Penn State football seniors take one last trot into Beaver Stadium
END OF GAME (Josh): Well, that escalated quickly. Nebraska scored quite a few garbage time touchdowns as the game ends with the final score of Penn State 56, Nebraska 44. I don’t think there’s ever been a more one-sided 12-point game in Penn State history. But, hey, I’m sure PSU’s seniors will take it.
6:32 left in 4th Quarter (Josh): And Nebraska scores a touchdown that’s ultimately meaningless — unless you have money on this game. PSU was a 26-point favorite, so that TD really hurt if you bet on PSU since it’s now up 56-31. And, unless you bet on this game, you must really be a diehard if you’re still watching.
7:36 left in 4th Quarter (Josh): Troy Apke has been ejected from the game for targeting. That means he’ll also miss the second half of next week’s game against Maryland. ... And that’s also why it’s usually a good idea to pull your starters when you’re up 32 points in the final quarter.
10:13 left in 4th Quarter (Ryne): After Nebraska punted for the eighth time, Tommy Stevens took over at quarterback for Penn State. The Nittany Lions backup quarterback, who has two catches for 22 yards tonight, lobbed a touchdown pass to Nick Bowers to complete the drive. Stevens rushed for 30 yards on three carries during the drive.
13:59 left in 4th Quarter (Josh): Mike Gesicki tearing through this paper mache defense like ... uh ... paper mache. PSU now leads 49-24 in a game that hasn’t been close since the first quarter. Fans are heading toward the exits now. Mike Riley has apparently been allowed to finish this game and has not yet been fired.
14:53 left in 4th Quarter (Josh): Tommy Stevens is the best pass-catching quarterback in the country. #HotTakes
End of 3rd Quarter (Josh): Hey you guys, Juwan Johnson is pretty good:
1:25 left in 3rd Quarter (Josh): And Penn State fans are now on the edge of their seats as Nebraska is clawing back after that last TD, cutting the deficit to 42-24 ... And, OK, I can’t keep a straight face anymore. Unless you bet on PSU, a 26-point favorite, you’re feeling pretty good right now.
4:47 left in 3rd Quarter (Josh): I’m just fascinated by Nebraska’s game plan on defense today. I mean, the last three teams have kind of given you a blueprint to success — and it’s as if the Huskers haven’t planned for Saquon Barkley at all. He’s been WIDE OPEN on swing passes and has six catches, on six targets, for 66 yards. But he’s been open even more than that. Barkley already has 224 rushing/receiving yards and, seriously, it should be even more than that. I do not understand what Nebraska is doing. PSU’s loving it.
6:40 left in 3rd Quarter (Josh): That hole was big enough to allow four Nebraska players holding hands to score a touchdown. PSU still leads 42-17 and Nebraska won’t come back from this — but that still wasn’t a great defensive effort on the 24-yard Nebraska scamper. Still, it’s been difficult to fault PSU much today. Overall, the Nittany Lions have been dominant.
Penn State is beating down the Cornhuskers. Here are a few halftime takeaways.
▪ This is Penn State's offense running at full speed.
Saquon Barkley's over 100 rushing yards, while Trace McSorley has three touchdowns. Penn State is outgaining Nebraska 439-77, and it feels like that gap is wider.
Some credit needs to go to the Huskers truly terrible defense. But the offensive line is actually providing protection for McSorley — and boy, does that help offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.
Penn State's going to score 70 points... or more.
▪ DeAndre Thompkins and Juwan Johnson are a dangerous duo to have come back next season.
Thompkins blocked two — yes, two — Huskers on Johnson's 43-yard weaving catch-and-run.
Losing DaeSean Hamilton and, to an extent, Saeed Blacknall hurts. But these two will keep the passing attack potent.
▪ Penn State's defense is looking better after a shaky start.
Nebraska strung together back-to-back first-quarter scoring drives. But the four drives after that? All three-and-outs.
Tanner Lee, Nebraska's gunslinging quarterback, will likely get a touchdown pass before this one's over. Still, nice display so far from the Nittany Lion defense.
1:11 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): Make that 42-10 Penn State after McSorley’s latest TD, a 15-yard strike to DeAndre Thompkins. Penn State has 400 offensive yards so far to Nebraska’s 84. And, honestly, watching this game — it seems more lop-sided than that.
1:29 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): I sense a pattern ...
4:36 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): If Barkley put up numbers like these the last three weeks, he’d still be atop the Heisman leaderboard. He just scored another TD to make it 35-10. He now has 133 rushing yards, three rushing TDs and 42 receiving yards on four catches. That means he’s also passed Lydell Mitchell for career TDs:
6:09 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): Watching Nebraska play defense is like watching an 8-man high school football team from Iowa taking on an 11-man MAC team. Two years ago, I picked the Huskers to win the West. Now, I wouldn’t pick them to beat Northern Illinois.
9:20 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): You know, I’m beginning to see why Mike Riley should be canned after this year ... PSU has 135 passing yards on 12 attempts and Barkley has 117 rushing yards on nine attempts. Is this the worst Nebraska team since the late-1950s? Or just since 2007? Either way, it’s bad.
9:23 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): Nice grab and concentration by Mike Gesicki. I’m guessing we’ll see that one on the highlight reel when ESPN plays his film during the NFL draft. PSU now leads 28-10.
