Article Written by Mac Young
Originally Published on November 26, 2023
The Penn State Nittany Lions played their final regular season on Black Friday thumping Michigan State 42-0 inside Ford Field.
The perfect, dome conditions of the Detroit Lions’ home stadium allowed the Nittany Lion offense to finally air it out for 303 passing yards, the most since Week 1.
Quarterback Drew Allar also had one of his longest passes of the season with a pristine deep ball to Omari Evans that set the Nittany Lions up inside the five-yard line.
Allar had maybe his most complete game as a Nittany Lions throwing for 292 yards and two touchdowns to zero interceptions.
The Penn State sophomore running back duo of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen also had a convincing performance to end the season. Both backs managed to rush for more than 115 yards on the ground averaging well over six yards a carry.
Overall, Penn State outgained the coachless Michigan State 586-53.
To put the cherry on top, Detroit native Jaylen Reed had an interception while playing in his hometown.
Penn State was always going to win this game, Michigan State is not a very good team and was playing with an interim head coach at the helm.
However, the Nittany Lions played a complete game with all position groups performing at a high standard. The shutout marks the third of the season for Penn State’s defense.
The blue and white won nine of its 10 wins by double digits. In their two losses, the Nittany Lions fell by single digits to two of the best in the country.
Despite the disappointment in losing the two biggest games of the season, Penn State has put together a strong 10-2 campaign.
With the way things have shaken out around the country, the Nittany Lions should enter bowl season inside the top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings.
That means two things. First, Penn State will most likely be playing in a New Year’s Six bowl to end this season. Secondly, if this season was using the 12-team playoff format, the Nittany Lions would likely be in.
A New Year’s Six appearance will allow Penn State to see how it would fair in the 12-team playoff. The Nittany Lions could potentially face some big time competition in their bowl game.
They could see the loser of the SEC championship in Alabama or Georgia or even a future Big Ten school in Oregon or Washington. Maybe Penn State will face a top non-Power 5 school in Tulane?
Either way, it’s a chance for Penn State to see how it stands outside of the Big Ten and for the team to see what it has going into next season.
It should be a fun way to close out another season of Penn State football. And oh, keep a lookout for James Franklin to try to hire a new offensive coordinator before the bowl game.
Mac Young is a senior broadcast journalism major at Penn State.
To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.