If there was any doubt remaining that the #LawnBoyz were the best backfield in the conference (and the nation?), the announcement that both Journey Brown and Noah Cain were named to the Doak Walker Award watchlist has squashed all of that.
In 2019, Cain emerged as the primary back despite only starting one game during the early and middle parts of the season, rushing for over 100 yards against both Iowa and Purdue, and a Penn State freshman-record eight touchdowns. Cain’s bruising style allowed him to wear down opponents until his injury against Michigan State caused him to completely miss the loss against Minnesota and to only carry the ball once versus Ohio State.
This was where Brown stepped in (although he saw some playing time early on, and rushed for 109 yards against Pitt) to take on a much larger role. The rising redshirt junior had 124 yards against Minnesota, 100 yards against Indiana, 103 yards against Rutgers, and of course, a program bowl-record 202 record yards in the Cotton Bowl against Memphis. Brown’s 6.89 yards per carry ranked fifth in program history.
Brown and Cain, along with Devyn Ford, Caziah Holmes, Tank Smith, and hopefully Keyvone Lee, will look to dominate defenses when football resumes.
Both players will aim to be the first Nittany Lion to win the award since Larry Johnson in 2002. Three other Penn Staters have been finalists for the award: Ki-Jana Carter in 1994, Curtis Enis is 1997, and Saquon Barkley in 2017.
Congratulations to both Journey and Noah on this honor, proving that the #LawnBoyz are the best in the country.