A Look Back at the Top 10 Plays of the 2013 Football Season
The Penn State football team had an up and down 2013 season including some thrilling wins and some tough losses. After an upset win at No. 15 Wisconsin to finish the season, the Nittany Lions ended with a 7-5 record and momentum that should continue through the offseason.
There were many plays throughout the year that stood out and, in some cases, will be remembered for years to come. From long touchdowns to game-changing turnovers, we've put together our list of plays that defined Penn State's season. Here's Onward State's Top Ten Plays of the 2013 Season:
10. Jordan Lucas' interception vs. Michigan
This interception by Jordan Lucas, his first of the year, directly led to Penn State’s first touchdown of the game and gave the Nittany Lions momentum early. This play also seemed to give Lucas confidence going forward and helped turn his season around.
9. Geno Lewis’ touchdown vs. Wisconsin
This 59-yard touchdown broke the back of the Wisconsin Badgers. While the home team tried to come back and make it close, the Nittany Lions were able to hold on and pull off their biggest upset of the year.
8. Malcolm Willis’ forced fumble vs. Nebraska While Penn State may have ended up falling to Nebraska, this play kept the Nittany Lions in the game.
7. Jesse James’ touchdown vs. Nebraska
This long touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter against Nebraska put the Nittany Lions up by three points. This was the last time Penn State scored in Beaver Stadium in 2013.
6. Ryan Keiser’s game-winning interception vs. Illinois
Ryan Keiser, a former run-on, was awarded a scholarship in February of last year and received the most playing time of his career this season. While his inexperience showed at the beginning of the year, he developed and made quite a few plays for the Nittany Lions over the course of the season, none bigger than this interception against Illinois. The turnover on the first play of overtime ended the game and gave Penn State the win.
5. Allen Robinson’s touchdown vs. UCF
Coming into the season, not many people outside of the UCF program realized how good the Golden Knights really were. In front of a student white-out, UCF earned a 34-31 win, but this catch by Allen Robinson late in the fourth quarter provided the fans with something to cheer for.
4. Kyle Baublitz’s blocked field goal vs. Michigan
Simply put, this play saved the game for the Nittany Lions. After Sam Ficken missed a field goal in the first part of overtime, Michigan only needed a field goal to win. Baublitz came up with this clutch block to extend the game and give Penn State a chance to win.
3. Adam Breneman’s touchdown vs. Wisconsin
This play came less than two minutes into the first quarter at Wisconsin and gave the Nittany Lions confidence that carried through the game in what turned out to be Penn State’s most impressive upset win of the season. Breneman finished the year strong with three touchdowns in the final three games.
2. Geno Lewis’s touchdown vs. Syracuse
This play came in Hackenberg’s first start on the road vs. Syracuse. The long throw to Lewis was the first “breakout” moment for Hackenberg, and gave fans a glimpse of what to expect the rest of the season.
1. The Catch – Allen Robinson’s reception vs. Michigan
While the team’s record wasn’t the best, the 2013 Nittany Lions should be remembered for years to come. These players had the chance to leave when things got tough, but almost every player, led by the senior class, stayed and competed for Dear Old State.
I think this postgame video from the Penn State locker room after the Wisconsin game sums up the 2013 season the best.
- Allen Robinson’s touchdown vs. Ohio State
- Bill Belton’s touchdown vs. Eastern Michigan
- Allen Robinson’s touchdown vs. Indiana
- Adam Breneman’s touchdown vs. Purdue
- Kyle Carter’s touchdown vs. Illinois
The Road Ahead for Bill O’Brien and Penn State Football