On Saturday, its second-best team - Washington - wasn't faring much better in the Fiesta Bowl.
Washington, meanwhile, hardly got on track as Penn State's defensive line swarmed quarterback Jake Browning early and often. The junior, who is likely heading to the National Football League, wasn't used as a workhorse on Saturday but when he was utilized, he was extremely effective.
Barkley had nine carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Miles Sanders, who is splitting series with Barkley, scored too.
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Washington tried a hook and lateral play on a fourth down and wide receiver Dante Pettis inexplicably threw the ball to a Penn State player instead of running out of bounds with five seconds left.
To earn its first New Year's Six bowl game win under Franklin, Penn State will need to continue dominating at scrimmage, which it has done, and keep the mistakes and penalties to a minimum, which it has also done thus far. Trace McSorley was 18-of-24 for 219 yards, a touchdown and an interception at halftime. We were reminded of this one last time on Saturday afternoon. He finished with five catches for 122 yards and two scores.
Penn State scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter and completely shut down Washington until late in the opening frame. Saquon Barkley capped off an 11 play 64 yard drive on a 2 yard drive to give Penn State a 14-0 lead.