Penn State fans may have watched QB of future

Penn State defense vs. David Blough. Back and forth the game went, with Penn State not being able to stop Purdue's quick passing attack.

It was the most points scored by the Lions in three seasons under James Franklin and the most since Penn State put up 66 on FCS Coastal Carolina to open the 2008 opener.

"Change has happened, so we changed a lot of things in our routine", Parker said. "We're in our own control".

Blacknall has made big plays in each of the Nittany Lions' last three Whiteout games, including a terrific 35-yard catch that set up a touchdown in their 24-21 upset win over No. 2 Ohio State last week. But the Lions have struggled on the road in Franklin's three seasons.

Purdue led the Nittany Lions by a field goal midway through the second quarter and the game was tied at halftime.

Penn State has won just twice at true Big Ten road sites in Franklin's term (at Rutgers and in in 2014).

No game is more important, no win any more valuable, than the next one.

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Ohio State kept pace in the chase for a Playoff spot, improving to 7-1 with the victory. It will be much quieter than a typical Big Ten road game, so the PSU players have to find a way to get themselves fired up.

The coach said this past week has been a blur, following the death of his brother-in-law last week. The players and the coaches returned to work this week looking to build on the win. He then attended the funeral Tuesday.

"I basically texted back 'Thank you, ' 'Thanks, brother, ' 'Appreciate it, ' and I copied that and pasted it to everybody - men, women, coaches, neighbors, cousins, everybody", Franklin said. He delegated some operations details to his assistants, who maintained their regular approach.

"I realize that nothing really affects me the way football does", he said. I thought the coaches could handle this, but I didn't want it to be a distraction to our players. "I don't even know that you can explain it, everything this program has been through the last five years", Franklin told ESPN.com after the game. Add a rejuvenated Penn State defense with the return from injury of linebackers Jason Cabinda and Brandon Bell, and you have a team seeking its first Big Ten East title. Swinney said he was impressed with how hard Purdue played in a 27-14 loss.

Northwestern continued its strong play of late, despite seeing its win streak snapped. "So it will be a challenge".

Penn State entered the land of the ranked last week following a 24-21 upset over No. 2 Ohio State.

The coaches voted that award to Ayron Monroe and Von Walker, who play on almost every special-teams unit. The Nittany Lions aren't fully recovered from the NCAA sanctions that followed the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but they are well on their way, in part because of the play of Barkley, one of the Big Ten's best running backs. We have to be smarter in what we're doing.

  • Lawrence Cooper