The No. 11 Washington Huskies spotted the No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions fourteen points and the Huskies generosity ended up being their downfall as the Nittany Lions outlasted the Huskies 35 to 28 to win their seventh consecutive Fiesta Bowl Game Saturday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.
The Nittany Lion star-studded offense led by quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley bolted to a 14-0 first quarter lead on a 48 pass play from McSorley to wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton and a two-yard run by Barkley.
The Nittany Lions dynamic duo put on an offensive show against one of the best defenses in college football, McSorley threw for 342 yards, two touchdowns and had two passes intercepted, while Barkley finished the game with 137 rushing yards, two touchdowns and caught seven passes.
Husky quarterback Jake Browning cut the Huskies deficit to just seven points when he scored on a one-yard run to start the second quarter. The Nittany Lions created some separation from the Huskies by scoring two consecutive touchdowns one of which was a breathtaking 92-yard Fiesta Bowl record setting scamper by Barkley for the 28 to 7 lead. The run was Fiesta Bowl record.
The Huskies scored their second touchdown of the quarter on a Myles Gaskin wildcat player when the running back lined up behind center took the shotgun snap and darted thirteen yards for the touchdown.
While the touchdown made the game look respectable with a halftime scoreboard showing of 28 to 14 the stats sheet told a different story. The Nittany Lions amassed 367 total offensive yards compared to the Huskies 136, were 7-8 on third down conversations compared to the Huskies 3-7. The Huskies most glaring stat was their inability to run the game. The Huskies had 17 rushing yards in the first half.
The Huskies adjusted their offensive strategy in the second half by going uptempo on offense to negate the Penn State rush and on defense the Huskies were able to stymie the Penn State offensive by mixing up zone and man to man blitzes.
Both strategies bore fruit as the Husky offense scored on its first possession of the third quarter when Browning completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Fuller to narrow the gap to 28 -21. McSorley answered the Huskies scoring play with his own touchdown pass play when he connected with Hamilton on a 24-yard pass for the 21-35 lead.
The McSorley to Hamilton pass play where the only points the Nittany Lions scored in the second half. The Huskies defense pitched a shutout in the fourth quarter.
Husky defensive back Austin Joyner intercepted a McSorley pass to start the fourth quarter and forced a Penn State punt on the Nittany Lions next offensive possession.
After receiving the punt the Husky offense scored with a quickness as Gaskin rambled 69 yards on the third play of the offensive series.
While Gaskins romp narrowed the lead to just seven points at 35 to 28 Nittany Lions defense bowed its neck and picked off a desperate Dante Pettis backward lateral to preserve the win.
|Avg. Per Rush||4.0||5.3|
|Avg. / Att.||7.8||8.3|
|Avg. / Comp.||11.9||10.7|
|Avg. / Play||6.0||6.9|
|Fumbles – Lost||1–1||2–1|
|Penalties – Yds.||4–22||2–20|
|Punts – Yds.||6–286||2–86|
|Avg. / Punt||47.7||43.0|
|Total – Yds.||5–303||6–389|
|Avg. Yds. / Kickoff||60.6||64.8|
|Punt: Total – Yds. – TDs||0-0-0||3-15-0|
|Punt: Avg. / Return||0||5.0|
|Kickoff: Total – Yds. – TDs||4–68–0||4–56–0|
|Kickoff: Avg. / Return||17.0||14.0|
|INT: Total – Yds. – TDs||2-7-0||0-0-0|
|Fumble: Total – Yds. – TDs||0-0-0||0-0-0|
|3rd. Down Conv.||8 of 15||13 of 17|
|4th. Down Conversions||0 of 1||1 of 1|
|Red-Zone: Scores – Chances||2–2||2–3|
|Sacks: Total – Yds.||1–1||4–24|
|PAT: Total – Made||4–4||5–5|
|Field Goals: Total – Made||0-0||0-1|