Penn State has now lost back-to-back games by blowing a two-touchdown lead at Iowa and scoring eight points over the course of nine overtimes at home against Illinois. That’s quite a way to go from being No. 4 in the country to having no hope for the national title whatsoever.
The less said about the 20-18 game in Happy Valley on Saturday, the better. It was brutal to watch Penn State and Illinois trade mostly failed two-point conversions, but a blessing that the college overtime rules made it a de facto penalty shootout instead of watching the first two overtimes, which ended in a pair of field goals for both teams after stultifying offensive displays, repeat ad infinitum.
What’s fun is looking forward, and seeing that in a season where all they have left to play for is spite (and a mathematical shot at the Big Ten title) before ultimately losing the Citrus Bowl, the Nittany Lions still have a trip to Ohio State (next week), a home game against Michigan (Nov. 13), and the regular season finale at Michigan State.
Penn State is absolutely going to destroy somebody’s season. Aside from their own. Because they already did that on Saturday. By scoring 18 points in a whole game. And going 1-for-7 on two-point conversion attempts in the overtime periods. The nine overtime periods. That they played against Illinois.
The Penn State choke, combined with Oklahoma State going down (surprise, surprise) at Iowa State, really took the heat off No. 2 Cincinnati and No. 3 Oklahoma barely being able to take care of Navy and Kansas, respectively. Oregon, you’re not off the hook either with that 34-31 survival at UCLA, but let’s be real, the Pac-12 isn’t involved in the playoff conversation anyway.
But do you know who is in the playoff conversation? ACC frontrunner Pitt, whose remaining opponents after disposing of Clemson are a combined 20-17, and 9-13 in conference. The only one over .500 is Virginia, which is Virginia. Of course, Pitt is still Pitt, and can Pitt at any time, but there’s ACC co-frontrunner Wake Forest, on a collision course with Pitt for the ACC title game, and which beat Army…
…wait a minute…
…70-56 on Saturday.
Wake Forest’s mens’ basketball team scored 70 points only seven times in 22 games last season. One of those was a 76-75 win over Pitt. Let’s see that in Charlotte in December.
Congratulations to the Vancouver Canucks, who scored three goals in the third period to ruin the Seattle Kraken’s home opener, continuing the longstanding Canucks tradition of ruining everything.
Also in news of Canadian hockey teams, everyone point and laugh at the Toronto Maple Leafs, who lost 7-1 in Pittsburgh, to a Penguins team without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, or Kris Letang.
If the Penguins could’ve had a little more time, they might have matched Penn State’s scoring output.