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editor's pick

Penn State football downs Rutgers in home finale with new quarterback on Senior Day

veilleux

It may not have been the most riveting 60 minutes of football, but Penn State got the job done against Rutgers on Saturday.

The Nittany Lions won on Senior Day 28-0 over the Scarlet Knights thanks to a stout defensive effort and eventually enough from the offense

This gets Penn State to seven wins on the season and sets up an intriguing matchup next week as James Franklin’s team travels to Michigan State.

Here were the top storylines from Beaver Stadium’s season finale.

Christian Veilleux makes 1st appearance

Penn State senior Sean Clifford was one of the many who were honored before the game as this could be the final time playing at Beaver Stadium.

But Clifford’s time in this game was short as a non-COVID related illness combined with a big hit taken in the first half, forced him into the locker room where he would not return from.

That meant it was time to see true freshman quarterback Christian Veilleux who was elevated to the No. 2 spot earlier this week by the offensive coaching staff.

Veilleux was solid in his Nittany Lion debut, totaling 235 yards on 15/24 passing with 3 touchdowns.

He was the first true freshman quarterback to throw a touchdown for Penn State since Christian Hackenberg in 2013 and looked poised throughout the game with a makeshift offensive line protecting him.

Defensive dominance

While the offense was struggling big time to start the afternoon, Brent Pry’s defense had a really nice showing on senior day.

The Penn State defense came into the game with the least amount of touchdowns given up in the Big Ten with 17 and that stayed true against Rutgers.

The Nittany Lion defensive group gave up just 161 total yards and gave quarterback Noah Vedral a hard time all day with the constant pressure.

Senior defensive back and three time captain Jonathan Sutherland sealed the deal late in the second half with a pick on Vedral which was poetic given the circumstances.

Stout shines

The first half did not have much offense between the two teams but as usual, Jordan Stout did his part on special teams.

Stout punted on the first six drives of the game and was able to put the Penn State defense in spots to win the field position battle with some great situational punting.

The Virginia Tech transfer continues to make his case as the premier kicking specialist in the Big Ten with his ability on both punts and kickoffs.

Stout also went 4-for-4 on extra points as he continues to get better and better with field goal kicking.

The senior from Cedar Bluff, Virginia, may very well be heading to the NFL next season as he has garnered conference-wide attention over the course of this season.

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