Pittsburgh did a lot of things very well, particularly winning the time of possession battle, but Penn State made some big plays on offense, and bended, but didn't break on defense. It added up to a satisfying, if not gratifying 33-14 win over the Panthers.
"Our offense is very explosive and that's kind of how we were again today, explosive plays," Head Coach James Franklin said. "I'd like to see us sustain some more drives, but overall we showed that we could score at any moment. On defense, I thought our defense did a great job of holding them, obviously to field goals. Early on, we had some drives and we'd obviously like to create a little bit more three-and-outs."
"I think that was a big factor," senior linebacker Jason Cabinda added on the defensive effort. "They had a lot of long drives that we could have ended on multiple third downs. So we need to be better there, obviously. It's tough because you play so well on first and second down. Maybe some guys maybe ease up a little bit, but that's the time to really put the foot on the pedal and put the pressure on there."
"Grant's (Haley) my roommate. I was joking around with Grant saying that you got to find a way to get into the endzone and get your knees up, but I think the defense did a great job today," junior running back Saquon Barkley added. "(Troy) Apke got a pick. Marcus (Allen) got a safety. That got me really pumped up. I think just overall, our defense, that's the kind of team we want to be. We want to be a balanced team. We believe that we have the capability of being the best offense in the country and we believe we have the capability to be the best defense in the country."
"If we can be able to be an offense that can sustain drives, be able to run the ball and throw the ball and kind of keep teams on their heels, those are when the explosive plays come," junior quarterback Trace McSorley added. "The explosive plays just don't happen if you're calling a deep shot. They're the plays that, you get a defense on their heals, you're running the ball, running the ball, play action, be able to throw a certain rout down the field. So it really helps to be extremely complementary as an offense."