Penn State Finishes 2022 Regular Season 10-2 With Stomping of Michigan State
The illustrious Land-Grant Trophy and all its glory returns back to Happy Valley in No. 11 Penn State’s savory Senior Day victory, 35-16 versus Michigan State.
The Nittany Lions needed a win to officially secure a 10-win season and likely New Year’s Six bowl game too, and that’s exactly what they got as they stunted the Spartans from the jump.
It was your typical Penn State/Michigan State late-season clash as the underdog Spartans didn’t go down without a fight. But the Nittany Lions held strong and stormed out of the gate in the fourth quarter, surmounting two Jake Pinegar field goal flubbers and short field the majority of the time, scoring two touchdowns to seal the deal.
The Spartans posted 16 points, the most Penn State’s defense has allowed in three weeks. Although it was still as dominant as usual, keeping Michigan State’s offense at bay allowing the Nittany Lions to control the conditions for the majority of the contest.
Joey Porter Jr. was back on the field after a bout with appendicitis and made a noticeable impact, while Kalen King continued his strong sophomore season snagging his second interception.
The Spartans had no answer for Abdul Carter either, who had seven tackles (three for a loss), two sacks and a near interception as well.
It all starts up front, and the Nittany Lions controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
The offensive line set the tone for the promising pair of freshman tailbacks Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton as they paced the way on the ground with 82 and 78 yards, respectively.
Singleton also got back into the end zone for his team-leading 12th score of the year.
KeAndre Lambert-Smith found paydirt for the first time since the season opener against Purdue, and also passed for a touchdown floating a flawless pass to a wide open Theo Johnson for his second touchdown of the game.
Lambert-Smith along with the Johnson and Penn State’s trio of tight ends stepped up big time in place of Parker Washington. Johnson, Brenton Strange and Tyler Warren combined for seven receptions for 96 yards and three touchdowns.
Warren’s score was a reward for his fumble recovery on special teams the possession earlier, one of two fumbles recoveries recorded by the Nittany Lions on the day.
He earned his six points, too.
Sean Clifford capped off his Penn State regular-season career with an efficient 202-yard, four-touchdown performance. He stayed poised under pressure and delivered late in the game when it mattered most, despite a slow start securing his second 10-win season in four years as a starter. Clifford’s one win away from breaking the program record for wins as starting quarterback (Trace McSorley, 31).
Penn State’s next destination has yet to be determined, but the Nittany Lions are undoubtedly destined for a New Year’s Six bowl finishing the regular season with a three-score win and an impressive 10-2 record.
Zach Donaldson is a fifth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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