The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Penn State edges Washington for Fiesta Bowl Win

Penn State edges Washington for Fiesta Bowl Win


Saquon Barkley dazzled the crowd in Glendale with a 92 yard touchdown run and Trace McSorely threw for 342 yards and two touchdown passes as the 9th ranked Nittany Lions beat the 11th ranked Washington Huskies 35-28 to finish their 2017 season with an 11-2 record. Washington, who came into the season looking to repeat as Pac-12 champs and return to the College Football Playoff, received another disappointing loss to close their year at 10-3.

Penn State head coach James Franklin was pleased with his team in the first half as they were up 21 points in the second quarter. McSorely had his first TD pass to receiver DaeSean Hamilton and Barkley had two rushing TDs in the first half including the long run.

“Our coaches did a fantastic job and the O line protected and the receivers made plays,” Franklin said. “We were very efficient. We executed.”

Overall, the Penn State offense accumulated 545 yards of total offense on the Huskies, who came into the game having a top five defense. Washington’s head coach Chris Peterson credited the play of Penn State’s quarterback as a key factor to his team’s defense struggles.

“I think a lot of it was McSorley,” Petersen said. “He’s buying time, getting out of there. And when we did get a little pressure on him, he stepped up nicely and took off and ran or bought time. They had us on our heels most of the night.”

The Huskies tried to come back in the second half as they had cut it to seven in the fourth quarter, but they could not tie the game in the final seconds. They had a play set up to throw multiple laterals which led to Dante Pettis giving up the ball to Penn State with time left on the clock.

For Penn State, they are now looking to the end of the season with the question of if Barkley will return for his senior season. He had a very good year and is sure to be a high draft pick if he enters his name in the 2018 NFL Draft. Washington may have many of their key players back for 2018, so a possible trip to the Pac-12 title game could be in their sights.

[Photo: Matt Kartozian of USA Today]

Penn State edges Washington for Fiesta Bowl Win
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Penn State edges Washington for Fiesta Bowl Win

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