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Penn State 35, Michigan State 16: What Twitter Had to Say

It wasn’t always easy or pretty, but in the end the Nittany Lions beat Michigan State by 19 to finish the regular season 10-2

Michigan State v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

As Saturday afternoon’s action began it was a familiar story from the past few weeks - dominant Penn State defense. Manny Diaz’s crew held the Spartans to just 44 yards of total offense in the 1st quarter. This included four tackles for a loss, Tyler Elsdon recovering a fumble, and an Adisa Isaac sack. Penn State allowed just 3 first half points, which came after the officials wrongly put a second back on the clock following a Peyton Thorne spike at the end of the half. I know, Big Ten officials wrongly giving a team from Michigan an extra second? Shocking!

Diaz’s defense seems to be getting better and better each week. Maybe the most encouraging part about Penn State’s defense finishing the season strong is that of the roughly 25 players who get regular minutes at least 18 of them will be back next season. That doesn’t include Cam Miller and KJ Winston having their roles grow, or Zuriah Fisher returning to a full-time capacity post-injury.

Penn State’s offense once again started sluggish. However, on their third drive they would march 90 yards with the drive being capped off by a Theo Johnson touchdown.

The following drive saw Mike Yurcich dig deep in his bag of trick as KeAndre Lambert-Smith would throw a 49-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Johnson. The trickery gave Johnson his first career multi-touchdown game, and put the Nittany Lions ahead 14-0.

In the third quarter we got the Tyler Warren drive. As part of punt coverage he recovered a fumble. Warren, despite being blanketed in coverage, then hauled in a pass from Clifford for a score to make it 21-3 Nittany Lions.

The second half was not always easy. Especially as Michigan State pulled within 21-16 in the 4th quarter. Even as things looked hairy Abdul Carter never did. He continued to fly all over the field with elite athleticism on his way to finishing with 7 tackles, 3 TFLs, and 2 sacks.

Carter also damn near had a pick-6 in the 3rd quarter. A pick-6 that would have given Penn State a 28-3 lead and likely would have led to an absolute romping over the Spartans.

Late in the game Penn State was finally able to start to put things on ice. Clifford hit Nick Singleton on a bubble screen that Singleton took to the end zone, giving Penn State a 28-16 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Following a late interception by Karen King, KLS helped put the finishing touches on the victory with a 35-yard touchdown grab. This catch gave the Nittany Lions a 35-16 lead, and capped off a big day for KLS.

KLS finished the game with 5 receptions for 83 yards and touchdown, in addition to his 48-yard touchdown pass. This included multiple contested and important grabs by KLS. Hopefully this performance is a springboard for the bowl game which proves to be a springboard for 2023.

10-2 regular seasons are nothing to scoff at. Penn State put together a tremendous regular season and is in line to get to 11 wins with a win in a big time bowl game. 2023 could be a lot of fun in Happy Valley.