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Penn State Football: Hackenberg Injured As A Career Of Chances Likely Comes To A Close

by on January 02, 2016 2:00 PM

It's halftime and I'm already writing.

Which is indicative of a few things obvious as the Blue Band takes the field.

One, Georgia certainly appears to be the better team. Today at least they're more physical, they've made enough plays on both side of the ball and are without a doubt benefiting from the biggest storyline of the day.

Christian Hackenberg is out.

A hit at the end of a scramble drove his right shoulder into the ground and left him wincing in pain. Fittingly Hackenberg's efforts and eventual five-yard gain were all for naught as a holding penalty backed the Nittany Lions into a first-and-15 at their own six. If the nature of his injury ends up being severe Hackenberg will have completed three of four passes after getting injured. 75 more yards to his name before finally making his way to the locker room.

Having been sacked over 100 times Hackenberg's toughness has never been a question. 38 straight starts knowing full well that some portion of the game will be spent on the ground. Getting up time and time again. As Chris Godwin sprinted down the field for a 51-yard gain, Hackenberg made his way as fast as he could, right arm limp at his side. One play later a pass to Kyle Carter fell incomplete and that was it, Trace McSorley came into the game and Hackenberg made his way around the field to the locker room.

The irony in all of this is the simple fact that in a game where neither team seem interested in taking risks it was Hackenberg scrambling for the extra yards. The one with the most to lose was the only one taking the biggest chances.

But in reality it has always been this way. Hackenberg took a chance when he committed to Penn State. He took a chance when he opted on two occasions to stay the course. He took a chance every single time he lined up behind an offensive line that could have ended his career on any given down.

So it's not really a surprise that he was taking chances on Saturday. The official word is that he will not return and in turn so likely ends his career at Penn State. And while an injury thanks to poor blocking would have been no less surprising, it is equally of no surprise that his seemingly inevitable injury was the result of his own decisions. After a whole career built on the foundation of chances, one finally caught up to him.

At 2:01 PM sharp, Trace McSorley took the field for Penn State's first drive of the second half.

And Hackenberg watched from the sideline in street clothes.

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