Halftime Thoughts: Penn State 14, Michigan State 7

By Matthew Filipovits on October 13, 2018 at 5:23 pm
Oct 13, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) passes the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome to halftime. Grab some food. Take a walk. Relax and enjoy our thoughts on the game so far.

  • Miles Sanders is making a mockery of the Spartan rushing defense. 
  • Penn State suffered an injury at a position where they really can’t afford it when defensive tackle Fred Hansard went down with a lower-body injury. Thankfully, Antonio Shelton can play the second half after having to sit in the first for targeting against Ohio State.
  • The pass rush has been getting in Lewerke’s face with some consistency, especially late in the half. Shane Simmons’ return clearly gave the defensive line a boost.
  • Donovan Johnson and John Reid have both looked outstanding. This could be the game Reid needs to get his confidence back where it needs to be.
  • The secondary as a whole has looked pretty good. Lewerke is just 7for-21 with 57 yards and no touchdowns. The Nittany Lions have narrowly missed a couple interceptions.
  • One of the keys to the game was shutting down Michigan State's Felton Davis III. Penn State has done exactly that so far. He's been targetted six times, but has only one catch for 12 yards. 
  • The only reason Sparty is on the board is because of some trickeration by Mark Dantonio. A fake punt and halfback pass extended the Spartan’s only touchdown drive. You know you’re in a good situation when the opposing team has to rely on that. 
  • Trace McSorley has looked sharp, completing 10 of his 13 attempts. They've all been short or intermediate passes through, leading to just 72 yards through the air. He did, however, become the most prolific passer in school history.
  • KJ Hamler looks solid in his return. He leads the team with three catches for 33 yards and one touchdown. 
  • The Nittany Lions look a bit sluggish, which is probably a side effect of the bye week. The Nittany Lions get the ball to start the second half so look for them to take some shots at the endzone.
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