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Penn State 53, Memphis 39: What Twitter Had To Say

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It’s time for one last dive into Penn State Twitter for the 2019 season

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis v Penn State Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On Saturday afternoon the Penn State Nittany Lions finished off their 2019 season with a 53-39 victory over the Memphis Tigers in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. With the win, the Nittany Lions capped off their third 11 win season in four years. It was also their second New Year’s Six victory in that four year stretch.

Leading the way for the Nittany Lion offense that scored a program bowl record 53 points was redshirt sophomore running back Journey Brown. On his way to being named the game’s offensive MVP Brown put together one of the best bowl performances in program history rushing for 202 yards and a pair of scores.

The big game from Brown included a 32-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the game. On this run Brown ran over/stiff armed multiple Tiger defenders before turning on the jets and reaching the end zone.

Brown averaged 12.6 yards per carry, pacing the way for a potent Nittany Lion rushing attack. The #LawnBoyz were out in full force on Saturday. Brown, Noah Cain, Ricky Slade, and Devyn Ford combined to rush for 368 yards. Other than Slade, who averaged 11.6 yard per carry, each of them found the end zone at least once.

Penn State has one of the most talented running back rooms in the country, and then finished their 2019 campaign with a great performance on Saturday.

For as fun as Penn State’s offense was to watch, the defense was that frustrating. The secondary, outside of John Reid who had an excellent game in coverage, struggled and the tackle was poor.

While the defense struggled, to their credit, when they needed to make stops they did. A big part of Penn State’s victory was the defense holding Memphis to field goals on six occasions.

The defense took its lumps at times on Saturday, but that did not apply to linebacker Micah Parsons. On his way to earning Defensive MVP honors, Parsons had one of the best games I have ever seen from a defensive player.

The All-American linebacker finished with 14 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks, 2 pass break ups, a forced fumble, and a quarterback hurry. He pressured Brady White to force an interception that Garrett Taylor returned for a touchdown and Micah was blowing up one play after another all game long. Saturday’s performance solidified Micah as one of the best defensive players in the country, and potentially a Heisman contender entering 2020.

Another defensive player that had a strong game was defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos. In his final game before going pro, YGM was a problem for the Memphis offensive line throughout the game.

In his collegiate swan song YGM recorded a sack, a TFL and an additional quarterback hurry. There were also multiple plays on which he drove the offensive lineman across from him into the backfield derailing the play.

Another player that balled out in his Penn State finale was punter Blake Gillikin. The Georgia native averaged 45.3 yards per punt on his three punts. This included a 57 yard boomer to start his day.

That will do it for the Cotton Bowl. For the third time in four years the Nittany Lions have finished the season with 11 wins after a trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl. They have won two of those three bowls. Now it’s onto an offseason that will see the Nittany Lions get hyped up as one of the top College Football Playoff contenders entering 2020.

All aboard the hype train bay bay!