• January 21, 2022

Penn State-Nebraska Recap

The Penn State Nittany Lions lost a heartbreaker in Lincoln, Nebraska to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. These two teams met just two days prior to last year’s meeting, which was the first game Penn State played after the infamous scandal took over headlines. Nebraska rallied from 14 points behind and beat Penn State 32-23.

Penn State opened the first half with the ball. It looked as if the Lions would go three and out, but they were able to convert on 3rd and 9 for 23 yards. The Lions would score on the next play with a 50-yard run from running back Zach Zwinak with 13:14 left in the first quarter. Nebraska scored field goals on their first two possessions even after a fumble by Zwinak.

Penn State would go on to score a field goal themselves before the first half turned into a slight defensive battle. The next touchdown scored in the game came from a 10-yard pass to Penn State tight end Jesse James. The score at the half was 20-6, Penn State.

Nebraska came out on fire for the second half. Running back Imani Cross scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown on their opening drive. They were able to capitalize off of Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin’s fourth interception of the year with a 2-yard touchdown run. This would tie the game at 20. Penn State would go on to score their last official points of the game with a 35-yard field goal from kicker Sam Ficken. Nebraska scored a 5-yard passing touchdown, a safety, and a 33-yard field goal during the fourth quarter.

Penn State would have retaken the lead back in the third quarter off of a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Lehman. The officials, however, saw the play differently. They ruled that the play resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Nebraska in the end zone for a touchback. Replays showed that Lehman did fumble the ball, but after the ball crossed goal line. The ball crossed the goal line, which means a touchdown for Penn State. Sometimes it’s just that plain and simple, but the wrong call was still made.

In the end, one could argue if the outcome of one play changes the result of a game. I’ve been on both sides of this argument, and I feel that this can’t be necessarily said about this specific play. If Penn State gets the touchdown, who says Nebraska still wouldn’t have scored those last five points?

I believe Penn State’s main problem in the recent weeks is consistency. They have spilt their last four games. In the two games that they won, Penn State scored over 30 points with their opponent scoring under 20 points. In the two games that they have lost, those stats are slightly reversed with Penn State scoring 23 points in each game.

Looking at the stats, Penn State won each game when they performed well on both sides of the ball for the whole game. I know this saying may seem cliché, but for Penn State to win, the whole team needs to play well for the full 60 minutes of the game.

Penn State’s next game is next Saturday at home against Indiana. Kickoff is set for noon.

Delores McKay

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