Joey Porter Jr. guides secondary to emotional season-opening win
Penn State needed a lot to go its way late into the fourth quarter to secure a road win to open up the season.
The blue and white defense led the charge by holding the Purdue Boilermakers to just seven fourth-quarter points.
Leading the charge was Nittany Lions’ cornerback Joey Porter Jr. who appears poised for a great season ahead of next year’s NFL Draft.
Porter Jr. led the blue and white with eight total tackles, although things looked rough to open up the game.
Early on, Porter Jr. had an opportunity at an interception in Purdue territory but, when trying to jump the route, had it bounce off his hands and into those of a Boilermaker wide receiver leading to a first down.
While that play was on Porter Jr.’s mind following the game, it’s not one that will keep him up at night.
“I’m going to watch that one back tonight. I definitely feel like I left some plays out there, but I know I rebounded and made a lot of good ones,” Porter Jr. said. “We’re just going to watch the film and do better.”
Porter Jr. was able to make up for that missed opportunity by just managing to stay in bounds to recover a fumble late in the second half.
That recovery led to an unlikely touchdown pass from Sean Clifford to Brenton Strange to end the first half. Penn State rode that momentum to a close victory which Porter Jr. knows can change an entire season.
“These are the ones that mean a lot to the whole team. It was a great fight,” Porter Jr. said. “A lot of ups and downs, but we stayed true to ourselves.”
Porter Jr. has been graded as an early-round draft pick by many draft sites, and if the Nittany Lions are to go far this season, it will be on the back of the redshirt junior cornerback.
The Nittany Lion defense made several new changes from last season to this one, which included key losses in the secondary as Jaquan Brisker and Tariq Castro-Fields were both NFL Draft picks.
Despite the changes in the secondary room, Porter Jr. remains confident that this group has what it takes to be one of the best.
“We got depth in our corner room,” Porter Jr. said. “We got a lot of dogs on the field that can play, so if one of us is tied and needs a play out, we can rotate. I feel like we’re one of the best in the nation.”
Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism