Nittany Lions Suffer First Loss against Minnesota
Photo by Darian Somers
The Nittany Lions limped out of the gate against the Golden Gophers and never recovered.
The 9-0 Golden Gophers’s offense shined early in what could be the biggest game in the recent history of their program. Whether it was Bateman or Johnson, the Gopher wide receivers were running rampant on Penn State’s shellshocked secondary. The Nittany Lions were focused on stopping the run and Minnesota gashed them with play-action passes behind them.
Sprinkle in two turnovers that Minnesota converted into 14 points and it had all the indications of a first-half rout. But the Nittany Lions didn’t quit.
A stricter Brent Pry’s defense was present in the second half, which was complemented with a much more conservative Gopher approach. Still, Minnesota made enough plays down the stretch to hold on to the lead for the entire game.
The Gophers defense was porous, giving up huge chunks of yardage all game long but didn’t break when the Nittany Lions were in scoring territory. The inability to score touchdowns caught up with Penn State til the very last play.
A few calls went against the Nittany Lions, but the three turnovers–atypical for Penn State–was the difference. Credit the Minnesota team who is a lot better than anyone, including myself, thought.
Penn State still has a route to the Big Ten Championship and possibly the College Football Playoff, but it will have to go through Columbus.