Saquon Barkley may have been on the sideline for Homecoming, but fans couldn’t have been blamed for mistaking him for the running back on the field.
Barkley’s successor, Miles Sanders, couldn’t be blamed for the loss as he racked up 162 rushing yards in Penn State’s 21-17 loss to Michigan State. And he put together two spectacular runs that are sure to make the Nittany Lions’ end-of-season highlight reel.
Let’s take a look at each one.
48-yard touchdown run in second quarter
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Remember Barkley juking his way past five different Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night in a ridiculous performance? Sanders’ run here wasn’t all that different.
He took the delayed handoff at the 48-yard line, went right and avoided a diving tackle, spun and avoided two to three would-be tacklers and then juked to avoid two more on his way into the end zone.
The touchdown was a big one, at the time, for the Nittany Lions. It gave PSU a 14-7 lead.
That was Sanders’ most-impressive run — but it wasn’t his longest.
78-yard scamper in the first quarter
This one isn’t hard to describe. Sanders took the run right up the middle, untouched, and put on the burners. He didn’t have to juke past six defenders and run up the right sideline — he just had to run straight. And, boy, is he fast.
By halftime, Sanders had 146 rushing yards on eight carries. In the 16 quarters previously, Michigan State had allowed 144 yards on 103 carries. That’s not a misprint.
Although Penn State came up short, it was no fault of Sanders — who finished with 162 yards and a TD on 17 carries to turn in an impressive performance.