Three thoughts from No. 14 Penn State's 35-6 win over Rutgers as the Nittany Lions improved to 8-2. The Nittany Lions embarrassed the Knights at home last season by a final score of 39-0, the largest margin of victory in the series.
The Nittany Lions outgained the Scarlet Knights, 549 yards to 87, on a night when they were scoring touchdowns in an almost-empty stadium after breaking open a close game at the half with 16 third-quarter points.
It's why Saquon Barkley had -3 rushing yards in the first half. This game could get ugly, as Penn State needs someone to take their anger out on. Barkley, a Heisman Trophy candidate, was slowed again. Shareef Miller was banged up at one point, and when he went out, Rutgers was able to run at both sides effectively.
On Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium, Rutgers struck first as the Nittany Lions didn't take the initial lead for the first time all year. He added a 25-yarder later in the first, but Rutgers' momentum ended there.
The Scarlet Knights have managed to turn their season around, winning three of their last four, but they have struggled offensively, especially when trying to throw the ball. Robert Martin adds 358 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Both suffered undisclosed leg injuries in the October 28 loss at Ohio State. Barkley capped the drive with a 4-yard run.More news: The history of Veterans Day
"It's part of the game", Barkley said.
With the College Football Playoff and back-to-back Big Ten titles off the table, Penn State can focus on finishing off its last three games to finish off their first 10-win regular season since way back in 2009. Franklin didn't elaborate and didn't answer a reporter's question, walking out of the media room when asked whether Bowen would return. Senior linebacker Jason Cabinda had a monster day, racking up a team-high 11 tackles Fellow linebacker Brandon Smith had 10.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights let a rare chance to win back-to-back games slip away after a solid first half. Though both losses came on the road and by a total of four points, they still count as losses that will end numerous teams' preseason dreams. Running back Gus Edwards torched Maryland a week ago, but will face a stout Penn State front seven that could force Rutgers into obvious passing downs, which is an issue.
Then, of course, there was the non-covered kickoff that gave Rutgers the ball on a field-long onside kick of sorts to start the game, and then the forced fumble by Lamont Wade to start the second half that gave the Lions the ball back.