No. 14 Penn State overcame a slow start Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium, as quarterback Trace McSorley led the Nittany Lions to a 35-6 win over Rutgers.
Penn State celebrated Homecoming and Veterans Day in style, while James Franklin improved to 4-0 against the Scarlet Knights.
How It Happened
After winning the coin toss and electing to defer, the Scarlet Knights kicked it short to Saquon Barkley, who couldn’t find the football in time. Rutgers took over at Penn State’s 21-yard line, but the Nittany Lions held strong on defense to force a 33-yard Andrew Harte field goal. He hit another from 25 yards out to give the Scarlet Knights a 6-0 advantage.
Penn State failed to score a point in the opening quarter for the first time this season, but finally took the lead, 7-6, on McSorley’s 20-yard touchdown run with 9:32 left before the half. McSorley found DaeSean Hamilton for a 22-yard strike to make it 14-6 just ahead of the intermission.
With 6:00 to go in the third quarter, Hamilton and Barkley pulled off the famous hook and ladder trick play, which saw Barkley go airborne for another spectacular hurdle at the goal line. Two plays later, he delivered his first touchdown of the afternoon on a 1-yard run. Barkley would make it 28-6 on Penn State’s next drive thanks to a 4-yard score.
Mike Gesicki soon tied Jesse James for the program record of touchdowns scored by a tight end with 11 following his 16-yard score. Senior linebacker Jason Cabinda paced Penn State’s defense with a game-high 11 tackles, while Brandon Smith followed close behind, posting 10 of his own.
Player Of The Game
Trace McSorley | Redshirt junior | Quarterback
The Ashburn, Va., native passed Daryll Clark for the most touchdowns responsible for in Penn State history with 68. McSorley finished with 258 total yards and three scores in the victory.
The Nittany Lions (8-2) host Nebraska next Saturday for Senior Day and the annual Stripe Out at Beaver Stadium. Kick time has yet to be announced.