April 4, 2020

Penn State football survives Pitt in 100th meeting

As time expired in the first half, Penn State was once again searching for answers.

And for the second week in a row, the Nittany Lions found those answers in the second half, on their way to a 17-10 victory over Pitt in the 100th meeting between the two teams.

And although the game may be the last meeting ever between the two rivals, it wasn’t short on drama as the Nittany Lions stopped Pitt on a last second drive to end the game.

Second half adjustments

Penn State was a different team in the second half. 

The defense started to get stops and the offense started to move the ball.

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett no longer had time in the pocket to dissect the Penn State secondary and his throwing lanes that were present in the first half disappeared. 

On offense, Penn State was finally able to get something going running the ball mainly due to Noah Cain. 

The offensive line was able to handle the pressure Pitt was throwing at them and finally gave Clifford some time to throw the ball.

In the first half, Clifford was taking shot after shot when he dropped back to pass, but this changed in the second half.

Penn State was able to find a rhythm offensively and Pitt didn’t have an answer.

The Nittany Lions are only three games into the season, but they are already showing the signs of a second half team.

Lockdown defense

Penn State’s defense once again showed why it’s regarded as one of the best in the nation.

The Nittany Lions stuffed the Panthers rushing attack all game holding them to only 24 yards.

Penn State put the game in Pickett’s hand and the quarterback played well but ultimately it wasn’t enough to take down the Nittany Lions. 

The biggest moment of the day for the Nittany Lions defense was late in the fourth quarter when Penn State stonewalled Pitt on the 1-yard line three straight plays to force the Panthers to attempt a field goal.

Pitt ended up missing the 19-yard field goal and Penn State’s touchdown lead remained in tack. 

That stop was a game changing and maybe even season ending stop for Penn State and one that will not soon be forgotten.

The Noah Cain Show

Cain exploded into the game late in the third quarter when he single-handedly willed Penn State on a 88-yard touchdown drive to give Penn State a 17-10 lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter.

The true freshman accounted for 53 total yards on the drive.

Cain sparked a Penn State rushing attack that struggled to get anything going all game besides a 85-yard rush by Journey Brown early in the game.

One surprise at running-back on Saturday for Penn State is that Ricky Slade struggled once again.

Slade didn’t get many chances on the field as Franklin and the rest of the Penn State coaching staff utilized Brown and Cain over Slade.

But when Slade did get an opportunity not much came from it.

Slade finished the game with four yards on four carries.

Penn State as a team finished the game with 167 rushing yards on 32 carries.

FROM: https://www.collegian.psu.edu/football/article_3c433574-d728-11e9-84f9-df821aff6fa7.html

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