Five Things We Learned: Wisconsin
No. 20 Penn State (7-3, 4-3) got back in the win column on Saturday with a
22-10 victory over Wisconsin (6-4, 4-3) at a cold and windy Beaver Stadium. The
victory was Trace McSorley’s 29th as a starting quarterback at Penn State,
which matched Todd Blackledge’s school record.
Penn State will look to continue its winning ways next Saturday when
they travel to New Brunswick, New Jersey for a matchup with the Rutgers Scarlet
Knights. Here are five things we learned from the Nittany Lions' matchup
1. Miles Sanders is a big time playmaker
One of the things that everyone was wondering about during Penn State’s
recent offensive struggles was, why wasn’t Miles Sanders getting the ball
more? On Saturday, we saw a heavy dose of Sanders and it came with good
results. Sanders had 23 carries for 159 yards and one touchdown. He also
had two receptions for nine yards out of the backfield. Sanders was also a
highlight machine, hurdling two defenders and juking many others. When
you have playmakers, get them the ball. Penn State did that on Saturday
2. Shareef Miller and the wild dogs had one of their best games of the
Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer calls his unit the “wild
dogs,” and they were barking a lot on Saturday against Wisconsin’s tough
offensive line. Shareef Miller led the way with two sacks and a fumble
recovery. Robert Windsor also recorded two sacks, and Yetur Gross-
Matos had a sack and a forced fumble. Coming into this game, everyone
knew Wisconsin had a one-dimensional offense with Jonathan Taylor,
and minus the 71-yard touchdown run, the defense played great. The
defensive line was the best unit on the field Saturday afternoon.
3. The wind played a factor in the kicking game
Beaver Stadium had Big Ten weather on Saturday with temperatures in
the low 30’s and wind gusts between 25-30 mph. Despite the wind, freshman kicker Jake
Pinegar connected on three field goals of 49, 42 and 23 yards. He also
had a missed PAT, a missed 45 yarder and a blocked kick, but the wind
had a factor in all three of those plays. Overall, it was a solid day by Pinegar
considering the wind.
4. The Tommy Stevens Lion role did not work
Overall, offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne called a good game today,
but the Tommy Stevens package did not do much damage. Stevens only
had seven carries for 23 yards and 20 of them came on one run. There
was a lost fumble on a bad exchange with Miles Sanders when Penn
State should have just been trying to run the clock out. The lion role
seems to have been pedestrian all season, which continued today.
5. Penn State put the disaster in Ann Arbor behind them
Another question that a lot of people were thinking of this week is how
would Penn State respond after getting beat down by Michigan last week.
The answer was they forgot about it quick. The offense scored early and
played well; the defense played outstanding and forced four turnovers
even after being on the field basically the whole game last week. Give
the team credit for putting the Michigan game behind them and
continuing to play hard, it’s what good teams do.
Kevin McConlogue is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism with a
minor in political science. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.