If it wasn't for the three turnovers, this would have been over a long time ago. Penn State was magnificent on offense, 13 of 17 on third down conversions. Saquon Barkley had the longest touchdown run in Fiesta Bowl history, Trace McSorley threw the ball all over the field and it all started because the offensive line was tremendous against a very, very good defense, as Penn State beat Washington 35-28.
"I think it always starts, as it always does, is up front," Penn State head coach James Franklin said. "I thought for the most part we protected really well tonight and we got a bunch of really talented skill players that if they're matched up in man coverage, they got a good chance to win. Ham (DaeSean Hamilton) did that a number of times tonight."
"Our offensive line did a tremendous job the whole game, but really on third down," junior quarterback Trace McSorley said. "Amongst themselves, you could hear them say 'hey, third down, we got to pick this up.' They had a little bit, different sense of urgency to themselves on the third downs and then you got guys like Ham (DaeSean Hamilton) and Saquon (Barkley). I mean, they did a great job separating versus man. We knew that was going to be a challenge this week."
The most electrifying play of the game was the Fiesta Bowl record 92 yard run by Saquon Barkley. A perfectly timed double team block by Brendan Mahon and Connor McGovern.
"From my perspective, me and Brendan (Mahon) had a double team, nose up to the front side backer, rub, took over nose. I got the linebacker and the next thing I know, saw Saquon (Barkley) running off my hip and running down the sideline," sophomore center McGovern said. "As soon as he passed my hip, I knew no one could catch him."
"I just want to say thank you to the fans and this team, this 2017 team will never be back together," Barkley said after the game. "The seniors will go on and play football or go on and be successful businessmen or whatever they pursue in life and they're right with us the whole ride."
"For me, it's just, I'm so happy we got a win for them," junior linebacker Koa Farmer said. "Just so grateful. To be part of that last play when B (Brandon) Smith got that pick, it's a testament to his story. When he caught the ball, I'm like, it would be Brandon Smith. It would be him."
"I'm just glad I didn't drop it," senior linebacker Brandon Smith said. "It was backwards anyway. So it doesn't matter, but we're happy. I love these guys and heck of a season and just going to relish it a little bit."