Penn State played one good quarter on offense. On defense, they were on field the entire game and yet, Saquon Barkley's overtime touchdown run lifted the Nittany Lions to a very important 29-26 win.
"The first half obviously was flat," James Franklin said after his team beat Minnesota. "We didn't make a whole lot of plays, had no momentum and then Irvin Charles makes that big play and got the crowd back involved, which was critical. Really proud of our team. They just never stopped believing and they're having a great time in the locker room. I wish I could take you guys into this locker room because it is awesome in there."
"Oh, it was crazy," place kicker Tyler Davis said after connecting on his school-record 17th straight field goal without at miss. "We were all jumping up and down, dancing, holding that bell in the air. It was awesome and having (offensive line) coach (Matt) Limegrover hold that and all of us dance around him, that was special."
Quarterback Trace McSorley had a big third quarter, a touchdown run, 172 yards passing, 80 of them on the first reception by Irvin Charles.
"We had to come out and we had to do something with the first drive and we had to come out firing in the second half and that's just what we talked about at halftime was, you know, it's now or never and we always talk about you know how good we can be and it was time to stop talking and start doing it," McSorley said.
The biggest play on defense was Jordan Smith's interception in the endzone in the 4th quarter.
"This is like the most he's ever played," junior free safety Marcus Allen said. "So for him to show out and strap and have a clutch interception like that, it's big time. It boosts his confidence, boosts the whole team's confidence."
But the big play was Barkley's
"I was just really excited to get in the endzone and being able to step up for my team," Barkley said after his game-winning score. "The O-line did a great job of getting me in the situation to be one-on-one with the safety and I could run but you gotta make that guy miss. I was fortunate to win that one-on-one and be able to score the go-ahead touchdown."
Next weekend? Homecoming weekend with a the Terps of Maryland coming in.