Penn State handled their business against Maryland on Senior Day, obliterating the Terps to the tune of 38-3. The Nittany Lions were led by all-everything quarterback Trace McSorley in his final Beaver Stadium performance. He didn't have a huge day statistically, but still gashed Maryland multiple times and helped make sure the game was never close.
We'll have much more on this game in the coming days, but for now, here are the five things that stand out in the aftermath of this one.
Trace McSorley, Take a Bow
The senior quarterback struggled through the toughest season of his career as a redshirt senior in Happy Valley, but in the end, guided his team to another nine-win regular season. We'll have plenty more content on the winningest-quarterback in Penn State history in the coming days and months, but hats off to him for ending his regular season with a 294 total yard, three touchdown day.
Ricky Rahne Stepped Up
The offensive play calling against Maryland was pretty great for the most part. Had the receivers caught everything thrown their way, the overall numbers would look even better. But the somewhat-maligned offensive coordinator called a nice game for McSorley's Beaver Stadium finale that showed off the best parts of this offense. Sanders was given the ball in space, Hamler was featured on short routes, Dotson and Freiermuth were used on deep-developing crosses and posts- it was great.
the Defense Didn't Miss Many Tackles
One of the issues that plagued the Penn State defense early in the season was missed tackles, and boy, were there a lot of them. As the season turned over, though, the defense really started to find its way. Still, one of the constants was a deficiency in terms of wrapping up opposing ball carriers in space. Against Maryland, however, they did a very good job of making sure that the Terps were not gaining extra yardage- which is especially important against a team with their kind of rushing ability.
The Future is Ridiculously Bright For This Team
By the time 2019 rolls around, gone will be McSorley, Amani Oruwariye, Nick Scott, Koa Farmer, DeAndre Thompkins, and others. But there is an unbelievably talented young core on this roster that is going to be a problem for future opponents. Micah Parsons, P.J. Mustipher, Pat Freiermuth, Jahan Dotson, and K.J. Hamler are just a few of those names, but there are even more whose impacts have yet to be felt. Penn State fans will dearly miss this year's graduates, but there is a group that will return next year with the chance to do some truly special things.
These Seniors Deserve Everything
Everyone surely knows this by now, but this group of redshirt seniors committed to Penn State alongside James Franklin, and they did so thinking that they wouldn't be playing in a bowl game for their first two years. This group has meant everything to this university and have provided countless memories for fans that will never be forgotten. They still have one more chance to put on the uniform in the upcoming bowl game, but seeing them finish off their up-and-down regular season with a big-time win induced all the warm and fuzzy feelings.