We are...back? Penn State looked like its old self in 1st half vs. Rutgers
Penn State is still just 1-5 this season, but the Nittany Lions are starting too look like they usually good.
PSU turned in an absolutely dominant first half vs. Rutgers on Saturday and carried a 17-0 lead into halftime.
Quarterback Sean Clifford was in the starting lineup again, and he was solid. He completed 10-of-14 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Will Levis was also effective on the ground, rushing 10 times for 39 yards.
Penn State’s running attack was methodical and effective. In addition to Levis, running backs Devyn Ford and Kevone Lee also got healthy workloads. Ford carried the ball seven times for 42 yards and a score while Lee had nine attempts for 37 yards.
All-in-all, Penn State out-gained Rutgers 229-43 in the first half. The Nittany Lions managed 14 first downs while Rutgers totaled just two.
PSU’s rushing defense was perhaps the most impressive aspect of the first half. Penn State held Rutgers to just 12 yards on 13 carries. Rutgers running backs Johnny Langan and Isaih Pacheco rushed for just two yards each.
Penn State is looking for its second consecutive win after a nightmare start to the season.
Here’s some of the reaction to Penn State’s first half:
Per Football Insider @zachdonaldson_ this is the largest lead Penn State has had all season. https://t.co/U9aCHNJaEc
— Andrew Field (@Andrew_Field6) December 5, 2020
Don Brown and his defense gave up 480+ yards to the Rutgers offense….that same Rutgers has 43 yards at halftime against Penn State…..amazing
— Nardo (@umgoblue1997) December 5, 2020
That’s easily the best half of football Penn State has played all year. The Nittany Lions are commanding the trenches on both sides of the ball, the offense is moving the chains and the defense is giving Rutgers zilch. A total of 43 yards of offense for the Scarlet Knights.
— Zach Donaldson (@zachdonaldson_) December 5, 2020
Rutgers' first half scoring against Penn State over its last six meetings.
— Justin Morganstein (@jmo31800) December 5, 2020
Penn State is winning the battle up front https://t.co/KdjZwsH4Rx
— Jim Gover (@jgstagpard1114) December 5, 2020
Penn State with nearly 20 minutes of possession and 14 first downs.
Average yards per play: PSU – 5.2 / RU – 1.7
Four Lions have surpassed 20 rushing yards. Will Levis leads them all with 10 carries.
Sean Clifford: 10-of-14, 96 yards, 1 TD, no turnovers https://t.co/5Y3PCthg0v
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) December 5, 2020
The Nittany Lions held the Scarlet Knights to 43 total yards in the first half, the fewest yards allowed by the Penn State defense in a half since limiting Maryland to 34 yards on Sept. 27, 2019.
— Greg Kincaid (@grk5016) December 5, 2020