If you questioned if the Nittany Lions wanted to win their season finale or not, look no further then at senior linebacker and team captain Michael Mauti.
Last week against Indiana, Mauti tore his ACL in the first quarter, and was carted off the field. For the game, every Penn State player had Mauti’s #42 on the side of their helmet. Fellow linebacker Gerald Hodges wore Mauti’s 42 jersey as well to honor his teammate
Mauti was shown frequently throughout the game jumping up and down with a headset on cheering for both the offense and his defense.
Quarterback Matt McGloin, who last week broke the school record for career touchdown passes with 45, ended his Penn State career with a 19-37 200 yards and a TD performance.
On a game that was in the low 30s, running back Zach Zwinak was called upon 36 times for a career high 179 yards and a touchdown. On the other side, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball had 111 yards rushing on 27 carries and a touchdown.
The air seemed to be sucked right out of Beaver Stadium when the Badgers scored with 18 seconds remaining on 4th and goal to send the game to overtime.
The Nittany Lions received the ball first to begin overtime and quickly were facing a 4th down. Kicker Sam Ficken who notoriously missed 5 kicks in week 2 against Virginia, made a 37 yard field goal to put the Nittany Lions ahead by 3.
The Badgers then got the ball at Penn State’s 25 yard line and after 3 key stops, the Badgers had to attempt a 44 yard field goal by Kyle French that went wide left. The Penn State players quickly stormed the field and sprinted to the student section to sing alma mater.
Anchoring the Penn State defense in place of Mauti was senior DT Jordan Hill who had 12 tackles and 2 sacks.
It’s not all bad for the Wisconsin Badgers. Runningback Montee Ball broke the NCAA all time record in career touchdowns (79) and because Ohio State are both ineligible for a Big Title, they will be representing the Leaders division in the Big Ten championship.
This game ends the most emotional season in Penn State’s history and results in a shocking 8-4 record and a 2nd place finish in the Big Ten Leaders division. After starting the year 0-2, the Nittany Lions won 8 of their last 10 games to finish off the season.