Penn State handled the Boilermaker offense for most of Saturday, giving up just one touchdown in the second quarter. After scoring on the first four possessions, Sean Clifford threw a rare interception and Purdue took the ball the length of the field for its only points of the day.
The Lions’ offense went six consecutive possessions without a point following the interception. Noah Cain led a dominating drive that ended with a touchdown for the freshman running back in the fourth quarter. It was a scoreless stretch lasting a couple of quarters of game time, but for some anxious fans, it seemed like years. We should be so lucky to have something, anything, to complain about following such a dominating performance.
Seldom does a team play a perfect game and there will be room for improvement for the Lions. Winning a Big Ten game by 28 points should always feel satisfying.
The road gets much tougher moving forward for Penn State so fans may have to get used to the stress of a close game. The next two opponents, Iowa and Michigan, just played a 10-3 defensive battle in Ann Arbor. Michigan State typically wins ugly and makes its opponent play a nasty, hard-fought game even when they lose. Ohio State will be a tough road game.
We are getting into the difficult stretch of the schedule where any win is a good win. The defense was about as good as it gets. The offense was imperfect while scoring 35 points. It was a great day for Penn State and the Homecoming crowd.
So Many Sacks So Little Time
If it seemed as though Penn State sacked Purdue a lot on Saturday it’s because that is what happened. One more sack would have tied the single-game program record. Brent Pry’s defense put together a 10-sack performance, not too shabby. It also had 13 tackles for loss, giving up just 104 total yards, including a total of -19 rushing yards.
In all 8 players registered at least a half of a sack for Penn State, with Shaka Toney leading the way with three.
Sack #1-Shaka Toney
Toney came off the edge for his first sack of the day but he was just the first player to arrive. Robert Windsor was coming up the middle and Yetur Gross-Matos was closing in from the other side.
Sack #2-Shaka Toney
Notice how wide Toney’s split was at the snap. He got off the ball before any other player, then used his speed and agility to get clear around the right tackle.
Sack #3- Yetur Gross-Matos
YGM came all the way around both defensive tackles and the center was not quick enough to slow him down.
Sack #4 Shaka Toney
After beating the tackle with two speed moves to the outside, Toney faked outside then came inside for his third sack of the day.
Sack#5- Fred Hansard
Hansard pushed straight back, never leaving his rushing lane, for a sack right up the middle.
Sack #6 Yetur Gross-Matos
Cam Brown and Micah Parsons each came from the same side as YGM and Purdue did not have enough men to block them all.
Sack #7- Jayson Oweh
Oweh used both speed and power, attacking the left shoulder of the tackle, hardly slowing down on the way to the quarterback.
Sack # 8 Antonio Shelton and Robert Windsor
The two tackles collided at the quarterback for a half-sack each. The play began during an advertisement and the television broadcast team figured that they didn’t need to show the entire play or a replay. We saw so many sacks on Saturday they probably thought we were getting bored of it.
Sack #9 Lamont Wade
Wade came on a well-timed safety blitz, stepping up to linebacker depth just before the snap, then continuing forward for the sack. Wade led all Penn State players with 11 tackles, adding this sack, a tackle for loss and a pass break up.
Sack #10 Micah Parsons
Parsons finished off the string late in the fourth quarter. Parsons had 2 tackles for loss to go with 5 tackles on the day.