Well folks, in a year where nothing is certain, one thing we know for sure is that Rutgers is still the same old Rutgers, despite the media’s vain attempts at trying to prove otherwise. If there were ever a day that the Penn State hate-driven Scarlet Knights could sneak in a W, Saturday was it. Let’s be frank, our neighbor to the north probably had this one circled on their countdown calendar ever since the third loss of our 0-and-5 start, considering how obsessed they’ve been over the years at toppling the mighty giant in blue and white. They took Michigan to the brink two weeks ago and followed that up with a win over Purdue, which gave them just enough swagger to honestly believe an upset was possible.
Trust me, I’m not here to gloat over another win against Rutgers, the latest being a 23-7 victory that marked the 14th in a row, and 29 out of 31 total, in case you lost count, but for a team riding the wave of momentum, they had every intention of taking advantage of our down year in this pandemic infused season. What they got instead was a forceful reminder of who truly is the beast of the east. In the process, a team whose only claim to fame is being the ‘birthplace of college football’ helped Penn State become only the eighth member of the exclusive 900-win club. How’s that for an aftertaste, Rutgers?
As for the game itself, the score doesn’t truly reflect the Nittany Lion’s dominance. Despite two turnovers and a second half offense that seemed perfectly content just pounding the rock through the middle of their defense, the Nittany Lions played as complete a game as we’ve seen since the Cotton Bowl last December. The defense was stifling, and the big boys up front controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Sean Clifford was efficient for the second week in a row, and with wind gusts north of 25mph. Penn State was able to lean on their running game as true freshman Keyvonne Lee led the way with 95 yards and both Devyn Ford and Will Levis each chipped in 65 apiece.
With the worst start in program history slowly starting to fade, the Nittany Lions of old are just beginning to hit their stride. Too little too late for the “what have you done for us lately bandwagon fans,” but as sure a sign as any that the lack of a true offseason is what ultimately caused our stumble out of the gate. I’ve half-jokingly called it the ‘offseason that never sleeps’ so many times before, but as Covid crept into our lives and refuses to go away, I’m starting to see the method behind James Franklin’s yearly madness. At a paltry 2-5 I’m not quite ready to settle back into the old routine of dishing out Game Balls and Helmet Stickers just yet (it was just poor old Rutgers after all), but with one regular season game left and riding a hot streak of sorts, the bowl committees have us back in their sights. For now, we’ll just appreciate all the memories that come along with being crowned the newest addition to the 900 Club, eight members strong, and look forward to going 1-0 for the third straight week!