Wow, Penn State! Eight touchdowns and a 56-21 win over Illinois is the way you put an exclamation point on this strange season.

This really has been quite a season. Were we watching the same team that lost a close game to Indiana? Or got blown out by Maryland? Except for Clifford’s first quarter fumble and our 4-5 record, I would have found it hard to believe these Lions are the very same.

From an 0-5 start for the first time in program history through four straight wins, this last one extra convincing. I’ll always wonder how they managed to keep their heads on straight and turn the tide. Brandon Smith told reporters following the game that the team’s mindset to change the course of the season was “enough is enough.”

Winning again has been more fun, but it’s in losing that you learn about yourself. What we’ve learned about this Nittany Lion team is that they will rise each time they fall. They will persevere through hardships. They will stick together as a team in adversity. And, they will not give up even when others have lost faith in them. These are the skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

I’m sad, of course, that the team chose not to play a bowl game. After such an explosive game against the Illini, who wasn’t looking forward to more Nittany Lions? At the same time, I’m happy that the players, coaches, and staff finally get to spend time with their families. They’ve done enough. They’ve been disciplined and diligent in following coronavirus protocols.  They’ve handled themselves with class through a mentally and physically challenging season.

To our Lions, thank you for a great season! We are so proud of you. We can’t wait to see what good things come your way in the future, whether that’s next season, in the NFL, or in life after football. Enjoy your well-deserved rest; you’ve done enough.

Dawn graduated from Penn State in 2002. As a student, she never missed a football game. She camped out for front row seats before it was cool and danced in Thon. She currently lives outside of Philadelphia. She enjoys teaching, yoga, and being a new mom.

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