Penn State rallies past Wisconsin to capture Big Ten championship

December 04, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — No. 7 Penn State stayed true to form with a sensational second half, as quarterback Trace McSorley led a thrilling 21-point comeback to defeat No. 6 Wisconsin, 38-31, to win the 2016 Big Ten Championship Saturday night in Lucas Oil Stadium.

McSorley threw for a Big Ten Championship game-record 384 yards and a record four touchdown passes, including three in the final 31 minutes, to lead Penn State to its fourth Big Ten Championship and first since 2008. Accordingly, McSorley was named the Grange-Griffin Most Valuable Player.

Penn State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) fell behind 28-7 with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter but rallied for its fourth double-digit comeback of the season -- a program first -- and its largest since rallying from 21 points down against Northwestern in 2010. The Lions continued their second-half success, outscoring Wisconsin (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten), 24-3 in the second half. The win also extended the Nittany Lions' winning streak to nine games, its longest since 2008, and gave Penn State its sixth 11-win season in the Big Ten era.

DaeSean Hamilton and Saeed Blacknall were McSorley's top targets, as Hamilton caught eight passes for 118 yards and Blacknall caught six passes for a Big Ten Championship game record 155 yards and two touchdowns. Blacknall had a 40-yard touchdown reception with 58 seconds remaining in the first half to bring the Lions within two touchdowns, 28-14, and then he caught a 70-yard touchdown on Penn State's first play of the second half to bring the Lions within one score, 28-21.

Saquon Barkley, who finished with 83 yards on 19 carries, scored the game-clinching touchdowns, rushing for a yard to the goal line with 4:22 remaining in the third quarter to tie the game at 28-28, and then hauling in the go-ahead score on an over-the-shoulder 18-yard touchdown pass with 13:41 to go to put the Lions ahead for good, 35-31.

Tyler Davis added a field goal with 5:14 remaining for a 38-31 lead, and the Nittany Lions withstood the Badgers' last offensive push, as Grant Haley stopped Wisconsin's Corey Clement on fourth-and-1 at the Penn State 24 with 1:01 remaining.

  • McSorley throwing ball

    Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was named the Big Ten title game's most valuable player. McSorley threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns as Penn State rallied back to defeat the Wisconsin Badgers on Dec. 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated December 12, 2016