Penn State football says goodbye to another stellar group of seniors on Saturday. (*sniff*) They grow up so fast…
This weekend, Nittany Nation will bid a bittersweet farewell to the Penn State football Class of 2019.
Nick Bowers, Cam Brown, Weston Carr, Dan Chisena, Nick Eury, Blake Gillikin, Steven Gonzalez, Jan Johnson, Hunter Kelly, Colton Maxwell, John Reid, Michael Shuster, Garrett Taylor, Justin Tobin, Robert Windsor and Jake Zembiec will be honored before the game as this will be their last game in Beaver Stadium.
They were part of some special years in Penn State football history with many impressive accomplishments and will be dearly missed. This season could end in the third major bowl game in four years, which would be a great way to send them off. But before their Senior Day win against Rutgers, take a look back at some of their great moments during their time in blue and white:
John Reid has had some great plays, including his pick-6 against Buffalo or interception against Iowa, that led to a Tommy Stevens touchdown in 2018. But Penn State fans might forget how important this one play was to the trajectory of the program.
This was before the magic of 2016 really took off. Penn State was coming off a road loss to Pitt. Temple was led by miracle-worker Matt Rhule and had a very successful season the year prior. This wasn’t “just Temple” and the Owls took Penn State to the wire.
Temple had the ball with a minute-and-a-half to tie it, but Reid was in the right place at the right time to secure a win for the Nittany Lions.
A lot of people had a big game in College Park that night, but it seemed like Nick Bowers finally had the big game he deserved and that we’ve all been waiting for. He had two catches in this game for 70 total yards, including a touchdown and a 55-yard scamper.
An important contributor mostly on the scout team in his four years, Eury finally got some playing time and a well-earned touchdown in the season-opener.
Penn State football legend Saquon Barkley even liked what he saw:
Robert Windsor’s big game against Iowa in 2019
Windsor had one of the best games of his career against the Hawkeyes, registering six tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, and 1.5 sacks. His most impactful play might have been a quarterback hurry that resulted in an interception in the fourth quarter. That interception would lead to a Penn State touchdown that put the Lions ahead comfortably.
“His best play was a Penn State safety?!”
Yes, Gillikin has had some great punts the past four years, but lots of Penn State football fans don’t understand how much Gillikin saved the game, the season, and the program with this play.
After a high snap, Gillikin outruns current Washington Redskins receiver Terry McLaurin and falls on the ball in the endzone, giving two points to the Buckeyes.
Had McLaurin beaten Gillikin to the ball, Ohio State would have had a touchdown and made the score 26-7. Marcus Allen/Grant Haley’s epic block-6 would then have only cut Ohio State’s lead, instead of being the game-winning play. Luckily, Gillikin got to the ball, only holding Ohio State to 21 points, which the Lions went on to overcome.
Jake Zembiec bringing some personality to the PSU sideline
Jan Johnson intercepting Maryland and killing the Terps’ will on the first drive of the game in 2019. Cam Brown running sideline-to-sideline in every game. Garrett Taylor’s interception against Ohio State in 2018. Dan Chisena receiving a touchdown and a scholarship in the 2019 Blue-White Game. John Reid’s pick-6 against Buffalo.