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26 September 2017, 12:30 | Rose Hansen
How Saquon Barkley became Penn State's top receiving threat
There's a right tackle problem, one exposed by athletic, mobile D-ends like Iowa's Anthony Nelson, who appeared to have twice as many as his listed five tackles and one sack.
Take his first career touchdown catch - which sparked Penn State's 52-0 rout of Georgia State on Saturday - as an example. Then they added 160 yards in the fourth quarter. "We've all seen that (Wadley) is a playmaker, and they have a big, strong-armed quarterback that they are able to take advantage of off the play-action pass", Franklin said.
Yet it took a TD pass from Trace McSorley to Juwan Johnson on fourth down as time expired for the Nittany Lions to win.
Penn State moved the ball effectively in the first half, but it stalled at the 1-yard line on one drive and had to settle for a field goal, while Davis later missed a 41-yard try.
Penn State 15, Iowa 7: The Hawkeyes were driving before Wadley fumbled, and Grant Haley recovered for PSU. In the second set alone, Holman and Albrecht combined for 12 kills and teamed up for two blocks.
During the preseason, Huff said Penn State's coaches asked themselves a question: "How can we not allow teams to eliminate arguably the best player in the country?" On the first play, and the first play the Hawkeyes ran in Penn State territory, Stanley connected with Nick Easley for a touchdown and a 7-5 Iowa lead.
Michigan State completed the scoring with a cosmetic touchdown - a 25-yard toss from Lewerke to Gerald Holmes - and 2-point conversion with 3:09 remaining.
Before another nation-awing performance on Saturday night, Barkley was already starting to be mentioned in the same breath as Reggie Bush from USC - the most legendary college running back since 2000. "I still thought we had a pretty solid game, it just didn't go our way".
And yet, if Iowa could have won the game, Josey Jewell might have won another Big Ten defensive player of the week award. In fact, Barkley proved last night that no team in the NCAA has a back that can compare to his abilities, as he was impervious to all the hexes that afflicted his teammates. Iowa came close to delivering a crushing blow to Penn State's College Football Playoff case, but the Nittany Lions rode McSorley and some sensational running from junior tailback Saquon Barkley past one of the most daunting matchups on their conference schedule.
"I'm trying to think of the last time we played a back like this, other than a year ago", Ferentz said, referring to Barkley's 167-yard game against the Hawkeyes. Mayfield's next chance to improve his odds will be at home against Iowa State on October 7. Barkley broke off a highlight-reel 44-yard run down the left sideline, and the Lions later got another first-and-goal, this time from the 10.
Saquon Barkley is getting Heisman Trophy hype for a reason.
What he has to show: At this point, his game against Oklahoma on November 4 will be the be all end all for Rudolph's Heisman chances.
That's when McSorley, Barkley and the rest of the Penn State offense marched 80 yards in 1:42 for the victor, a walk-off touchdown that silenced the 66,000 strong in Iowa City.
Penn State 21, Iowa 19: The Lions drove 80 yards in 96 seconds, converting a fourth-and-2 at their own 40 on a quick slant from McSorley to Saeed Blacknall. On Saturday in his 27th career start, the senior led the Nittany Lions with six tackles, including 1.5 for a loss. Barkley scored the game-winner on a wheel-route reception out of the backfield, racing past Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt.
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