Since the last blog, Penn State has played two games, and won both on the scoreboard but went 1-1 against the spread. On national television, in front of 109,000+ fans, the 4th ranked Lions took the field against bitter rival Pitt hoping to avenge a gut wrenching 42-39 loss last season that may have ultimately kept the Lions out of the CFP. Before the game, the crowd was rocking as the 2016 sign to commemorate last year’s magical season was unveiled. Getting off to a fast start, in the first defensive series, DB Grant Haley intercepted a pass and returned it to inside the ten yardline. One play later, it was 7-0. State never looked back. The largest crowd in several yearswas treated to a 33-14 victory. This result, however, was not good enough for the AP voters as the Lions dropped to 5 in the poll, behind USC who dominated a top 20 Stanford squad.
One week later, on September 16, the Nittany Lions faced off against the Georgia State Panthers under the lights. Despite the fact that the 38.5 point spread on the game was the largest in PSU history, the atmosphere was electrifying. Potentially more important than the game at hand, were the several top target recruits on hand at the game to witness Beaver Stadium and America’s best student section at night. With a game that was going to end in a PSU win before it even started, the fans were given a chance to celebrate a lot of touchdowns, none more impressive than this 85 yard reception by the incredible, Saquon Barkley.
Saquon Barkley turned the jets on ? pic.twitter.com/6ZdV8HsB7P
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 17, 2017
The rest of the game was mop up duty as the reserves got to play. With the game well out of reach, and the clock winding down, Georgia State lined up to attempt a field go to prevent being shutout. It was a very makable field goal, and he made it- except, coach Franklin, had called a timeout seconds before the ball was snapped. This decision has drawn some controversy with members of the media speculating that he had attempted to ice a kicker while up 56-0. Coach Franklin has vehemently denied this, but honestly, who cares? The final score was PSU 56 GA State 0.
Elsewhere around college football this past weekend, USC avoided a catastrophic upset by coming back in the final seconds of regulation to force OT and beat Texas in double OT. This performance at home cost USC as they fell back to 5 and PSU returned to 4. Additionally, Ohio State could not figure out their offense and fell to 10 in the polls.
Next game up the Lions is a worrisome one. A night game in Kinnick. Any college football fan knows what that means. Upset. The Lions themselves felt the sting last time they were a top 5 team in a night game at Kinnick. The game will be aired nationally,4. PSU vs Iowa 7:30 ET on ABC.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not bestow the honor of #dontbethatguy to my favorite overrated coach in the country, Butch Jones. It seems like a trend to have Tennessee be overrated, or just the SEC in general. Regardless, his team, the Volunteers, lost on a hailmary. Gee, you can’t teach your defense or at least have them ready for a pass headed to the endzone? Everyone in the country knew where that ball was going.