UW: The High (and Low) Five

Zach Zwinak

See the highs and lows from Senior Day at Penn State as the Nittany Lions knocked off the Badgers 24-21 in overtime.

It was a game of ebb and flow, highs and lows for Penn State on the final game for 31 seniors, but the highs completely outweighed the lows as the Nittany Lions grabbed a huge overtime win to advance to 8-4, a mark many talking heads thought was inconceivable.

The High Five

No Quit: After giving up a quick touchdown strike on The Opening drive, the first of the season in the first quarter, Penn State assembled a balanced, methodical drive to get the touchdown back. From there the Lions did not quit - they dug in and battled back, taking risks and capitalizing to send the Badgers onto the Big Ten Title Game with a loss.

Stickin' With Ficken: Sam Ficken has had an amazing turn-around, becoming a arguably clutch kicker, hitting three for three on field goals, including the game-winner in overtime and an extra point today.

Gunslinger: True freshman Jesse James came up big pulling in a 41-yard go ahead touchdown pass on fourth and six. On the day he ended up with three catches for a team-high 90 yards and a touchdown.

Rollin' Rollin': Zach Zwinak not only hit his fourth consecutive 100+ yard game, but rolled up an eye-popping 179 yards. Despite all the hype for Montee Ball, Zwinak showed he was the best running back on the field today. His old-school style has been incredible for the Nittany Lions.

Hill Will: Jordan Hill dug in and nearly single-handedly took over the game as it winded down, terroizing Wisconsin QB Curt Phillips and shutting down Montee Ball.

Bonus High

Fitting Sendoff: What a perfect way for this team to send off their Seniors. A huge win that required the team to pull together, dig deep and grab the opportunity.

Building Blocks: The offensive line struggled with their pass protection - more on that in a bit - but when it came to opening up lanes they were masterful throughout the game,helping Zwinak to roll up those 179 yards.

The Low Five

Running Flat: Penn State's defense came out flat and outmatched against Wisconsin's offense early on, giving up two all-too-easy touchdowns. However, the D tightened up and shut down the Wisconsin offense until the final seconds of regulation.

Broken Line: Penn State's offensive line struggled with Wisconsin's four-man rush for long spurts, resulting in several inopportune sacks of Matt McGloin. McGloin made some poor decisions, but the line needed to give him more time. When it mattered most though they pulled it together and as mentioned above their run blocking was impressive.

Grab the Handle: As impressive as Zwinak has been he has to improve holdng onto the ball. Sure he coughed it up aftr he was down, but he needs to focus on locking it down given the hits he's poised to take.

Say What?: Not sure why on a key third-and-three inside the redzone the offensive staff chose to run a Mike Zordich end-around, which got no pickup. It was an odd call at an integral moment.

Broken Record: Seriously, we're the Big Ten refs going for a record of how much time they could waste on unnecessary reviews? Replay is an important part of the game, but the officials seemed borderline lost throughout streaks of this game.

-30-

GopherDigest.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Coming up big against Montee Ball and the Badgers, see Penn State's emotional Senior Day overtime…

Tweets