Penn State officially has a Michigan State problem. Just like they did last year, the Spartans won a tight game against the Nittany Lions, this time on a touchdown catch in the game's waning moments by Felton Davis.
Here are five fast thoughts on the loss:
- Penn State beat themselves today. Yes, there was some shoddy officiating, and the reversed call on Brian Lewerke throwing a backwards pass was brutal. Before you come calling for officials heads, though, there were missed tackles, missed throws, a missed field goal, and a number of other missed opportunities that kept Michigan State in the game far longer than they should have been.
- Penn State's offensive line played, by far, their worst game of the year. It took a herculean effort by Miles Sanders to score a touchdown. Other than that, Penn State's offense did next to nothing all game.
- To go off of James Franklin's comments on elite teams following the loss to Ohio State, elite teams close games, even when they don't play their best. Penn State reinforced it is not an elite team with today's loss.
- Michigan State was ready to play today. Watching each sideline throughout the game, Michigan State seemed to be the team that was fired up. Penn State, on the other hand, seemed flat. We thought the bye week would mean the lethargy that showed up following last year's loss to the Buckeyes wouldn't pop up. Nope.
- The fourth quarter defensive collapses are officially a problem. This is three times this year, and fortunately, Penn State was able to beat Appalachian State, or else they'd be 0-3 in close games this season.
I'm done. So is Penn State this year.