Penn State scores midway through the fourth quarter, extending their lead to two touchdowns. Does this sound familiar? Here, I'll keep going. The Buckeyes then romp down the field in absolutely no time at all, ultimately score twice and Penn State's final offensive possession is an act of futility on numerous levels. Buckeyes win. Ring any bells? This story has played out two years in a row, once in The Shoe and, this year, in Happy Valley.
Now that we've lost all of our Penn State readers, I'll shift gears before I offend anyone else. We knew the script for the biggest game of the season thus far, because we saw it last year. Here's five things we didn't know before Week 5 in the Big Ten.
Chase Young Is A 2020 Star In The Making
With the absence of Nick Bosa up front, the pass rush efforts to contain PSU QB Trace McSorley here handed to true sophomore DE Chase Young. He didn't disappoint.
Young finished this football game with 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 2 additional QB hurries and 2 passes defensed. Oh yeah, and he knifed through the line of scrimmage on a twist stunt on 4th and 5 to tackle RB Miles Sanders and seal the victory.
Young has splendid explosiveness, he's a true speed rusher and at 265 pounds (listed), he's a very physically mature player. This observation is one for the long haul, but this was Young's coming out party on the national landscape.
Brian Lewerke's 2018 Season Is Not Progressing As Hoped
I still subscribe to Brian Lewerke's mental acumen as passer, his physical gifts and think he can be a top tier Quarterback prospect when it's all said and done. But if that's going to happen in 2019 (he'll be a senior for the 2020 class), we need to see some sudden changes going forward.
Lewerke was out of sync with his receivers too often against Central Michigan. They didn't get on the board until the second quarter and only then got things rolling because his receivers were fouled multiple times in coverage to help move the ball.
Lewerke did some great things on the ground this game, rushing for two touchdowns, which serves as a healthy reminder for his athletic ability.
The blame for such a frustrating effort passing the ball (quite frankly this extends all the way back to Week 2 against Arizona State) doesn't fall strictly at the feet of Lewerke. Often times he's asked to make chicken salad out of...well, you know how the saying goes. The Michigan State receivers are not creating a lot of separation on their own, which is forcing Lewerke to have to test tight coverage in an effort to move the ball.
With athletic defenses in Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State looming over the next 6 games, Sparty better figure things out quickly.
Another Double Digit Tackle Performance for Nebraska LB Mohamad Berry
Listen, Nebraska collected their fourth straight L to open the season, but it wasn't all bad. Mohamad Berry was a player who flashed on film to me first against Colorado with his speed to the football. He finished that game with 12 tackles.
Berry then logged 11 tackles against Michigan in Week 4. Week 5 against Purdue? 11 tackles. Athletic linebackers who have a nose for the ball is a great foundation in looking for next level prospects at the position.
I don't know enough at this point to speak in depth on Berry's pro prospects but I do know he's a player I'm going to make an effort to study more intently this week.
The Purdue QB Battle May Have Yielded A Late Round Pro Prospect
Entering the season, Purdue looked to try to give the starting job to QB Elijah Sindelar, a 6-foot-4, 225 pound quarterback with a big time arm. It didn't go well. Now, Sindelar is listed as the back-up with an undisclosed injury. In his place is senior QB David Blough (6-foot-1, 205 pounds). Blough might not give the job back.
In his first full game against Missouri, Blough set the Big Ten single game passing yards record with 572 yards. This week against Missouri, Blough was accurate, decisive and showed some mobility in the pocket as well.
Blough lacks prototypical size and his arm strength doesn't appear to be a plus trait, but that's okay. There's a place in the league for sharp minded quarterbacks.