It wasn’t supposed to go like this for Penn State. Well, that’s not really true. Pittsburgh was favored to win, but it was a rivalry game and we all know weird things happen in rivalry games. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions both of those weird things happened when it mattered the most, and that’s why Pittsburgh won.
The first huge mistake was this drop by DaeSean Hamilton, which happened at the worst possible time. He was wide open, so ludicrously open. It’s an each-way bet whether this would have been a touchdown — but at the very least it would have taken the pressure off. Keep in mind that all Penn State needed was a field goal to force overtime.
Keep in mind that all Penn State needed was a field goal. That wasn’t an editing error, it needs to be re-stated, because it’s the second moment of horror that sealed Penn State’s doom.
This wasn’t some last-second hopeful chuck into the end zone. It was second down. In a game with over a minute left. In a game where all Penn State needed was a field goal. Yes, college kickers are unreliable and all that jazz — but there was simply no reason to have Trace McSorley throw this pass with these kind of stakes.
If anything this game was so wacky and back-and-forth that it proved Penn State vs. Pitt needs to be a yearly thing.