Penn State Men’s Football Struggles To Find A Consistent Attack, Falls In West Virginia | Penn State Men’s Football News
West Virginia improved to 3-0 as they hosted a clinic in their win over Penn State on Friday night in Morgantown, beating the Nittany Lions 3-1 and dropping Penn State to 1-1-1 this past that year.
The Mountaineers dominated most of the game, controlling possession and creating plenty of scoring opportunities. They now hold two wins at the start of the season over their ranked opponents, having beaten No.3 Pitt on Monday.
Penn State found itself at a clear disadvantage after a red card sent off Jalen Watson in the 23rd minute of the game, which tipped the scales in West Virginia’s favor for most of the game.
The Nittany Lions defense held out for most of the first half, until West Virginia pulled in a few solid passes in the 34th minute to give Frederik Jorgensen a scoring opportunity that would give the Mountaineers a lead 1-0.
Shortly after a few Penn State chances early in the second half, the Mountaineers would double their lead when a header from a perfectly placed corner hit the back of the net.
The Nittany Lions closed in the dying minutes after a goal from Femi Awodesu brought them closer to one. The goal appeared to ignite a flame under Penn State that had vanished throughout the game, albeit short-lived.
West Virginia would put the finishing touches on in the dying minutes as Pau Jimenez Albeda found the upper right corner to make it 3-1.
Watson’s red card comes back to haunt Penn State
When Watson received his first yellow in the 12th minute of the game, it certainly wasn’t the ideal start to the game for the Nittany Lions.
Things quickly turned from bad to worse, as Watson would be sent off for good almost 10 minutes later, forcing Penn State to play the remaining 67 minutes with just 10 players.
The Blues and Whites were already struggling to contain West Virginia’s crisp passing attack, making Watson’s departure from the field even more damaging to the team’s pursuit of success.
After the red card, Penn State was presented with minimal scoring chances and was only able to control possession for a few seconds at a time before finally returning the ball to the Mountaineers.
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Penn State fell in the rankings this week.
Nittany Lions lacks possession control
To say West Virginia dominated possession throughout the game would be an understatement.
The ball spent most of the 90 minutes in the Mountaineers’ attacking half. When Penn State was able to regain control, it was short-lived as the ball would soon find its way back to a West Virginia player’s foot, with the sole exception of last goal Nittany Lion.
Much of West Virginia’s ability to control possession and the pace of play was its propensity to string together multiple passes and move the ball up the field.
The Mountaineers’ constant pressure was ultimately enough to deplete and shatter the Penn State defense.
First tough road game for Nittany Lions
Penn State had high expectations for this season, and so far the Nittany Lions have underperformed. This was the case, once again, in their first road clash of the season.
The first red card was a defining moment, as it brought down both blue and white, both physically and mentally. From that point on, Penn State was simply unable to keep up with the hot West Virginia team.
This will be a lesson for the Nittany Lions, given that they’ve spent almost every 90 minutes on their heels playing defense.
West Virginia fans were boisterous and exuberant throughout the game, something Penn State hasn’t had to deal with on the road since the 2019 campaign.
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Penn State is looking forward to Friday’s game after a 3-0 win over Syracuse.