11:53 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): The rout is on. PSU is now up by double digits, 21-10, and it’s hard envisioning Nebraska’s one-dimensional offense keeping up with this pace. PSU is 229 offensive yards to the Huskers’ 74 total yards (2 yards rushing).
14:54 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): On Barkley’s last run, he went over 1,000 yards for the season — making him just the second Nittany Lion ever that’s rushed for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Evan Royster is the other.
15:00 left in 2nd Quarter (Josh): And we start the second quarter off with PSU leading 14-10. The Nittany Lions have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball, but they’ve already had two 40-plus yard gains. This offense is a threat to go for a TD at any point in time.
3:38 left in 1st Quarter (Josh): And the refs are going to be put it at the 1-yard line, saying Barkley was out of bounds. But it really doesn’t matter. Barkley scores two plays later anyway. Penn State regains the lead, 14-10.
3:38 left in 1st Quarter (Josh): That’s the Penn State offense for you. Some drives, it looks as if they don’t know what they’re doing. Other drives, it looks as if they’re national championship-caliber. A nice second effort from Juwan Johnson (43 yards) and a nice jump TD from Barkley — which is being reviewed — could have PSU in the lead.
4:49 left in 1st Quarter (Josh): I don’t know if you can see it on TV but, from the press box, we’re able to see the whole field — and Barkley has been completely wide open this drive in the flat. If he doesn’t do anything this drive, he’s going to hurt Nebraska on the pass at some point.
6:17 left in 1st Quarter (Josh): And after that bad shank by Gillikin, Nebraska capitalizes and scores thanks to the short field. The hapless Cornhuskers are now beating Penn State 10-7. ... It’s been one good PSU play (Barkley 65-yard TD run) and a whole lotta bad plays. Side thought: If PSU was in the Pac 12, I’m pretty sure it’d give up 500 passing yards a week.
7:26 left in 1st Quarter (Josh): Oh my ... That’s got to be the worst punt I’ve ever seen Blake Gillikin kick — in practice or in a game. That’s a very rare error by the Penn State punter. That shank traveled only 18 yards, and Nebraska is now just 36 yards from the end zone.
9:18 left in 1st Quarter (John): Troy Apke almost had a pick on third down. Tanner Lee’s frantic throw toward the end zone fell incomplete, though, and the Huskers settled for a chip shot field goal. 7-3 Nittany Lions.
12:50 left in 1st Quarter (John): That was less-than-ideal for Penn State. The Nittany Lions forced a three-and-out, and Nebraska punted — but the ball hit off Zech McPhearson’s leg. The Cornhuskers recovered and have pretty darn good field position...
14:03 left in 1st Quarter (Josh): Well ... that didn’t take long. Barkley just rushed for a 65-yard TD run after finding space along the left sideline. Sooo, there go the questions on whether this will be another mediocre rushing performance by Barkley. I’d say that’s a pretty strong tone to set right off the bat. PSU 7-0. Nebraska fans staying optimistic:
14:55 left in 1st Quarter (Josh): And we’re finally underway here at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions are 26-point favorites today, and Saquon Barkley is trying to break out after three sub-par statistical performances. Let’s see how Penn State starts out ...
10 Minutes Before Gametime (John): The Stripe Out is, well, meh. With crappy weather, it’s hard to ask much of the fans that showed up today, but there are plenty of blue and white ponchos in attendance. We’ll see if it fills up more by the end of the first quarter — but with it being Thanksgiving weekend, don’t expect much.
30 Minutes Before Gametime (John): Hmm, that’s interesting. Saquon Barkley was not announced as Penn State’s kickoff returner. Instead, it looks like it’ll be Brandon Polk handling those duties today.
40 Minutes Before Gametime (John): Both defensive end Ryan Buchholz and left tackle Ryan Bates are in uniform — but it’s unclear whether or not they’ll play. Bates wasn’t warming up with the first-team offensive line; from left to right, the starters there are Will Fries, Steven Gonzalez, Connor McGovern, Brendan Mahon and Chasz Wright. The Nittany Lions could certainly use Bates and Buchholz...
45 Minutes Before Gametime (John): A couple NFL teams have representatives in attendance today: the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers. The latter may be here to look at Marcus Allen, who is a Steelers fan. Surely, Penn State fans in Pittsburgh would love to see the hard-hitting safety stay in-state...
60 Minutes Before Gametime (John): A few minutes ago, I saw a Nebraska player jogging around Beaver Stadium without a shirt on. It’s pouring and chilly. It’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off.
90 Minutes Before Gametime (John): Well folks, it’s raining and cold — lovely weather for Penn State’s final home game of the 2017 season. For those who brave the elements, this reporter wishes you good fortune. For those watching at home, probably the right call. Either way, it’s Senior Day, and the Nittany Lions — four-touchdown favorites against the lowly Huskers — are looking to send DaeSean Hamilton, Mike Gesicki, Jason Cabinda and the rest of the veterans off with a blowout win. Up until kick, I’ll be providing updates. When the 4 p.m. tilt starts, it’ll be all Josh Moyer and Ryne Gery. Stay tuned throughout the afternoon and evening for observations, thoughts and bad jokes.
Who: Nebraska at No. 10 Penn State
Where: Beaver Stadium
When: 4 p.m.
TV/Radio: FS1/WQWK 1450
Previews: Click here