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Penn State Football: Five Nuggets From A Player Rewatch of 2016 Season

by on May 14, 2020 2:50 PM

The Big Ten Network sat down with Trace McSorley, Chris Godwin, Brandon Bell, Mike Gesicki, Saeed Blacknall and Grant Haley to rewatch and relive some of the biggest moments of the 2016 season.

You can watch the full half hour video here, but if there are five little nuggets to take from the segment, these are the ones.

Chris Godwin was sick:

This was technically already out on the public record for those who remember such things and recall the small details from Penn State's most recent Rose Bowl appearance, but for those who forgot, Chris Godwin was sick the night before the game. And sick the night before the game usually means not all that great during the game. Except Godwin put on a show, nine catches, 187 yards and two touchdowns for one of the better bowl performances by a Penn State player at any position.

So Godwin was sick, on and off the field, literally and figuratively.

McSorley's best throw:

If anyone was asked to make a list of Trace McSorley's best throws while at Penn State, it's safe to say his wheel route toss to Saquon Barkley in the Big Ten Championship would be among them. McSorley agrees, calling it the best pass he ever threw while at Penn State. The most impressive thing is how early he releases it relative to where Barkley is on the field and yet, it lands exactly in the arms of the star running back halfway through the end zone, and Penn State never looked back. Of all the great plays Penn State had in 2016, and of all the flashy stars, that fairly straightforward play might have been the most pretty to look at.

Getting booed:

James Franklin has noted, on more than a few occasions that he recalls getting booed at halftime against Minnesota during the 2016 season. Things were -different- then, to say the least and all of the players on the video recall that same sound as boos came down out of the stands. It's not really noteworthy that it happened, but it is interesting to hear how so many different people on that team remember that moment so vividly all these years later. That being said, the ensuing overtime victory sparked the rest of season's success, and really the last truly down and out moment for the program over the next several seasons.

Seeing the future:

Joe Moorhead is pretty well documented as having the ability predict how an upcoming play call is going to unfold and his call that Saeed Blacknall was about to score in the Big Ten Championship was no different. This is perhaps more impressive to people who aren't privy to all the ins and outs of the game, but seeing a plan come to fruition and a play executed exactly how it should be, is impressive no matter who you are.

It was fun:

One of the more unique things about Penn State's Rose Bowl loss to USC is how much people still remember the game fondly. Players look back and go "that was a blast" even James Franklin has the occasional shrug of the shoulders when someone tells him how good that game was. Did Penn State want to win? Does Trace McSorley cringe when watching that final interception? Yep, but there is a prevailing sentiment as all six players relive that entire experience: What a game.

For my money it's the best game I've ever seen in person, and had Penn State won, maybe one of the program's greatest wins.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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