Penn State Football

Saquon Barkley wows on first career NFL touchdown run

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates after rushing 68 yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates after rushing 68 yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) AP

Was there really ever any doubt that Saquon Barkley was going to impress in his NFL debut?

The New York Giants running back showed, once again, why he’s widely regarded as Penn State’s best-ever back. He finished his first NFL regular-season game with a respectable 106 rushing yards to go along with 22 receiving yards.

But the play that really had fans talking was his first career touchdown — an electric 68-yard scamper.

Early in the final quarter, he sprinted up the middle for what most running backs might’ve been a 2-yard gain. But then he avoided a tackle by cutting right, then escaped another tackle and bounced outside. Once he got to the corner, he turned on the jets — escaping another tackler and then out-running everyone else for another 40 yards.

All in all, Barkley avoided at least four would-be tacklers on the play.

The Giants fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-15 Sunday afternoon, but Barkley continues to impress early in his career. His first preseason run had fans talking, and now his first game is sure to keep his name on NFL nation’s lips.

He already has the NFL’s best-selling jersey. And there’s no telling where his NFL ceiling might be.

Barkley finished the game with 106 rushing yards on 18 carries for a 5.6 yards-per-attempt average. He also had two catches for 22 yards.

Barkley and the Giants will next play the Dallas Cowboys at 8:20 p.m. next Sunday. There, a national audience will likely realize what Penn State fans have known since 2015: This guy’s good.

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley team up for some offseason workouts, showing off their incredible lower-body strength with box jumps.

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