It’s fair to say things seemed off for Penn State’s offense from the start on Saturday. The first two series ended with three and outs. The running game got a few things going, but with little consistency. Sean Clifford struggled to get Parker Washington and KeAndre Lambert-Smith involved in the passing game. Fortunately, Superman was wearing a blue and white jersey.
Dotson’s first catch capped off drive number three - the first not to end after three downs. He slipped past the defense for a 38 yard touchdown for the first points of the game. Shortly after, he converted a third down with a 13-yard snag.
Penn State went into halftime with just a 7-0 lead, and Maryland responded with a touchdown drive to open up their second half. Needing to find something, Clifford wisely looked to Dotson - first to keep the drive alive on a key third and four, then hitting him down the middle for a 21-yard touchdown to push the score to 14-6.
Maryland would rally back with another touchdown drive, and cap it off with a two-point conversion to tie the game 14-14. It appeared momentum was about to fully shift to the Terps when the next drive started with Clifford getting taken down for a sack. Disaster seemed to be looming for the Nittany Lions as they headed into the fourth quarter.
Then Dotson made a game-defining play that only someone of his caliber can make. He somehow slipped through the Terps secondary, caught a pass over the middle and went into that extra gear that no one else can replicate. Most receivers would have been caught, but not before a significant gain. However, as soon as Dotson grasped the ball you knew the play was ending with a touchdown. The 86-yard score put Penn State up for good.
He still wasn’t done. Two drives later, Dotson had another big play with a 45-yard reception to set up a field goal that gave the Nittany Lions some breathing room with a 24-14 lead.
It was Dotson’s best game as a Nittany Lion, and the best game for a wide receiver in the program’s history. Dotson’s 242 receiving yards on the day smashed Deon Butler’s 216 mark he set 15 years ago. Dotson is just the fourth Nittany Lion to gain over 200 receiving yards in a game, joining fellow legends Butler, O.J. McDuffie and Bobby Engram.
It was a memorable afternoon for Dotson, yet one that the nation’s best wide receiver could top yet again.