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What Twitter Had to Say: Rose Bowl Edition

Penn State Twitter was a lot of fun during the Nittany Lions Rose Bowl victory over Utah

Rose Bowl - Utah v Penn State Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Penn State defeated Utah 35-21 on Tuesday evening in the 109th edition of the grandaddy of them all — the Rose Bowl. Penn State Twitter was a fun place to be during the game, especially in the second half as the Nittany Lions started to pull away toward victory.

To start the game the Nittany Lion defense was looking strong. Powered by a terrific open field tackle by Adisa Isaac on second down, Manny Diaz’s unit forced a three-and-out to start the game.

Then on the second Utah possession of the day, Kalen King reeled in an athletic interception. All season long King was overshadowed by future first-round pick and All-American Joey Porter Jr., but King could very easily be earning those same accolades next year.

King’s interception even drew praise from Jaquan Brisker, someone who knows and thing or two about good defensive back play.

The interception by King helped set up the first touchdown of the game. It came via a touchdown run by Nick Singleton out of the much talked about T-formation, giving Penn State a 7-0 lead.

Rightfully so, Singleton’s touchdown even made the Sickos Committee proud.

Both King and Johnny Dixon missed some first half snaps. Dixon’s was due to being dinged up after a play, and King had to run to the locker room for something at one point as well. This led to extended reps for Marquis Wilson. Unfortunately, they did not go well. On a three play sequence Wilson lost the ball in coverage and fell down leading to a 47-yard gain on third and 10, he missed a tackle, and then failed to get lineup properly on a Utah touchdown run.

One of the biggest highlights of the game’s first half was Sean Clifford. The sixth-year quarterback had arguably the best half of his career, going 12/15 for 146 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

Clifford’s first half success went deeper than just the numbers. He used his legs to extend plays, his eyes to move safeties, and was locked in making some absolutely bullet throws.

To end the first half the Utes were able to get the ball to around midfield and appeared to be threatening to get into field goal range before the end of the half. Well, Curtis Jacobs made sure this would not happen as he sacked Utah quarterback Cam Rising to end the half.

The start of the second half was very similar to the end of the first half. With Utah driving, Jacobs blew up a drive with a sack. This time it came when Utah tried to get overly cute and attempt a trick play, but Jacobs had none of it leading to a Utes punt.

Penn State had a pair of iconic touchdowns in this game. The first of which came on their first drive of the second half. Singleton ripped off an 87-yard touchdown run, the third longest run in Rose Bowl history, putting him beside Ki-Jana Carter and Saquon Barkley in Penn State Rose Bowl history/lore.

Following the Singleton touchdown run, Utah quarterback Cam Rising was knocked out of the game. Before anyone tries to diminish Penn State’s victory, Rising does not play defense. Also, unlike Ohio State last season when Rising got injured, Penn State was winning.

Anyway, following the Rising injury Penn State’s defense started to tee off on backup quarterback Bryson Barnes. This included Barnes making a poor throw that was intercepted by Ji’Ayir Brown.

With Penn State still leading 21-14 in the third quarter Utah lined up to punt. Utah punter Jack Bouwmeester ever so slightly had his foot catch the top of Adisa Isaac’s helmet. This led to Bouwmeester flopping to the ground as if he had been taken out by a snipper from atop the stadium.

I am happy to report that after rolling around on the ground for an extended period of time and needing to be helped off the field, Bouwmeester returned to the field to punt later in the game.

After this horrifying, vicious hit on the Utah punter, the Nittany Lions struck for a big play again. This time it was an 88-yard touchdown pass from Clifford to KeAndre Lambert-Smith, which was the longest pass play in Rose Bowl history. It may have been costly for KLS as he appeared to injure his hamstring on the play, but I’m sure that’s a trade he’ll take.

As the game went on Clifford continue to play extremely well. He put together arguably the best game of his career as he completed what was truly a legacy type of game for the sixth-year senior quarterback.

What an incredible season for the Nittany Lions. Penn State finishes 11-2 and as Rose Bowl Champions, with all of this coming in a season that most people predicted 9-3 or 8-4 for the Nittany Lions. Now it's full steam ahead to the 2023 season, a season that should see the Nittany Lions enter the season as a top 5-10 team. Let the hype train begin.