×

Nebraska-PSU highlights, lowlights

11/18/17 Patrick Waksmunski / Nebraska v Penn State / Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki (88) pulls in a 9-yard TD reception by Nebraska linebacker Chris Weber (49).

UNIVERSITY PARK — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 56-44 victory over Nebraska on Saturday at Beaver Stadium:

Play of the game: On first-and-10 from the PSU 46, trailing 10-7 late in the first quarter, Trace McSorley found Juwan Johnson in stride over the middle. Johnson busted a couple of tackles for a 43-yard gain to the Cornhuskers 11, setting up the Lions’ go-ahead touchdown.

Offensive player of the game: McSorley and Saquon Barkley have split this award almost every week so we’re going with Johnson, who made five catches for 105 yards. In addition to his 43-yard catch and run, Johnson made a one-handed catch at the sidelines in the third quarter.

Defensive player of the game: Linebacker Brandon Smith recorded a game-high 13 tackles.

Most telling statistic(s): Penn State racked up 609 total yards and 32 first downs, both season highs.

Most deceiving statistic: Nebraska outscored the Lions 34-14 in the second half, including three touchdowns in the final 6:32.

Hidden statistic: Five of the Lions’ first downs came via Nebraska penalties.

Best run: Barkley zipped 65 yards for a touchdown on the Lions’ third play from scrimmage.

Best pass: Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee threw a perfect over-the-shoulder pass to JD Spielman to the PSU 1, setting up the Huskers’ TD that cut the score to 56-38.

Worst pass: McSorley had Miles Sanders open in the right flat in the second quarter but threw behind him.

Best catch: There were some great catches in this game, but the best was the one-handed 8-yard TD reception by Nebraska’s Stanley Morgan that pulled the Huskers within 56-31 with 6:32 to play. Penn State was called for interference, and still Morgan caught the ball and got a toe down. First runnerup: Mike Gesicki leaped over Nebraska linebacker Chris Weber to reel in a 9-yard touchdown pass that extended the PSU lead to 28-10 with 9:23 left in the second quarter.

Catch it, will ya: Jason Cabinda dropped an early interception.

Hold it, won’t ya: Penn State didn’t fumble, although it was charged for one. See the next entry.

Get away from it, please: The Lions lost their early momentum after special teams player Zech McPhearson, with PSU up 7-0, drifted into a punt that returner DeAndre Thompkins wanted to let roll dead. Nebraska’s Collin Miller recovered at the PSU 34 and turned the gaffe into a field goal.

Best tackle: Nit backup safety Nick Scott stopped Spielman 1 yard shy of a first down, forcing a punt in the second quarter to help the Lions regain momentum.

Best block: Thompkins did an excellent job downfield on Johnson’s 43-yard gain, blocking and screening three Nebraska defenders.

Best kick: Lion punter Blake Gillikin boomed a 56-yarder to the Nebraska 3 in the fourth quarter (and still the Cornhuskers promptly went 97 yards in seven plays).

Worst kick: Gillikin had a rare shank, and his 18-yarder set up Nebraska at the Penn State 26, field position that the Huskers turned into a touchdown and a 10-7 first-quarter lead.

Best call: Liked the use of Tommy Stevens, even as a decoy. On second-and-2 from the Nebraska 9, McSorley rolled left on an option with Stevens behind him and ran untouched into the end zone as the Huskers were worried about Stevens.

Worst call: This writer trying to sneak an umbrella into the press box (a violation against Beaver Stadium code.)

Best effort: When the game was still a game and Nebraska led 10-7, DaeSean Hamilton caught a pass on third down at the Lions’ 45, short of a first down, but he fought through Alex Davis’ tackle attempt and gained 2 more yards to extend the possession. Four plays later, Penn State scored to take the lead for keeps.

Unsung hero: Stevens had 73 yards of total offense. He completed 2-of-3 for 21 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown, rushed five times for 31 yards and caught two passes for 22.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
   

COMMENTS