Well.... that sucked. In a game they had no business losing, the Penn State Nittany Lions dropped their season opener against the Indiana Hoosiers 36-35 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Nittany Lions are now 0-1 and are starring down the daunting task of hosting the Ohio State Buckeyes next Saturday night.
Saturday’s game was a roller coaster ride, as was Penn State Twitter. There were highs and there were lows. This included some super highs and some real, real lows. So, for the firs time in 2020, let’s dive into how Penn State Twitter reacted to a Nittany Lion game.
Early on all was right with the world. Penn State got the ball and marched down the field. The dirve ended in a touchdown catch by Pat Freiermuth.
pat freiermuth is gonna make like 8 pro bowls in a few years— Mitch Stewart (@mitchystew) October 24, 2020
I wish Pat Freiermuth's name was easier to spell with how much I end up typing it on here.#WeAre— Downtown Gandalf Brackenbrown (@ShiverMeLimbers) October 24, 2020
Pat Freiermuth: “I’m back”— Sam Ellis (@sam_ellis15) October 24, 2020
“I’m back” - first round TE Pat Freiermuth— Melissa Etheridge Fan (@chelk_me_out) October 24, 2020
This touchdown catch gives Moose 16 touchdown catches in his career, a new Penn State record for tigth ends. The rest of the first half, however, would be an unmitigated disaster for the Nittany Lions.
Despite a Will Levis fumble inside the 10-yard line, Penn State had the chance to still get points before halftime. This came when Lamont Wade recovered an Indiana fumble with :02 seconds left. Even though this set up an easy field goal for Jake Pinegar, because this is just how this game went, Pinegar doinked the try off the upright to send Indiana into the locker room leading 17-7.
We do see Jake Pinegar. And a nightmare second quarter for Penn State gets worse. Wow. https://t.co/G5SrzaozbY— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) October 24, 2020
Bruh Jake Pinegar— College Football Rankings ™ (@CFBRanking) October 24, 2020
Me: "oo Jake Pinegar I trust him"— Erika (@MsErika_B) October 24, 2020
At hafltime, fans, myself included, were pretty damn frsutrated about the Nittany Lions trailing depsite out gaining Indiana 173-87.
Penn State looks absolutely God awful in the worst way and it’s painful to watch— Zach Fernandez (@ZFernandez13) October 24, 2020
Penn state. Cmon. Please please get this bread— mia borseti (@miaborseti1) October 24, 2020
Penn State, what the hell is this?— Troy Beck (@troybeck) October 24, 2020
This penn state game is driving me insane. I’m working so I didn’t see much but what I did see pissed me off. Play better boys— Auntie Shaq (@shaqathe9) October 24, 2020
With Journey Brown out and Noah Cain exiting the game in the 1st quarter, it created opportunity for the freshman running backs. Keyvone Lee took adavantage and Nittany Lion fans took notice.
The defense when Keyvone Lee is running at them pic.twitter.com/3P6gx4JxcF— Aaron Yorke (@AaronPYorke) October 24, 2020
Keyvone Lee has looked really good running the ball. He's been Penn State's best back since Cain left the game with an injury.— Jon Sauber (@JonSauber) October 24, 2020
Keyvone Lee SZN.— Votetrick Usher (@pat_usher) October 24, 2020
Lee finished the game with 35 rushing yards, and a healthy 5.8 YPC average, to go along with a pair of receptions.
Another new comer who had a strong game was cornerback Joey Porter Jr. In his first career start, the son of the former NFL All-Pro linebacker had 5 tackles, a sack and a pass break up. He also had great coverage throughout the game.
Hello Joey Porter Jr.!!! Sack on 3rd down.— Kris Petersen (@GoPSUKris) October 24, 2020
Wanna feel old? Joey Porter Jr. out here making plays for Penn State.— Warren Dunkett (@SlamDunkStock) October 24, 2020
Joey Porter Jr!— Let's Talk Penn State Podcast (@LetsTalkPennSt) October 24, 2020
Joey Porter Jr is the best player in CFB history— Mr. Kelce (@captbeardguy) October 24, 2020
Late in the 4th quarter, despite his struggles throughout the game, quarterback Sean Clifford connected with Jahan Dotson for a 60-yard touchdown pass. A touchdown pass that gave Penn State a 21-20 lead.
JAHAN DOTSON LFG!!!!— Alex Barr (@AlexBarr29) October 24, 2020
Jahan Dotson. Holy Moly.— Go Dodgers (@akaMaravich) October 24, 2020
SEAN CLIFFORD ➡️ JAHAN DOTSON— #FireAdamGase (@SlightNegative) October 24, 2020
Jahan Dotson Clutch— Bobby Fox (@BobbyFox3) October 24, 2020
JAHAN DOTSON!!!!— jαyne (@GI_Jayneee) October 24, 2020
When Penn State escaped Bloomington with a victory in 2018, 4 sacks in the 4th quarter from Shaka Toney was a major factor. On Saturday, Shaka tried to do it again. He got back-to-back sacks on Indiana’s penultimate possession in regulation, and these two sacks should have helped to put the game on ice for Penn State.
