Something caught my eye during Penn State’s 30-0 win over Maryland this past weekend, and it didn’t even have to do with the Lions, who were at that very moment sacking Taulia Tagovailoa for the 43rd time.
No, it was the ticker running across the bottom of my screen, informing me of other games going on around the country. Granted, not every team was playing the same caliber of opponent, but in college football weird things happen, so when I saw a slew of interesting scores, it raised my eyebrows:
- No. 6 Oregon lost to No. 25 Washington, 37-34
- No. 12 UCLA was taken down by unranked Arizona, 34-28
- No. 15 UNC just barely got by unranked Wake Forest, 36-34
- No. 16 NC State was upended by unranked Boston College, 21-20
- No. 17 Tulane was beaten by No. 22 UCF, 38-31
- No. 21 Illinois lost to unranked Purdue, 31-24
- No. 24 Kentucky was beaten by unranked Vanderbilt, 24-21
And those were just the upsets in the top 25! Let alone the myriad results where two unranked foes went at it, but the team with the lower win total prevailed.
Like I said, college football is weird sometimes (most times).
So it’s nice when, on any given Saturday, anything can happen, to enjoy a pleasant 30-point, shutout win over a bowl-eligible team hungry to prove it belongs among the big boys in the Big Ten East division.
Just this past Thursday I brought up how the team has quality depth across the board for perhaps the first time in Franklin’s tenure.
Down a whole boatload of starters, against an opponent with something to prove, in poor weather, and given the wackiness of college football, that depth shone. The defense was lights out, never relenting on a rainy November afternoon. The offense put up 27 points in the first half before easing off the gas in the second half.
Eli noted how simply workmanlike the game was for the Lions, and I couldn’t agree more.
This isn’t to say that winning out is a guarantee for the Lions - like I said, weird things happen. But in years past, when half of the OL would go out with injuries, I’d be bracing myself as the team stumbled down the stretch.
But this year?
They’re just takin’ care of business.