No. 11 Penn State Demolishes Rutgers 55-10
No. 11 Penn State football (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) defeated Rutgers (4-7, 1-7 Big Ten) 55-10 in SHI Stadium on Saturday evening.
Ji’Ayir Brown and Kobe King each had a scoop-and-score touchdown in the game, while Nick Singleton ran a kickoff back to the end zone for the first time in his career. Kaytron Allen and Singleton combined for 179 rushing yards on 20 combined carries.
All around, it was another great game for the Nittany Lions, as they exit Piscataway with its ninth victory of the season.
How It Happened
Rutgers won the toss and elected to defer, giving Penn State the ball first. It didn’t result in much, though, as the Nittany Lions went three-and-out to start the game. Rutgers didn’t make much of its first possession, either, as the Scarlet Knights also went three-and-out.
After Penn State wasn’t able to get much going on its next drive, the Scarlet Knights took the ball down the field and kicker Jude McAtamney capped off the drive with a 42-yard goal to give Rutgers an early 3-0 lead.
Then, things got a bit crazy. Nick Singleton shook SHI Stadium with a 100-yard house call on the ensuing kickoff to give Penn State a 7-3 lead.
Rutgers answered with a long return of its own, as Aron Cruickshank returned the following kickoff 66 yards to Penn State’s 21-yard line. After gaining 17 yards on the next three plays, Wimsatt completed a four-yard pass to Shareem Jones for a touchdown to give Rutgers a 10-7 lead with 5:56 left in the first quarter.
Sean Clifford and co. went three-and-out on the next drive to give Rutgers the ball right back on its own 41-yard line. Manny Diaz’s back seven got lucky with Wimsatt missing a few passes to give Penn State the ball back. After a 36-yard drive, backup punter Alex Bacchetta came in to replace Barney Amor and fired off a 37-yard punt.
As if the game couldn’t get any weirder in the first quarter, Marquis Wilson forced a fumble that was picked up and returned to the end zone by Kobe King for a touchdown to give Penn State a 14-10 lead.
Penn State quickly got the ball back after a short Rutgers drive, but Singleton fumbled the ball and gave it right back to the Scarlet Knights at the Penn State 24-yard line. Luckily for the Nittany Lions, McAtamney missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Alex Bachhetta dropped the snap while punting on the next drive, but Rutgers was offsides, giving Penn State a gift of a first down. Rutgers’ speed on defense was too much for Penn State to handle, as the Nittany Lions were forced to punt again, and Barney Amor came back into the game to lay an absolute dime inside the five-yard line.
Wimsatt then threw an interception to Johnny Dixon, who took it back to the end zone for his first career pick-six, but it was called back on a Coziah Izzard illegal block in the back away from the play. That didn’t seem to matter, though, as Clifford was able to lead the Nittany Lions into the end zone on a ten-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Warren. Penn State led 21-10.
Penn State then got the ball back after trading possessions. Sean Clifford turned on the jets and ran for 14 yards for a touchdown to extend Penn State’s lead to 28-10.
The half ended at that score.
Rutgers started the second half with a bang, as Sean Ryan hurried down to Penn State’s 20-yard line. Ji’Ayir Brown answered back with a 70-yard scoop-and-score touchdown to extend the lead to 35-10.
The Nittany Lions quickly got the ball back after a Rutgers punt. Sean Clifford and co. took it all the way down to Rutgers’ three-yard line, but Penn State settled for a 22-yard Jake Pinegar field goal. That kick broke Penn State’s program record for most all-time extra points.
Once again, Penn State got the ball back, and Drew Allar checked into the game for the Nittany Lions. He didn’t need to do much on his first drive, as Kaytron Allen carried Penn State into the end zone on two carries for 75 yards and a touchdown.
The Nittany Lions came back knocking on the door of the goal line, but they settled for another field goal. Sander Shaaydak extended their lead to 48-10 on his first made collegiate kick. Drew Allar got the ball back and led Penn State right back down the field to score his first career rushing touchdown to give Penn State a 55-10 lead.
The game then ended with a 55-10 victory for the Nittany Lions.
- James Franklin preached starting fast all season, and it’s something the Nittany Lions were able to do successfully last week against Maryland. That didn’t happen this time. Penn State fell behind 3-0 and then 10-7 in the first quarter, going at a frustrating pace. Then, like most other games, James Franklin’s squad picked up the pace and broke out in the second quarter, making the game a blowout by halftime.
- Penn State’s defense had another fabulous day. After struggling a bit to contain Rutgers in the first quarter, Manny Diaz’s crew completely shut the door, allowing Penn State’s offense to score 38 unanswered points. The defense also combined for two scoop-and-score touchdowns, with Kobe King and Ji’Ayir Brown entering the end zone.
- The future is really bright, folks. Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen are really something else. Singleton housed a kickoff for the first time in his career, while Allen continued to bulldoze his way through Rutgers’ defense. It’s just remarkable at this point.
Penn State will return home for Senior Day when it takes on Michigan State at Beaver Stadium next Saturday, November 27. Kickoff time and network have yet to be announced.
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About the Author
The Nittany Lions participated in a max-out lifting session to mark the end of winter workouts.
Gaines was committed to the Nittany Lions for nearly a year.
Sophomore forward Tessa Janecke also earned CHA Player of the Year and Forward of the Year distinctions.