Penn State Football Throttles Auburn 41-12, Returns to National Spotlight | Takeaways

Nick Singleton ran wild, as Sean Clifford led the way to Penn State Football dominating Auburn 42-11, in the heart of SEC country.

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Penn State Nittany Lions Running Back Nicholas Singleton (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State Football traveled deep into the heart of SEC country, and made a statement to the nation in a 41-12 runaway victory over the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The Nittany Lions are back.

Thanks to one of the more dominant performances from a Penn State Football offensive line in recent memory, and freshman phenom running back Nick Singleton running roughshod, James Franklin’s team is 3-0 and firing on all cylinders.

Penn State Football’s consistency comes as chaos reigns supreme across the College Football landscape.

Here are 5 key takeaways from Penn State Football’s blowout win over Auburn: 

Nick Singleton is Special

This feels like a repeat of last week, but Singleton blew up in the second half, after getting only a few carries in the first.

Singleton finished with 10 carries for 124 yards and two Touchdowns. He is the reason the Nittany Lions were able to put the game away early in the second half.

The former five-star recruit, and reigning Gatorade Player of The year, broke a 40-plus yard run to get Penn State Football inside the five-yard line where he eventually punched it in. He later broke a 54-yard run, burning by an Auburn corner to give the Nittany Lions a 38-12 lead.

Singleton is living up to being the No. 1 running back recruit in the 2022 class.

While running over Ohio is one thing, outrunning and looking like the better athlete against an SEC defense proves just how special Singleton is.

Kaytron Allen also rushed nine times for 52 yards and two Touchdowns. A sort of freshman thunder and lightning combo that could help elevate Penn State Football toward the top of the Big Ten.


Manny Diaz’ has this Defense looking Elite

The Nittany Lion defense was a force, and caused fits for Auburn all game.

Manny Diaz’ unit forced two fumbles and two interceptions, for a total of four turnovers. The Nittany Lions’ defense flustered starting quarterback TJ Finley all day, and was a major factor in Penn State Football being able to pull away in the second half.

In addition to the turnovers, Penn State Football was in the backfield all afternoon, forcing six sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

Freshman Abdul Carter led the Nittany Lions with six tackles including one sack. There is something about wearing No. 11 that just looks good at the Linebacker position.

Meanwhile, Adisa Isaac had three tackles for loss including one sack, and was a menace in the backfield all day.

Diaz was able to blitz all game because of the reliability of the secondary.

Brenton Strange has best game of the season

Penn State Football had not gotten a ton of production from their talented tight end room leading up to this game. That changed in a big way, with Brenton Strange hauling in six catches for 80 yards, and was the leading receiver for the Nittany Lions.

The junior tight end had his biggest impact in the run game.

On both of Singleton’s big runs, Strange had crucial blocks that helped open holes for the freshman phenom to break free. If the Nittany Lions can continue to get production from their tight end room as the season continues, this offense will be at a level that we haven’t seen since the 2016-17 teams.

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Sean Clifford quiets criticism

After the breakout performance in the second half by Drew Allar last week against Ohio, many wanted to turn to the freshman to give him experience for the future.

The future will have to wait.

Clifford looked cool, calm, and collected all day against what was thought to be the toughest defense to date. He didn’t force the ball and used his legs when necessary.

The sixth-year quarterback even caught a 25-yard pass after a lateral.

While the numbers weren’t flashy, 14-of-19 for 178 yards, and six carries for 15 yards and a touchdown, it was enough to keep the offense moving.

The addition of a great running game has helped take some of the pressure off of Clifford.

While it seemed that maybe this season would be a rebuilding year, and Allar would be the better option, if Clifford is healthy like he was pre-Iowa game last season, there is a chance that the Nittany Lions could get back to the double-digit win seasons that they had before covid.

Clifford proved that having a veteran is always good when going into a hostile environment.

Offensive Line was Solid

The offensive line had been somewhat inconsistent the first two games of the season.

Purdue was able to get pressure on Clifford throughout the night and Ohio even had some sacks last week. That changed big time against Auburn with no sacks being allowed and only 3 tackles for loss. The line opened massive holes that allowed for Singleton to break off big runs and kept a clean pocket for Clifford all game.

The biggest improvement came from the right tackle position with an improvement from Wallace throughout.

Penn State Football has yet to establish a good offensive line under James Franklin, but this might finally be the breakthrough they needed.

If this line can continue to get push and establish the run with Singleton, this team will be tough to stop in the Big 10. It is only 3 games so we will have to wait for a larger sample size, but as of now the line looks improved at the very least.


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