In case you missed it, Penn State defeated Rutgers 23-7 in a game where the final score in no way reflected the actual gameplay.
And you know what? I’m not even mad about it.
Just a couple weeks ago, we all looked at an 0-5 record with a trip to Michigan on the schedule, and realistically considered the possibility that if the team were lose again, they might just pack up their bags and go 0-9 in 2020.
Here we are, 2 weeks later, and the Lions have themselves a win streak.
Two resounding defensive performances later, and there’s a bit more swagger from the team. The defensive line is disruptive, the linebackers can actually pick their gaps and close on their targets, and the secondary is suddenly locking down the pass game.
Is the defense perfect? No, there are still a few silly penalties per game, and the odd broken play still happens here and there, but overall the defense seems much more aggressive and sure of themselves.
The offense, for as vanilla as it has been, suddenly seems much more competent. Lean on the run game, keep the passing game simple, grind out the clock, and put points on the board. When every drive takes at least a few minutes off the clock, it’s hard for the other team to do much, especially with the defense playing so solidly.
It’s also fun when the occasional splash play does pop for the Lions, as you almost get lulled into thinking they forgot about the deep ball, when WHAM 29 yard TD pass to Parker Washington.
Yes, things are looking up. The 2020 team will go down in the record books for the worst start in team history, but the fact that they responded and are on a win streak with just 2 weeks to go shows me some poise and mental strength I wasn’t sure they had.
On to Michigan State!