It hurts to play so bad
4th and 1 the crowd is screaming and it looks as if the Gophers are going to finally get on the board. The defense answered like they had answered all game with another suffocating play stopping the Golden Gophers on the goal line and setting off the celebration that would carry the Lion faithful on through the night. So how did the Lions execute the Three Keys? Lets take a look.
Defense: I think it is safe to say that the defense did a good job. That might be a bit of an understatement considering that they held the Gophers to 138 total yards and 0 points. It’s worth mentioning that the Lions haven’t given up a touchdown in the first half yet this season. Josh Hullstash has turned into a monster in the linebacking core and the Lions spent a lot of time in the Gophers backfield. AJ Wallace also shutdown Eric Decker and held him to only one catch in the game; a huge victory for the Penn State secondary. If they continue to play like this through the thick of the Big Ten season it could be a pretty impressive defense in a long list of dominating Penn State defenses.
Special Teams: Weren’t really an issue in the game. Wagner connected on a long 47 yard and a 27 yard field goal. He did miss a 50 yard try, but for the most part special teams played solidly and didn’t create any negative momentum.
Playing smart: It’s hard to argue with points of wins, but the Lions did rack up 9 penalties many of which were holding calls. Hopefuly that’ll sort itself out because penalties can kill you and going on the road to UM and Northwestern can be hard enough without shooting yourself in the foot.
All in all it was a great effort from the Lions on both sides of the ball and they got a much needed W and look to head off on a two game road trip that should shape the rest of the season.