Penn State’s offense had a new wrinkle on Saturday. With four capable running backs, each has had their moments through the first nine games. But none of had the opportunity to take over a game like Journey Brown did on Saturday, proving he can be an electrifying back that produces all afternoon long.
Brown answered an early Minnesota touchdown with a 45-yard score that showed how dangerous he can be with just a little bit of wiggle room. Brown took the hand off, made a decisive cut after seeing a hole open to his left, and raced around and through half of the Gophers defense on the way to the end zone. It demonstrated the work Brown has put into becoming a complete back since arriving in Happy Valley, combining his outstanding speed with vision, patience and power that make those types of plays possible. Brown would reach the end zone again later, racing around the right side for a six-yard score. It would erase the deficit to five, giving Penn State a shot for a comeback victory that eventually came short on the team’s final drive of the game.
Brown was a major factor throughout the day, helping the offense reach 518 total yards. He finished with 124 yards on the ground on 14 carries, good for an 8.9 yard average with two touchdowns. He also contributed a reception that went for 17 yards.
WR KJ Hamler and TE Pat Freiermuth- It’s become clear that both Penn State’s star receiver and tight end must have big days for the passing game to get going. Both were up to the challenge against Minnesota with 100-plus yard days. Hamler finished with seven receptions for 119 yards, with Freiermuth also catching seven passes that resulted in 101 yards on the day.
LB Jan Johnson- The senior Bulsworth Award finalist was his reliable self, this time having a standout performance with a team-leading (tied with Micah Parsons) 11 tackles and three TFLs.