When you win a game with a touchdown on the final play, it goes without saying what the biggest play was. That final play was set up with a series of key plays and Roar Lions Road went back and broke down the final drive. In the fourth quarter, Saquon Barkley added another ridiculous play to his career highlight reel. After a false start penalty, Penn State faced a 3rd-and-6, clinging to a 15-13 lead.
Trace McSorley took the snap and looked around before throwing the ball a yard backward to Barkley. When he caught the ball, Barkley was 15 yards from the line of scrimmage and had some room to run.
As Barkley turned upfield, Iowa defensive backs Josh Jackson (15) and Amani Hooker (27) stood in Barkley's way. In looking closer, six Hawkeye defenders surrounded Barkley as they started to chase.
As Iowa closed on Barkley, the unbelievable once again became believable. Jackson got to Barkley first whilst still five yards short of a first down. Jackson decided to go low as he approached Barkley and suffered the fate of many before him as a result.
Juwan Johnson was searching for someone to block as Barkley easily made it over Jackson. He didn't locate Hookier in time to lay a block on him, which could have meant disaster for the Penn State running back.
Hooker didn't deliver a Madden-level hit stick as Barkley was in mid-air, but he did deliver a powerful shot to the left side of his body. For most people, having one-half of your body hit at full speed while you are hanging in the air would mean crumbling to the ground upon impact. Saquon Barkley is not most people.
As he landed, Barkley kept his balance and was able to pick up the first down before being pushed out of bounds. The drive resulted in no points as the field goal was eventually blocked, but the play served as a reminder of what a spectacular player Barkley is. We’ve seen him hurdle in the past, but it seems that each hurdle is more impactful and more unbelievable than the last.
He is a joy to watch.