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Pat Freiermuth Powers Penn State Offense In 28-7 Victory Over Michigan State

It’s safe to say that this has been a big weekend for Penn State football tight end Pat Freiermuth.

Freiermuth celebrated his birthday on Friday, and National Tight End Day — which annually takes place on the final Sunday of October — is coming up fast. The sophomore made sure to celebrate both days in style with a dominating performance against Michigan State in East Lansing.

The tight end led Penn State with five grabs for 60 yards and a hat trick of touchdowns. His impressive performance now leaves him with 15 career touchdowns as a Nittany Lion, which ties him with Mike Gesicki for the most touchdowns by a tight end in Penn State history.

Freiermuth tied the current Miami Dolphins tight end with just 21 games under his belt at Penn State. He was proud of the offense’s game plan coming in to Saturday’s game that allowed him to have so much success. Freiermuth credited the whole offensive unit, especially coordinator Ricky Rahne, for the success he had against the Spartans.

“[Michigan State]’s game plan had a little bit of me, KJ, and all of the receivers in it,” Freiermuth said. “Coach Rahne did a great job with the elements out there. It was kind of hard to get our whole passing game going, but I think he did early — and we capitalized on that.”

When you score three touchdowns in a game, it’s not necessarily easy to pick your favorite. The 6’5″ tight end was sure that his second score was his favorite of the day, though. Freiermuth caught a 19-yard pass from Sean Clifford on the play in which he rumbled and stumbled his way through multiple would-be tacklers.

“I was kind of having flashbacks to Iowa with my knee down and everything,” Freiermuth said. “I knew I had to get in this time. But yeah, I got in, so I was happy.”

While the tight end’s second score was quite an effort, he was proud of his first touchdown as well. He scored on Penn State’s second drive of the game on a perfect touch pass from Clifford and gave the Nittany Lions an early 7-0 lead.

“That was an awesome throw,” Freiermuth said. “They clouded that side with that play we had drawn up, it doesn’t favor [that scheme], but Cliff threw it up and made a hell of a throw. It just fell right in my hands.”

As for Clifford, the quarterback finished his day with 189 yards through the air and four total touchdowns. The redshirt sophomore was excited to get his tight end involved in the offense Saturday night.

“We had a plan, and Pat was obviously involved that,” Clifford said. “He played a great game and he [fulfilled] his responsibilities really well. People see the three touchdowns, but at the same time, he was coming through with his blocking and running guys off when he needed to. He was playing really well all around.”

Freiermuth has been a valuable piece of Penn State’s offense since his freshman campaign last season, and his role will likely grow throughout his career in Happy Valley. For now, though, the tight end was just proud to spend his career day with his teammates.

“[Today] was the first time that I’ve caught three touchdowns. I think the most memorable part was being able to spend it with my whole team,” Freiermuth said. “There’s not one specific person that stands out, but I think the whole team just rallies for each other and supports each other. It’s just awesome to be a part of something like that.”

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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