During the 2015 season I was thinking that if Christian Hackenberg were to return to Penn State they could really be good in 2016 because they had so many guys returning on offense. Stay in school
I also wrote about Trace McSorley earlier in the season. McSorley
But, McSorley had a big splash ending to the 2016 regular season, and the Big 10 Championship game, in leading the Nittany Lions to the Rose Bowl.
Penn State ended the season with an impressive 11-2 record with 9 straight wins. They will be taking on a really good USC team that has won 8 straight games. Penn State started the season at 2-2 and
USC began at 1-3.
McSorley is a young man with a lot of heart that makes up for his lack of NFL type size. He’s got a good enough arm and he is mobile enough to make the big play with his feet. Gone are the previous season’s excuses of having a bad Offensive Line. This year’s edition of the Offensive Line is make shift at best due to injuries and that hasn’t stopped McSorley for throwing for 3,360 yards and 25 Touchdowns against only 5 Interceptions.
McSorley also ran for 352 yards and 6 more Touchdowns. Star Running Back Saquon Barkley ran for 1,302 as the offense really excelled this season.
Two receivers led the pack for the Nittany Lions with Chris Godwin hauling in 50 for 795 yards and 9 Touchdowns. Tight End Mike Gesicki couldn’t catch a cold last season and seemed to have stones where his hands were supposed to be, suddenly lived up to the recruiting hype and caught 47 passes for 668 yards and 4 Touchdowns.
This is a totally different team this season even with the big losses in the Defensive Line from last year.
In their 9 game winning streak, McSorley sizzled at times and especially in his last two games.
Revenge may have been on their minds in their last regular season game with Michigan State coming to town. Last year, Big 10 champ Michigan State ran wild against Penn State winning the game 55-16. Penn State felt that Michigan State rubbed their noses in it with the Center moving to Running Back to score their last Touchdown.
Revenge can be overrated and more than likely Penn State was just thinking about winning the Big 10 East. They needed Ohio State to beat Michigan at home and the Buckeyes did just that opening the door for the Nittany Lions.
McSorley had a field day in that game, throwing the ball for 376 yards on 17 completions out of 23
attempts. He also had 4 Touchdown passes and zero Interceptions.
The Nittany Lions did win big, crushing the Spartans 45-12.
McSorley would have an even bigger day in the Big 10 championship. Talking heads were writing off Penn State in the first half when the Wisconsin Badgers, champions of the Big 10 West, took a 28-7 lead in the 2nd quarter.
But, being down by 21 points did not discourage Penn State at all and they came fighting back under the leadership of Trace McSorley. You did not see him blaming others and pointing fingers at teammates. But, you did see him leading his troops down the field over and over again and getting them back in the game.
The defense did it’s part by stopping Wisconsin almost cold in the second half and only allowing 3 more points. While the offense scored 31 second half points to complete the come back over the favored Badgers and it’s Big 10 coach of the year. Penn State walked away with the Big 10 championship with a hard fought, 38-31, win over Wisconsin.
The Penn State Nittany Lions and Trace McSorley have one more big challenge ahead of them with the Trojans of USC laying in wait at the Rose Bowl. USC will probably be favored, but never count out a guy with a heart the size of Trace McSorley and his Penn State teammates.