Five Takeaways: Penn State thumps Georgia State
That was, quite simply, Penn State’s best effort of the young season.
The No. 5 Nittany Lions improved to 3-0 with a 56-0 pasting of hapless Georgia State on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium. To say the Lions dominated in all phases of the game would be an understatement.
The Lions dominated from the get-go, but needed a shanked field goal to preserve the shutout.
There were plenty of highlights for the Lions. Here are our top 5:
1. Spreading the wealth — Eight different Lions scored TDs in the game. That’s amazing, no matter who the opponent is. Those eight players? Tommy Stevens, Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley, DaeSean Hamilton, Miles Sanders, Brandon Polk, Saeed Blacknall and Andre Robinson. Some pundits say that Penn State is a “one trick pony.” Clearly, that’s not the case. The Lions proved it Saturday night.
2. Trace returns — McSorley was back to his Week One form. He completed 18 of 23 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns before head coach James Franklin decided it was time to call it a day and rest his signal caller. He had a few misfires, but all in all, it was a very nice showing in prime time.
3. Back on Heisman watch — Although he only had 50 yards rushing (seemed like more, didn’t it?) Barkley was a beast out of the backfield. He hauled in five passes for 142 yards and one TD. While those numbers may not be Heisman-like just yet, it certainly was an impressive show for the NFL teams watching — and licking their lips at the thought of Barkley coming out early.
4. Oh, that Defense — Yes, it was Georgia State, which was completely undermanned on Saturday night. However. pitching a shutout — against anyone — is impressive. The Panthers struggled finding the Red Zone against the Penn State D. The Panthers had over 300 yards in total offense, but couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. That’s two shutouts in three weeks, but who’s counting?
5. Icing the Kicker — OK, Franklin said he wasn’t trying to ice the Georgia State kicker with time winding down int he game, but it sure looked like that. Even if he was, what’s the crime? He was trying to preserve the shutout. In the end, we’ve got no problem with that.