimum— Unlike Agholor (@BladesOfGlory10) October 5, 2019
Nobody:— Scott Wright (@ScottWright77) October 5, 2019
Yetur Gross-Matos: pic.twitter.com/0WxNWLFYmW
Linebacker Micah Parsons was also a handful for the Boilermaker offense on Saturday. The sophomore stud had 5 tackles, a sack, 2 TFLs, and he was routinely blowing up plays for the Nittany Lion defense.
Micah Parsons is a GROWN MAN— (@TheeHatedGator) October 5, 2019
Oh my lord Micah Parsons— Coach Steve Stan Account (@Swagman_79) October 5, 2019
Aaand Micah Parsons makes it 10 sacks for the day.— Mike Persak (@MikeDPersak) October 5, 2019
One off the school record.
Once again, Penn State had 10 sacks on Saturday. 10. Against a Big Ten offensive line to boot!
Penn State with DOUBLE DIGIT sacks!— Sermon On Mount Nittany Pod (@SermonMtNittany) October 5, 2019
Penn State has 10 sacks against Purdue— Slaymie Burkart (@Jamie_Burkart) October 5, 2019
Penn State with 10 sacks and it’s only the beginning of the 4th qtr. nice— Lines Taker (@linestaker) October 5, 2019
During Saturday’s victory the Penn State offense had some struggles. However, they got off to a smoking hot start scoring a touchdown on each of their first four possessions of the game. Leading the way early on was redshirt sophomore quarterback Sean Clifford.
Sean Clifford— (@nigooga) October 5, 2019
Y'all, I am HERE for the Sean Clifford era of Penn State football— Mary Chuff (@Mary_Chuff) October 5, 2019
I love Sean Clifford you guys— Mary Clarke (@marycclarke) October 5, 2019
Sean Clifford really let that one develop. Beautiful throw— Young Szechuan (@EldridgeTheJedi) October 5, 2019
Clifford the— Collin (@CollinHagenbuch) October 5, 2019
Sean Clifford is becoming a star before our eyes.— Emilie's Dad (@BonusCantos) October 5, 2019
Sean Clifford>Justin Fields— Adam (2-2) (@adog5285) October 5, 2019
Clifford finished the game 20/29 for 264 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 33 yards and a touchdown in the Nittany Lion victory.
It was also a big day for redshirt senior tight end Nick Bowers. The Kittanning native’s day was highlighted by an incredible diving catch in the second quarter.
Excellent catch by Penn State TE Nick Bowers pic.twitter.com/KuEnhanMdE— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) October 5, 2019
Bowers. Wow.— PSU News and Notes (@psufball107k) October 5, 2019
Nick Bowers... WOW.— Dustyn Mumma (@SenorFrog56) October 5, 2019
Ok Nick Bowers.— Natty Fran (@natryan7) October 5, 2019
We see you.
Nick Bowers is on one— Thad Campbell (@ThadCampbell20) October 5, 2019
With Penn State using more 12 personnel with Justin Shorter out, Bowers rose to the occasion. He finished with 3 receptions for 66 yards. This included a career long 48-yard gain for Bowers.
As the Penn State offense sputtered in the second half, just as he did against Pitt, running back Noah Cain came to the rescue. On a fourth quarter drive the true freshman had 5 carries for 64 yards and the team’s lone second half touchdown. Cain finished the day with 105 yards rushing and 25 yards receiving.
Noah Cain needs to play much more.— Caleb Glaser (@CGlaser_27) October 5, 2019
hello i had to run to the airport noah cain run my over like a bulldozer— Bill DiFilippo (@billdifilippo) October 5, 2019
So Noah Cain is the starter/lead back now, right? No more of this RBBC? #PennState— Kyle Lucas (@KLucas26) October 5, 2019
Noah Cain is the next great Penn State RB.. hard to believe this kid is only 18— Ian (@ianmccalister) October 5, 2019
Noah Cain is half Clydesdale. Tell me I'm wrong. #PURvsPSU— CrazyForCraftBeer (@JLewis320) October 5, 2019
Moving forward, the Nittany Lion coaching staff needs to use Cain more.
Speaking of the Nittany Lion offensive coaching staff...while some fans were upset with him it was another strong day for offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne. The offensive issues in the second half stemmed more from lack of execution than anything else. All in all, Rahne called a strong game and dialed up some great play designs on Saturday afternoon.
Rahne has been very creative today— Cory V Lestochi (@Cory_Lestochi) October 5, 2019
Great call by Ricky Rahne.— Richard Scarcella (@nittanyrich) October 5, 2019
Clifford fakes handoff on 3rd and 2 and finds Bowers behind the defense for 48 yards.
Ricky Rahne has been on his game the last two games.— Matt Foreman (@FattMoreman) October 5, 2019
This defense is bordering on elite. This offense is fun. The Nittany Lions are 5-0. Iowa.... you’re next!