With all of the allegations against a former Penn State coach, and the firing of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions still had to play a football game. They came up short to Nebraska on Saturday in 17-14 thriller in Happy Valley.
For the second week in a row redshirt sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez had one of the best games of his career. Martinez finished the day 13 of 26 passing for 144 yards. No touchdowns, but no turnovers for the young signal caller. He did carry the ball 18 times, that is 6 more times then in last weeks loss too Northwestern, but he rushed for 14 less yards against Penn State.
In last weeks game, junior Rex Burkhead looked a little slower than he has all season. A lot of Huskers fans wondered if Burkhead was getting over used and worn out, or if the Husker staff would limit Burkheads carries against Penn State. He carried the ball 27 times on Saturday. That’s 5 more carries then against Norhtwestern. He rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown at Penn State. Thats 4o more yards and just as many touchdowns.
In the Northwestern loss only 3 players carried the ball for the Huskers. Against Penn State 5 different Nebraska players got a carry. The biggest wrinkle added to the Nebraska offense was that Burkhead lined up at quarterback under center, he did so 9 times. The Huskers ran a lot of the toss power plays that they usually run with Burkhead lined up in the backfield. But as a quarterback, Burkhead would also act as a lead blocker after the pitch. It worked pretty well. The Huskers scored their first score of the game this way on a 2nd and goal play. Burkhead pitched the ball back to Ameer Abdullah, and acted as the lead blocker springing Abdullah free for a 2-yard-touchdown run. Abdullah’s first of his carrier.
It did back fire on one play. Burkhead tried handing the ball off to fullback Tyler Legate. The excahnge was bad and Legate put the ball on the ground. The turnover ledto Penn States second, and final touchdown of the game.
7 different Huskers had a reception against Penn State. That’s three more than the game against Northwestern. Kenny Bell led the Huskers with 4 catches for 43 yards. Junior tight end Kyler Reed has emerged back on the scene in the Nebraska offense. He had 3 catches for 40 yards. One being a 12 yard catch on a key 3rd down.
Fellow tight end Ben Cotton had one catch for 12 yards, but walked off the field holding his elbow, and never returned to the game. There is no word on Cotton’s status.
Penn States player of the game is undoubtedly is quarterback Matthew McGloin. The junior from Scranton, PA went 16 of 34 passing, for 192 yards and found 9 different Lion receivers for receptions on Sunday. He even had one catch that helped lead to Penn State’s second touchdown, that almost mounted Penn States comeback on Saturday.
With sophomore running back Silas Redd struggling, senior Stephfon Green came into the game. The Bronx, NY native rushed 17 times for 71 yards, and scored both Penn State touchdowns’. He had an opportunity late in the game to extend a drive on 4th and 1 and came up short after Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David stopped him short of the first down to give the Huskers the ball with a little over a minute to go.
The Huskers ultimately could not convert on 4th down, and gave Penn State the ball with under a minute to go, and the Blackshirts answered the call. Nebraska forced Penn State to give one last heave down field on the final play of the game. Nebraska escaped with a 3 point win, with a 17-14victory.
Nebraska’s next game is in Ann Arbor Michigan, against the Michigan Wolverines. Penn State goes to Columbus to play Ohio State next Saturday.
By Jimmie Allen