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Penn State jumps out to big lead, hangs on to beat Washington

31 December, 2017, 03:05 | Author: John Swanson
  • Penn State jumps out to big lead, hangs on to beat Washington

Barkley is maybe the most complete running back in the nation with 1,134 yards and a league-high 16 rushing TDs.

Washington will certainly rely on the run game, but they are certainly not one-dimensional.

Junior tailback and unanimous All-American Saquon Barkley, as he so often does, offered the highlight of the half, as his 92-yard touchdown run down the left sideline gave PSU its largest lead of the half at 21.

Penn State's defense, for a time, was one of the nation's best.

For head coach James Franklin in particular, it's a chance to send the seniors off with a win - the fifth-year seniors who had no guarantee of any bowl games because of NCAA sanctions at the time they came to Penn State, the fourth-year seniors who put their faith in a new head coach and stayed committed to the program.

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Washington was trailing Penn State 28-14 in the second quarter at the time of this post.

No. 9 in the final College Football Rankings, had its way with Washington's vaunted defense early, building a 28-7 lead by the second quarter. This season he corralled 47 passes for 594 yards including three touchdowns.

Penn State is the favorite heading west in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl against Washington.

Penn State will also be monitoring its offensive line, which struggled during the regular season before finding its rhythm down the stretch.

Both enter the game with 10-2 records.

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"I think every team that makes some of these bigger bowl games that aren't in the playoffs wish they were in the playoff", Washington quarterback Jake Browning said.

Here's a look at how the two teams matchup as well as our Fiesta Bowl prediction. But, as Coach Petersen was quick to point out during his Fiesta Bowl media availability when asked if he told his Washington players about his Fiesta Bowl success as the coach of Boise State: "They don't care about that". He doesn't expect that to be the case Saturday even though both teams were undefeated at midseason and considered College Football Playoff contenders.

It's hard to imagine how different this game would've been if Washington's defense had been able to get off the field on third down.

This year's Fiesta Bowl should be very entertaining. This should be the type of bowl game where you want to have your DVR and popcorn ready! Penn State was 7-4-1 against the spread this year, and failed to cover in three of their final four games.

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