Penn State holds off Washington to win Fiesta Bowl


No. 9 in the final College Football Rankings, had its way with Washington's vaunted defense early, building a 28-7 lead by the second quarter.

Penn State also was 13 for 17 on third downs, including touchdown passes by McSorley and three conversions on its final clock-draining drive. The first game of the day is the TaxSlayer Bowl, which has Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Washington matches up well with PSU on both sides of the ball, and if Petersen is able to pull out some tricks, it could be the difference in the game.?Then again, the Lions have a new offensive coordinator in Ricky Rahne, so don't be surprised if he has some tricks up his sleeve that he's been waiting to use.

He looks at Washington's offense and, in certain areas, he notices what made Penn State dominant in recent years.

Five fifth-year seniors - defensive tackles Curtis Cothran (Council Rock North) and Parker Cothren, wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, guard Brendan Mahon and linebacker Brandon Smith - will start their final games in blue and white on Saturday, as will six fourth-year seniors. "But a two-loss teams, it's really hard to make it". Both times his Boise State teams finished the season undefeated and ranked in the top-6 nationally. The senior led the Huskies this year with 62 receptions for 721 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Penn State could wonder what might have been in the CFP, but a Fiesta Bowl is a nice way to close out the season.

Penn State's receivers had a size advantage on most teams out on the edge this season and Saturday was no different.

Barkley is a junior, but could decide to leave for the NFL. I think those guys came in with a real big chip on their shoulders that they wanted to be the senior class that really put Penn State back on the map, and I think they accomplished a lot of that. That's all in the past now, Penn State is led by Saquan Barkley, he is their heart beat, their explosiveness, their big threat. We weren't expecting to have bowl games for a long time.

"It's always of paramount importance in every game we play", Washington head coach Chris Petersen said of the Huskies' special teams success.

Some people out west may not feel that the SEC deserves to have two teams in the College Football Playoff, but the Pac-12 has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had absolutely no business even sniffing the playoff.