A Healthy Tommy Stevens Is A Better Option Than A Hobbled Trace McSorley For Penn State

Trace McSorley is, statistically, the best quarterback in the long and proud history of Penn State football. He’s the programs all-time leader in passing yards, and he’s thrown 23 more touchdown passes than Christian Hackenberg, who threw for 48 scores during his time in Happy Valley.

McSorley delivered the program its most recent Big Ten title in 2016, and was deservedly named MVP of the conference championship game. He led a 21-point comeback that will forever live in the memories of Penn State fans.

That said, Tommy Stevens should start next week if McSorley’s injured right knee hasn’t improved significantly by Saturday. A healthy Stevens is a much better option than McSorley doing his best to run around on one healthy leg.

It quickly became apparent that the star quarterback was nowhere near 100 percent during Penn State’s 42-7 loss to Michigan. His defining trait is easily his competitive drive — this has allowed him successful at the college level.

It was obvious McSorley wasn’t himself when he slid a yard short of the line to gain on 3rd and 11 in the first quarter. In what world would a healthy Trace McSorley slide near the first down marker rather than fight through some contact to extend his team’s drive?

McSorley just looked off throughout the game. His accuracy was nowhere near as precise as it normally is, and he didn’t have the normal quickness to his step in the run game. He seemed hesitant to take off and extend plays, which is obviously uncharacteristic.

The fact that he went out against one of the best defenses in the country on one healthy leg and gave it everything he had is a testament to his toughness, his leadership, and his love for the program as a whole.

However, if McSorley’s knee is still in the same condition, Stevens should start for Penn State.

The pick-six Stevens threw was, to put it lightly, ugly. Stevens had Brandon Polk wide open down the sideline, but he didn’t have a chance to set his feet. As a result, the throw came out wobbly and landed right in Michigan defensive back Brandon Watson’s arms. Despite the error, Penn State’s offense was overall more effective at moving the ball with Stevens under center.

The Indianapolis native accumulated 87 total yards in limited snaps against the Wolverines — 10 more than McSorley’s total for the game. The offense also picked up four first downs and scored the lone touchdown of the game with Stevens under center.

A healthy Trace McSorley is, and should be, Penn State’s starting quarterback. If that isn’t the case again on Saturday, however, Tommy Stevens should run the offense in his place.

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About the Author

Matthew Fox

Matt is a Senior from Lansdale Pennsylvania majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He loves sports, and is still patiently waiting for the Philadelphia Flyers to win a Stanley Cup. If you would ever like to reach out to Matt you can email him at [email protected].

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