clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Comeback Kids: Penn State 39, Michigan State 24

New, 507 comments

Make it three in a row.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in 2020, Penn State has itself a come-from-behind victory as it knocked off Michigan State 39-24 despite trailing by 11 at halftime.


The story of the game was the second half. The Nittany Lions went into halftime down 21-10, and if you are anything like the BSD Slack, you were Big Mad ™. Fortunately for Penn State, the second half was a completely different story, with the Nittany Lions outscoring the Spartans 29-3 in the final 30 minutes.

In a reversal of roles, it was the Nittany Lions’ passing attack that took the lead offensively. Sean Clifford was 17-of-27 for 232 yards, while backup quarterback Will Levis actually threw the ball as well, to the tune of 54 passing yards on three attempts. The recipients of Clifford’s and Levis’ throws were — to no surprise — largely Parker Washington and Jahan Dotson. The freshman Washington only had four receptions but two of them went for scores, including this beauty.

Despite the fact that Dotson didn’t have a receiving touchdown, he still found the end zone thanks to a tantalizing 81-yard punt return.

Especially considering how the team started the first half, it’s safe to say the second half was Penn State’s best 30 minutes of football all season. The offense made plays. The defense made plays. The special team made plays. As it turns out, that’s a recipe for success.

The Nittany Lions now await the decision from the Big Ten on which Big Ten West foe will be their opponent for the final game of the season next week. Regardless of who it ends up being, Penn State will have a chance to close the year out on a four-game win streak, something that didn’t seem all too possible after the 0-5 start.