Play the music!
This season has not gone like anyone anticipated. Penn State sitting 0-5 with major issues on both the offense and the defense. But you know what? That doesn’t matter at this very moment, because Penn State — finally — is victorious, beating Michigan in the Big House 27-17.
I wouldn’t dare say that anything is easy for the Nittany Lions in 2020, but for the most part, this wasn’t the most difficult win in the world. Penn State went up 7-0 after its first drive, which featured a heavy dosage of freshman running back Keyvone Lee — 10 plays, seven of which were runs for Lee. That would be a reoccurring theme for Penn State today, as Lee had a breakout performance, carrying the ball 22 times for 134 yards and one touchdown.
Sean Clifford’s stats were modest: 17-of-28 for 163 yards. His longest pass went for 22 yards to Parker Washington — who also had another great game, hauling in 9 receptions for 93 yards. But for Clifford, the most important thing was that he didn’t lose the game. No interceptions. No fumbles. If you’re Penn State in 2020, that is really all that you are asking for.
Defensively, Penn State made the stops when they needed to. Of course, they were aided by Michigan’s complete inability to throw the football — Cade McNamara and Joe Milton combined for 13-of-28 for just 112 yards — but for a defense that has had trouble in pretty much every game throughout the season, it was a welcomed sight to see the defense come up a big 4th and inches stuff which essentially sealed the game for the Nittany Lions.
2020 has stunk. Even with this win, Penn State still sits at 1-5 — goes without saying, but that type of record will never be acceptable in Happy Valley. But ladies and gents, it feels good to get back in the win column. Now, it will be about finishing the year out strong: Rutgers and Michigan State still lie ahead, two very winnable games for a program that can reset itself in the right direction.