Michigan Wolverines at Penn State Nittany Lions

Posted October 23, 2017

Penn State is a talented team that hasn't really been tested.

From the moment Saturday night's game began, it was impossible to ignore the memory of what happened a year ago and how much things have changed for Penn State since then.

Saquon Barkley's Heisman Trophy candidacy took an impressive step Saturday as the star junior led No. 2-ranked Penn State to a 42-13 home win over rival MI. Saquon Barkley rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, including a 69-yarder on a direct snap on the second play from scrimmage.

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Senior quarterback Trace McSorley also had an impressive performance, throwing for 282 yards through the air, including one passing touchdown and three rushing.

This time, it will not be an upset if No. 2 Penn State beats No. 19 MI tonight at Beaver Stadium.

The glow of No. 2 Penn State's 42-13 win over MI is still hanging over Happy Valley, Nittany Lions fans could not even wait until the end of the game to demand more. There might not be a playoff appearance at all for the Nittany Lions without a win in Columbus, Ohio, next Saturday afternoon.

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McSorley had a nice first half, and his touchdown sent the Lions into the break with a 21-13 lead. McSorley sparked the march with a 23-yard run and a 35-yard completion to leaping tight end Mike Gesicki to put the ball on the Wolverines 15.

There's a lot more work to be done: The next two weeks, Penn State travels to No. 6 Ohio State and No. 18 Michigan State, meaning that Saturday was merely the beginning of a season-defining gauntlet. Look for McSorley to keep leaning on DaeSean Hamilton, who made big catches on the touchdown drives at the end of the half and the start of the third quarter.

In the end, Moorehead and Penn State's offense got the checkmate against Brown and his MI defense. Saquon Barkley set the tone with a 69-yard scoring run early and the Lions' offense continued to pile up yards (506 total), putting MI (5-2) away in the third quarter.

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