shaka toney https://t.co/Y6sFCKSPYr— Rite Aid (Essential Business ) Fun Facts (@BigPaper71) October 24, 2020
SHAKA TONEY WHAT A SERIES!— Mike Ianniello (@Ianniello21) October 24, 2020
SHAKA TONEY IS A DAWG!!! GROWN MAN PLAYS— J. Wayne (@OVO_Waynus) October 24, 2020
No answer for Shaka Toney on this drive as Penix is forced out of the pocket and throws an incomplete pass to Hendershot. 4th and long for the Hoosiers. #iufb— Andrew Rude (@andrewmrude) October 24, 2020
SHAKA TONEY SZN— Penn State Profile (@PSU_Profile) October 24, 2020
Shaka Toney is giving the LT from Indiana hell.— Gabe Kuhn (@G_Kuhn71) October 24, 2020
Unfortunately, following the two sacks by Toney that helped force an Indiana turnover on downs that appeared to put the game on ice ofr Penn State, poor coaching then took over for the Nittany Lions. James Franklin fell into Indiana’s trap of letting Devyn Ford score a touchdown with 1:42 remaining when Penn State should have just kneeled out the clock. He also did not run another play prior to Jordan Stout misses a potential game-winning 57-yard field goal with :03 left... a field goal that was short by about a yard. Not going for two after Ford’s touchdown put Penn State up by 7 was a mistake, too.
James Franklin can recruit but cant coach. Seven seasons and the same old. Awful clock management again.This liss is on him— John DiTullio (@JohnDitullio) October 25, 2020
James Franklin should never be allowed to coach a football game after that I’m sorry— Mike (@mikecontento23) October 25, 2020
It's once again time to clown on James Franklin for questionable decision making— Andrew Chen (@delenandrew) October 25, 2020
James Franklin should apologize to the team. Today, tomorrow, every day for a long time.— ok (@ghostoffielding) October 25, 2020
My initial thought was to blame Devyn Ford for not knowing the situation.— Drew Pellman (@Drew_Pellman) October 25, 2020
And he should've.
But this is on James Franklin and only him. You do not let the offense back on the field without them understanding the damn plan.
Like I said, no one can defend him this time. https://t.co/HBZ85He2Tr
Please tell me someone asked James Franklin in the press conference about scoring the last TD in the 4th qtr. IU had 1 TO left, all Penn St had to do was kneel 3x, kick a FG, and then IU would’ve had about 10 seconds left to drive the length of the field for a TD. #PennState #IU— Andrew Dreibelbis (@ADrewD) October 25, 2020
In overtime, things were looking promising for Penn State. The Nittany Lions lead 35-28 while Indiana faced a 3rd down at the 9-yard line. This lead was due to a touchdown catch in overtime by true freshman Parker Washington who made the start in his collegiate debut.
Welcome to Happy Valley, Parker Washington.— RR. (@RonReddJr) October 24, 2020
Parker Washington will be so damn good in a year or two— Adam (@BaseballandCFB) October 24, 2020
Shout out to Parker Washington— Tom Wendell (@tomwendell) October 24, 2020
Parker Washington is the next great WR for PSU— Taylor Kinsey (@taylor_gang152) October 24, 2020
PARKER. WASHINGTON. FINISH THIS DEFENSE— Andrew Redding (@a_redding7) October 24, 2020
Washington caught just two passes in his collegiate debut, but this included the aforementioned touchdown. He also nearly hauled in a A+ catch in the 4th quarter on which he drew a critical pass interference.
Then came the controversary. After Indiana scored to make the score 35-34 head man Tom Allen called a timeout and made the decision to go for two. Quarterback Micahel Penix appeared to be out of bounds before reaching the pylon for the winning two-point conversion. However, even after a lenghty review, the officials ruled he had reached the end zone.
Referees got all this technology and still can’t make a correct call. Penn State did they thing and the ref blew a call— ASTRONAUT KID☄️ (@almightyoc) October 25, 2020
More like the Big Ten refs upset Penn State in overtime https://t.co/DK30vu10CA— Bree Ryback (@CapitolRomance) October 25, 2020
Fire the refs from the Penn State - Indiana game.— Ron Freakin' Swanson (@sgreene1985) October 25, 2020
I just saw the replay of the Indiana vs. Penn State game. Looks like Indiana came up just short on the 2-point conversion. How do the refs miss that?— Lori Rubinson (@LRubinson) October 25, 2020
Big 10 refs leading the Heisman race after upsetting Penn State today— Christopher Russell Rongey (@CRongey1) October 25, 2020
Make no mistake about it, depsite the bad call, this loss is NOT on offciating. This loss is on Penn State. Penn State committed three turnovers, not the officials. Penn State missed three field goals, including one inside the 10-yard line, not the officials. Penn State made terrible coaching decisions, including deciding to NOT kneel out the clock with the lead, not the officials. With better playing and, most importantly, coaching, the officials never would have been in a position to make that call.
Cant complain about the refs.... Penn State had hundreds of ways to put that game away. But if the B1G doesn’t start holding refs accountable for poor game-changing calls then it’ll just continue to get worse— Henry Smychynsky (@ohenry66) October 25, 2020
What the refs didn’t do was turn the ball over three times, miss multiple field goals, commit 10 penalties, or fail to run out the clock when they had the chance. This was a very sub-standard performance. Here’s hoping things get better—quickly. #WeAre #PennState #B1G— Matt McDonald (@GoNUmatt) October 25, 2020