In case you missed it, Penn State made a STATEMENT on Saturday, venturing into the Alabamian heat and emerging from one of the most voodoo-y stadiums this side of Kinnick with an emphatic 41-12 win.
It wasn’t that the Lions controlled all three phases of the game. It wasn’t that the gameplan came together almost stunningly well. It wasn’t that Sean Clifford once again played virtually mistake-free football on the road in a hostile environment.
It was that Penn State could run the ball.
For whatever reason Penn State has struggled to rush the ball since 2019. The last time I felt comfortable in the knowledge that the Lions could run the ball effectively was when Journey Brown romped through the Memphis defense in the Cotton Bowl following the 2019 season.
It has been a minute.
There have been plenty of good backs since then, and good coordinators too. But for whatever reason PSU simply could not effectively rush the ball.
That appeared to be the case even in the win over Purdue, where you could see that the freshmen were good, but the Lions couldn’t quite spring them free. Another year, another set of the OL and RBs not being on the same page.
Then came Ohio, and Nick Singleton’s coming out party, to the tune of 179 rushing yards. Oh, but that’s just Ohio, they can’t keep it up against a REAL team. Certainly not against Auburn, with all of their SEC speed. Against the Tigers?
Nick Singleton: 10 carries, 124 yards, 12.4 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns
Kaytron Allen: 9 carries, 52 yards, 5.8 YPC, 2 TDs
Devyn Ford: 7 carries, 37 yards, 5.3 YPC
Keyvone Lee: 4 carries, 18 yards, 4.5 YPC
All told, the Lions put up 245 yards on the ground, at 6.3 yards per carry, and 5 TDs.
To steal a line from Deion Sanders, Penn State can run run.