3 takeaways from Penn State's blowout win over Michigan State
Penn State crushed Michigan State 42-0 on Friday night in its regular season finale.
The win pushes the Nittany Lions to 10-2 on the season. This is their second straight season with 10+ wins and their 5th such campaign during James Franklin’s tenure as head coach.
Drew Allar started despite being questionable this week with an injury. He finished the game with 292 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions on just 26 attempts.
Here are 3 takeaways from Penn State’s big win:
Penn State’s defense had arguably its best performance of the year — which is a high bar given how good the Nittany Lions have been on that end of the field.
Michigan State managed just 68 total yards. The Spartans had 88 passing yards on 20 total attempts between Katin Houser and Andrew Schorfhaar.
On the ground, things were much tougher. The Spartans lost 20 yards on 27 carries, mostly because of sack yardage. Nate Carter did gain 39 yards on 8 carries. As a team, Penn State’s defense collected 12 tackles for loss and 7 sacks.
Big play offense
It took 12 games, but Penn State’s offense finally put together some big plays on Friday night.
The Nittany Lions had 2 plays of 50+ yards in this contest. Allar threw a 53-yard pass to Nicholas Singleton, and the Nittany Lions also got a 50-yard rush from running back Kaytron Allen. Entering the game, they had just 2 such plays in the entire 2023 season.
Overall on Friday night, Penn State had 6 passing plays of 15+ yards and 6 rushing plays of 10+ yards.
Penn State finishes the 2023 campaign with a 10-2 regular season record. This is the 5th time in 8 seasons that James Franklin has led Penn State to double-digit wins in a campaign.
Losing to Ohio State and Michigan was a disappointing outcome for the 2023 season, but Penn State will still be able to carry some momentum into 2024. Next season, Penn State will not face Michigan and it will host the Buckeyes. Penn State will also have games against Big Ten newcomers USC, UCLA and Washington.
Penn State will learn its bowl game destination next weekend after the final reveal of the College Football Playoff rankings.