After taking a quarter to wake up, Penn State rolled to a 35-6 victory over Rutgers on Saturday, in less than three hours. We take a closer look at the Lions' 26th win over New Jersey's state university by breaking down the numbers.
1: Penn State was held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time all season. That's what a noon kick against a team like Rutgers after two crushing losses will do to you.
5: Over the past five games, Saquon Barkley has been held to zero or negative yards rushing in a half five different times. Barkley, who rushed for -3 yards on five rushes in the first half of Saturday's matchup, was able to pick up production in the second half, rushing for 38 yards and two touchdowns. That was in addition to him taking flight on the final connection of a hook-and-ladder in the third quarter. The lack of depth and the youthfulness of the offensive line has reared its ugly head once again in 2017, probably costing Barkley a shot at the Heisman. Things were no different on Saturday as Barkley was gobbled up in the backfield on multiple occasions and had to perform magic to gain positive yardage on a consistent basis.
66: While Barkley mimicked the team's first-quarter sleepwalking, his backfield partner-in-crime Trace McSorley once again provided the spark to get the Penn State offense going. The redshirt junior signal-caller scrambled 20 yards for the Lions' first touchdown of the day in the second quarter, making him responsible for 66 touchdowns in his career, breaking Darryl Clark's school record.
With that score, Trace McSorley has broken the #PennState record for touchdowns responsible for with his 66th TDR. He was tied with Daryll Clark (65 TDR) for the top spot.
— Kris Petersen (@GoPSUKris) November 11, 2017
10: In his first start of the season, senior LB Brandon Smith tallied 10 tackles. It was the second double-digit tackle game of his career, only trailing his 14-tackle performance against Maryland in 2016.
7: After going up 6-0, Rutgers went 7 straight drives that ended in four plays or less. Their final drive of the game went 14 plays against Penn State's second-string defense and ended on downs. With Giovanni Rescigno's passing abilities, well, lacking, the Nittany Lions were able to hone in on stopping the Rutgers running game and maintain a clean sheet after two first-quarter field goals.
4: Penn State is 8-2. Their two losses continue to be by a total of four points against teams that went into Saturday as top-15 squads. One of those squads will no longer be in the top-15 after Saturday, but are probably still a top-25 team in the nation. Does this Lions squad have flaws? Absolutely. Can you be disappointed on how the last two weeks have shanked out? Sure. However, should anyone seriously be calling for the heads of anyone on the coaching staff or feel that this program is in disarray? Get outta here.