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Finishing Strong and Feeling Irie

The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for. -Robert Nesta Marley


Rise up this morning and smile with the rising sun. A new winning streak has begun for the Penn State football team! Listen as the boo birds are obscured by the beautiful sound of winning. In this great future you can’t forget your past. The five previous games remain recorded in history but it’s easy to see now that every little thing is going to be alright.

Penn State fans emerge from the most difficult stretch of games in modern history. What has been easy this year anyway? While it may just be a game, the respite from our other worries is needed and to have your favorite team collect a victory, after more than a month of waiting, should feel good. If it doesn’t feel good then at least recognize that it doesn’t feel bad, and in these times, that isn’t too shabby.

How It Happened

The Lions finally came out ready to play, scoring on their first drive. Keyvone Lee rushed for 39 yards on 7 carries before scoring the opening touchdown for Penn State. The freshman running back finished with 134 yards.

Michigan tied the game a couple of series later on the strength of one long running play that set the team of with a first and goal. Penn State took the ball 76 yards for a touchdown, running for all but 22 yards of distance, to regain the lead. Caziah Holmes ran for 26 yards on the drive and Sean Clifford capped it off with a 28-yard touchdown run. Jake Pinegar added a field goal to give coach James Franklin’s team a 10-point advantage at the half.

Each team scored ten points in the second half. Michigan cut the lead to 7 and then the Lions extended it back to 10. The Wolverines cut the lead to 3 and then Penn State brought it back to 10 with a 12-play 75-yard drive that ate 5 minutes off the clock late in the fourth quarter. One stop by Brent Pry’s defense and a long drive that ended with Sean Clifford taking a knee delivered the win for the Lions.

Parker Washington has shown in recent weeks why the coaches were so excited to get him on the field during his freshman season. He led the team with 9 catches and 93 yards while Jahan Dotson saw the bulk of the Michigan defense’ attention. Dotson and Washington will form a formidable duo for the rest of the year and beyond if Penn State quarterbacks can get them the ball.

Penn State finally had a game with more punts than turnovers and that may have been the difference. There were no short fields handed to the opposition and the defense, while not perfect, had time to catch its breath in between possessions.

Feel Good

News of a Penn State football win will be music to the ears of Nittany Lion faithful. It’s amazing how much one simple victory can add to the atmosphere during an otherwise bleak season. Up until this point the team was like a guitar with no strings. Now it has one string to pluck and that is much better than nothing.

Brushy One String burst on the music scene with his song Chicken in the Corn.

The Lions took it to the Maize and Blue on Saturday and treated Michigan Stadium like its home away from home.

It will be important for the Lions to continue to have good feelings away from home since the team plays at Rutgers next week.

People may wonder how well Brushy One String would be able to play if he had two or more strings. We should probably just sit back and enjoy his music, one string and all, just as Penn State fans will enjoy the lone win for the next few days. The silence is over. Penn State has a mark in the win column and with it, for the first time this year, momentum. It will be interesting to see how the team will respond to the much-needed good vibes.

Hopefully next week we will be accompanied by the musical backing of Kubo and The Two Strings.

If the team wins out and is lucky enough to play four more games, two regular-season, one during Big Ten Championship Week and then a bowl game, it may avoid a losing season. What a turn of events that would be and for those of us that enjoy watching football when it is played well, it would be a great way to finish a challenging season.