Penn State Trounces Rutgers En Route to Ninth Win of Season
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2) defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-9) 39-0 last night in Piscataway.
The night did not start easily for Penn State, however. Miles Sanders fumbled the opening kickoff giving the Scarlet Knights excellent field position. They could do nothing with it, however, going seven yards backwards before missing a 45-yard field goal.
Following the two teams trading punts, the Penn State offense started to find its groove, driving down to the 14-yard line. From there, Tyler Davis hit a 32-yard field goal, giving the Nittany Lions the early lead.
The short field goal was not an easy kick; neither would any other attempts be that night. With 20 mph sustained winds, punting and kicking was going to be difficult. Franklin praised Davis in his post-game press conference.
“That guy is a warrior,” Franklin stated. “If there was an MVP it would probably be him.”
On the next Penn State possession, the Nittany Lions drove deep into Rutgers territory before settling for another field goal to close out the first quarter. At this point, weather became an even bigger issue, as rain and sleet started to fall in buckets.
To start the second quarter, Rutgers began switching their quarterback. Tylin Oden came into the game to run the option, while Giovanni Rescigno was the main passer.
Following a Rutgers drive that stalled at midfield, Penn State drove all the way down to the Rutgers 2-yard line. Unable to punch it in, the Nittany Lions would turn it over on downs.
Davis hit another field goal before the half ended. Penn State did leave a lot of points on the board though, with three field goals from the red zone and a turnover on downs at the 2-yard line.
In the second half, the Nittany Lions converted their chances.
It started with a bang; Juwan Johnson blocked a punt to set up Penn State with excellent field position. From there, Saquon Barkley had no problem finding the end zone from a yard away.
After a Davis field goal giving the Nittany Lions a 19-0 lead, Andre Robinson found the end zone from four yards out. The snap was botched on the conversion however, preventing the extra point.
Mark Allen also found his way into the action in the fourth quarter. Allen took a swing pass out of the backfield and made multiple defenders miss on his way to a 27-yard touchdown.
Tommy Stevens also added a late touchdown, bringing the final score at High Point Solutions Stadium to 39-0.
Penn State outgained the Scarlet Knights 549-87 in total yards. Rutgers only true chance at scoring was on the opening drive where they recovered a Miles Sanders fumble, and ultimately missed a 45-yard field goal.
A large part of Penn State gaining 549 yards from scrimmage came from an excellent game by the offensive line. Franklin spoke about them after the game.
“The exciting thing is, I think we can be a lot better on the offensive line,” Franklin said.
The Nittany Lions close out their regular season next Saturday when they play host to the Michigan State Spartans.
Zach Green is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.