Juwan Johnson sparks second half for PSU
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 39-0 victory over Rutgers on Saturday night at High Point Solutions Stadium:
Play of the game: Juwan Johnson blocked a Rutgers punt early in the third quarter, which gave the Nittany Lions possession at the Knights’ 10. Three plays later, Saquon Barkley scored to take a 16-0 lead.
Offensive player of the game: Trace McSorley completed 17-of-33 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown. He was not intercepted. He also rushed 11 times for 55 yards.
Defensive player of the game: Brandon Bell led a balanced PSU defense with five tackles, including one sack and a forced fumble.
Most telling statistic: Penn State outgained the Knights 549-87.
Most deceiving statistic: There were none.
Hidden statistic: Penn State converted 10-of-19 third downs.
Best run: Mark Allen took a swing pass, cut back and made several tacklers miss en route to a 27-yard touchdown that gave the Lions a 31-0 lead with 7:59 to play.
Best pass: McSorley rifled a 22-yard sideline route to Chris Godwin in the third quarter.
Worst pass: McSorley had Miles Sanders open over the middle for a 20-yard second-quarter touchdown but overshot him.
Best catch: Gregg Garrity fought the rain and the wind to make an over-the-shoulder snag of a fourth-quarter punt.
Best route: DeAndre Thompkins came back to the ball for a 15-yard reception in the third quarter after McSorley was in trouble.
Catch it, will ya: McSorley whipped a bullet 20 yards up the left sideline into the end zone, splitting defenders, but it sailed through Gesicki’s hands in the first quarter.
Hold it, won’t ya: Sanders fumbled the opening kickoff, and Rutgers recovered at the Penn State 19.
Best tackle: Malik Golden broke through and dumped Josh Hicks for an 8-yard loss on the Knights’ first play after recovering Sanders’ fumble.
Best block: Irv Charles did a nice job to help spring DaeSean Hamilton’s 28-yard flanker screen to the Rutgers 11 in the second quarter.
Best hit: Bell blindsided Rutgers QB Giovanni Rescigno, forcing an early fumble that the Knights recovered.
Best kick: Tyler Davis’ third field goal, a 41-yarder, was a season-long.
Worst kick: The wind was tough, but Michael Cintron’s 19-yard punt didn’t help the Knights’ cause.
Best call: Even though Penn State didn’t convert a fourth down from the Rutgers 2 early in the second quarter, it was a good decision to go for it and kept the Knights pinned in a hole.
Worst call: Was a little confused by Rutgers’ strategy down 9-0 and near midfield late in the first half. The Knights tried three straight runs and killed the clock.
Best effort: With PSU up 25-0, Jordan Smith hustled to track down Justin Goodwin following a 51-yard kickoff return.
Unsung hero: Derek Dowrey started at guard in place of Connor McGovern and was part of an offensive line that gave McSorley plenty of time.